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A Call to Vrindavan's Sacred Shores -8

Updated: Jul 7

Sri Rasik Bihari Ji

 

Coming out from Baba’s kutir, Didi gently guided us towards the sacred grounds, where the samadhi sthal of the saints in Bhagwat Niwas stood serene and timeless. As we approached, the very atmosphere felt charged, the air seemed to shimmer with an ethereal energy and the stories of these saints began to unfold in our minds like ancient, cherished tales. Their lives, dedicated to the divine, seemed nothing short of miraculous to us, mere commoners, and an overwhelming sense of awe enveloped us. In the presence of such sanctity, the head automatically bowed down seeking the dust of the feet of these revered saints. This sacred dust, imbued with the essence of their devotion, felt like a precious blessing. Didi's resolve was unwavering as she guided us with purpose, her eyes sparkling with a knowing light. She gently took hold of our hands and with a firm yet gentle grip, she led us to a rickshaw, its bright colours gleaming under the warm sun.


As we settled into the seats, the rickshaw jolted to life. We were bound for the divine abodes, places steeped in sacredness. With every bump and sway of the rickshaw, the excitement within us grew, knowing we were enroute to places where the divine and mortal worlds seemed to intertwine. Nestled in the heart of Vrindavan, at the mystical confluence of Nidhivan, Sevakunj, and Kishorvan, lies the sacred Hari Triveni within the ancient Shri Rasik Bihari Temple. This is the place of the divine congregations of three eminent Rasik Shiromanis, revered saints who graced this world over 500 years ago. Swami Haridas, the incarnation of Lalita Sakhi, Shri Hita Harivansh Mahaprabhu, the embodiment of Lord Krishna's flute, and Shri Hariram Vyas, the personification of Vishakha Devi, convened here, infusing the very air with their spiritual presence.


As we walked towards the temple, Didi took us through a serene path through foliage and white, soft sand echoing memories of devotion. The path, once a dense Nikunj forest, resonated with the melodic strains of bhajans and the presence of a Shyam tamal tree and blooming flowers, creating an ambiance of divine play and mystical experiences. This place, adjacent to the Shri Rasik Bihari Temple, hidden within lush creepers and bowers was the sadhana and bhajan sthali of the revered Rasik Samrat saint, Sri Haridas Ji Maharaj. This sacred space exudes an otherworldly aura that invites one to steal moments for oneself. Here, one can sit down quietly and forget the world, enveloped in a serene stillness that transcends the ordinary. The stories say that this is the place where the mighty Emperor Akbar, in disguise as a common man, came with his court musician, Tansen, to witness the profound musical genius of Swami Haridas, the illustrious guru of the great Tansen and Baiju Bawra. Here, time seemed to stand still, the air thick with the spiritual energy of devotion and divine melodies.


With Didi leading and guiding us, we then entered the Rasik Bihari Temple. The temple resonated with the devotion of countless seekers. Here, amidst the interwoven branches and lush greenery, the mercy of Swami Haridas, Shri Hita Harivansh Mahaprabhu, and Shri Hariram Vyas continue to inspire and bless devotees. The very earth here seemed to hum with the divine leelas of the deity Shri Rasik Bihari Ji. Acharya Rasik Dev Ji, who served Shri Rasik Bihari Ji here 300 years ago, is said to have experienced divine visions and conversations with the deity.


The revered deity, Thakur Rasik Bihari Ji, journeyed through the resplendent cities and fortresses of Udaipur, Dwarka, Junagarh, and Chittor, eventually finding temporary refuge in the tranquil town of Dungarpur, Rajasthan. He was finally brought to Vrindavan in 1755 AD, guided by a divine revelation that Thakur ji, the beloved deity, was in the possession of his ancestors in Dungarpur and must be returned to His rightful abode. In a vivid dream, Thakur ji conveyed this sacred command to Acharya Rasik Dev ji. The urgency of the message was undeniable, and Acharya ji promptly dispatched his disciples, Sudama Das and Nagari Das, to Dungarpur to retrieve the deity. The mission was further affirmed when the king of Dungarpur, also enlightened by a dream, prepared a grand palanquin to transport Thakur ji to Vrindavan with utmost reverence and ceremony.


Upon arrival in Vrindavan, the deity, Shri Rasik Bihari ji, was temporarily placed at Kalidah, awaiting the completion of his permanent temple near Bankhandi. During the excavation for the temple, a vigraha of Kaliyamardan was discovered. Acharya Rasik Dev initially intended to consecrate this deity elsewhere, but Kalimardan, through a divine vision, expressed his desire to be enshrined alongside Thakur Shri Rasik Bihari ji. Acharya Rasik Dev, ever obedient to divine will, acquiesced.


The temple was constructed by Rasik Dev’s disciple, Govardhandas. Within its sacred walls, Thakur Rasik Bihari ji, with his enchanting presence, conversed with Acharya Rasik Dev, sharing the mystical tales of his divine leelas. Rasik Dev, blessed with divine sight, witnessed these celestial plays, enriching his soul and spirit. A grand samaj, or community gathering, was organized soon after the deity was placed in the shrine. It was here that Rasik Dev, alongside Narhari Dev, Pitambar Dev, Hari Dev, and Krishna Sharan, served Rasik Bihari with unwavering devotion. The collective dedication of these saints imbued this place with a spiritual vibrancy that endures to this day. Even today, Thakur Rasik Bihari ji continues to captivate the hearts and minds of sensitive devotees, his divine charm and mystical leelas resonating deeply within those who seek him.

Gorelal Thakur, revered by the Haridasi Sampradaya’s fifth acharya, Narhari Dev, is also worshipped here. The sacred rituals and the adherence to ancient traditions ensure that the spiritual sanctity of this place remains untainted. The atmosphere is imbued with a sense of timeless devotion, where every corner whisper tales of divine love and dedication.


During the serene darshan of Thakur Gorelal Ji, the temple grounds the temple grounds, bathed in the soft glow of the afternoon sun, seemed to pulse with a timeless energy. Emerging from this ethereal sanctuary, our minds remained suspended in that mystical realm, where the boundaries between the mundane and the divine blurred seamlessly.

 I was filled with curiosity, my heart eager for deeper understanding as I turned to Didi, seeking guidance. Didi met my enthusiasm with a serene smile and with a gentle assurance that she will take me to Anuragi Baba. The mention of Anuragi Baba sparked a rush of memories from my childhood, moments spent in the presence of this spiritual luminary alongside my parents. Each encounter with such revered souls felt like a precious gift, illuminating my path. Gratitude swelled within me for the opportunity to continue this journey guided by those whose lives were dedicated to the divine.


... to be continued



Bhajan Sthali of Swami Sri Haridas Ji Maharaj

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