The Biography of HDG Srila Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja, Part 9
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Srimad Paramahamsa 108 Srila Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji
Vishram Ghat, Yamuna River, Mathura
Sita Ram, c. 1815
Jun 09, CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the life and pastimes of our illustrious Sampradaya Acaraya.
Once a young man, named Bala came to Srila Gaurakisora and told him that he wanted to worship the Supreme Lord. Upon hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora said, "If you want to perform real devotional service then you should give up the association of those Vaisnavas accepted by the ordinary people and the non-devotee section of society. Just live here in our association. We wear the discarded shoes of the Navadvipa residents, make our earthen pots with the holy dust of Navadvipa and clothe ourselves with discarded cloth collected from corpses. By following this lifestyle you should consider that when you mix with other pious people they will think you to be untouchable. So if you touch them, that will be offensive on your part." Hearing this, Bala agreed, "I will follow these instructions which you have given me."
But, after some time, Bala unconsciously became absorbed in listening to the sound of his own voice, when he was singing with Srila Gaurakisora. After singing in kirtana with Srila Gaurakisora he would take prasadam with the devotees there. In this way, Bala associated with the devotees. Once, after taking a pair of karatalas from the devotees, he started chanting his own kirtana every evening, so that Babaji Maharaja could hear him. One morning he went to take bath at the Ganges. While walking to the Ganges and playing the karatalas he started chanting prayers in glorification of the Vaisnavas.
Later on that day, after Bala had gone out to beg alms, Srila Gaurakisora called one local resident over and said, "This Bala, who stays here, secretly goes to his own house. There he is developing many misconceptions about devotional service. Then, upon returning, he tries to implement them here. Actually, in the name of bhajana, he is simply committing offenses." One person listening asked Srila Gaurakisora, "Who told you that he has been doing this?" Srila Gaurakisora answered, "By hearing the tune of his kirtana in glorification of the Vaisnavas I could understand his inner motivation. Therefore we cannot allow him to stay here any longer. A person who has contacted bad association, and chanted the glories of the Vaisnavas in such bad company, will never listen to anyone. They will only teach deceitfulness to others."
Shortly following this, Bala suddenly left to go to Jagannatha Puri without telling Srila Gaurakisora. Srila Gaurakisora showed that he was unhappy that he had left. He said, "Bala has run away, because he has become lusty for nice foodstuffs. I could not save him. The living entity is independent, and must suffer according to the past results of his activities. He was sent here by Lord Krsna, but secretly he would take the association of others, and thus, he became entangled in this most dangerous situation. Now, he is accepting the traditional Vaisnava dress, and decorating himself with the name Vaisnava. In this way, different persons in the material world are bringing about unwanted practices in devotional service. They give the sacred babaji dress to everyone, turning them into mere frogs. Ordinary cunning persons recognize a Vaisnava these days if they find someone accepting obeisances from many people and by one who is lusty to eat the nicest foodstuffs. Great Vaisnavas are becoming known by these symptoms. The chanting of such deceitful devotees is like the croaking of a frog. The amount these frog like devotees croak decides to what degree the snake of sense gratification will devour them."
A few months later, Bala returned from Jagannatha Puri, after he had accepted the sacred dress of a babaji. He began to reside at a nearby homestead. Once a Mr. Banu, the owner of the place where Bala lived, came to Srila Gaurakisora and offered his obeisances. He said, "Your dearest disciple Bala, who has just come from Jagannatha Puri, is fortunate indeed. He rendered some service there to Haridasa Thakura, and is now performing his solitary bhajana with deep emotion." Srila Gaurakisora then said, "I don't understand. How can he be my disciple? I have never viewed anyone as my disciple in this world. I am unfit even to become a proper disciple. How is it possible for me to become the spiritual master of another? Just because someone is able to maintain frogs, is it possible for him to become a Vaisnava? The croaking of a frog can never be accepted as the Lord's holy Name or His worship. A frog's emotion is simply for worldly pleasure. But the frog cannot enjoy because he is ultimately swallowed by the materialistic snake of time. Is service to Srila Haridasa Thakura only lip deep? You are in the position of a great estate-holder. Why are you wasting your entire life? Forget all this nonsense and simply execute pure devotional service!"
The estate holder then said, "I have no desire to become a great estate-holder. I simply want to see that the devotees are nicely served, and that all their grass and bamboo huts are well-kept. The different places where they perform their solitary worship have all become overgrown with jungles. I simply go to those places and clean up the area." Hearing this Srila Gaurakisora became disturbed and would no longer carry on a conversation with the landholder. After the estate-holder left, Srila Gaurakisora said, "The trees in Navadvipa Dhama are all kalpa-vrksa, desire trees and this hypocritical rascal has cruelly cut them down. Now he has come and forced me to hear this. Shame! Shame! Just see! Just see! If anyone even cuts a dead tree in Navadvipa Dhama, I feel pain in my heart. The different trees and vines in Sri Navadvipa Dhama are our eternal friends and associates. They are a background part of the pastimes of Lord Gauranga. Even after one's friends and associates have died, is it possible for someone to come and cut their dead bodies to pieces? This cruel rascal will never be able to perform devotional service. He will simply enact the role of a Vaisnava, which will result only in his own inauspiciousness, and the inauspiciousness of others."
Atonement For Having Illicit Sex
Once, a man named Hiranya came to Srila Gaurakisora several times and prayed to live in the same area in which he lived. At that time, the owners of the homestead had granted Srila Gaurakisora the right to allow others to live in the adjacent small huts. No one could live there without his permission.
After taking permission from Srila Gaurakisora, Hiranya began living in a nearby straw hut. Srila Gaurakisora instructed Hiranya that those who want to worship the Supreme Lord should never associate with undesirable persons. He said, "Those cheaters who think they will secretly enjoy the company of materialists or show bottlists and at the same time act as a devotee will become victimized by more and more impediments in devotional service. Many cheaters have approached me in this frame of mind and I have witnessed their utter ruination. Always tolerate the unlimited inconveniences in devotional service. If you can always remain in proper association and be engaged in purely hearing and chanting, then your service to the holy name of the Lord will be protected."
After hearing this, Hiranya, would go and secretly associate with spiritual show bottlists. Knowing this, gradually, Srila Gaurakisora became annoyed. After some time, Hiranya became seriously ill. Seeing that Hiranya was in a very distressed condition, Srila Gaurakisora compassionately sent a nearby resident to attend to him. After two or three days it was observed that a young woman came there, and began to ask about Hiranya. Srila Gaurakisora, who was in direct contact with Supersoul, could understand the situation, and asked the gentleman he had sent to assist Hiranya, "Who is taking care of Hiranya?" The man replied, "I am attending to him." Srila Gaurakisora in a deep voice like thunder asked, "You mean no one else has come to assist him?" Then the gentleman answered, 'Actually, one lady occasionally comes, to offer him service." Then Srila Gaurakisora said to him, "The next time she comes to see him, give up Hiranya's association completely." Srila Gaurakisora then called for Hiranya to come, and said to him, "If you cannot give me fifteen rupees right now, then there is no possibility for you to remain here. Because if you die while you are here, the necessary arrangements to get rid of your body will cost fifteen rupees."
After this, Srila Gaurakisora began to speak to himself, "If you don't allow him to stay here, then that woman will gradually take him away to her own house. This is what she desires. In this way she can whimsically engage in his service." After Hiranya had suffered for a long time he finally became better and left for Vrndavana. Srila Gaurakisora, acting indifferent, showed no opposition to Hiranya's going to Vrndavana. Hiranya began to live in the beautiful place of Kusuma-Sarovara in Vrndavana, next to another babaji named Nadiya, who also knew Srila Gaurakisora. One day Hiranya approached his new companion Nadiya and said, "I have accepted the renounced order of a Vaisnava, and yet, I had illicit sex with another woman. What is the proper atonement I must undergo for this sinful activity?" Nadiya said, 'The best thing for you to do, is to give up your body. Suicide is the atonement Mahaprabhu has arranged for such offenses."
He then agreed, and so he collected a small amount of opium from Govardhana and brought it back to his hut where he consumed it. After eating the opium, he went to Nadiya, shaking and heavily perspiring and informed him he had taken opium to kill himself. For some time Hiranya's body squirmed back and forth on the ground until he died.
Shortly following this, Nadiya also became very ill. Then one so-called Gosvami arrived in Vrndavana, and treated Nadiya until he became well. After he recovered, he returned to Navadvipa where he met with Srila Gaurakisora. When Srila Gaurakisora saw him, he said, "You cannot stay here. You must find another place of residence, because if you reside here you will meet your death. Besides, right now two dacoits named Jayasaci and Nitai are living in this quarter. They think they are rendering service unto me so they go outside and preach that they are residing with me. However, I am never quite sure where they stay at night. Once wanting water, I called them in the dark of the night loudly again and again, yet I received no answer. The following morning I sent for them and asked where they had been the night before. Their only excuse was that had heard nothing."
Not being favored by Srila Gaurakisora, Nadiya dasa left and went to take shelter at the house of one woman nearby. After some time, a man came and told Srila Gaurakisora about the situation in which Nadiya was living. He reported that Nadiya dasa was receiving the intimate service of several young women. Becoming angry, Srila Gaurakisora said, "Please don't mention these things to me." Previously Nadiya also had another babaji friend who lived in Kusuma-saravara that had been rejected by Srila Gaurakisora. Thieves came during the night and gorged out his eyes, later killing him by hacking his body into many pieces. That babaji was secretly keeping several stolen articles in his possession. Because of this, dacoits came there and cruelly murdered him.
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