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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Shiva Rātri 2008

With a lot of Rādhākund-water and a tray with flowers, Bel-leaves, kumkum and sandal-fluid I do Shiva Puja to the lingam at the bank of the Kuṇḍa, below the subji bazar. It's too busy upstairs at Kundeśvar Mahādeva. Though I don't know how to do it I feel Bābā is pleased with it.

This year for Shivarātri some anecdotes about Sādhu Bābā, also known as Sachal Shiva, the mobile Shiva -
Kiśorī Dās, a disciple of Śrīla Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī, who was very fond of Bābā as the youngest son of his Guru, had gone to Navadvīp’s main market in the morning, where a person who was not dear to Bābā offered him a gift for Bābā. Afraid to offend Bābā, Kiśorī declined. Through his yogic powers, however, Bābā could understand what was happening while staying in his ashram (which is very far away from Navadvīp’s main market). When Kiśorī returned to the Ashram, Bābā asked him: “Why didn’t you accept that gift?” Kiśorī said: “What do you mean, Bābā?” Bābā: “This person wanted to give you a donation, why didn’t you accept it?” Kiśorī: “Bābā, how could you know that?” Bābā roared with laughter: “Hāhāhā – when you rise to this level you can see all kinds of things you cannot see down there!”

I found a verse in the Bhāgavat (10.61.21) that exactly illustrates this pastime -

anāgataṁ atītaṁ ca vartamānam atīndriyam
viprakṛṣṭam vyavahitaṁ samyak pasyanti yoginaḥ

"Yogis can see what has not yet happened, past, present, beyond the senses, remote or blocked by physical obstacles."


I found the answer to my own question about what Bābā said to intellectuals, in my memory. Once a PhD visited Bābā and asked him all kinds of intricate scriptural questions. Bābā replied with light jokes, but eventually got serious and kindly told him: "All this intellectual endeavour will not do the job. Only Guru kṛpā will make you see these things."


Sādhu Bābā's ashram excels in mauna (silence) and śānti (peace). There are no tapes constantly playing kīrtans or so. Bābā wanted mādhurya (sweetness) to prevail in his abode. And so it still does.


Once a young man wanted to join the āshram and openly said it would be a great place for him
to get free meals without having to work. Bābā turned him down.


From Mālatī's blog (Febr.28)
"Lord Chaitanya blessed Advaita acharya with a boon that whosoever on earth would be included in the divine family of Advaita through initiation would be given first preference, favour and grace of Mahaprabhu. This shows the earnest gratitude of Lord Chaitanya to Advaita.

It is said that Sādhu Bābā didn’t like putting a donation box in our ashram. It still doesn’t have one.

Being in the āshram was like feeling Sādhu Bābā's spirit. He had said many times that even after his passing he will always be with his disciples. And it was even kept more alive by narrations of my gurubhāis and vons—some of which were extremely above the metaphysical. I especially remember Tapan da’s narration about Śrī Bābā's merciful gesture. When Advaitadās of the Netherlands asked for initiation, Sādhu Bābā asked 8 of his disciples if he should do it. Everyone disagreed. Bābā shot back by saying, if he didn’t then Bhakti devi will be offended. In the same token my being accepted into his family is a special mercy considering the time that separates Bābā and myself. I now have a robust understanding of my Gurudev’s endearing personality, simplicity, and love for everyone. I hope to carry the memories of this trip in my heart forever."


  1. When Advaitadas of the Netherlands asked for initiation, Sadhu Baba asked 8 of his disciples if he should do it. Everyone disagreed. Baba shot back by saying, if he didn’t then Bhakti Vrinda devi will be offended.

    I am very honoured to be part of this glorification of Sadhu Baba, which springs from Tapan Da's purely devotional mind. I pray that it will inspire me to realize the great privilege bestowed upon me and live up to it. The actual historical facts surrounding this miracle of mercy are narrated in my blog of september 27, 2007. Perhaps Tapan Da refers to the pressure exerted upon Baba by the brahmin community while I was living in Sadhu Baba's ashram,
    after receiving diksa, which Baba indeed always resisted and rejected.

  2. It's always nice to hear about your gurudev. :-)
    The best parts of your blog. :-)

    > pressure exerted upon Baba by
    > the brahmin community

    Sad, and somewhat discouraging. I wonder if it would be any different now - probably not much.

    I don't remember having heard of that before, only about your being accepted and how it was conducted.

    I realise more now, how fortunate Malati is.

    - Brian babaji

  3. The brahmins are not wrong - I was and am very low and unqualified. These brahmins also serve to highlight the extreme magnanimity of Sri Gurudeva, considering his sky-high birth.

  4. Radhe Radhe

    Yes, Brian, I'm indeed very fortunate, because like Advaitadas, I have no qualifications.

    Maybe this will do it: a little dose of our sincerity and a bucketful of Kripa from Sadhu Baba.(not quite right, but I'm sure you see the analogy)

    The spiritual family of Sadhu Baba is open to those who want to experience how it is to be with the family members.

    Brian, you are definitely welcome!

  5. Malati, thank you! :-)

    I'm going to Vrindavana on the 27th, staying there until the 20th April. :-) I've been looking at all my photos, and I think my mind's going to be there before my body. ;-)
    So I think next time I'll get a flight from Mumbai to Kolkata instead, so I can go to Navadwip.

    Advaita das, yes, but I suppose that Sadhu Baba knew what he was doing. And the sky-high birth explains the magnanimity. :-)