Govardhan 2017.01.05 (VT): If you’ve walked the Govardhan Parikrama Marg from Daan Ghati to Anyor in the evening, you may remember seeing a number of people seated on your right, taking prasad. They sit in rows on the ground near a tent-like structure, served by sadhus and Brajwasis. I often wondered who organized the seva there, and today a dear friend took me to meet him – Fauji Baba.
Fauji Baba is very tall, with a thick wreath of dreadlocks adorning his head, and a short white cloth wrapped around his waist. He is a Ramanandi sadhu and his guru-peeth is Gore Dauji in Vrindavan.
Sixteen years ago he came to live in Giriraj talhati, the foot of the sacred Govardhan Hill. He felt inspired by Girirajji to do something for others, especially the poor people and beggars who didn’t have enough to eat. So he made a hole in the sacred ground of the parikrama marg and built a cooking fire – and just started feeding people.
It wasn’t long before people saw what he was doing and came forward to join him. Today he and a group of volunteers feed between 300 and 500 people a day.
“We can work for ourselves, or we can work for others,” said Baba. “If we do something for ourselves, there is a limit. By ourselves, we can only eat one or two laddus (sweets), but there is no end to the number of laddus we can feed others. Feed others as much as you can; there is no limit.
“Serving onesself gives limited joy. But there is no limit to giving. Let your giving be limitless, and joy will also be limitless for you.”
I wondered if Baba lived nearby, so I inquired about his home. Gesturing towards the tentlike structure behind him where the volunteers were cooking, Baba said, “I live here. This is my bedroom, my kitchen and my store room. At night when we close down the kitchen, I lay out my mat and sleep.”
When asked if there was anything he needed, Baba said, “The Lord gives everything we need. There is nothing I need. Girirajji gives so much for serving others.”