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84 Vaishnavon ki Varta #2, Shri Krishnadas Maghan

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 ********VARTA 2********

     SRI KRISHNADAS MEGHAN

       [a Kshatriya from Soron]

      ***Bhavaprakasha***

Krishnadas Meghanji is a manifestation of Shri Svaminiji’s Sakhi Visakha. Visakha Sakhiji is Shri Svaminiji’s shadow, so, just as a shadow is always linked to its source, so Visakhaji is inseparable from Shri Svaminiji and is always with Her. This was the same with Krishnadasji and Shri Acharyaji. Krishnadasji would sometimes embody special powers, as we shall read in the following stories.

            ******PART 1 *******

Shri Vallabhacharyaji circumnambulated the world three times and, each time, Krishnadasji accompanied him. On the first trip they went to Badrinath and found two mountains named Parali and Kirani. A huge rock fell down from the peaks, but Krishnadasji managed to stop it with his bare hands. Shri Acharyaji was pleased and impressed and was willing to grant him the ultimate reward but, in order to test his disciple, asked him, “what reward would you choose?”

Krishnadasji asked for three boons: first, that the devotional principles of Shri Acharyaji’s Path of Grace be perfectly established in his heart. Second, that his speech be always pure and, third, that Shri Acharyaji visit Krishnadasji’s previous Guru and accept him into the Path. Shri Acharyaji was favourable to the first two but not to the third.

            ***Bhavaprakasha***

Krishnadas still regarded his previous Guru as his Guru in his heart. This feeling was revealed by his request for the boon from Shri Acharyaji. That is why Shri Acharyaji withheld the granting of this divine blessing. He granted the first two and not the third. This is because the Guru was not a divinely oriented soul and therefore would not be qualified to enter the Path of Grace. But, Krishnadas still held the previous Guru in his heart which blocked his total experience of the Grace-filled Way. His speech was not purified and he lost some of his previous power.

           ******PART 2******

Then they travelled beyond Badrinath towards the cave where the Great Sage Vedavyasji lived. Unqualified human beings could not enter there so Shri Acharyaji told Krishnadasji to wait outside while he proceeded to go in to meet Vedavyasji. The latter then showed great interest in Shri Acharyaji’s commentary on the Shrimad Bhagavatam and requested Shri Acharyaji to discuss this commentary with him. There was one verse from the “Yugala Gita” that he wanted to discuss. The verse was SB 10,35,2.

vāmabāhukṛta vāmakapolo

valgitabhruradharāṙpitavenuṁ |

komalaṅgulibhirāśritamāṙgam

gopya irayati yatra mukundaḥ||

[Shri Gopijana ke Pancha Prema Gita, VKP 2014]

It took three whole days for Shri Acharyji to explain the full purport of this verse. Vedavyasji then admitted that he did not really understand the meaning of these lines and begged forgiveness for this. Shri Acharyaji instructed him, “You have spent much time and effort revealing scriptures adhering to about impersonal vedic rites and rituals of the path of lawful limitation][māyāvād].” Vedavyasji interjected, “But what should I do? It was my given duty to instruct in this way only”.

There are two ways of regarding the scriptural word. Shri Acharyaji then told Vedavyasji that his commentary fell on the side of personal philosophy [brahmavāda,where everything is known to be the Lord Himself]. When he heard this explanation, Vedavyasji felt great joy.

After this, Shri Acharyaji took his leave of Vedavyasji. He had been there for three days. Nevertheless, when he exited the cave, Krishnadas Meghan was still standing there. Shri Acharyaji was very pleased to see him and asked him why he had not left. Krishnadas Meghanji replied, “Where should I go? I have no other refuge other than your Lotus feet.” This was most pleasing to Shri Acharyaji who offered Krishnadasji a boon. He requested the same 3 boons and, again, Shri Acharyaji granted the first two but not the third [accepting the Guru into the Path of Grace].

        ***Bhavaprakasha***

Krishnadas still held reverence for his old Guru in his heart. Therefore he found some of his previous powers diminished. This is why Shri Acharyaji did not take Krishnadasji Meghan into the cave. He was going to discuss the verse from the Yugalgita which would have been way beyond Krishnadasji Megan’s grasp. Even Vedvyasji was  incapable of grasping its meaning. This is because he is just a partial manifestation of the Lord and so how would he be even vaguely capable of properly hearing the Lords own voice? The Lord of Lords sat in Vedavyasjis mind and told him what to write. He was the Lords tool and had no experience of Divine joy. The hidden meaning of this has been described by Shri Harijivanadasji in this Poem:-

Raga Kedaro

“You can only get to know the Lord when He allows it. Until such time, you will not get to know Him even through reading or hearing the recitation of the Vedas, Puranas or the Smritis. Brahma, the Creator, heard the Shrimad Bhagavatam from Lord Narayana and then related it to Naradji, who then passed it on to Vedavyasji who was not able to understand its inner meaning. Thus,for him, it was just a medicine to allay his anxiety and pain. Vedavyasji then taught it to Shri Sukadevji who then passed it on to Parixit. Even though the latter heard the 10th Canto, he still did not develop the insight that Shri Krishna is everything and so never became actively involved in the Lords service. Shri Vallabhacharyaji churned the nectarean curds of the Shrimad Bhagavatam for he is the most elevated teacher. He lifts the veil from before the devotees eyes and grants them the highest Lord into the palm of their hands. He revealed the many tasteful ways of service to the Lord through music and decoration etc. The poet Harijivandasji says that Shri Acharyaji, through his Grace, lets the divinely oriented devotees taste that nectar.[In this way Shri Vallabhacharyaji grants his devotees great Grace and lets them taste the nectar of personal service.]

          ******PART 3******

On another occasion, Shri Acharyaji traveled to Gangasagara. Once, he was taking rest whilst Krishnadasji was massaging his feet. Shri Acharyaji wanted to offer some puffed rice and he told Krishnadasji Meghan the same, after which Shri Acharyaji fell asleep. Krishnadasji went to banks of the river where, on the other shore, he saw a light twinkling. Using it as a guide, he managed to cross over. There was a village nearby where they had just harvested some rice. He paid them double their asking price and acquired what he wanted. Returning to Shri Acharyaji’s resting place, he pressed his feet until he awoke and presented the rice to him. Shri Acharyaji asked him where he had got hold of it and when Krishnadasji told him he again granted him a boon. Krishnadasji asked for the very same three rewards. Shri Acharyaji stated that the embodied soul has no concept of what is appropriate to ask for. He said that, had he been asked, he would even have granted the direct sight of the Lord!

Then Shri Acharyaji traveled on to Soron. Krishnadasji asked his permission to bring his Guru to him. Shri Acharyaji told him he would only gain grief thereby. So Krishnadasji went to see his Guru by himself. The Guru asked him, “Have you taken another Guru?” Krishnadasji denied that he had,reassuring the Guru that he was his only teacher, but that by his blessings he had met the Lord Himself. The Guru asked him how he knew that Shri Acharyaji was the Lord’s own Form. Krishnadasji picked up coals from the fire that was burning nearby with both hands and declared that if Shri Acharyaji were truly the Lord Himself then his hands would not be burnt. He held the coals for nearly two hours. The guru was astonished and fearful and told him to put them down, even forcing him to throw them down. Krishnadasji was very aggrieved to see his Gurus lack of respect for Shri Acharyaji. [This story has been recounted in detail in Shri Gokulnathji’s commentary on the Shri Vallabhashtakam.]

         *** Bhavaprakasha***

It was on the banks of the Gangasagara in the middle of the night that Shri Acharyaji had the idea to offer some puffed rice. Actually, the Lord Himself had no particular preference for this but the whole incident was just to shower grace on Krishnadasji Meghan. This is always the case in such matters, and so he swam across and acquired the goods. This was all achieved by the Lord’s Grace for it could not happen without His wish. Shri Acharyaji was very happy when Krishnadasji woke him up and gave him the rice. He offered Krishnadasji a boon but he again asked for the same three things. Shri Acharyaji remarked that embodied souls have no clue what to ask for. In this way their asking for anything is an obstacle to service. Paramanandadasji has sung, “If you ask for anything the Supreme Reward is lost.” 

Krishnadasji still held the other Guru to be his teacher which shows his lack of faith in Shri Acharyaji’s teachings. He should not have needed to ask for anything again. This shows how very difficult this Path is to tread. Krishnadasji may have known that Shri Acharyaji wanted the rice, but still, the proper understanding of the Path can only manifest in the heart through great Grace. He knew the concept of impure speech but failed to perceive that the character of the embodied soul is not in its own hands. It can only be purified when He wishes. When there is faith in any other as being the Lord or the Guru then the Path’s proper reward can never be achieved. Krishnadasji felt only grief from his other Guru but then he gave up disloyalty and took shelter of Shri Acharyaji. It was only then that his speech could become pure and his faults dissolve. He never asked such silly boons from Shri Acharyaji again. Taking shelter anywhere else is a big obstacle.

             ******PART 4******

After the Path of Grace had become established in his heart, Krishnadasji discussed some of the hidden principles of the Path with some Vaishnavas. One or two of them complained to Shri Acharyaji that Krishnadasji was revealing some of the more esoteric principles in public. Shri Acharyaji quizzed him about this. Krishnadasji suggested that he go to those Vaishnavas and ask them exactly what he had said. Shri Acharyaji did so but they were unable to recall what had been said. Acharyaji smiled and was silent.

            *** Bhavaprakasha***

So Krishnadas Meghanji had understood the Path in his heart, and his heart was overflowing with love for the Lord. He did talk to the Vaishnavas about some of the things he had experienced. However, just as liquid needs to be contained by a vessel, the Vaishnavas were unable to contain the nectarean stories and so they did not recall what had been said. Krishnadasji was not as qualified as Damodardasji Harsani in as much as he could not stop himself from talking about his experiences. One remained silent, one spoke out; this shows two types of reaction to the experience of Shri Thakurjis bliss.

       **********PART 5************

Once Krishnadasji asked Shri Acharyaji what the Lord likes. He replied that Shri Thakurji likes all lovely things but especially milk. He even loves the sound of the word. His dearest thing is the indescribable adoration of His devotees and He is known to have great affection for them. Next Krishnadasji asked Shri Acharyaji what the Lord dislikes and his reply was, “Shri Thakurji really does not like smoke and anyone who troubles his devotees.”

       ***Bhavaprakasha***

Milk represents the purity of the love that the lord and the devotees share whilst the smoke is conflict. When a loving mood predominates, know Shri Krishna to be present there but know Him to be far far away from places of conflict.

Krishnadasji again asked, “Why did Lord Ramachandra grant everyone in his kingdom residence with him in his own abode whilst only granting his very own father the limited pleasures of heaven?” Shri Acharyaji responded that Shri Ramachandra ji was most generous, for he granted his father, not even worthy of ascent to heaven, that very goal. Simply to prove his own word he had sent his son to the forest.

       ***Bhavaprakasha***

This is a question only someone of limited qualification would ask. Why would one venture to question the Lord’s activities and decisions? This line of enquiry shows that Krishnadasji had not yet achieved the state of innermost heartfelt contemplation and understanding [in which everything becomes clear in the heart due to the Lords Grace]. Shri Acharyaji’s simple response, “Lord Ramachandra ji is very compassionate” was enough to make him understand. Here we see clarification of the principles of the Path of Grace.

Shri Ramachandraji’s father, for the sake of stubbornly sticking to his word, caused much trouble to Shri Ramachandra ji who is actually the Upholder of all Dharma or religious principle. Shri Ramji was most generous and nevertheless granted his father residence in heaven, [which is mistakenly regarded as a desireable reward, because it is only a temporary state and is not comparable to the reward of devotion which is eternal.]          

        ********PART 6]*************

On another occasion, Krishnadasji asked Shri Acharyaji why there are so many devotees who still do not truly realize the Lords pastimes [do not fully experience the bliss of His Form.] Shri Acharyaji explained that they had not properly and fully surrendered themselves to the Lord. In other words, they have not grasped the concept of surrender. For this entails the giving up of ones entire ego sense and the feelings of “I,me and mine”, from which  comprehension ensues the  mindset of being the Lord’s servant, dependent on Him alone and recognizing His words to be the ultimate teachings.

These are, he explained, the disqualifications of such would-be devotees and the problem is that they do not take the time to associate with accomplished devotees who would be able to set them straight. They think they are worthy of meeting the Lord directly and so He is displeased with them. This Path is all about humility and they do not have any. Therefore, they fail to recognize the true Forms of the Lord, the Guru and the accomplished devotees. Association with such devotees could bring them closer to the Lord and His pastimes. This concept is far away from them and whatever they do they do not put their heart and soul into it and are not granted the knowledge that they need.

They should seek out qualified and self realized devotees and constantly read and try to understand the Shrimad Bhagavatji and the Subodhiniji commentary thereon. Maybe then they could begin to love the Lord  from the very bottom of their heart. The Lord’s heart is always with the Vraja Devotees, the Gopis, because they capture Him through their pure service and love for Him. A striving Vaishnava should seek the company of devotees who strictly follow this Path of Grace because Shri Thakurji lives in their hearts. One example of this is the great devotee Gajandhavan [viz.varta 13] who served the Lord with the purest love and whose every wish the Lord granted. Therefore, it is crucial to contemplate the interactions of such close devotees.

Furthermore, they should regard devotees who have realized the Form of the Lord as part of the spiritual realm and connected to the Lord’s pastimes and therefore follow their instructions. Once, such a Vaishnava has realized the Lord’s Form then everything they do is directed to the Lord. They crave for Him at all times. They are aware of all their own faults and constantly analyze their relationship with the Lord, wondering, “Who am I? Who was I before? After realizing my relationship to the Lord, who have I become? What are my duties now?” When they begin to ponder such things night and day then they fully grasp the concept of their relationship to the Lord. The appearance of such understanding is the mood of the Vraja Devotees, the Gopis. This shows the importance of associating with great devotees in order to know the Lord.

The Shastras and the Puranas are the written scriptures and historical reference. Even they are not able to reveal the Lord’s personal Form. This can only be known through association with pure devotees who are the only ones who truly know the ways of serving Him. A striving Vaishnava should meet them and enquire about the ways of service. Then true love for the Lord will arise in the heart and his pastimes will be revealed.

     ********PART 7 *********

Shri Acharyaji again went to visit Vedavyasji. Shri Acharyaji pointed out to him that in the Shrimad Bhagavatam 10,47 [the account of when Uddhavaji was sent to meet the Gopis and their Ode to a Black Bee] there was half a verse missing. Vedavyasji was able to fill in the missing line and Shri Acharyaji told him the commentary he had already written about that very line. Vedavyasji was extremely gratified to hear the commentary.

Thereafter, Shri Acharyaji went to the temple of Badrinathji. That day was Shri Vamana Jayanti, the appearance day of Lord Vamandevji, which is a fast day for Shri Acharyaji. Vedavyasji and Krishnadasji searched for foodstuffs suitable for a fast day but they couldn’t find anything.

Lord Badrinathji himself came to Shri Acharyaji and told him that, despite his searching for such edibles he had not found any and that he should cook as usual and offer those preparations to Shri Thakurji and accept that Prasad afterwards, considering this to be the Lord’s own wish. Shri Acharyaji accepted this situation. Krishnadasji had already told Shri Acharyaji that there were no suitable foodstuffs available and the Lord spoke to Shri Acharyaji through Vedvyasji as well. He said “utsavānte ca pāraṇā” [Prasad may be consumed even on a festival day].

Shri Acharyaji offered the usual preparations and they all partook of the Prasad. From that day to this the 12th day on which Lord Vamandevji’s appearance day falls is not strictly a fast day. Shri Acharyaji then left that place along with Krishnadasji.

             ***Bhavaprakash***

They could not find any non-grain foodstuffs! If Shri Acharyaji had truly required them then they would have become available. Neither Krishnadasji nor Vedavyasji were able to find any because Shri Acharyaji had the desire to make the type of offerings usually made on a festival day. He first of all made the point of principle that on fast days no grains should be offered or consumed but then none was made available and through Vedavyasji Shri Thakurji Himself gave the instruction  to cook as normal.

Due to this occurrence, Shri Gusainji and all his seven sons, especially the first son Si Giridharji uphold the principle of fasting on this day but elsewhere they keep to “utsavānte ca pāraṇā” and Shri Thakurji eats as usual!

         *******PART 8********

When Shri Acharyaji left this world, Krishnadasji was struck with sore affliction due to separation and he also immediately left his body.

 

 

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