A Brindavan Thanksgiving – 3

We go along with Swamiji to Maharajshri’s Anandavrindavan Ashrama. Ramey drives the Scorpio expertly, and parks the car inside the Ashram.

There is a book shop right there in the courtyard. Swamiji gifts me a copy of the book Valmiki Ramayana pravacan of Maharajshri. From the book I come to know that Maharajshri had narrated this Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) in 1976.  In book form, this was released just this year, in 2012, on Guru Poornima day. I feel really blessed to receive this.

Swamiji takes us around the Ashrama. Swamiji has advised me to remove my spectacles, to save them from monkeys… Even if it is that I see less clearly, I am engulfed by a wave of happiness as I walk around the holy place. It is Ananda Vrindavan after all.  At one entrance, Swamiji spots a monkey clamber off after borrowing someone’s footwear that was left outside. A call goes out and rescue operation is started! It is the joy of Kishkinda!

From Ananda Vrindavan, Swamiji takes us to Sri Krishna Ashram, the ashram of Maharajshri’s Guru, the most holy Sri Sri Udiya Baba,

We walk across to the Ashrama.

Krishna Ashram 1*

After entry, on the left we find a shrine, where an idol of Sri Udiya Baba is installed.

Krishna Ashram 2

Doctor Swami steps in and chants a verse from “Sree Poornananda Teertha Stava”, composed by Maharajshree… Poornananda Teertha was the Sanyasa name of Udiya Baba…

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Udiya Baba (1875 – 1949) was a Paramahamsa, a supreme sage, firmly established in the Non-dual state of Self-Abidance. He was a a parivrajaka, and would not stay in any one place for too long. He would walk all along the banks of Ganges, moving from one place to another. Sometime in 1937-38 he came away to Brindavan and this Ashrama, Shri Krishna Ashram, was constructed as a place for him to stay.  From Maharashri’s book, we come to know that the foundation stone (shilanyas) of the Ashram was laid by the great sage Gwaria Baba. Gwaria baba was a bliss-soaked sage, an adept in the path of “Naada Brahma” – divinity of music. He was also a great devotee of Sri Krishna, and had the “sakha” (Friend) attitude to Krishna, and considered himself his cowherd friend….Hence the name Gwaria, or cowherd… Floating in bliss, this mendicant monk walked the land of Krishna, sharing music and joy….

So here we are, at Shri Krishna Ashrama, the presence of Udiya Baba…

Speaking of Baba’s idol. Maharajshri says – “On the Shivaratri of Vikram Samvat 2019 (1963 AD), the festival of installation of archa-vigraha (idol) of Maharajji (Udiya Baba) was celebrated. Many people who have seen the idol say, ‘This is not just an idol. Indeed this is Udiya Babaji Himself!'”.

Let us have a close-up view of Baba.

Krishna Ashram 3

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Describing Udiya Baba’s stay at Shri Krishna Ashram, Maharajshri says – “From morning 3 AM till night 11 PM, the stream of satsangha would flow nonstop at Shri Krishna Ashram. The dignity of Raasa-Leela that was maintained in the Ashram, is remembered till today. There were all arrangements for both methods of spiritual discipline – the realization of Formless God, and that of God with form. Shri Maharajji (Udiya Baba) would be personally present in all the Ashram programs. Even the disciples in his inner circle failed to understand the secret of what (path) he was. Was he a Shaiva or Shaakta? Was he a worshiper of Rama or Krishna? Or was he a Vedanti?”

Doctor Swami takes us around the Ashram, to the room where Udiya Baba would hold Satsangh….

There is a lovely painting of Baba, covered, but for the face, with ocher cloth. Udiya Baba’s sacred Paduka-s are on a footstool in front…

Krishna Ashram 4 *

Swamiji chants one more verse here…

He then takes us to a door that leads to the Samadhi of Udiya Baba…

Krishna Ashram 5

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Steps lead down to an underground room, where there is the samadhi of the great sage…

Krishna Ashram 6

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We sit there in silence for some time…

And then we take leave…

Coming back to Ananda Vrindavana, Swamiji sits with us for lunch – prasad.

Afterwards, he takes us to the audio section, where Maharajshri’s recordings are digitized… Discourses by learned scholars are being held all the time at the Ashrama. The complete Shridhari commentary of Srimad Bhagavatam was elucidated over several years by a Swamiji, and that set is available too.. As is the Shaankara Bhaashya of Bhagavad Gita, narrated by another Swamiji, which concluded just the previous day…

We then come back to Doctor Swami’s quarters in the other Krishna temple…. A senior Swami of Chinmaya Mission, along with some devotees, is visiting Swamiji. We too enjoy that Satsangh for some time..

And then, feeling quite fulfilled and happy, we take leave…

As we drive out on the road to the highway, we see a large idol of Durga on the fields to the left…

Krishna Ashram 7

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Driving back from Brindavan… And thinking of Udiya Baba, Maharajshri… Of Shri Krishna Ashram and Ananda Vrindavan… A shloka comes to mind…. Signing of this Brindavan Thanksgiving, with that message….

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ||

Radhey!

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One Response to “A Brindavan Thanksgiving – 3”

  1. ravimouli Says:

    Kamesh – Simply marvelous. Transported and felt with you all the way…..every minute. Listening to Sangeetha Swaminathans’ Bhagawan songs as I write this and listening to “shivaguru naatha Sr Ramana” line as I see the photos you have so kindly interspersed in your narrative above. Simply beautiful. Hari Om. Namo Raman. Jai Hanu.

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