Radha Kund, 2017.04.08 (Vishakha Dasi for VT): Today is the disappearance day of Siddha Jaikrishna Das Babaji of Kamyavan (also known as Kaamvan).
Jaikrishna Das Babaji was in the lineage of Shri Gangamata Goswamini of the Gangamata Matha in Puri. No one knows who his guru was or where he was from. When he first came to Braj, the goddess Vrinda Devi instructed him through a vision to settle down at Kamyavan. There he lived under a tree performing intense spiritual practice and meditation on Radha and Krishna’s eternal lila.
It is said that the methods of lila meditation practiced in Braj today are to a great extent influenced by Siddha Jaikrishna Das Babaji of Kamyavan. In fact, Siddha Krishnadas Babaji of Govardhan and Siddha Madhusudan Das Babaji of Suryakund were both his followers.
Because he lived in the open air, the Brajwasi children used to pester him a lot while he was trying to meditate. For this reason, Baba began to think of leaving Kamyavan for some place even more remote. But the villagers did not want Baba to leave, and so they built a small hut for him on the bank of Vimal Kund, where he could do his meditation in peace.
Baba remained in that hut doing bhajan constantly, coming out only once a day to bathe in Vimal Kund and collect alms (madhukari).
It is said that Baba never slept at all. Throughout the night, he drowned in thoughts of Radha and Krishna. Sometimes he would pray, and sometimes he would weep. At times he could be heard arguing lovingly with someone. When he would scream out loud, overwhelmed with sacred love, his whole hut would shake. Once the ceiling even cracked from the sound.
Siddha Jaikrishna Das Babaji had a powerful magnetic energy around him. This divine attraction pulled people to him, even from far away. If anyone got Baba’s association just once, it became impossible for that person to leave him.
Once Shri Bhagavan Das Babaji visited Jaikrishna Das Babaji. Immediately, the two became so close that it felt impossible to leave. Whenever the subject of Bhagavan Das Babaji leaving came up, both of them would fall unconscious. After one month Bhagavan Das Babaji managed to tear himself away with great difficulty. But still, Jaikrishna Das Babaji’s memory remained with him.
On another occasion, Shri Naval Kishor Goswami came to visit Baba, bringing his deities Shri Radha-Madanmohan. Even Radha-Madanmohan felt so attracted to Baba that they decided to remain with him in Kamyavan. The night before Goswamiji was supposed to leave Braj, Madanmohan came in his dream and said that although he was pleased with him, he would rather stay with Baba from now on. Goswamiji left in tears, leaving Madanmohan behind.
Soon after, a humble young Babaji came to assist Siddha Jaikrishna Das Babaji. He took wonderful care of Shri Radha-Madanmohan and of Baba. Baba was very pleased with him, and decided to teach him the path he himself followed – the path of complete absorption in Radha and Krishna’s pastimes through meditation (ashta-kalin lila smaran). Jaikrishna Das Babaji asked the young Babaji if he had his guru-pranali (the list of the names of the gurus in his lineage), and siddha-pranali (the names of those gurus in their eternal gopi forms).
The young Babaji replied, “Please forgive me, Maharaj. I have no idea what guru pranali is.” Jaikrishna Das Babaji explained to him about the path of ashtakalin lila smaran and why the guru pranali and siddha pranali were important to this extremely deep practice. He instructed the young Babaji to go back to Bengal and ask for the guru-pranali and siddha-pranali from his Gurudev.
The idea of such deep meditation on the lila was very tempting. But the young Babaji was completely captivated by Jaikrishna Das Babaji’s love. The thought of leaving him and Shri Radha-Madanmohan was unbearable for him. He started weeping. But Siddha Baba calmed him down with sweet words, and at last the young Babaji agreed to go to Bengal.
And so one morning, with great pain in his heart, the young Babaji set out for the train station. At that time there was no railway station in Mathura, so he had to go all the way to Hathras to catch the train. Saying goodbye to Baba, he wept as he walked down the lonely path. He reached Hathras at night.
Standing on the platform the young Babaji thought, “It would be better to die than to board that train. But if I disobey Baba, that is also death for me. Either way, I am dead.” He started praying intensely to Radharani and Vrinda Devi. “I know you know everything. I am your helpless servant, so why are you throwing me out? You are my only shelter. Please have mercy on me, o Radhe! Please bless me that before the evil moment of sitting on that train comes, may my soul leave my body!”
Suddenly he heard the sound of the approaching train. Barrelling in at full speed, it raced towards the young Babaji. But the train did not stop. It simply kept going, till it was out of sight. Radharani had heard his prayer! And so the young Babaji made up his mind to return to Kamyavan.
Meanwhile in Kamyavan, Vrinda Devi appeared to Jaikrishna Das Babaji in a dream and scolded him saying, “Why did you send that boy outside of Braj? His guru-pranali is on your Beloveds’ altar!”
Baba jolted awake, but Vrinda Devi had disappeared. Weeping, he mentally begged her for forgiveness.
When the sun rose, he bathed in Vimala Kund and woke up Shri Radha-Madanmohan. And it was true. The young Baba’s guru-pranali was there on the altar.Embracing that sacred manuscript to his heart, he went to the temple of Govind Dev where the ancient deity of Vrinda Devi resides.
There he sat in meditation, weeping and praying to the goddess with a mixutre of thanks and longing, hoping that the young Babaji would return home. Baba did not eat or drink anything the whole day out of anxiety.
Around sunset, the young Babaji returned home and bowed to Jaikrishna Das Babaji, bathing his feet in an endless river of tears.
Jaikrishna Das Babaji was overjoyed and embraced the young Babaji. After taking prasad together, the two revealed to each other the great mercy received from Radharani and Vrinda Devi. After this incident, Jaikrishna Das Baba’s fame began to spread throughout Braj Mandal.
To be continued…
(These stories from the life of Siddha Jaikrishna Das Babaji are taken from Shri Haridas Das Babaji’s Gaudiya Vaishnav Jivan and Dr. OBL Kapoor’s Braj ke Bhakt and The Saints of Braj.)