Vrindavan, 2019.01.05 (VT): Last week we brought you the life story of Ramakrishna Baba from OBL Kapoor’s seminal work, The Saints of Braj. Now enjoy the inspirational story of his younger godbrother, Sri Radharaman Das Baba.
Born on April 14th 1932 in a village in West Bengal, Sri Radharaman Das Baba received initiation from Sri Rama Das Baba. His initiation at an early age was arranged by his devotionally minded mother, Lalita Devi. OBL Kapoor describes the change that took place after initiation and how he quickly attained Vrindavan:
“After initiation, a sudden change was noticed in him. He used to retire to a lonely place and meditate for hours. His eyes always swam in tears. In this state he somehow completed his education and passed the MA examination from Calcutta University. But when his parents began to negotiate for his marriage, he found himself standing on a crossroad. He renounced the world and went to Vrindavan.
In Vrindavan, he took sanyasa diksha from Sri Madhava Dasa Baba Ji. Then he went to village Maghera where his elder godbrother, Sri Ramakrishna Das Baba lived. Under his guidance he studied Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata and other scriptures.
After this, he began to live in Vihar Vana, near Rala village, and practiced Sadhana. His absorption in bhajana was so deep that he would not even go for madhukari every day. He went for madhukari only once or twice a week and collected sufficient rotis to last him for a number of days. When the roties dried, he dipped them in water and ate.
The result was that he developed a gastric ulcer. Acute pain in the stomach caused great difficulty in bhajan. He had to go to Calcutta for treatment. He was admitted in a hospital. His younger brother Sacidulala and niece Kumari Nandini attended him. But his condition worsened day by day.
One day, in the evening, the pain in the stomach suddenly became too severe. The doctors were called. He overheard one of them saying to the other, “He may vomit blood tonight and die.”
He was not afraid of death, but his anxiety was that he would die out of Vrindavan in a Calcutta hospital. In his anguish he began to pray to Radharani. “O Svamini (the mistress of my heart)! Why have you turned me out of Vrindavan to die here like a dog? Perchance I have committed some offence. May be that instead of doing bhajan, I have only deceived myself and others by aping as one absorbed in bhajana. If I had not done so, you must at least have given me the boon of death in Vrindavan. You thought I did not even deserve to die in Vrindavana. But my Swamini! Even though undeserving, am I not yours? Even if I have aped, have I aped as someone other than your servant? You are by nature so merciful that even if a man takes your name by mistake, you give him Darshan. I do not know why you are so indifferent to me. I do not ask for Darshan because I know I do not deserve it. I ask only for death in Vrindavan. Have mercy on me, Svamini, have mercy on me!
As he said this, he cried aloud in deep distress then became unconscious. His cry did not go in vain. It touched the heart of Radharani. She came running along with Krishna and gave him Darshan in his unconscious state.
With a smile on Her face, She showed him Her right hand, as if to bless him with death in Vrindavan, while Krishna gently moved his Lotus hand on his stomach and asked in a tender voice, “Where do you feel pain, Baba?”
How could Baba say where he was feeling pain and to whom? For the pain as well as the questioner had disappeared along with the question and Radha had disappeared too.
The next morning, the doctors were surprised to see the patient, who was writhing with excruciating and incurable pain till only eight or ten hours before, and should have died by morning, had sat up and was asking for food.
But, after this miracle, after which Baba became illness free and returned to Vrindavan, Sri Radharaman Baba began to feel intense separation from Radha Krishna. “How could he bear the thought that those, who were his own more than anyone else, be remote from him more than anyone else?” He moved to a cave in Govardhan known as Raghav Pandit’s cave, but his ‘pain of separation’ continued to increase and he paid little attention to his body. For sustenance, he took only buttermilk and neem leaves.
Baba had Darshan many times while in Braj, but his thirst for darshan could not be quenched. Once, he and Baladev Rama had Darshan and were told to go to Jaipur, upon which the pair found themselves standing hear Jaipur station. And, once again, he was called back to Vrindavan at the right time:
“On November 26, 1987, when he was still in Jaipur, he had a vision and a message from Radharani. He called Baladev Ram and said to him, “Radharani has called me to Vrindavan. Take me there.
The next day Baladeva Rama started with Baba in a car to Vrindavana. On the way, Baba went to meet some of his disciples and devotees and said to them while parting, “I take leave of you. May Radharani bless you!”
After reaching Vrindavan, Baba announced that he was going to see one of his disciples, Murali Lal, but did he not return. Baladeva Rama and Atmaram ji from Gyan Gudri, went to Murari Lal’s house to ask about Baba. Murari Lal said that Baba never came.
The trio searched for Baba but found no clues. A few days later, they read in the Amar Ujala news that the body of a baba ji had been found underneath Radha Rani’s Rang Mahal in Nidhivan.
Due to the mysterious circumstances, police conducted an autopsy but no cause of death could be found.
Hence, all who were ready to understand what happened knew that Baba had gone to transcendental Vrindavan at the call of Radharani Who had accepted him as Her sakhi. Baba’s siddha manjari deha had entered Radha Rani’s Rang Mahal in her eternal abode in transcendental Nidhivan.