Vrindavan, 2017.08.01 (VT): Once a renounced Vaishnav of the Gaudiya Sampraday named Shri Gaur Das Babaji was living in Nandgaon. He resided at Pavan Sarovar in Shri Sanatan Goswami’s bhajan kutir. It was sometime around the year 1893 AD (Bangabda 1300).
Gaur Das Babaji used to bring flowers every day from Gazipur near Prem Sarovar, and make beautiful garlands for Shri Krishna and Balram. It was through this flower seva that he attained Shri Krishna’s grace.
After making garlands every day for five or six years, Baba began to feel sad. “I have served Shri Lalju (Krishna) every day for all these years, but till now we have no relationship to speak of. I don’t even know if he is enjoying my seva or not.”
That day, Krishna and Balram did not wear Baba’s garlands. Later that afternoon, he found the same garlands abandoned in the temple premesis. Some little boys were playing catch with them and blissfully tearing them to pieces.
Seeing this, Baba began to cry. “Just see… Shri Lalju doesn’t enjoy my flowers at all. I should move to Barsana and make garlands for Radharani instead!”
The next day, Baba packed his water pot inside his ragged patchwork blanket and left for Barsana. It was just before sunset when Baba set out across the grasslands on foot. The cowherds were already bringing the cows back in from pasture.
Suddenly he saw the boys from the day before – the same ones who had been playing with his garlands. Feeling hurt, he tried to divert his path, but the boys noticed him. “Hey! Babaji! Where are you going?”
“I’m going to Barsana!” said Baba.
“Oh!” said one of the boys. “When are you coming back?”
“I’m not coming back!” said Baba.
“Don’t say that, Baba! How can you leave?” said another boy, the ringleader of them all.
Pastureland near Barsana (P.C. Unknown)
“Lala, I can’t explain. Just get out of my way and let me pass.”
“No, Baba! Now you listen to me. You’re not going anywhere,” said the little boy sternly, blocking his path with his arms stretched out.
“Get out of my way!” Baba shouted, and he tried to run.
Baba was not very fast, and the boys easily stopped him. No matter which way Baba turned, the boys blocked his way.
Finally Baba got lost all his patience and screamed, “Are you kids or monkeys?! Enough of this nonsense!!”
Twilight had just set in. The boy said softly, “But Baba! If you go, who will make garlands for me?”
Baba turned to look at the boy. “Kid, who are you…?”
But the boy was already gone. All his little friends, the cows and the calves had also disappeared.
Crying with anguish, Shri Gaur Das Babaji rolled on the dust of Braj and lamented, “O Lalju! You are so kind and yet so cruel! I didn’t recognize you… I didn’t understand what you were telling me. Please don’t stop having mercy upon this poor servant of yours!” Baba returned to his hut in Nandgram and wept all night long.
That night Shri Krishna came in the Pujari’s dream and said, “Make sure Gaur Das does not abandon my flower seva.”