Radha Kund, 2017.12.28 (VT) Today is the disappearance day of Shri Krishna Das Madrasi Baba. Shri Krishna Das Baba was born on Friday the 21st of February, 1919, in Calicut, Kerala (previously known as Madras). Shri Krishna Das moved to Braj in 1944, after leaving his job in Mumbai. Some years later, he began to live permanently at Radha Kund, and stayed there for 39 years, until his departure in 1998.
Baba was completely absorbed in the pastimes of Radha-Krishna and considered everyone and everything in Braj as transcendental. In 1959, Shri Sakhi Charan Das Babaji, from the lineage of Shrila Lokanath Goswami, blessed him with mantra initiation and babaji initiation in the same year.
Instead of trying to attract foreign disciples, Krishna Das Baba thought that his following among Westerners was a matter of shame and called himself a ‘poor man’s guru’ for Westerners. Baba had such a profound impact on Karunamayi Das (Zakrent Christian) that Karunamayi Das wrote a book about Babaji’s life and teachings entitled, The Life and Teachings of Krishna Das Baba of Radhakund.
We present some extracts from Karunamayi Prabhu’s book, as an offering to Babaji and all those who have been inspired by his life and teachings.
Baba’s understanding of Braj dust as the dust of Radha Rani’s feet.
Once Baba sent us to Gyan-Gudri in Vrindava. He asked us to bring from that place a small bag of dust for him. He remarked that it was there that Uddhava Mahashay’s prideful knowledge of Shri Krishna’s majestic divinity (aishvarya-jnana) was crushed into powder by the dust of Shri Radha’s feet. Baba’s intention was to pass away lying on the ground with this dust sprinkled on him. Often Baba exalted the dust of Shri Radha`sfeet, ecstatically reciting the following verse of Shri Prabodhananda Saraswati.
yobrahma-rudra-shuka-narada-bhishma-mukhyair alakshitonasahasapurushasyatasya sadyovashikarana-churnamananta-shaktim tamradhika-charana-renumanusmarami.
I constantly remember the dust of Shri Radha’s feet which possesses unlimited power, able to subdue immediately the Supreme Being, Shri Krishna, who is not so easily seen even by great bhaktas like Brahma, Shiva, Shuka-deva, Narada and Bhishma. (p.28)
Baba’s humility and acceptance
Shri Krishna Das Baba’s humility and tolerance were so perfect that he always considered himself fallen and even accepted mistreatment, slander, insults and disservices without protesting. Baba taught humility by telling the following story: “Once there was a guru who was approached for initiation by two boys. One boy was of a low caste and the guru said: “Never forget where you came from!” The other boy was a brahmin and the guru said: “Now you, you must completely forget where you came from!” Once, when I informed Baba about the misdeeds of one bhakta who had previously acted as a guru, Baba gratefully replied that this devotee was his acharya-guru (one who teaches by example) because he has taught him by his own example the things that should not be done. (p.34)
Baba’s understanding of the mood of Brijwasis
One time Baba was moved to tears while recalling how his brother Shri Haripada Das Babaji went into raptures over some Vraja-vasivotaries of Shri Ram whom they venerated as Narayan (God). Their customary practice was to worship first Shri Sita and Ram and then show the offered items with affection to their Giriraj Shilas (stones from Mount Govardhan) which were placed on the Tulasi (Sacred Basil) in their courtyards. Having noticed their way of doing this, Shri Haripada Das Babaji started to wonder why, being Vraja-vasis, they were not offering puja (ritual worship) to Shri Radha and Krishna, who are the supreme male and female persons. Instead, they only gave them items offered already to Shri Sita and Rama? It did not take a long time for him to discover that these Vraja-vasis, though showing an inherent loving attachment to Shri Radha and Krishna and their sports, did not consider them to be God. For them God was Shri Rama and Krishna was just their local hero celebrity whom they loved with all their hearts. Although Baba quoted them numerous proofs from Bhagavata Purana demonstrating that Krishna was God, they replied to him that the same book mentioned very clearly that the Vraja-vasis worshiped Krishna as their dear master, friend, son and lover but never as God. So they too, as heirs of that tradition, were following their ancestors by doing the same thing. The encounter with the local Vrajavasis’, deeply rooted, natural inclination to loving Shri Radha and Krishna in the tradition of the Vrajavasis of old thrilled Shri Haripada Das Babaji, and, when he realized their elevated status in bhakti, he began to weep uncontrollably.
vraja-lokerbhavepaitanharacharan tanreishvarakorinahijanevraja-jan kehotanreputra-jnaneudukhalebandhe kehotanresakha-jnanejinichorekandhe vrajendranandanatanrejanevraja-jan aishvarya-jnananahinijasambandha-manan vraja-lokerbhaveyeikorayebhajan seijanapaivrajevrajendranandanKrishna Das Kaviraj, Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.9.118-12
By the feelings of the Vraja-vasi one attains Shri Krishna’s lotus feet. The people of Vraja do not think of him as God. Some, thinking him their son, bind him to a grinding mortar. Others, beating him in games, climb on his shoulders, considering him a friend. The people of Vraja consider him to be the son of the leader of Vraja. They have no awareness of his divine opulence. They consider him related to themselves. Anyone who worships Krishna according to the feelings of the Vraja-vasis will attain Krishna, the son of the leader of Vraja (p.39)