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.
Even now the Lila goes on in Braj; the current of ever-blissful Lila is flowing from time without beginning, and will continue to flow till eternity.
When a striver gets admitted to that Lila, to start with he is seasoned there for some time by being kept in association with the eternal Sakhis (female friends of Shri Radha). That condition is one of heart’s passion. Later on, when the agony reaches its extreme limit, he becomes blessed by his very first union in the Raas and gets the privilege to serve for all time. This is the ordinary rule. Otherwise, whatever Shri Krishna wishes will become the rule for the striver.
In Love there is renunciation and renunciation alone. This path is only for the individual who has made Shri Krishna not only the sole object of his life, but also the means of attaining it; there is no room here for anybody else. Like a faithful wife, he has to wait and see as to who will bring a message from her husband; the faithful wife does not herself go out in search of the messenger. The husband’s messenger himself comes to her. Even so, a striver continues to shed tears constantly repeating Shri Krishna’s Name, and then there is movement from His side – a move suitable to the occasion and capacity.
In the mind there is a keen desire – a keen longing and a severe fire of ardour, but to whom can he divulge this?
The striver feels ‘O Lord! You know everything, You have the means, You can come if You wish; but I cannot reach You even if I start moving. O Treasure of my life! I am waiting with this desire for unlimited lives. You Yourself make me hold the rope of compassion through Your grace. I am blind and do not know the path.
“O my most Beloved! There is no companion on the path which I want to tread. There is no support other than You; You alone can look after me. Do so, O Lord!’ Such should be the prayer. Like a machine, the mouth should utter the Name constantly and the mind should continue to plunge in and float on the waves of the Lilas. This is all that one has to do.
In the evening you may be having a feast, but mentally you can be on a pond in Barsana and see yourself there. Shri Radha Rani is there, Lalita is there, Shri Krishna is there and the flute is emitting melodious music. All this can happen, but you yourself have to make the move. You yourself will have to get ready for this.
If all the worldly display, all the dealings, etc. are in accordance with the above, then alone it will be acceptable, otherwise you will have to have a sincere longing to sacrifice all of them at once.
There will be friends, family, mother, songs; there will be a turban or a cap on your head – even the coat on your body will remain as it is; but inside the mind, the fire of a peculiar agony will continue to burn. This burning will continue to grow.
“How to offer myself at the feet of Shri Krishna? What to do and how to do it?” – with such sentiments, sitting in a lonely place, you will start weeping. This will happen through His grace only. Prior to that, you should imagine that His grace is unlimited. Go on grasping the grace.
prem gali ati-sankri, yame do na samay
“The path of Love is very narrow; two cannot enter there.”
© Translated by Lakhpat Rai, M.A.
(With light editing by Vrindavan Today)
Published in 1981 by Sahitya Sansthan
Part of Gita Vatika, Gorakhpur