Few years ago , Meera was living a very happy married life with her family which included her husband, four sons, their wives and children. She had served the family with full devotion. Her husband was a wealthy jewel merchant and the sons had also joined the family business.
Everyone in the family was very respectful to their parents. It so happened one day Meera saw a small boil on her foot . She applied some turmeric to heal and continued with her daily house chores . However the boil eventually turned out into real shape. She had developed the germs of leprosy. There was no cure and she had to accept the reality .There was a sudden change of attitude among all the members of the family towards her. Everyone including her husband who loved her dearly tried to avoid sitting next to her. She was thus isolated and spent her days in a secluded room. Her utensils were kept separately which she washed herself.
She could understand that for the welfare of her family this was to be carried out . But one day she got a rude shock when all her sons came with their wives and wanted to say something to her. The eldest son on behalf of others came with the proposal and said
Amma ………You should go and stay in some place of pilgrimage away from all of us .
We will send money for your daily needs Amma please understand ..
.After all this is an infectious disease and even you will not like it if any of your grand child gets infected. We care for you Amma .Please accept our proposal .The choice of Old age home OR pilgrimage spot is yours .
Each son had a different proposal . Meera kept on listening and just nodded.
The sons went away leaving her to wonder if they were the same sons who would not eat before amma started eating her meal.
That night Meera skipped her dinner which, the maid servant had left for her in the room.
The whole night she was tossing and turning and could not have even a wink of sleep. She went on thinking what to do.
Should I jump in a well?
Should I leave home?
All types of thoughts came to her mind. At last in the early hours of morning she quietly packed a few clothes and took what ever meager money she had and left home without telling any one.
She had no one to share her plight.
One poor lady used to come to her previously and she used to give her many things in charity to help her. She knew her house . She landed at her doorstep and woke her up. On opening the door she saw a old slightly torn photograph of Lord Krishna hanging on the wall .
The poor lady was shocked to see her . She invited her , but she politely ignored her invitation . She expressed her inability to enter her house and shared her plight . Looking at the photograph she enquired which temple deity he was .The poor lady replied the pic is of Lord Bankey Bihaari and he is at Vrindavan.
She advised her to go to vrindavan where she could get help from one of her relative who had gone there and had become a Meera serving the Lord
The lady offered to go with her and leave her there with her relative and soon they reached vrindavan. For a few days the relative of that lady shared the food she used to get from temples as prasad . She was old and died in few months . Now Meera was again left alone to fight for her survival. She felt embarrassed to go to temples and ask for prasad in the beginning but soon got used to it. Vrindavan became her home . She started naming every temple in Vrindavan as her Uncles home , Aunts home and Parents , grand parents house . She made every temple deity as her family member and shared her daily experiences going close to them .
Immersed in Satsangh true to her name got Meera bhakthi .
One day Meera went to bathe in the yamuna river along with few devotees . It was a special day as Sri Sri Bankey biharee had arrived . Amongst the crowd , looking at the merciful eyes of the Supreme Lord , suddenly , her foot slipped and she fell in the river and was on the verge of drowning.
Suddenly , something strange happened .. The crowd gathered around She was in an unconscious state and all she could remember was that a very attractive blue eyed boy had dived into the river to save her. When she became conscious she was surrounded by some brajvasee . She looked every where to find the charming diver but he was no where to be seen. The people around her told her that she had a very lucky escape. She looked at her foot and was astonished. She found that there was not a single wound, her leprosy had disappeared.
One person from the crowd advised her to go to Sri Sri Bankey Bihariji’s temple and thank the Lordships for saving her life. She had never been here before so now that she was no longer infected by leprosy, she wanted to thank Lordships , she entered the temple and was looking at Lord Bihariji spell bound because it was this charming boy only who has dived in the Yamuna river and saved her life. With tears in her eyes and a shiver of excitement going through her entire body she vowed that she will depend only on Sri Sri Bankey Bihariji who had brought her to vrindavan. Leprosy was just a temporary excuse to detach her from her family. Now she does sewa of the Supreme Lord Bihariji in her small way by helping many devotees who are in need near the temple
Swami sri haridas ji says in one of his padas roughly translated in English …
Oh My dear brother!If you want to love, then love only Bihariji or love his bhaktas who are always engrossed in Bihariji’s bhajans only.The worldly love is temporary made out of faded colours of flowers which is finished the moment you are of no use to your so called loved ones, but Bihariji’s love is permanent which is made out of the scent of flowers. It is Lord alone who will by your side when you are in pain or trouble, your relatives and friends will run away the moment they see approaching for help. Bihariji will wash away all your sins and take you in his arms. Such is the love of our Sri Sri Bankey bihariji.
Shri Shri Banke Bihari Mandir is located at Vrindavan. The Lordship presented themselves for the ardent devotion of Sri Haridas
Elders believe Swami Haridas was the reincarnation of Lalita ‘sakhi’ , of the close companion of Lord Krishna. Haridas left his village for Vrindavan, which was a dense forest at that time and choose a secluded spot, which is now known as Nidhivan, to practice his service to Supreme Lord with music and to enjoy eternal bliss . He constantly and continuously meditated on Nitya Ras and Nitya Bihar of Lord at Nitya Vrindavan. His way of Saadhna was to compose and sing songs in the praise of Lord. While on earth, living in a mortal state, he facilitated his regular unobstructed entry in the Nitya Bihar and always enjoyed the pleasure of closeness of Lord always in the ocean of eternal bliss.
His disciples were curious about this place and one day with permission of Swamiji, they all entered the kunj. But instead of seeing anything they were almost blinded by bright, intense light, which seemed to fill the whole place. On knowing of their plight Swamiji himself went there, and then after his requests, lord appeared in person with his divine consort, pleasantly smiling and in a playful mood and casting a spell of charm on every living being present there. Those who witnessed this, were so spell bounded by the beauty of the Lord and his consort, that they couldn’t even blink their eyes, it seemed that all of them had turned into stone statues.
The legend as handed down to the generations of Goswamis, says that the beauty of the divine couple was such that no one wanted to loose the sight and proximity of divinity, but then what kind of divinity is it, which cannot make a mere mortal swoon and charmed enough to forget and give up the world and its luxuries? The beauty of the divine couple was so much that lesser mortal would not be able to bear such a heavenly beauty. Sensing this Swami Haridas ji prayed the Lordships both of them to take a single form, as the world won’t be able to bear their image. He submitted to them to take a single form like Ghan (cloud) and Damini(lightning) thus giving a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of dark Lord and his fair consort, Radhaji. Also he wanted his beloved lord to be in front of his eyes always. Granting him his both wishes, the couple turned itself into one single black charming deity , the same one can have darshan in the temple today. The charm and beauty of Shri Banke Bihariji is the only reason why the ‘darshan’ in the temple is never continuous but is broken by the curtain drawn on him regularly. It is also said that if one stares long enough into the merciful eyes of Shri Banke Bihariji, the person would lose his self consciousness. Thus came into existence the physical form of Lord Banke Bihari, popularly know as Bihariji.
The sewa of the Bihariji is unique in its own way. Three parts of Seva is done every day ie Shringar, Rajbhog and Shayan. While shringar (which includes bath, dressing and adornment with jewellery like crown and necklaces) and Rajbhog(feast) is offered in the forenoon, Shayan Sewa (shayan means sleep) is offered in the evening. The temple doesn’t have a tradition of Mangala (early morning) sewa. Swami Haridas did not favour Mangla Sewa as he wanted his child like Lord to take complete rest and did not want to disturb him out of deep slumber so early in the morning.
So, the temple today stands with its full glory, inside which the Lord himself resides. It is thronged by thousands of visitors everyday.
This real incident was shared by a Goswamee in the temple
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pic & Videos : Courtesy ..Uploaded in social media by several advanced devotees