This series chronicles sweet experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji as well as some divine experiences of Sri Swamiji himself. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
The Bhava of a Mahatma
Bhakti (devotion) is indeed only the different bhavas that are expressed in a devotee’s heart. If one asked, “Where is Bhagavan?”, the answer is, “He is in the bhavas that arise in a devotee’s heart!”
The day after Deepavali is marked as Govardhana pooja in our traditional panchang. It was on this day that the Gopas of Brindavan performed Govardhana pooja and our Bhagavan lifted the Govardhana hill. The eighth day (ashtami) after this is Gopashtami, when, after keeping the Govardhana hill lifted high above the Gopas for seven straight days, our Krishna was coronated by Indra and was given the name “Govinda”.
This year (2013), from Deepavali day itself, Sri Swamiji’s thoughts were constantly about this Govardhana leela. [During this time Sri Swamiji was at the Madhurapuri ashram near Chennai] He started living the scene in his mind, and began to speak (to those around him) about how arrangements were being made for Indra’s yagna, in the region around the hills, by Nanda and Upananda (another Gopa).
Sri Swamiji began describing the scenes as though he was witnessing them directly – “Look, Balaram and Krishna have come; Krishna is talking to Nanda; the Indra pooja has stopped; everyone is following Krishna’s words and performing pooja to the Govardhana Hill; Krishna has Himself taken a different form and eaten all the food offered to Govardhana hill; Indra is angry; he is pouring rain in torrents; there is thunder, lightning everywhere; water has flooded the whole area; the windows and doors of houses are rattling terribly; the Gopas and Gopis are running out of their houses, they have covered their heads with pieces of cloth; it is so dark, even day looks like night; the Gopas cannot even see each other in the dark; but even in that darkness, they all reach the moon-faced Krishna and surrender to Him!
“Even amid this crisis, Bhagavan is not worried. He is not perturbed but calm. There is no hesitation, no anxiety or nervousness.
“He is sitting on a rock, like Dakshinamurthy, wearing a casually-tied turban on His head and playing His flute. Seeing the bhakti of the Gopas, and being moved intensely (with His hair standing on end), Bhagavan has lifted the Hill!”
“This little seven-year-old child is lifting a great hill for the sake of all of us!” said Sri Swamiji as he shed tears for Krishna.
For the next seven days, Sri Swamiji felt that he was under the Govardhana hill. He would repeatedly say, “How will he eat his food? If he is thirsty, how will he drink water?” Constantly worrying thus, he would feed Krishna.
The seven-day Nama Saptaham [continuous chanting of Mahamantra for 12 hours daily for seven days by Namadwaar groups from across the country] that was conducted during that time made Sri Swamiji’s bhava stronger. He kept feeling that he was chanting the Mahamantra along with all the Gopas and Gopis. He even said, “Now the ‘Rama’ that we say in the Mahamantra stands for Balarama.”
After the seven days, Krishna first threw the hill away; then He moved the hill to its original position. As soon as Krishna had placed the hill down, Sri Swamiji ran upto Him and lifted Him up! He then said, “Krishna lifted the hill. And I have lifted the Krishna who lifted the hill!”
The next day Sri Swamiji kept feeling that winged Devas, Indra, Kamadhenu and Airavata were coming to the Ashram from the skies. That day, a variety of sweets and savories were prepared, children were dressed as Indra, Upendra and Devas and, amid the playing of auspicious instruments and showers of flowers, Sri Swamiji performed Govinda pattabishekam for Sri Premika Varadan (Lord Krishna) with great pomp and glory.
Published originally in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine, Dec 2013 issue
Translated by Viji Ramakrishnan, Dallas TX