Sunday, August 11, 2013

Paurusha or Grace?

Since getting back to Vrindavan, I seem to have been going through some kind of adjustment experience. Rishikesh and Vrindavan really are two different worlds. 

Right now it is the Jhulan and Janmastami season warming up in Vrindavan. So there is a lot of action, a lot of satsanga, Bhagavata, kirtan, etc. going on everywhere. Hundreds of people on the Parikrama Marg every day, it seems.

I am mostly sleeping in my room... Like Harivams says, that is the bhakti path, just stretch out your legs and go to sleep... in Vrindavan. I have arrived!

I picked up a book yesterday about Udiya Baba by his disciple Akhandananda Saraswatiji Maharaj. These were two of the most significant Brahmavadis to move to Vrindavan in the last century. Akhandananda founded one of the largest ashrams in Vrindavan, in Moti Jheel, and Udiya Baba's ashram is right nearby. 

Akhandananda tells the story that when Udiya Baba (Purnananda Tirtha) was still engaged in doing tapasya by the Ganga, he came to visit Vrindavan and went to see Ramkrishna Pandit Baba at Dauji Bageecha, which is where the Vrindavan Research Institute is now.

In those days, Udiya Baba did not care so much about wearing saffron or carrying a danda, and somene put a white chaddar around him before he went to visit Pandit Baba, so Pandit Baba thought he was a Vaishnava and not a Brahmavadi sannyasi.

Pandit Baba asked him, "What do you think is greater, paurusha (i.e. effort) or Krishna's mercy?"

So Udiya Baba said, "Effort" since he had been following the path of tapasya. "You meditate," he explained, "and when your mind has fully taken on the form of the Lord, then you will get darshan." 

So Pandit Baba looked at him very closely and said with some suspicion, "Do you live on the banks of the Ganga?" Which was a kind of interesting question, to which Udiya Baba of course said yes.

Then Pandit Baba said, "So go back to the Ganga and study the Upanishads very intensively. When your business there is finished, when you see that you have nothing left to do, that you are not the doer, and you recognize that you are 100% dependent on Krishna's mercy, then only come back to Vrindavan."

Udiya Baba eventually did come back. This is from the book Brahma Murti Shri Udiya Baba, by Akhandananda Saraswati, pages 8-9. An English translation is available here.

1 comment:

ndas said...

fantastic! tnx