Vrindavan, 2017.05.23 (Shri Radha Baba): Once there was a Brahmin whose entire family died within a year, and he was left alone. He went into debt in order to perform their funeral ceremonies (shraadh) and raised money to pay by mortgaging his house.
Later, he got a job for eight to ten rupees per month and from that, he would pay installments of five to seven rupees against his debt. He used to chant the Holy Name in Banke Bihari Temple as he managed his earthly affairs on a very paltry amount.
As a rule, the payments were supposed to be entered on the back of the deed. The landlord, however, had dishonest intentions. He wanted to grab the Brahmin’s house for himself, and therefore did not write down the payments at all.
A man from the court brought the summons when the poor Brahman was sitting in Biharji’s temple. He felt very sad to see it and said, “I have paid the whole amount and only eight to ten rupees are due!” Seeing him dejected, the man took pity on him and asked if he had a witness. The Brahmin said he did not. The man replied that it would then be very difficult.
The Brahmin, however, added that he had a witness in Bihariji. Due to a peculiar Lila of the Lord, the man took it to mean that he really had some witness named Bihariji. Upon returning to the court, that man told the Munsif (Civil Judge), “Sir, the Brahmin is honest and the landlord is dishonest. The Brahmin has a man named Bihariji as his witness. A summons may be issued in his name.” The Munsif, too, was a gentleman, and he issued the summons accordingly.
The same man came again while the Brahmin was sitting and chanting the Holy Name. “Where is Bihariji?” the man asked. The Brahmin said, “He must be somewhere around here. Just affix the notice on the wall somewhere and you can go.” By the Lord’s will, the man felt there was no harm in doing so. The people, however, knew that Bihariji meant Banke Bihari – the temple Deity. All the people were laughing and saying, “What a fool he is!”
The date of the court case arrived. The day before, the Brahmin had asked for permission to stay in the temple for the night, but the priest and others laughed at the idea. However, when the Brahmin wept a lot, they allowed him to stay. He wept the whole night. In the morning he went off to sleep.
In a dream, the Brahmin saw that Bihariji had come and was saying, “Why are you weeping? I shall certainly give evidence in your favour.” No sooner did the Brahmin awake than he was filled with joy and he had not the slightest doubt in his heart anymore. He had full faith that Bihariji would certainly help him.
There was a commotion among the people. The Brahmin said, “You will see that Bihariji will surely give evidence for me.” Many people thought of going to the court to watch the fun. But what a Lila of the Lord! A rainstorm came, as a result of which very few people could go. Nevertheless, some virtutous people were fortunate enough to go there.
The case was presented before the Munsif in the court. The Munsif inquired, “Has the witness come?”
The Brahman replied, “Yes, Sir! He has come!”
An agent of the court called out, “Let the witness named Bihari present himself!”
There was no response to the first call, nor even to the second.
But the third time came the response, “The witness is present.”
In the meantime the people saw – With his whole body covered by a dark blanket, a man came and stood in the witness box. Removing the veil from his face a little, he cast a glance at the Munsif. The pen dropped from the Munsif’s hand and for several minutes he continued to stare at him. It was as if he had gone unconscious.
After a while, the Munsif asked, “Are you his witness?”
The man with the dark blanket replied “Yes Sir.”
“Do you know if this man has paid the money?”
In chaste Urdu, the witness Bihari stated:
“Sir, I am going to list all the dates on which he paid.” And then he began to tell – so many rupees on such-and-such date, so many rupees on another date; datewise he mentioned about a hundred dates.
The landlord’s advocate stood up and said, ‘Sir! I object! Is he a human being or a library? Can anyone remember so many dates?’
The witness Bihari replied, “Sir, I remember absolutely correctly. When this man used to go pay the money, I used to accompany him.”
Munsif: Are these payments entered in the landlord’s account book?
Bihari: Yes Sir, everything is entered, but this Brahmin’s name is not there. The amounts have been credited on those particular dates, but under a false name.
Munsif: Can you recognize the account book?
Bihari: Yes, Sir.
The Munsif adjourned the court then and there and went to the plaintiff’s house with a few assistants. Along with him was the witness Bihari. Nobody saw the body of the witness, and only the Munsif had seen his face.
Arriving there, the witness Bihari pointed out the almirah where the account registers were kept, and indicated the account book which contained the entries in question.
Taking out the account book, the Munsif began to compare the entries to Bihariji’s testimony. The dates and amounts were as mentioned by the witness, credited in favour of a false name.
The last date was after several pages and there was some delay in locating it, but even that was found to be correct.
Suddenly the Munsif noticed that witness Bihari had disappeared. What happened, where he went, nobody knew. The Munsif came back to his court, dismissed the case, and tendering his resignation became a sadhu. This incident has perhaps been published somewhere, and it is possible that I may have heard it with some additions or alterations, but the incident is absolutely true and there is nothing in it to be wondered at.
If a man has sincere faith in the Lord, even now such an incident, nay, a more wonderful one can take place – does take place.
To give help in worldly affairs and to bestow His love – both these are similar to the Lord. Really speaking, the Lord is a wish-yielding tree to a devotee. He is ready to accomplish all that we may ask of Him. No doubt ones object gets fulfilled only through a desire which is sincere and full of firm faith.
From the book Easy Steps to Eternal Vrindavan by Shri Radha Baba
Translated by Lakhpat Rai, M.A.
(With light editing by Vrindavan Today)
Published in 1981 by Sahitya Sansthan
Part of Gita Vatika, Gorakhpur
Radha Baba (1913-1992) was a devotee of Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna who lived in Gorakhpur. Born in a Vaishnav Brahmin family in Gaya, he became an Advaitin sannyasi, but later took the path of Braj devotion. Shri Hanuman Prasad Poddar, the founder of Gita Press, was his inseparable spiritual companion. It is said that Radha Baba spent fourteen years performing a very strict maun vrat, during which he kept complete silence, without even using gestures to communicate. During this period he was completely absorbed in Braj Lila. Several beautiful books were written by him, including Keli Kunj, Satsang Sudha and Mahabhaga Brajdeviyan. The following excerpt is taken from his book Easy Steps to Eternal Vrindavan, translated into English by Lakhpat Rai, M.A. It appears to be out of print, but the original Hindi edition, Prem Satsang Sudha Mala, is still available from Gita Press, as are his other works.
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