A Gopika called Neeraja
Prashaanthi Nilayam, 1963
There was a story of gopika whose love merged in Krishna at the end of her life. A bride called Neeraja came to Gokulam as the daughter-in-law of a Gopa family. Her husband and parents-in-law warned her against Krishna and his pranks and threatened her to keep away from him and to avoid him by every possible means. On the day of Govardhana puuja (worship) Neeraja too went with the others and peeped into a crowd of enthusiastic gopis watching the dance of Raadha with Krishna in a flower bower near the hill. Another day, on the Yamuna bank, she heard him play flute from a reed taken out of vamsi kunj (bamboo bower).
It was overwhelmingly ecstatic! It was a call to transcend the material bonds to free oneself from the trammels of earthly endeavours. She was so captivated by divine presence that she was no longer the same person. She did not care for anyone now. She became God-mad. She was driven out of her house by the mother-in-law for her behaviour. She became an outcast and the whole village rose up against her. She spent her days in the vamsi kunj keeping her whole mind fixed on the lord.
She became 52 years old. Nandha, Yasodha and Raadha left the world. One day she desperately prayed to Krishna "I can no longer bear this forlorn life. My eyes have gone dry. They have no more tears to keep this love. My heart too is fast turning into a wasteland. Come and save me. Take me into yourself". Krishna heard the prayer and responded to her yearning and called her by name so sweetly that the voice filled her with new life. The whole Vamsi kunj was fragrant with divine glory.
Krishna took Neeraja's palm in his hand and asked, "What do you desire?". She asked "Let me hear you play on that flute for a short while before my prema merges in yours". Seeing Neeraja's yearning, Krishna smiled and plucked a reed from the vamsi kunj and broke it right and converted it into a flute. With Neeraja on his lap, Krishna played so melodiously on the flute that the entire Gokula and even the whole world was bathed in ecstatic joy. When he stopped, Neeraja had attained final beatitude and was no longer a limited individual gopee separated from him.
Develop the illumination of prema and the bats of grief, envy and egoism will fly away into the darkness. You must have the goal of Saayujya (merging in the Absolute) always in view; Be like the river that flows slowly to tile sea. Do not stop at intermediate stations like Saalokyo, Saameepya, Saaruupya (being in the same place, nearness to the master and likeness of the Form of Master). You should travel beyond and reach the goal.
The highest saadhana is to be always in the awareness that Brahman alone is Sath (real); Prakrithi is A-sath (unreal). Follow the three-fold path i.e., Seek Sudharshanam (vision of the Divine), Make your speech madhuram (sweet) and your good deeds an arpanam (offering). When you are free from the bonds of the gunas (the enticements of desire), the mother will hasten towards you and fondle you in her lap. Purify your vision, sweeten your speech, sanctify your deeds---that way lies liberation.
"Give me the lotus that blooms in your Maanasasarovara i.e., the clear pellucid water of the lake of your inner consciousness; The real kainkaryam for me is Be happy with faith in god and have fear of sin"
Omsai Srisai Jaijaisai