Vrindavan, 2017.09.25 (VT): Yesterday was the disappearance day of Siddha Krishna Das Babaji of Govardhan.
Krishna Das was from a wealthy family in Orissa. When his father died, his mother committed Sati. Just as she was about to climb on the funearal pyre, she blessed Krishna Das that he would become a great devotee of Radha and Krishna.
This made a great impression upon him, and he left home for Vrindavan at the young age of sixteen. There he studied for two years before proceeding to Jaipur, hoping to serve Govinda Dev on the altar. The King of Jaipur granted his permission, and Krishna Das spent about ten years serving Govinda Dev.
However, although Krishna Das was always absorbed in serving Radha and Krishna, he still had physical desires. From time to time, these desires distracted him from his seva, which hurt his heart greatly. He felt that this was happening because the prasad he ate was funded by the Maharajah. And so he left Jaipur for Vrindavan.
In Vrindavan, Krishna Das took to a life of intense vairagya (renunciation). He lived in a dilapidated hut in the forest. He used to beg for flour and mix it with neem leaves. Sometimes he made dough out of this mixture and cooked flatbreads, and sometimes he ate it raw.
Due to lack of nutrition, Baba became very week and eventually went blind. When his vision left him, he could no longer go to the village to beg. He only drank water from a nearby pond, until he became too weak even to leave his hut.
Seeing his sorry state, Radharani felt compassion for him and sent her sakhi Lalita with a plate of her prasad. After feeding Baba the prasad, Lalita said,
“Baba, why don’t you go for begging?”
“Lali (little girl), I am blind! How can I go?”
“If you could see, would you beg then?”
“Of course I would, Lali. Why wouldn’t I?”
“My father has a magic ointment. If I put it on your eyes, you will see again.”
Lalita Sakhi touched Baba’s eyes and his sight immediately returned. But Lalita had disappeared.
Baba immediately understood that something divine had just happened. Who was that little girl, and why had she left him alone? How did she disappear so suddenly? Would he ever meet her again? Baba was so distraught with separation and overwhelmed with thoughts like these, he simply remained laying in one place without moving for three days.
On the third day, Radharani herself came and granted Baba her darshan. She instructed him to go to Govardhan and reside at Chakleshwar near the bhajan sthali of Sanatan Goswami on the bank of Mansi Ganga.
Once Baba went to take a bath in Mansi Ganga and did not come back. Everyone was afraid he had drowned. But in reality he was lost in the jal keli lila of Radha and Krishna. After seven days, Baba was seen coming out of Mansi Ganga. When people expressed surprise, Baba said, “Why are you so shocked? I just went for a bath and now I am coming back! What is so unusual about that?”
Shri Lalita Sakhi
At Chakleshwar, Baba started learning Sanskrit because he wanted to read the books of the six Goswamis in the original language. But he found that he was unable to perform his devotional practice and study Sanskrit properly. There just wasn’t enough time in the day. He could not abandon his worship, yet his longing to read the six Goswamis’ books extremely intense. Unable to find a solution, Baba decided to drown himself in Mansi Ganga.
At dawn, just as Baba was about to drown himself, Sanatan Goswami and Lalita sakhi appeared to him. They blessed him that all the knowledge of the scriptures would be manifest within him spontaneously. They also forbade him to ever contemplate suicide again and placed their feet on his head as a blessing.
Krishna Das Baba became one of the greatest scholars of Braj and wrote many books, which served as a guideline for meditation on Radha and Krishna’s lilas. The most famous of these books is the Gutika. Siddha Baba’s festival is celebrated every year at Chakleshwar in Govardhan.
Excerpts from Siddha Krishna Das Babaji’s Gutika:
You can also read a more detailed biography of Siddha Krishnadas Baba of Govardhan here.