Radha Baba (1913-1992) was a devotee of Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna who lived in Gorakhpur. Born in a Vaishnav Brahmin family in Gaya, he first became an Advaitin sannyasi, but later took the path of Braj devotion. Shri Hanuman Prasad Poddar, the founder of Gita Press, was his inseparable spiritual companion. It is said that Radha Baba spent fourteen years performing a very strict maun vrat, during which he kept complete silence, without even using gestures to communicate. During this period he was completely absorbed in Braj Lila. Several beautiful books were written by him, including Keli Kunj, Satsang Sudha and Mahabhaga Brajdeviyan. The following excerpt is taken from his book Easy Steps to Eternal Vrindavan, translated into English by Lakhpat Rai, M.A. It appears to be out of print, but the original Hindi edition, Prem Satsang Sudha Mala, is still available from Gita Press, as are his other works.
You are just there where your mind is: keep this in your memory firmly all the time. Sitting here if you are thinking of your shop in Calcutta, you are then, really speaking, in Calcutta itself. Similarly, if your physical body is here, whereas the mind, leaving the body, is engaged in the sports of the divine realm of Vrindavan, you are then in Vrindavan alone. When the destiny is worked out, the physical body will perish and you will be included in those very pastimes forever. Everything depends upon your desire. Progress can be achieved only by remaining engaged in this Sadhana based on the above infallible principle.
Shri Radha Baba (P.C. Gitapress Gorakhpur)
I have no idea as to the condition of your mind, nor what is therein. But it is my belief that the day you really begin to wish that your mind should get engrossed in the pastimes of Braj, that very day, nay, that very instant you will automatically begin to discover newer and newer ways to control your mind and to engross it, and so on. The main reason why this does not happen is the weakness of the desire alone. I guess that the mind perhaps lacks the very agony. Now and again the mind yearns like the emphemeral effervescence of soda-water, but it abates later.
Here you see a watch, but it is absolutely true that Shri Krishna exists exactly where this watch is. Now how can you see Shri Krishna until you stop seeing the watch, because the mind is a single entity and can do only one thing at a time – it can either see the watch or Shri Krishna. If you see Shri Krishna the watch will remain invisible, and if you see the watch, Shri Krishna will remain invisible. In the same way, the mind will think either of this world or of Shri Krishna. Whatever your mind thinks of at any time, that very object is the creation of his own maya; nay, it is one of his pastimes.
There is a method for keenness, for perseverance. It is this: as soon as you wake up in the morning, pray to the Divine Couple from the bottom of your heart that henceforth your life is in their hands, and then do one thing – keep a handkerchief with you all the time and tie a knot in it. While tying up the knot, keep on singing the following verse:
नंदलाल सौं मेरो मन मान्यौ, कहा करैगो कोय री
हौं तो चरन कमल लपटानी, होनी होय सो होय री
गृहपति मात पिता मोहि त्रासत, हँसत बटाऊ लोग री
अब तो जिय ऐसी बनि आई, बिघाना रच्यो है संजोग री
जो मेरौ यह लोक जायगौ, अरु परलोक नसाय री
नंदनँदन कौं तऊ न छाँडौं, मिलूँगी निसान बजाय री
यह तनु फिर बहुरौ नहिं पैये बल्लभ बेष मुरार री
परमानँद स्वामी के ऊपर सरबस डारौं वार री
nandlaal so mero man maanyo, kaha karego koy, ri
ho to charan kamal lapatani, honi hoy so hoy, ri
grihapati maat pitaa mohi traasat, hansat batau log, ri
ab to jiya esi bani aayi, bighna rachyo hai sanjog, ri
jo mero yah lok jaaygo, aru parlok nasaay, ri
nand-nandan ko tou na chado milungi nisaan bajaay, ri
yah tanu phir bahuro nahi peye ballabh besh muraar, ri
paramanand swami ke upar sarbas daro vaar, ri
A fancy I have taken for Shri Nanda’s Son
What harm or slander bring to me can anyone?
Yea, with his lotus feet I have my soul entwined,
The consequences now at all I do not mind.
The master of the house and parents do me chide;
Not only that, wayfarers also me deride
I think that Fate herself has forged this union sweet.
Now let my life upon this earth ruination meet
Or let me lose rewards that after death me wait
I shall forsake not Nanda’s Son at any rate.
Him I shall join proclaiming it by beat of drum,
So long as I am in this frame no chance will come
To meet again the lovesome Lord, I dedicate
Paramananda says, to him my fortune all, my fate
After reading the verse, tie up the knot. Go where you will or sit where you will, but keep the handkerchief before you all the time, and go on making a firm mental determination repeatedly that you have to do this very thing. Let the whole world go up in flames, let it be destroyed, but you have to do this one thing only. Keep that knot before you throughout the day. The next morning when you get up, untie it. After untying it, tie it up again, singing the same verse. This helps a great deal. Nobody can know why the knot is there. People will just think it is a mere handkerchief, and the knot may have been tied in it for some work, or it may contain something. It should, however, remain in your hand before you all the time. Wherever you go, remain seated keeping it in your hand. This will make you one with the Lord – the most Beloved.
जब मैं था, तब हरि नहीं, अब हरि हैं, मैं नाहिं
प्रेम गली अति साँकरी, तामें द्वै न समाहिं
प्रेम न बाड़ी नीपजै, प्रेम न हाट बिकाय
राजा परजा जेहि रुचै सीस देय ले जाय
jab mai tha, tab hari nahi, ab hari hai, mai nahi
prem gali ati saakri, taame dwe na samay
prem na baadi neepaje, prem na haat bikaay
raja parja jehi ruche, sees dey le jaay
When I existed God was not;
When God is there, I am nowhere.
The lane of Love is narrow much,
Together two cannot be there
Love not in marketplace is sold
It grows not in a garden bed
A commoner or a king who wants
Can only have it for his head
But the object is achieved only by practicing these things in one’s life, and not by mere idle talk.
There is an infallible rule – the mind can do only one thing – either think of Shri Krishna or the objects of the senses. How can anyone make you believe? But if you have faith in the scriptures, you will find that they are replete with the principle that God exists everywhere. For the sake of Prahlad he came forth from a pillar. Even so, God can come out today from a pillar in the form of Shri Krishna for the sake of a real and faithful devotee. Shri Krishna exists in each post of your house, but as long as you continue to keep your mind engrossed in the post of your house, there is no reason for Krishna to appear. He only comes to a person who longs for him. You or someone else may say, “O God! I should not lose my house, I should not lose my wealth, my wealth and children should continue to exist, nay, they should prosper.” Shri Krishna then responds, “This man does not want me in the form of Shri Krishna. He only wants my illusory (temporary) form in the shape of wealth, children and property. Why should I then appear before him in my real form?”
In short, it is not necessary to go anywhere in search of Shri Krishna. What is needed is to engross the mind in him, throwing out everything else from the mind. Then the real substance will surely appear before you. Shri Krishna and Shri Krishna alone exists, no other thing exists at all – you will become blessed by visualising this. Such was the vision of the blessed Gopis; to them Shri Krishna used to be visible wherever they happened to look.