Sri Srimad Radharaman Charan Das Deva, popularly known as “Barha Baba“, which means “Baba the great“. He was so called, because he was truly great – great in heart, great in love, great in power to do things, which our men of reason and science would not believe even if they see.
He sincerely followed the teachings of Shri Chaitanya and revived many of the activities or Lila of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which people had already forgotten by then. He was a living embodiment of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s universal religion of love. He carried Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s message of love from place to place, door to door and person to person, singing and dancing, laughing and weeping in rapturous ecstasies like Mahaprabhu Himself. He told us how all our sufferings could be easily removed and we could attain the highest goal of life-the attainment of the lotus feet of the Lord and his loving service only through Sankirtan or the congregational chanting of His name ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram.’ Since we, the jives of kali, would not easily believe him, he mercifully took it upon Himself to demonstrate to us the inconceivable power of the Divine Name by curing diseases, melting stones, making the tree dance and animals behave like devotee Vaishnavas, and even by bringing the dead back to life through the chanting of the Name ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram.’ He taught both by example and by precept the religion of pure Bhakti. He stands out prominently before us as the very embodiment of truth.
RadhaRaman Dev was an exceptional character amongst the saints. Inspite of possessing all the virtues that are associated traditionally with Sadhus, he had in him something more which made him outstanding. Like a flowing stream his spontaneous love for all living beings, specially the poor, downtrodden, the outcaste, the sinner, the unwanted, and the untouchable knew no bounds. He firmly believed the presence of LORD NITYANANDA in every living being and accordingly poured his love from the core of his heart on them. His love was not limited to the idol of NITAICHAND on the throne. This virtue has been exemplified on numerous occasions in his life when we see his compassion for Ram Behara – a street beggar of Bhubaneswar, Dyuti Singh a leper of Kendrapara, a drunk person of Balasore or the cheat Gunasindhu and so many others. He never said no to anybody. Everybody had a place in his heart. A turbulent river brooks no resistance. It will overflow any obstacle in its path and on its journey, it ensures that both its banks are endowed with nature’s bounty. It will not stop until it reaches its ultimate goal of embracing the unending sea. Such was the life of Radharaman Dev. Whosoever come into contact with him, flowed along with him till that person reached the desired destination. He had no peer when it came to liberating society from quagmire of stagnation.
Childhood and early life:
He was born in the village of Mahiskhola in the sub-division of Narail in the district of Jessore, presently in Bangladesh on 13th April, 1853, Thursday. He was born into a respectable and well to do family. His father was Mohan Chandra and Mother Kanak Sundari. He was named RAICHARAN at the time of his birth. His close relatives used to call him Charan and later when he was initiated he took up the name of Charan Das. During the time of birth he refused to suck mother breast. Six days passed, and the baby went without any milk. All the relatives and villagers despaired of his life. The Ojhas and Kavirajas were called in but they could not do anything. On the sixth day one devotee name Rajani Bhattacharya came and advised them to offer worship to the LORD, and give him prasada to drink, as the new born must be a great devotee of The LORD, but would not take anything but what had been offered to LORD. They did as per the advice of the devotee, LORD was worshipped and offered milk. Surprisingly when the offered milk prasada was given to the new born, the milk was readily taken by him, and he began to suck the mother’s breast after it was bathed in the charanamrita – the spiritualized water from off the feet of GOD in the form of HIS Image, worshipped with the spirit of love and devotion.
On attaining the proper age RAICHARAN got married. His father-in-law’s village was Ghorakhali. On seeing that his father-in-law’s village had no scope for proper education he established a charitable educational institute whose entire expenses were borne by him. A big pond was digged to provide water for villagers and a portion of his house was converted into a free guest house and a charitable medical centre. When in service, he was promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Sata Pargana. However, this self-centered family life held no meaning for him and shortly he left his familial lifehood.
Following his family Guru’s instruction he went to Bhavanipur, which was famous for Shakta faith at that time, and performed purascharan for the cause of his heart’s longing, there he received the sight of Sri Krishna’s potency, Yogamaya Goddess Kali, who appeared before him and instructed to go Ayodhya, near the banks of Saraju river to find his would be GURUDEVA SRI SHANKARANYA PURI, who was from Sriman Nityananda Prabhu family descendant earlier known as Yogendra Goswami of Kharadaha. Mother Kali further told that SHANKARANYA PURI was not ordinary man but had the spirit of Sriman Nityananda himself, and she would inform him the same about RAICHARAN’s forthcoming journey. Without wasting anymore time he went direct to Ayodhya, on the banks of Saraju he found his divine MASTER. As Goddess Kali described his Gurudeva before, he found him exactly same as a tall man with long arms reaching down to the knees, long drawn eyes stretching up to the ears , within a poor cottage hemmed in by tall trees around. On reaching that place Raicharan heard from one disciple, that MASTER is waiting for his arrival as while sitting in meditation THE MASTER saw RAICHARAN’s performing puracharana alongside with DIVINE Mother’s direction and thus MOTHER forced MASTER to break his vow not to take anymore disciple. MASTER ordered Raicharan to take bath from Holy Saraju River and to be equipped with tilaka and the kanthi mala. Then the MASTER raised Raicharan and made him sit in front of him, after which he bent forward and breathed the mantras into his ears. The MASTER himself would not find it in his heart to let him go after the mantras were imparted to him. He held him on and wept over him, their chests flooded over with tears of love – trembling in every limb. It was long till the MASTER gently dissociated himself from the disciple, who was lying still and motionless, apparently in an unconscious state while his Godbrother was chanting fervently aloud the Mahamantra:
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”
Meeting with Navadwip Das – Formation of Twin Soul:
After the Initiation as per Master’s advice took the road with only source of sustenance being SANKIRTANA and devotion and traveled extensively and finally reached Sri Dham Nawadwip, land of Sri Gouranga. Here he became familiar among the locals as Rajen Babu. Meanwhile there came a young man named Navadwip Chandra Das with his family, on a flying visit to sacred place for pilgrimage. He heard the name of Rajen Babu and felt an irresistible impulse to see him at his place. No sooner did Navadwip set his foot on the floor of the room, than he felt himself carried away. Both of them saw each other and felt like an old family friend and they embraced each other soon entered into the state of ecstasy, started shedding tears and stood motionless for sometime.
Navadwip returned at nightfall to his family part and made them distinctly understand that he was not willing to go back his house. His relatives were taken aback. They tried to dissuade him from his purpose, but all in vain. He conceded only so far as to accompany them home, but only to come back after a week and stay on with Rajen Babu, there in sacred city of Navadwip.
Visit to Sri Khestra Puri and famed as Barha Babaji:
They started from Navadwip one fine morning towards Sridham Puri with Sri Name dancing on their lips. Raicharan was leading the team, as the team was marching towards Puri, he danced in Sankirtan – the tall figure with hand uplifted, one foot fixed perpendicularly on the other – and thus he ran miles. They soon had large following on their heels. New band came and joined them. The children came and danced with them followed by men leaving their regular work. On the way they touched Kalna – Gouridas Pandits house and later Sakshi Gopal in the vicinity of Puri. Atlast they came to Neelachal, the abode of the Lord.
They entered JAGAMOHANA, the hall of Puri Temple where visitors take their stand to have a look at the Lord. On seeing THE LORD JAGANNATHA they lost their consciousness of material world and started dancing with loud Sankirtan, thousands of voices joined in the Sankirtan and thousands other stood looking on and listening to the divine melody. It remembered the era of our beloved Gourasundar’s four hundred years ago.
Now after paying the homage to the Stirless Jagannatha – the Deity of the Lord of the words in the temple – they went to see Stirring Jagannatha – the Lord Incarnate in the person of Sri Chaitanya, in GAMBHIRA. He was welcomed by then sevait of GAMBHIRA Sri Haribhajan Das Babaji. There he went to the small room where Lord of KaliYuga spent HIS most exhaulted pastimes and saw the Kantha used by Lord and while touching it with his hand he burst into tears.
From there they went to see other places where Lord and his associates performed various Lila pastimes. They went to historic home to Sri Vasudev Sarvabhauma and the Sidhdha Bakul. His dynamic and radical approach, total surrender to Lord made him a popular figure amongst the literate community. He came to be known as Barha Babaji.
Humbleness and title of Imitation Chaitanya:
One day in Puri while passing through royal road Bhagavan Das Babaji, the Mahanta of Narayana Chata, summoned Barha Babaji and his associates to partake of the Mahaprasada, which was being distributed freely on the occasion of festivity going on in that place. They readily acquiesced, for the Mahaprasada was a Divine Thing, and a Vaishnava must never refuse to accept the offer of Mahaprasada, which he should regard with veneration due to the Lord. But were so ill-clad and so humble in their ways and manners that they were naturally taken for street beggars, and asked to sit on the public road. They were supplied with a single leaf, which was to serve them as a plate to take prasada from, while they were four, who were asked to sit for prasada. The leaf was torn in the middle, and they were sitting on the dusty road. To protect Mahaprasada coming out to road and thus preventing the honour of Mahaprasada, Navadwip Das the dearest of Barha Babaji, spread out his outer garment (Barbaas of Vairagis) and put the torn leaf on it, so that the Prasad might not come out and get mixed up with the dust of the road. Mahanta (keeper of religious convent) came, prasada in hand saw what they had done, and exclaimed, “You rogues! You can not give yourselves a dinner and you turn Vaishnavas to cast a slur on Vaishnavism. What have you done?” Barha Babaji said smilingly,” Yes, sir, you are right. We are not Vaishnavas, and can never hope to be Vaishnavas. Bless us, great one and pray we may be allowed to be servants of Vaishnavas like your honored self. If your Lordship would give prasada to us all, give it here on my leaf and we shall take it all together.” The mahatma was very angry, he was softened to hear these sweet words and lavishly poured the prasada on the leaf. They took it with great delight and they were satisfied. Another man would have protested against the unjust allegation made by the mahanta, but Barha Babaji did not; because he had no vanity or the pride, which would have persuaded others to try to prove that they were much better than the ordinary hunger-stricken beggarly Vaishnavas, that mar the glory great religion they pretend to profess for the purpose of gaining their worldly ends.
Another day, they finished their ablution in Narendra Sarovara, and were going to the temple of Jagannatha singing and dancing on their way, when they met a sanyasi at the head of a procession party, walking with silver slippers under silver umbrella, who seemed to be a saint of note in the sacred city. They enquired and came to know he is famous Bhutnath Swami, who was in charge of Jagannatha Vallabha at that time. They made obeisance to the saint, and the latter raised his hands and blessed them on the way. They had gone but a few paces, when the sanyasi summoned them back to his presence, and this time when they came back and bowed again, the saint himself and bowed saying Namo Narayana in return and said, “Mahatma, may I ask you where you are putting up?” “Father,” said Barha Babaji, “we have no fixed place for our residence, but at present we are staying at the out-house of Ganesh Mahanti.” “Well, well,” said the sanyasi, “You are no ordinary man. I felt transcendental joy as I looked upon you. I think you are intimate of Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the son of Jagannatha Mishra. In fact, from what I can gather from your looks and doings, I think you are an exact copy of Sri Chaitanya in your life and conduct. You are an ‘Imitation Chaitanya’ I would say. But you see, you have renounced the world, you should not go and stay with worldly man. Why not come and stay at my place? Occupy a room at Jagannatha Vallava and sing the Name of Lord to your heart’s content”. “As you bid us, mahatma, so it shall be done”, said Barha Babaji and went away. On the third day they came and put up at the Jagannatha Valabha, which gave much pleasure to Bhutnath Swami, who was very favorable disposed towards them. “A jewel alone knows what a jewel is like” says the Bengali proverb, and it is so true. So, Swami Bhutnath looked into the heart of Barha Babaji and knowing his greatness, desired near acquaintance and closer friendship with him at his own place at the Jagannatha Vallabha at Puri.
On the Way to Bengal:
After spending wonderful pastimes at Sri Khestra Puri Barha Babaji decided to go to Bengal. He started on foot with only few people with him. On the way he stopped for a night for darshan of Sakshi Gopal and next day he started for Bhubaneswar.
On the way he met Raman Behara, a poor cowherd. He was so poor, that is was very difficult for him to make even two square meals a day for himself and his wife. With his misfortune he lost his only son and the local villagers had no sympathy for him, as he was arrogant and irreligious besides being a destitute. But when he saw Barha Babaji and his party passing through the village, singing aloud the Name of the Lord and dancing with tears flowing from their eyes, a mysterious change came upon him. He stood before the road of Barha Babaji and asked him in folded hand to stop over his house and have their meals at his place. Barha Babaji agreed and Ram Behara went running to his wife and asked her to prepare food for everybody. The poor lady looked at him deadly, as she had no provisions at all that day, but she said nothing and went out to borrow the provisions from the neighbors. By understanding the situation Barha Babaji felt great pain and his heart melted. He said to Ram Behara not to worry much about their meals, if Sriman Mahaprabhu is willing, HE would arrange a great feast at Ram Beharas door, where entire village would participate. In saying so Barha Babaji and his party started heart-rending and soul-stirring Sankirtan, which attracted the villagers and they poured in from different direction and joined the Sankirtan. After Sankirtan when the villagers leading by an old Brahmin invited Barha Babaji at their home for meals, Barha gently refused by saying he is guest of Ram Behara for that day. Then the villagers suggested to allow them to bring the provisions from their own home to contribute in the feast, which was agreed by all. Babaji Mahasaya asked his disciple to cook the food and offered that to Lord. On witnessing charismatic playtime of Barha Babaji, Ram Behara fell at the feet of Barha Babaji and asked for initiation to save him from the bondage of Maya. Without wasting any moment Barha Babaji embraced him with tearful eyes and whispered Diksha Mantra into his ear. Every body began to dance with joy by shouting “Jay Nitai”. Later the whole family of Ram Behara took the shelter of Barha Babaji. When the food was ready , the bhoga was offered to the Lord, Barha Babaji asked the Villagers to take prasadsa, but the villagers requested and insisted Barha Babaji and his company to take prasada first, which they had to comply. After them villagers sat to eat prasada without any cast distinction among Brahmins and non-Brahmins. By the bondage of love of Barha Babaji everybody forgot about their social status and cast differences. They were eating shouting by “Nityananda Ki Jay!” and “Barha Babaji Mahasaya Ki Jay”. It was surprising to all that though food was prepared for only forty people, but as many as one hundred and twenty five people ate to their full satisfaction.
Next morning Barha Babaji advised Ram Behara that in this age of Kali only Sri Name posses all the power to free the jiva from the bondage of Maya. However one should chant the Name of Lord without making any offences. Baba gave these percepts to Ram Behara and through him to the people of the Village. After Barha Babaji’s departure Ram Behara remain no more the old Ram Behara, but now he became illuminated one with wisdom and earned the respect from all over his village. Ram Behara had become spiritual guide of the people of the village. In this way Barha Babaji mahasaya converted him from a sinner to saint.
Sanyasa Initiation and Meeting with Chaitanya Das:
Though till now he had become famous as Barha Babaji in Sri Khestra Puri and other parts of Bengal and Orissa , for people of Navadwip he was still their old Rajen Babu. But the time had come now, when it became necessary for him to cast away the mantle of Rajen Babu and choose the garb of a Babaji or Vaishnava sanyasi. He took Vaishnava sannyasa from famous Sidhdha Sri GaurHari Das Babaji of Navadwip, an aged Vaishnava of about eighty-five and disciple of famous Sidhdha Vaishnava Sarbabhum Sri Jagannatha Das Babaji. Jagannatha Das Babaji gave him the name Sri Radharaman Charan Das. He was happy to have a disciple like and showered all his affection upon him till end of their days in this world.
One day Sri Radharaman Charan Das Babaji had gone to the temple of Mahaprabhu at Sri Navadwip Dham, he saw a young handsome boy of about twenty years old, weeping before Mahaprabhu and saying , ” You have brought me out of home, out of hell to take me to the kingdom of Prema, but where is that great Mahapurusha, whom you showed me in dream? Who would take me to that kingdom where you live eternally. ” When he turned around he saw Barha Babaji standing behind. He was stunned for a while and fell at his feet at the very next moment. Barha Babaji lifted him up and gave him his loving embrace. The boy started telling about his own story as how he was in great desire about searching for the aim of life. And how Mahaprabhu appeared him in dream and instructed him to go to Navadwip at Mahaprabhu Temple next day to find his guru. The boy narrated even that Mahaprabhu indicated the external appearance of his would be GuruDeva and that he was known in Navadwip as Rajen Babu. Barha Babaji said to that boy,” Are you Chaitanya das of Kacharh district?, Mahaprabhu is extremely kind to you” indicating thereby that Mahaprabhu had already bid him about his initiation and he immediately gave him the mantra.
The Festival Of Dogs:
One day when Barha Babaji was returning from Mahaprabhu’s temple at Navadwip performing Kirtan with his party, a bitch came and joined the procession on the way. The Sankirtan party stopped at places and sang and then proceeded with redoubled vigour, singing the Sankirtan with maddening peals. Every time the party stopped the bitch would pause till the party passed by and then she would roll and toss on the ground just as a devotee would do to bless his soul. She went on doing this and she started staying with them at their place. They called her Bhakti Ma ( Mother Devotion ), as she was no ordinary dogs, who always kept company with the devotee. Days went on in this fashion, and one day Bhakti Ma was taken ill. It was apparent after some days that she had decided to leave his mortal coil. So a big Sankirtan was held and she passed away with Lord’s name with her ear and her body was thrown into the sacred stream of the Ganges.
A regular chira Mahatsova was duly performed, as for any devotee, on fourth day of her demise. Barha Babaji thought of offering entertainment service to the Vaishnava for blessing departed soul of Bhakti Ma. The entertainment was properly carried out, and Barha Babaji said some of her kin must be fed to complete the ceremony in the proper way. All his attendants were dumb struck in hearing this strange proposal, as it was beyond anyone’s imagination. But Navadwip Das Babaji has full faith on Barha Babaji, He asked for the further instruction from Barha Babaji.
Barha Babaji advised him to go with folded hands from street to street of Navadwipa and whenever come across with any dogs, invite him for the dinner in memory of late lamented Bhakti Ma. Navadwip Das Babaji asked for Barha Babaji’s blessings , afterwards he went and took a round in the city, acting upto the bidding of his master. Next morning preparation were going on for the proposed entertainment and Vaishnavas were summoned to join the festival, when news arrived some of the leading Vaishnava came to think that their prestige would be at stake if they would go and join a festival, where dogs were some of the invited guests. Barha Babaji went personally to the Barha Akhra ( Assembly of Vaishnava at Navadwip Dham ) to settle the affair, but to no purpose. Some of them were inexorable, but the festival were held inspite of their stout resistance, and thousand others came to witness the strange performance. Some of these guests had a shrewd suspicion that it would end in a farce after all, for evidently it was something impossible. Others had great confidence in the Babaji and thought he could make any impossible possible when he had a mind to do it. Then came RadheyShyam Baba and all stood up and prostrated themselves before this wonderful personage. He was affectionately disposed towards babaji Mahasaya, and he began to take him to task for setting his hands to a task which could not on the face of it be accomplished at all. He also expressed that he would be sorely aggrieved if the proposed entertainment of dogs would prove a failure, for he could not brook to hear Babaji Mahasaya belittled by anybody, although Babaji Mahasaya himself might not take it to heart and laugh it away.
Babaji Mahasaya argued that God – they all agree to affirm – was omnipresent, present in dogs as well as in men, and so appeals made to God in the dogs must necessarily have the same effect as those made to God inherent to men. He prayed them to remember that God came out of the pillar and manifested himself as Narasinha, when Prahlada appealed to Him. He concluded by saying that it was their want of faith in Lord that made them suspect the practicability of the whole thing. The day wore on and the assembly were just hoping to see their skeptical prophecies fulfilled. But to everybody’s surprise the dogs actually began to appear, one by one. Barha Babaji prostrated himself before his canine guests, and duly received them as he showed them to their seats on the royal road at Borhal Ghat. There was great sensation amongst the people, and they gazed on one another in dumb surprise. The news spread all over Navadwipa, and thousands other came to witness the strange performance. Dogs came in crowds, some fifty to sixty of them appeared, and to everyone surprise they sat down quietly side by side as the men does in entertainment hall. Babaji Mahasaya with eyes reddened with emotions humbly beseeched his God in dogs to issue orders for the dinner to serve. At this, all the dogs looked upto him at once, and he knew what they said, after which he instructed his men to supply his guests with the plantain-leaves, and serve them up with all the items of the entertainment rolled into a mass for their acceptance. The dogs were severally served with boluses on their leaf plate , but Dogs did not touch the edible matter served before them. When Babaji Mahasaya spoke in broken voice and with tears in eyes, requesting them to begin, at that time suddenly a black dog came and sniffed at the leaves after which the dogs fell to their leaves. From all direction devotees on seeing these astonishing incidents started crying with loud “HariBol” and “Ulu ! Ulu” were heard and roars of applause echoed and re-echoed in all quarters of Navadwip town. Dogs finished the partaking of prasada without any sound maintaining the social custom observed by Vaishnava and they were offered water at the end. They were no ordinary dogs but great Vaishnavas as understood by their behaviour. At the end Babaji Mahasaya again folded his hands and prostrated himself before them, asking them if they were satisfied and begging for their pardon for any shortcomings from his part. The dog-Vaishnava then left the scene one by one as they came and Babaji Mahasaya in a paroxysm of transcendental joy rolled and tossed on the blessed leaves from one side to another again and again. RadheyShyam Baba embraced him heartily as he blessed his darling with tearful eyes. Babaji Mahasaya gather the Mahaprasada all in lump, offered it to the departed spirit of Bhakti Ma and then partook of it in high glee with his attendants in ashram.
It was about ten o’clock in the night, when it was perceived that a plateful of prasada was lying unnoticed, on hearing this Babaji Mahasay asked his men to keep it intact for some reason not clear at that time. At night after while Babaji Mahasaya saw a red dog lying at the door of his room , when the dog saw him , got up at once and stare at him with meaningful eyes. Babaji Maharaja instructed Chaitanya das to serve the preserved prasada to this new guest. When Navadwip das came to know about the dog, he came out and saw the dog and exclaimed that verily it was the same dog he met first of all and the same whom he requested to convey the message to each and everyone of the kinsfolk and bring them all to the scene of occurrence They all came to understand why that particular guest was so late, for he had to go about and send them up, before he himself could come to take his share of entertainment.
Sankirtan in Krishnanagar : Amazing Hariloot and Amazing footprint on stone
One day on the request of Devendranath Chakraborty better known at Navadwip as “Jay Nitai” requested Bodo Babaji to go to Krishnanagar for Sankirtan. Bodo Babaji heartily agreed on that. On the way they met local police inspector and requested them to take rest at garden house of one devotee and have prasada there. Soon news spread at the town of Krishnanagar that a Mahapurusha had come and staying at garden house. People started coming to him for darshan. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon Babaji Mahasaya setout with his party dancing and singing the Name of Lord as usual. They reached near the Krishnanagar College, which was just closed for the day while teachers and students were coming out of the college. They heard the irresistible sound of Sankirtana and saw an attractive tall Babaji leading the mass. Adhar Babu , professor of the college and Vrajalal Babu , then teacher of the school found the invitation unstoppable and joined the sankirtan party and began to sing and dance. Numerous people quickly gathered leaving there usual job and joined the party, thus a gala Sankirtan party appeared at the street of Krishnanagar which was not witnessed before. Babaji Mahasaya was so lost in ecstatic joy and emotion that he occasionally felt like losing outer consciousness and falling senseless on the ground, but he controlled himself by shouting “Nitai ! Nitai!”. Others also caught his emotion and were so transported that they sang and danced like those who had drunk deep of the cup of divine drink. The procession marched on and on and as it marched it swelled in numbers. Slowly night came in and Babaji Mahasaya stopped sankirtan and returned to the garden to taken rest.
Next morning local sub-registrar Jogesh Babu invited him and his party to take prasada before starting Nagar-Samkirtan again, which Bodo Babaji accepted. When Yogesh Babu went back and told his mother and sister to prepare Bhoga for Lord as one Mahapurusha would come with his party to partake prasada. On hearing the news his sister exclaimed, “Ma, I saw in a dream this morning that a tall Mahapurusha came to me and said, ‘Didi ! (sister) I am very hungry, please give me something to eat.’ I gave him the asana to sit and then my sleep was broken.” At about 12 o’clock Babaji Mahasaya came singing and dancing along with his party. As soon as Kirtan was over he said to Yogesh Babu’s sister, “Didi, I am very hungry.Give me something to eat. Where is Ma?”. She was stunned and went to her mother and told, “Ma, my dream has come true. The Mahapurusha I saw in the dream was exactly like him and he asked me for something to eat in exactly in the same train. Surely he must be a Mahapurusha”. Very soon bhoga was offered to deity and served to Babaji Mahasaya and his party. Then they went to Nagger-Sankirtan in the afternoon after taking little rest. By this time he was very famous at Krishnanagar and most of the important people of the town came and joined in sankirtana. They all danced and clapped their hands in a state of spiritual frenzy evoked by the sight of Babaji Mahasaya dancing and singing.
Days rolled on like this and every day sankirtan procession went round Krishnanagara and every day people were carried away by the ecstasy of spiritual energy. At one place a local devotee Bhuvan Mohan Babu came in contact of the procession and throught some batasa ( A dry sweet prepared from Sugar) in shal-patra ( leaf of timber plant ) and gave it to Babaji Mahasaya for HariLoot. Baba took shal patra in his hand and began to sing the song usually sung at the time of Hariloot. Baba held the shal-patra plate in his left hand and he was dancing with his right hand lifted upwards. He occasionally scattered batashas with his right hand and shouted ‘Haribol!’ People fell upon the batashas, collected and ate them. There were many people standing outside, because courtyard was packed to every inch. They were sorry for not getting a chance to participate in Hariloot. For them Babaji came out and began to scatter batashas all around. Loot accompanied by the dance and Kirtan went on for an hour, during which everybody was transported into ecstasy. But the crowd were surprised to see that although Babaji Mahasaya was freely and repeatedly throwing a handful of batashas, the shal-patra plate in his hand always remained full up to the brim. Suddenly Baba became aware of this and threw away the plate for fear of fame.
The Amazing Foot-Prints:
Next day morning on request of Jogesh Babu Bodo Babaji went to his house for performing Kirtan. He went with his associates singing and dancing and on reaching his house after taking rest they sat down for prasada. While they were eating, Jogesh Babu’s sister said ,”Baba people say that you are a mahapurusha, but I have not yet seen anything extraordinary in you.” Babaji Mahasaya replied,” I am an ordinary person. There is nothing extraordinary in me. But if you want to see something extraordinary, pray to Gaura-Nitai. If they want they can show you something.”. In the afternoon many people started coming to the house of Jogesh Babu. Sankirtan began at about 4 p.m. Babaji Mahasaya was dancing and singing, describing the sankirtan scene of Lord Gauranga dancing in ecstasy in the midst of his devotees. He was stressing the point that the Name of the Lord was the only way and Nityananda the only guide to that beautific realization, when suddenly he cried:
“Lo ! there is Nitai entranced, behold,
Men high and low caught in His loving hold!”
He said this and was lost to the world. Tears streamed forth, hair stood on end and trembling like a plant caught in a blast, he fell in a trance upon the ground. His followers surrounded him and sang the Name of Lord till at last he regained consciousness and cried in husky voice:
“Bhaja Nitai-Gaura, Pabe Radhe-Shyam,
Japa Hare krishna- Hare Ram.”
All others repeated in the same strain, and so on, till it was about ten o’clock in the night when the party divided itself and as a dual throng, singing the Kirtan by halves, one group singing, “Bhaja Nitai-Gaura Pabe Radhe-Shyama,’ the other singing ‘Japa Hare Krishna Hare Rama’. Suddenly everybody saw Babaji Maharaja was standing by leaning against the wall with eyes half-closed and a radiant smile upon his face, bathed in tears, swinging from side to side in a transport of delight and raising the forefinger of his right hand, as pointing out something on high nearby. Delicious scents came floating in the air they knew not from where, and supernatural joys were felt by those who took part in sankirtan.
It was about the midnight when the sankirtan was brought to a close, and the devotees came upto the spot where our Babaji stood to bow down to him and take the dust of his feet. There they found to their amazement, a pair of foot-prints clearly stamped upon the marble slab on the floor and a pool of water formed of tears and sweat collected in the depression marked on the slab. These circumstances naturally created a sensation among the people of the neighbourhood and they came in crowds to ascertain the truth and pay the homage to the saint. Babaji Mahasaya tried to make light of the affair. But Devendra Babu came and said, ” Dada it is true, the footprints are there. I have seen them in my own eyes.” Babaji Mahasaya replied,” May be, but I do not know. But this must be due to the lila of Nitai or the Sakti of Sri Name. It is not fair to attribute it to any particular person.”
But this does not always happen when the Name of the Lord is sung. The fact is that just as a piece of glass reflects lights if it is pure and transparent and the more transparent and powerful it is, the more light it reflects, in the same way, a man with pure heart who is spiritually advanced, reflects the power of Name, the more advance he is the more the power of the Name is reflected through him. In this way Babaji Maharaja did not only leave his foot-prints on the floor of Yogesh Babu’s house, he left indelible prints of his image as a great saint on the hearts of the people of Krishnanagar. Now to by the fear of attaining fame and name Babaji Maharaja decided to leave Krishnanagara. By his associates opinion he decided to go Diknagar without letting the fact to know by the people of Krishnanagara . Next day they started by dancing and singing:
“Bhaja Nitai-Gaura, Radhey Shyam Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram.”
The Dancing Tree:
When Babaji Mahashaya reached Diknagara he heard men complaining about an unhappy event, which had recently occurred in the locality. There was old banyan tree, and some Mohammedans had taken it their head to chop off some of its branches for some reason or another. The Hindus regarded the tree as sacred, they were sorely aggrieved at the unsympathetic attitude their Muslim brethren.
Next morning, Babaji Mahashaya set out with his train, is his wont, dancing and singing the Name of the Lord. villagers came in crowds and joined them on the way, he led them straight to the banyan tree. There he marked mischief that was done, passed round and round and prostrated himself before the tree, and then marched assigning to the Mohammedan quarter of the town. He went his way, as perfectly familiar with the lanes and by-lanes of the entire neighborhood, and they soon found themselves in the residence of Haradhan Mandal, a Mohammedan gentleman, who enjoyed local reputation and had considerable influence over Muslims of the place. The villagers of course feared a row, they thought of desisting the sankirtan-party from venturing into the quarter, but they could do nothing. There then, the band of singers appeared like, trained soldiers, surrounding him on all sides and went on singing and dancing, oblivious of the world and anything else besides. Suddenly, Babaji Mahashaya addressed himself to Haradhan and roared:
“Say, ‘Nitai-Gaura Radha-Shyama! Haradhan repeated, “Say, ‘Nitai-Gaura Radha-Shyarria!” Babaji said again, “Say, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama!”‘
Haradhan again repeated, “Say, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama and so on for some fifteen minutes, Haradhan repeating what Babaji suggested, till tears streamed down the cheeks and the flowing beard of Mandal Sahib, and he began to dance—hands with the rosary of pebbles raised on high, and wooden sandals under his feet; and when Babaji Mahashaya came forward and clasped him to his chest, he was overpower with joy and came down reeling to the ground beneath. The sankirtan closed round, and Babaji breathed into his ears and he trembled and rolled on the ground; and then, blanched with dust, he began to dance with renewed vigour in the midst of sankirtan. Off went his sandals he knew not where, the rosary slipped between his fingers he did not perceive, He fixed his eyes on the Babaji, muttered in broken accents, and went on with his dance; and when our Babaji left the scene and made for the Banyan tree, he made one of the party , followed him, hardly knowing what he was doing and where he was going and why.
So they came back to the banyan, and went dancing and round and round the banyan tree; when lo! what is this !The very branches of the tree seemed to dance in tune of the sankirtan beneath. Can this be true?—They could scarcely believe their eyes. They cleared their looks and looked again but only to see what they saw before. The branches were indeed dancing—the branches just above the sankirtan below– At first they thought there might have been some birds flapping their wings and moving the branches. But they had soon to give up this idea, for they noticed with surprise that the branches danced only where the sankirtan was going on , and that other branches danced while the former ones stopped as the sankirtan moved round and round. Rumour flew apace, and men and women came in crowds to witness the strange performance. The sankirtan continued till eleven o’clock in the morning, after which, when Babaji Mahashaya was about to retire, Haradhan requested him with tears in his eyes to be permitted to stay with him. Babaji consoled him saying that he need not fear, for the grace of God was upon him, only he should see that the tree might not defiled again in time to come. He gave the banyan the name of the ‘Wish-tree,’ and said that whoever would offer milk, Ganges-water and chirag’ in the evening at the feet of tree, should have the fulfillment of his desires. Haradhan pledged himself and his family to the sacred vow, whereupon Babaji embraced him heartily, and bidding him good-bye, returned with his sankirtan back to his lodgings.
But things like this cannot be readily swallowed by men of the present age, and there came censors and the connoisseurs – the educated and scientifically inclined men of the neighbourhood, who still doubted the testimony of the eyewitnesses on the scene. They had their honest doubts, and it was well that it was so, for these ‘honest doubts’ act as the cement of conviction, when careful experiment removes these doubts and reveals the truth. It was not long before Babaji Mahashaya heard all this, and he wished to show them that truth like gold shines brighter when put to the proof. Personal aspersions he would never mind—we have already seen so much of him in the earlier pages—but when any one of the verities (we have mentioned before) was called in question, he would at once take up the challenge and prove it to the hilt that such doubts only arise out of the ignorance of the higher laws, that work inspite of the arrogant and adverse allegations of the short sighted coxcombs and bigoted scientists.
Said the Babaji in solemn accents, “I say, gentlemen. Name of the Lord is Omnipotent; it is such a trifling thing to be accomplished by His Name—this dancing of the stock and stones. Come and see, if you still have doubts, join the sankirtan, and you shall have ample opportunity of verifying the truth once again.” Next morning Babaji Mahashaya set out with sankirtan-party, and those who were skeptically inclined companied him to the scene of occurrence. It was about past nine in the morning when they reached the banyan, and the men found to their astonishment that the tree danced again as the Lord’s Name was sung beneath the branches. They saw it, and yet they would not believe. One of them stepped forward and asked the Babaji if he had any objections to somebody climbing the tree for ascertaining the truth. He said he had none, provided no non-Brahmin should undertake take the task. Two Brahmin boys were according summoned to get up on the tree, with instructions to ransack the branches and see if there was any bird or monkey or any other animal that might have been swinging the branches that seemed to dance to the tune of the sankirtan. But, they could find nothing, and so it was finally established beyond the shadow of a doubt, and universally accepted as a truth—this dancing of the branches of the tree. They naturally attributed the power of the saint—more so, when they looked at our Muslim friend Haradhan Mandal, the leader of the Mohammedans regarded with fear by their Hindu neighbours – this Mandal, who was come again and singing with tearful along with the others in the sankirtan-party.
The same thing was repeated for seven consecutive days, the branches danced whenever the Babaji sang with his party under the banyan tree.
Later Babaji Maharaja explained that the being in the tree was a saint, who came to be born as a tree for some serious offense committed in a previous life, and as such danced like a saint and a devotee when the Name of the Lord was heard. He then asked all present thence-forward to regard all beings with the love and respect due to them.
Nabadwip’s Death and Revival:
In Gurap Baba Mahasay danced and sang before the deities of Radha-Vallabha in the temple in the morning and evening. The next morning he wanted to leave, but unfortunately all his companions were taken ill with malaria. The Goswami of the temple who had already requested him to stay on in the temple for a few days came and said, “Now you see, Radha-Vallabha wants to enjoy your company for some time more. How can you leave when everybody is ill?” So all of them had to stay on.
Towards the evening there came an astrologer and he began to read everyone’s hand. When he saw the hand of Nabadwip Das Babaji he was taken aback. He kept gazing at him for some time. Everyone thought that there was something extraordinary in his hand that may be very auspicious or very inauspicious. They wanted him to declare what it was. He said, “I shall let you know about it in private.” But Babaji Mahasaya said, “Why in private? In this world good and evil go together, and everything happens by the will of the Lord, so there is no harm if you say it before the person whom it concerns.”
The astrologer said, “I do not know what I should say. As far as I can see, the life term of this young man has come to an end. If there were any means by which he could be saved I would have suggest it. But his death is so sure that it cannot be prevented by any means.
Nabadwip Das laughed and said, “I knew this already. The astrologer who made my horoscope at the time of my birth was most competent. He had predicted from my horoscope that I would die within the first half of the month of Pausha in the year 1895. He also predicted the disease from which I would die.
The astrologer said, “As far as I can see you should die of fever and cough.”
Nabadwip said, “Yes that astrologer also said the same. But there is nothing to worry about this. To me it would be a matter of the greatest pleasure if I die in such good company.”
But it was a matter of the greatest concern for all others because Nabadwip Das was their life and soul. They could hardly live without him. They believed that Babaji Mahasay could save him, but he looked so indifferent. When they asked him about Nabadwip’s fate, he said, “What do I know? Nitai Chand knows what he wants to do. Whatever he does is always for our good. You need not get agitated. Chant Harinam.
Nabadwip’s condition worsened. Both fever and cough went on increasing, till one day he became so weak he was not able to speak. Babaji Mahasay asked everyone to surround him and perform kirtan. Nabadwip looked at Babaji Mahasay for the last time and somehow folded his hands to bid him farewell. Babaji’s eyes became wet. He shouted, “Jay Nitai! Jay Nitai!” The next moment Nabadwip breathed his last.
But Nabadwip was not only the life and soul of every member of the party of Babaji Maharaj, he was also the most beloved one of Babaji himself. How could he let him go. He asked his companions to take him out of the room. They took him out. Babaji Mahasaya lifted him up and clasped him with both of his arms. Nabadwip’s head lay motionless on Babaji’s left shoulder and his eyes were turned upwards. All others wept as they sang kirtan around him. The kirtan went on and after some time Nabadwip Das opened his eyes and looked all around. Then Babaji Mahasay let him off and began to dance and say, “Bol Nityananda Bol! Nityananda Bol!” Others also shouted, “Bol Nityananda Bol! Nityananda Bol!” Nabadwip Das began to dance in ecstasy. Dance and kirtan went on and there was no end to everyone’s happiness. When the kirtan was over, Babaji Mahasaya said to Nabadwip, “This time Nitai has given you a new lease on life. Go and roll in the dust where His kirtan was performed.” Nabadwip Das smiled and said, “I know you can kill or revive at your will.” He then began to roll in the dust. Rolling, he went and sat at the feet of Babaji Mahasaya after making obeisance to him. Others also made obeisance to him and sat at his feet.
Gokul, a member of the party, asked, “Baba! Is it possible to save a man after his term of life is over.”
Baba Mahasaya said, “Why not? When people run short of money and have nothing to eat, don’t they borrow?”
“Money can be borrowed, but is it possible to borrow life?” Gokul asked again. Baba said, “Everything is possible for Nitai. Leave aside the revival of a man who is dead, Nitai can make even a doll live and speak like men.”
Ratha-Yatra and the Demise of Chaitanya Das:
Today is Ratha-Yatra and Babaji Mahashaya is singing and dancing with his party before the gigantic wood car in ecstasy. When the ratha (chariot) reached Rajbari suddenly something transpired in his mind and he quietly slipped out of the sankirtan procession. He entered the Ramachandi Lane and sat in the verandah of the house of Gopal Prasada Dutta, the head clerk of the local post-office. He looked very sad and grave – so sad and grave that people who passed through the lane could not muster courage to ask him what worried him.
The cause of his anxiety was that the condition of his dear disciple Chaitanya Das, who had been ill for some time, had suddenly worsened. He was going to breathe his last and Babaji Mahashaya had come to know about it.
Chaitanya Das was living in a nearby house and Navadwip Das had appointed Jai Gopal Das, a young boy, to look after him. Jai Gopal was serving him with all his heart and soul. Chaitanya Das was totally dedicated soul. His devotion was that of madhurya-bhava. He had the conceit and sentiments of a gopi engaged in the service of Sri Radha. His devotion towards the guru was exemplary. He knew nothing except the guru. Whether he was asleep or awake, whether eating, drinking, talking or meditating, the subject of his thought and speech was always the guru. At this moment when Jai Gopal saw that Chaitanya Das was fast drawing towards death, he stood aghast and did not know what to do. Chaitanya Das said to him, “Jai Gopal, there is no cause at all for anxiety. You somehow manage to bring Gurudeva here. If you do that, then alone shall I think that you are my true friend. I want to die while looking at Sri Gurudeva. There is only one thing that I can give you in return for this service. That is the aprakrita gopi bhava, so difficult to achieve even by the rishis, but which gurudeva has kindly bestowed upon me. I heartily give the same to you.
“You have it, and even while you serve the Lord in this world enjoy the highest bliss of the transcendental world.”
Now Nabadwip Das is going all around in search of Babaji Mahashaya. When he came to Chaitanya Das he was very much alarmed to see his condition. Jai Gopal told him that he was too anxious to see Gurudeva before he died, therefore he again set out in search of Babaji Mahashaya. He found him sitting in the verandah of Gopal Prasad Dutta in a pensive mood, completely oblivious to himself and his surroundings. Nabadwip Das said to him, “Chaitanya Das is dying. He wants to have your darshan before he passes away.” There was no response from Babaji Mahashaya, not even a sign to show that he heard what Nabadwip Das had said. Nabadwip Das returned and sent Jai Gopal to Babaji Mahashaya. Jai Gopal was but a boy, and he could hardly muster courage to go before Babaji Mahashaya, going to speak to him was out of the question.
But one does not know what shakti Nabadwip Das gave him. He went and stood before Babaji Mahashaya and said commandingly, “What kind of Mahapurush are you? Your disciple is dying and wants to have your darshan before he dies. But you are sitting here like one absolutely indifferent and unconcerned. Come, don’t waste time.”
Babaji Mahashaya went and stood behind the bed of Chaitanya Das. Nabadwip Das said, “Chaitanya, Dada has come.” Chaitanya beckoned with his eyes so that he might come and stand before him. Babaji Mahashaya moved towards his feet. Chaitanya Das observed him from head to feet, then fixed his eyes upon his face. Then Nabadwip Das lifted Babaji Mahashaya’s right foot and placed it on Chaitanya’s chest. Tears came out of the eyes of Chaitanya Das as if to bid farewell to Babaji Mahashaya.
Babaji Mahashaya was so far standing motionless and speechless, but now his heart broke and tears streamed out of his eyes. He said, with his throat choked with emotion, “O Chaitanya! You are leaving me to go where peace and happiness reign supreme. What can I say, except that I take upon myself all your sins, past and present, so that you may go with a pure heart and attain the desired end — the loving service of the twin Lords of your heart according to your bhava.”
Meanwhile, the ratha of Jagannath came up to Kundaibentsahi and stopped there. Babaji Mahashaya’s dear disciple Ramadas had so far been singing and dancing before the ratha, but now suddenly he felt an attraction and came running with the kirtan party to Chaitanya Das. They were astonished to see a wonderful scene — a scene that was touching and delectable, inspiring and elevating. Chaitanya’s eyes are fixed on the face of Babaji Mahashaya and he is drowned in the ocean of bliss at the touch of his lotus feet. There is a smile on his face and horripolation all over his body. He is not able to contain his happiness due to the realization of the supreme end of life. They were all inspired to sing aloud:
Ha! Nitai-Gaura Radhe Shyam
Ha! Hare Krishna Hare Ram
They sang with tears constantly streaming out of their eyes. All of a sudden they saw that the entire body of Chaitanya Das trembled as leaves tremble in the breeze. His eyes widened, he seemed to see something new in Babaji Mahashaya. He looked at him with exultation and astonishment, and with this he breathed his last. Shall we call this the end of life or the attainment of a life much more happy and peaceful?
Kirtan continued for half an hour. During kirtan Chaitanya’s face became more radiant. Nabadwip Das removed the cloth from Chaitanya’s chest, and found two papers under it, one containing Guru-vandan and the other containing a hundred thousand names of Gurudeva which showed his utter dedication to the feet of the Guru. Babaji Mahashaya said mournfully with tears in his eyes and throat choked with emotion, “Nitai Chand had kindly given me the company of such a pure and dedicated soul. I do not know why he has now deprived me of it.” The body of Chaitanya Das was taken to the seashore with the kirtan procession. Babaji Mahashaya himself washed it with the water of the sea, dressed it with his own kaupin and bahirvas and then clasped it and danced like one maddened in love. The face of Chaitanya Das rested on his shoulder and his arms were flung around his neck. Baba continued the dance for a long time. Who can stop him from this? People who saw this were reminded of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dancing with the dead body of Thakur Haridas lifted in his arms.
After some time when Babaji Mahashaya came to himself Govinda Das took the body of Chaitanya Das from him and laid it on the pyre of sandalwood. Fire was set to the pyre and everyone circumambulated the burning pyre, dancing and singing;
Ha! Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam
Ha! Hare Krishna Hare Ram
First person account of witnessing lila of Babaji Mahasaya, by Sri Panchanan Mukhopadhyaya
My name is Panchanan Mukhopadhyaya. My maternal grandfather’s name is Sri Prasanna Kumara Bandopadyaya. He lives in village Satgachiya, situated between Ambika Kalana and Guptipara in Hugly District. I lived with him. My maternal grandmother’s two brothers Sri Gaura Mohana Goswami and Sri Vipina Bihari Goswami also lived in Satgachiya. They were the sevaits of the famous Temple of Madana Gopal in Satgachiya. Vipina Bihari Goswami had a large number of disciples. He passed most of his time in sankirtan. Once he had gone to the Ashram of Bhagavan Das Babaji Mahashaya in Kalna. There he met Barha Babaji Mahashaya and Jai Nitai (Sri Devendranath Chakravarti) for the first time. He brought them both to Satgachiya. Baba Mahashaya lost no time in winning the affection of each and every member of our family. He called my maternal grandmother “Masi” (maternal aunt), my maternal grandfather “Mausa,” my mother “Didi” (sister) and Vipina Dada, the maternal uncle of my mother, “Mama” (maternal uncle). At that time Baba Mahashaya wore dhoti, kurta and chador. There was no sign of vairagya in him and he was called Rajendra Babu. But even then my grandfather and Vipina Dada did not fail to recognize the mahapurusha in him. He stayed with us for three or four days and left.
Next time he came with the great Navadwip Dada, who was like his second self. It was only through him that we could catch hold of him. Navadwip Dada was simple like a child and loving like an angel. His dance and kirtan could easily melt the hearts of the hardest of sinners. This time Babaji Mahashaya lived in Satgachiya for about a month. Everyday he performed kirtan in the Temple of Madana Gopal. Most of the people in the village were Shaktas (worshippers of goddess Durga). They had scant regard for the Vaishnavas. But the kirtan of Baba Mahashaya brought about a change of heart in them. They felt like being transported into a land of joy and peace, they had never experienced before. Navadwip Dada frequently came to our newly built house, to which we had now shifted. Once my mother fell seriously ill. My grandfather and grandmother knew from her horoscope that she was not going to survive. Her condition worsened rapidly. She became senseless and began to breathe her last. At that time came Navadwip Dada dancing and singing Harinama. Everyone stood up and began to sing Harinama with him. Kirtan went on for sometime. The sound of khol-karatal made my mother open her eyes. She went to Navadwip Dada slowly rolling over the ground and caught hold of his feet with both of her hands.
After sometime Navadwip Dada went singing to Vipina Dada’s house. He said to him that he had gone to see Suchita Didi, because she was destined to die that day. Shortly after Navadwip Dada had left our house my mother began to sweat profusely. She said, “It appears that the heat in my body is subsiding and I am feeling better.” She sat up. The doctor attending upon her said that she was out of danger. The ladies who had come to see her from the neighbourhood began to say to each other, “Prasanna Kumara’s daughter was almost dead, but a Babaji came from somewhere and saved her. He was no ordinary Babaji, but a mahapurusha.” After ten months and ten days my mother gave birth to a daughter. She looked healthy and handsome. But when she grew it was discovered that she could neither stand nor move even an inch. She was like an inert object. She became a cause of great anxiety to my mother.
The third time, when Babaji Mahashaya, Jai Nitai and Navadwip Dada came to Satgachiya, they also came to our house. My mother said, “I am worried, because you have come and I do not find anything ready, which I can give you to eat.”
Baba Mahashaya: “Masi, you have soaked rice in water and ground it, and Hari has brought orange juice from Sylahat. Why not mix the two and make sugar-plums?”
Mother: Baba, how did you come to know about it all? Tell me who you are?
Babaji: I am your child Masi and none else.
Both my grandfather and grandmother now understood that Baba Mahashaya was not an ordinary person. My grandfather said, “Baba! Have mercy on us. We are great sinners.”
Baba Mahashaya said, “Mausaji and Masiji! How can I be merciful to you? You are both like god and goddess. You should kindly bless me.”
My grandfather and grandmother were Shaktas, but they had rosaries. Baba Mahashaya taught them how to do japa and Majan. They began to practise sadhana on the lines indicated by him.
The day Baba Mahashaya came to our place, the dignitaries of the village like Sri Bhagavati Charan Mukhopadhyaya, Sri Sharda Charan Mukhopadhyaya and Sri Gauramohana Goswami came to him and said, “Rajendra Babu! You always eulogize Gaura-Nitai. We would like to see Them. Can you not make us see Them today?”
Baba Mahashaya said, “How can a poor creature like me make you see Them? But if They wish, They can certainly appear to you.” As usual he started kirtan. The village-folks began to come. Even the women and the children felt attracted. They all came and joined the kirtan. An unprecedented current of devotion ensued. It appeared that the flood-gate of prema-bhakti had opened and everyone was swept away in the current.
In the midst of kirtan Baba Mahashaya held Bhagavati Charan Mukhopadhyaya and Sharda Charan Mukhopadhyaya by the hand and began to dance. As soon as he held their hands they also began to dance, as if under a spell. Bhagavati Babu had a heavy body. He could not even walk freely. Everyone was surprised to see him dancing. After sometime Baba Mahashaya shouted “Hare Krishna!” and left them. But they continued to dance as long as the kirtan lasted. Slowly, the whole atmosphere was charged with a divine presence. Those who had desired to see Mahaprabhu, actually saw Him. In deep gratitude they began to weep and roll at the feet of Babaji Mahashaya. The brother-in-law of Kunjalal Goswami began to shout, “I am blest, I am blest! I had a glimpse of Vrindavan-lila!” Everyone else began to speak of the darshan of some kind of lila. Some were lying in ecstatic state and their teeth were clinched. Even women and children were lying in that state. My mother was sitting in a corner with my sister in her lap. Baba Mahashaya came dancing near her, shouted “Hare Krishna! ” and jolted my sister with both of his hands. Then he held her by the hand and began to make her dance. She continued to dance for sometime. Everyone was surprised to see a girl dancing, who could not even stand. Even today she can walk and dance as everyone can see. After that mahasankirtan many people were sold out to Babaji Mahashaya for ever. Vipina Bihari Dada and Madhu Dada renounced the world and began to live with him. After a month Babaji Mahashaya went to Puri. Within a year after that my father, grandfather and grandmother died. There was no end to the anxiety of my mother. She did not know how to bring up her minor son and daughter.
As soon as Babaji Mahashaya got the news he sent Navadwip Dada to inquire about our welfare. After sometime he came himself to Satgachiya to see us. Both, mother and I, burst into tears to see him. He took me in his lap. I began to weep more bitterly. He caressed me and said, “Nothing to fear my child. You are mine and I am yours.” Then turning to my mother he said, “Why worry so long I am there. You need not be anxious about your minor children. I shall even beg for them, though you know Who supports whom. It is the Lord, Who supports everyone. Remember Him and depend on Him. The world is transitory. Here people come and go. No one lives eternally with anyone, except the Lord. The Lord is so sweet and loving. Human life is precious. It is meant for His bhajan. Do His bhajan and you will be at peace.” We felt considerably relieved. I was only a child when my father died. But Baba Mahashaya gave me so much affection that I never felt I was fatherless. He fulfilled all my needs. He tolerated my impertinence, my obduracy, my anger and all like a good father. He was for me my guardian, my guru, my God and everything. Even today I can say that I know of no god, except him.
After sometime I was laid down with malaria. It persisted for a year. At the end the doctor of the missionary hospital in Kalna lost all hope of my life and declared that I was completely in the hands of God. I became so weak that I could hardly sit. One day I felt that I was going to die. The same day Baba Mahashaya was to go to Navadwip from Calcutta by steamer. Raghunandana Goswami was also with him. Something happened to the steamer, which compelled them to get down at Guptipara, where by chance they met Kunja Mama and Vipina Dada. They brought him to Satgachiya. He stayed with Kunja Mama. While on the steamer he had asked Harijala “How is Panchu?” Harijala had replied, “He has been ill for a long time. God alone knows whether he will survive or not.” Therefore, immediately after reaching Satgachiya he sent for me and my mother. Kunja Mama’s home was close to mine. My mother took me there in her lap. As soon as Baba Mahashaya saw me he took me in his lap and said, “How are you my child?” I said: I have been suffering from malaria for a year. It appears that I will not survive. Babaji: Do not fear. I will take you to Puri for change of climate and you will be allright. I said: What made you come here unexpectedly at night? Babaji: I heard about your illness. Therefore I came here, otherwise I would have reached Navadwip this morning.
Most merciful Babaji Mahashaya postponed his visit to Navadwip and got down at Satgachiya for the sake of this poor soul, who had neither bhakti, nor any other quality to attract his attention. This is a notable example of his causeless mercy, which rained uniformly upon all fallen souls like me.
Baba Mahashaya blessed me and left for Navadwip. I began to recover. But since he had desired that I should go to Puri, my mother took me there. We stayed there for two months. When I had fully recovered, I became impatient to go to Navadwip. We went there. Baba Mahashaya arranged for our stay in a room near his Gurudeva’s Ashram in Baralghat, where he was staying. On the anniversary of the appearance of Nityananda Prabhu he installed the Thakura brought from Satgachiya in the newly purchased Radharamana Bagh in Navadwip. The next day he shifted to Radharamana Bagh from the Ashram of Gurudeva. That day he sat there like a kalpataru, to give everyone what he wanted. He asked a man to blow the horn. Crowds of people began to come on hearing the horn. He gave, each one of them what he wanted. He asked me to distribute cloth. I began to distribute cloth freely. I was surprised to see that howsoever much I distributed the stock of cloth remained undiminished. I asked Baba Mahashaya how that happened. He replied, “It is Nitai’s bhandar (godown). Howsoever much you distribute it would never be empty. You go on distributing freely.”
One day I was applying oil on the head of Babaji Mahashaya, when a Goswami came from Srikhanda for his darshan. He said, “Where did you get this boy from?” Baba Mahashaya replied, “He is my own. I want to marry him.” I said with a start, “I will not marry.” He said, “Why? Is it not possible to do bhajan in household? A man who is really inclined towards bhajan can always do it. whether he is a householder or not. One who is not so inclined cannot do it in any circumstance. But as far as you are concerned, is bhajan necessary?” Obviously he implied that since I belonged to him, my material and spiritual responsibility was his. Then, turning to Goswamiji he said, “He comes of a highly respected Brahmin family. I desire that you marry him and build a house for him in Navadwip. I want that he should live near me, because I love him.” His desire could not remain unfulfilled. Today I am married and I live in Navadwip. My living in Navadwip Dham would not have been possible, if lie were not so mercifully disposed towards me. That year, cholera epidemic broke out in Navadwip. Baba Mahashaya asked my mother to go home and leave me with him in Radharamana Bagh. My mother said, “I came here thirty months ago with Panchu. What will people say if I go alone? He is my only son. I will take him with me. He will return soon.”
Baba Mahashaya did not want that I should go. He said angrily, “He is your son, not mine. Allright, take him.” At the time of my departure when I went to take leave of him, he embraced me and said with tears, “You are going away. Go, we shall not meet again.” I did not know that what he said would actually come true. When I returned I did not find him, but his Samadhi. I fell senseless on the ground. The shock was too much for me.
Radharaman Charan Das Dev Dasakam:
AHo SachiNandanDanaBismritiGhanadhaKare Patitang jada jagat |
taDaiVa jatang basudhaSudhaKaram tamadYa RadhaRamanang BhajaMahe || 1
1. When this world drowned into darkness by forgetting the Prema giving glory of Sachinandan Sri Gaurhari , that time who appeared as sun in this earth thus removed the darkness of ignorance, now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
SwajatKale Bhagavanniveditam vina na pito janonipayohopi ja|
Swabhabato bhaktaBarang gunakaram tamadYa radharamanang BhajaMahe || 2
2. During the birth who did not drink even mother’s breast milk without first taking prasad offered to Sri Hari , now we worship that possessor of great qualities, great bhakta Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
braje suguptamatidurlabham ratim dadau sa gauraH kaliJivaMandale |
tirohitam tam kramasastyam jastyamadya radharamanang BhajaMahe || 3
3. Sri Gauranga distributed rare and secret prema bhakti of Braja to jivas at this age of Kali. With due course of time that bhakti was diminished from this world. He who redistributed that diminished bhakti to this world , now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
Nipiya jasyacharitam sudham srutau vabanti matta bahabo jana bhubi|
trutanti mayang trigunanchya lilaya tamadya radharamanang BhajaMahe || 4
4.By drinking by ear whose honey like life story many people became mad and thus was able to easily tear the Maya made of three qualities, now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
Samunnatam bhavavivusitam bapubirlakya jasyapi sumandYamedhasaH|
mahaTtamaH suSchya vidhutaKalmashaYa tamadYa radharamanang BhajaMahe || 5
5. By watching the various prema bhava within the elevated physics of whom, even very fallen soul became great bhakta, now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
MritaSya jivattYaRuraJaNartanaT pareshSakterpalapicheTasam |
kuTarkYavadaH khalu jeno khanditastYamadYa radharamanang BhajaMahe || 6
6. By delivering life to dead person, by giving dancing power even to standstill tree in samkirtan, thus who refuted and destroyed the sinful opinion of atheists about Lord, now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
samagata janniKasHa chaw tarkikaH sumistaBacha twaritam parajitaH|
punascha gaurangaPadaSritasTyaTha tamadya radharamanang BhajaMahe || 7
7. By defeating those debaters who used to come for debate by his sweet words and arguments, and thus making them surrendered to lotus feet of Sri Gauranga, now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
bisham sahasam rabhasha nipiya jo na jatu betta bata tasYa vikriyam|
NitaiGaurangaRasatiVihalvam tamadYa radharamanang BhajaMahe || 8
8.Who with his smiling face suddenly drank poison, but did not feel any reaction out of that, now we worship him who is unconscious in nectars of Nitai Gauranga, that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
kalabupasyAng kalidoshNasakam NitaiGaurangaNamamritam muda|
pracharitam jeno kripaya susangatam tamadYa radharamanang BhajaMahe || 9
9. He who gracefully preached properly, the destroyer of the all sins in Kali, the only worshipable entity in kali, which is the name of Sri Nitai Gauranga, now we worship that Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev.
he Dev te padataleY galalagnaVaso durvasonaKavolito vinivedayeHam|
evam kurusVa karunam nivasami jatra tatteY priyanghriYugalam na cha vishmarami || 10
10. Hey dev, I am praying with my impure heart, bowing my head down unto your feet, you please mercifully grant me such boon so that, wherever I stay, wherever I live, I should not forget for a moment your beloved Yugals’s lotus feet.
Sri Srimad 108 Vaishnavapada Das Babaji Maharaja (Panchatirtha) Virachitam
1) Charit Sudha: Bengale Biography of Sri Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev published by Srimad 108 Ram Das Babaji
2) The Life of Love : English Adaptation of CharitSudha by Dr. O. B. L. Kapoor ( Srila Adikesava Das )