Vrindavan, 2017.11.09 (VT): Today is the disappearance day of Sri Pran Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj.
Pran Krishna Das Babaji hailed from a small village in Bengal. He was initiated by Prabhupad Sri Yadunandan Goswami, a descendent of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. However, he spent many years learning from Siddha Bhagavan Das Babaji Maharaj of Ambika Kalna.
Although he was not educated and could barely read or write, he came to the same conclusion that Shyamananda Prabhu found after deeply studying the scriptures. His belief was that seva, especially serving Shri Guru and the Vaishnavs, was the highest form of bhajan or spiritual practice. Just like Shyamananda Prabhu, he loved to sweep the bowers of Vrindavan. Every day he used to sweep the place where he lived, known as Kaliyadaha, with great love and care. In fact, this was his eternal seva for the Divine Couple.
Pran Krishna Das Babaji would spend most of the day serving devotees, especially Sri Jagdish Das Babaji, who lived nearby. Jagdish Das Babaji Maharaj was always absorbed in the eternal lila of Sri Radha and Krishna. He would remain in trance most of the day. Pran Krishna Das Babaji looked after all his physical needs. He would also sing songs about the lila ccording to Baba’s mood.
Through rendering such personal service to Sri Jagadish Das Baba, Pranakrishna Baba attained perfection in lila smaran (meditation on the lila). Late at night, one could always hear him laughing, weeping, and talking happily, although he was alone in his kutir.
Pran Krishna Das Baba was always absorbed in Krishna’s lilas internally, but he longed for someone with whom to share them. Oftentimes, Prana Krishna Das Baba would go out to the parikrama marg and sit with the beggars. While the beggars would ask people on parikrama “Give me five rupees!” Baba would grab someone’s hand and say, “Give me five minutes.” He would then take that person aside, feed him a little prasad, and fill his ears with such delightful stories about Shri Krishna, that the person wanted to keep on hearing only that for the rest of his life.
Pran Krishna Das Baba used to keep a little bucket in Sri Jadgish Das Babaji’s kutir where visitors would place donations. Once a jata-dhari baba (a sadhu with dreadlocks) told Jagdish Das Baba, “Give me the money from that bucket.” Jagdish Das Baba said, “Of course!” and gave him all the money. Then he thought, “I should give the jata-dhari baba the money every day. He must need it.” But he forgot to tell Pran Krishna Baba to do so. A few days later, the jata-dhari baba returned and threw a big rock at Jagdish Das Baba, which came close to hitting him.
Jagdish Das Babaji was very upset. “I have committed an offense against this Mahatma,” he said to Pran Krishna Baba. “Go and bring him immediately. We must please him.”
Pran Krishna Baba immediately went and humbly asked the jata-dhari baba to return. He seated the jata-dhari baba comfortably in front of Jagdish Baba and fed him different kinds of expensive sweets while cooling him with a hand-fan made of leaves. Jagdish Baba handed him the bucket of money and said:
“Maharaj, I beg you! Please excuse us for forgetting to give you the money. I am so negligent! Although I am an old man, spiritually I am like your son. We are so weak and stupid that we may yield to the temptations money brings. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that you have come here to relieve us of this burden.
“You are so powerful that Maya cannot touch you. You hold Maya captive in your kamandalu (a monk’s water pot). Please keep your kamandalu here for collecting the donations. Come and pick it up every evening at your convenience.”
As Jagdish Das Baba finished speaking, the jata-dhari baba began to cry. He went back to his hut without touching the money. From that day on he became a true follower and servant of Jagadish Das Baba and Pran Krishna Das Baba.
It is said that Pran Krishna Das Babaji lived to the age of 136, leaving his body in 1938AD. His samadhi (tomb) is just behind the samadhi of Sri Prabhodananda Saraswati at Kaliyadaha. (V)
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