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First Ray

The meeting of Premadasa Babaji with Haridasa Babaji


As the sun set one spring day, Haridasa Babaji, the crest jewel of the devotees, finished his evening prayers, came out of his kunja, and went out on the forest path along the Yamuna. It is difficult to describe the various feelings of love which manifest in him as he went along in great ecstasy. On the way, Babaji had a vision reminding him of the Lord's pastimes, and he began rolling on the ground exclaiming, “O Vrajendra-nandana! O Gopi-jana-vallabha!” Incessant tears of ecstasy washed away the Lord's names that were written on his cheeks. The Babaji's limbs, resembling the kadamba flower, were beautified by hairs standing on end. His hands became numb, and he was unable to hold his japa-mala. He gradually lost external consciousness and began dancing like a madman. All the ecstatic symptoms like trembling, perspiring, faltering of the voice, and fading of the body color arose, as the Babaji fully entered into the transcendental realm, beyond material nature. The Babaji deeply sighed, “O Krishna! O Prananatha!” and he began crying. As Haridasa Babaji enjoyed the bliss of Vaikuntha, the famous Premadasa Babaji passed Keshi-ghata and arrived there. As the two Vaishnavas met, ecstatic feelings of friendship suddenly awoke in them. And as they looked at each other's beautiful face, they began dancing. Before verbally greeting each other, they embraced out of natural affection and bathed each other in their tears. After some time they greeted each other with loving words.


Conversation between Haridasa Babaji and Premadasa Babaji


Premadasa Babaji said, “Babaji! My heart was broken because of not seeing you for some days. Therefore, to purify myself, I was coming to your kunja to see you. For the last few days I was visiting places like Yavat and Nanda-grama.”

Haridasa Babaji replied, “Babaji, is it possible for a less fortunate person to get your darshana? For the last five days I was staying near Govardhana to see Shri Pandita dasa Babaji. I came here this morning. By seeing your lotus feet I've obtained the results of a pilgrimage.”

Just by hearing Shri Pandita dasa Babaji's name, Premadasa Babaji's face, which was decorated with tilaka, became inundated with love. When Premadasa Babaji took the renounced order, he had read Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani before Pandita dasa Babaji. Remembering that, his unprecedented ecstasy gave an indication of his unalloyed devotion for Shri Pandita dasa Babaji. Remaining silent for a moment, Premadasa Babaji said, “Babaji, what is being discussed these days in Pandita dasa Babaji's enlightened assembly of devotees? My cherished desire is to attend his assembly with you.”


Topics regarding Pandita dasa Babaji and discussions on karma, jnana, and hari-katha


On hearing this, Haridasa Babaji lovingly embraced Premadasa Babaji and said, “Babaji, all of Pandita Babaji's activities are transcendental. I went to see him for one day, but I was unable to leave his association for seven. Nowadays many saintly persons are present in his sacred cave. I think they will stay there until the next Kumbha-mela. Everyday there are discussions on new subjects. There are questions and answers on various topics regarding jnana, karma, and pure devotional service.”

Hearing this, Premadasa Babaji suddenly said, “Babaji, we've heard that maha-bhagavatas remain intoxicated relishing the sweet topics of Lord Hari. They don't engage in discussions on karma or jnana. Why then does our most worshipable Pandita dasa Babaji spend his time on such topics?”

Haridasa Babaji said, “Babaji, such a doubt also arose in my atheistic mind. But when I heard those discussions in Pandita dasa Babaji's holy association, I came to know that all the devotees' discussions on karma and jnana are nothing but hari-katha. Such discussions are nothing like the topics discussed by the materialists which simply agitate the mind. Rather, by hearing such discussions in the association of devotees, the living entity is freed from the bondage of karma and jnana.”

On hearing this, Premadasa Babaji wept and said, “Babaji Mahashaya, your conclusive statement is like nectar. And why not? You are famous in the three mandalas (Vraja, Gauda, and Kshetra) as the dear disciple of Siddha Govardhana dasa Babaji of Shri Navadvipa-dhama. If you are merciful, who can remain doubtful? By the mercy of your lotus feet, Bhattacarya Mahashaya, who is famous by the name Professor Lokanatha Nyayabhushana, was delivered from the dark well of logic, accepted the name Shri Govinda dasa Kshetravasi, and took shelter of Vaishnavism, which destroys all kinds of distress. Then what is impossible in your ability to remove doubts? Now let us chant the glories of Lord Hari and go this very day to the valley of Giri-govardhana.”


Haridasa and Premadasa have kirtana on their way to Govardhana


As they finishing speaking, they immediately began chanting the glories of Lord Hari and dancing in ecstasy on their way to Govardhana.

The two Babajis sang as they proceeded, and the beauty of the surrounding area appeared as if Prakritidevi was joyfully smiling from hearing their songs. It was the end of spring and a vernal south breeze was softly blowing. The sun—king of the twice-born and lord of the lotus—appeared to shine brightly on the two Vaishnavas, but was actually showering them with nectar. Yamunadevi, the daughter of the sun, being enamored by hearing the glorification of Hari, kept time by producing sweet sounds. The leaves of the tall deodar trees were beautifully rustling in the wind, flapping like flags in Lord Hari's sankirtana party. The two Babajis jumped high as they danced on the way. They were so absorbed in kirtana that they didn't notice how the sweet night turned into morning. When they stopped their chanting and dancing, they saw the sun glorifying the east as it rose to the side of Govardhana.

Completing their morning duties a short distance from Govardhana, they entered Pandita dasa Babaji's cave before midday.