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The Lynching of the Gossip

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A108-AI

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This is the continuing serialization of 252 Vaishnavan ki varta, the lives of the saints following Vitthalnath, son of Vallabhacharya. It has been translated from the original Braj Bhasha by Krishnaa Kinkari Devi. This is the tenth varta, part 3.

*Part 3*

Once Sri Gusainji was residing in Asaruva village. Someone went to the Chief Minister of Gujarat to gossip.

In the district of Dholaka there was one Lachabai and her brother who lived together in one house. That Lachabai was very influential in all Gujarat. The person who went to gossip took with him one well-known eunuch named Baj Bahadur who was part of her entourage.

They said, “There is a Holy man come to Gokul. He is living in Rajnagar cohabiting with Kothari’s sister, although he is reputed to be a Great Soul!”

Lachabai gave her written permission for Baj Bahadur to go to Asaruva and investigate.

Baj Bahadur came to Aaruva and surrounded Sri Gusainji’s residence. Sri Gusainji had already heard about this and had retreated inside. In his baithak Bancha Baghela, Jhaboji, the Rajput Garasiya and Kothari were present with about ten others.

Baj Bahadur came into the baithak and sat down. Sri Gusainji was sitting on his cushions. Baj Bahadur stood up and bowed low to Sri Gusainji. Then he sat down again. Baj Bahadur then said something to Sri Gusainji in his own language. Sri Gusainji replied to him in that same language in a very nice way and explained perfectly to him whatever he had asked.

Baj Bahadur was immensely pleased. In Sri Gusainji’s response he recognized his divinity. He felt that Sri Gusainji was the Lord Himself, and that the others had been crazy and just wanted to lure him into conflict.

On the day that Baj Bahadur came to Sri Gusainji, it was the rainy season. However, there had been no rainfall in that part of the coutry. All the people were perplexed.

Baj Bahadur addressed Si Gusainji, “O, Maharaj! This land is suffering without water.” Sri Gusainji replied that a lot of rain was on the way. Baj Bahadur paid his respects and began to set off.

Sri Gusainji gave him a Prasadi stuffed paan leaf. Baj Bahadur put it on his head and requested Sri Gusainji to give him something that he could keep with him on his head at all times. Sri Gusainji presented him with a betal nut.

He put the betal nut up to his head out of respect and then tucked it into the fold of his turban.

He prostrated to Sri Gusainji one more time and set off to go home. While he was on the way, it suddenly began to rain. It was heavy rain and he had to struggle to get home. Baj Bahadur felt so happy.

After going home he proceeded to tell Lachabai all of this news. She immediately gave the order that the who had told the tales should pay for that misdemeanour with his life so that in future no one would be tempted to do the same.

The mother of the tell-tale heard this order to execute her son. She went to Sri Gusainji taking her son with her and, taking shelter of Sri Gusainji, pleaded with him saying, “The people here want to lynch my son. Therefore I have brought him, my dear son, to you.” Sri Gusainji then sent an instruction to Baj Bahadur not to execute anyone.

Baj Bahadur accepted this plea of Sri Gusainji and forbade his men to act as planned. After some days, Baj Bahadur summoned the offender to Court. He said, “I have saved you because of Sri Gusainji’s request. However, if you ever spread lies and rumours again, I shall personally finish you off on the spot.” He consoled him in this way. Sri Gusainji returned to Gokul after some more days.

*bhav-prakash*

Here the teaching is that a Vaishnava must have compassion for all living beings. However wicked a thief or gossip a person may be they should, as far as possible, be delivered rather than slain.

Thus concludes Varta 10, the story of Bhaila Kothari who was a recipient of Sri Gusainji’s great grace and an accomplished Vaishnava, although, truly, there is no end to his tale.

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