|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Divine Name Haridasa > 06 The Kazi|
HARIDAS THAKUR AND THE KAZI
FOR sometime Thakur Haridas lived at Fulia, a village situated on the banks of the river Ganges, midway between Ranaghat and Santipur, in the district of Nadia, West Bengal. Fulia was very near to Santipur, where Shri Advaita Acharya was residing. Haridas Thakur was delighted beyond measure to have the company of Advaita Acharya. Saturated with ineffable joy, he spent his days in chanting the Name of the Lord. Unattached to the mundane objects and undis¬turbed by the ups and downs of the transitory world, he was swim¬ming in the Ocean of Transcendental Bliss.
Loudly uttering the Name 'Shri Krishna', Haridas Thakur frequently roamed on the banks of the river Ganges with great joy. Having no attachment to the fleeting pleasures of the world, he was the best of the ascetics. He never refrained from uttering the Holy Name even for a moment. By the influence of the higher qualities of Bhakti, he experienced vari¬ous moods. He danced, sang, wept, laughed, rolled on the ground; in snort, he had all over his body, signs of spiritual perturbations of Divine Rapture that a highly advanced devotee of Shri Krishna would experience. The moment Haridas Thakur started dancing, all the above signs of loving devotion made their appearance on his body. O! What a wonderful overflow of spiritual bliss! It drenched every limb P/his, the sight of which transported even the worst of atheists with joy. These wonderful and uncommon signs of devotion that were visible on the charming person of Haridas Thakur, impressed be¬yond measure even great gods like Siva and Brahma, not to speak of others. All the Brahmin inhabitants of the village were highly im¬pressed by his marvellous achievements in the field of devotion. Most of them accepted him as a great saint. Haridas Thakur continued to stay there. After taking his bath in the Ganges and incessantly chant¬ing the holy Name loudly, he roamed about .freely in all the sur¬rounding places near about.
This action of Thakur Haridas was not well appreciated by a certain section of the Brahmins and more especially the Muslim popu¬lation there. They joined in opposition and took exception even to this most harmless and highly beneficial action of Haridas Thakur. To the Hindus and the Muslim opponents, it was a grave violation of the social custom. All these people regarded religion as a bundle of narrow dogmas and queer restrictions.
On the western side of Bhagirathi (Ganges) lay the township of Ambua. A Nawab (Governor), a Powerful royal officer-in-charge of the administration of the town and sourrounding villages was having his headquarters there. The Brahmin opponents of Haridas Thakur, who had in them a deep rooted enmity towards the devotees of the Lord, conspired with the local Mus¬lims and came to a unanimous agreement to punish Haridas Thakur for creating social disorder. The matter was reported to the Kazi, the Muslim priest as well as the local administrator, who after making a thorough investigation of the whole case, decided to bring the matter to the notice of his superior officer, the Governor at Ambua. Accord¬ingly, the Kazi himself went to the Governor and apprised him of the whole case and requested him to punish Haridas Thakur in a fitting manner for his guilt of changing his religion from Islam to Hindu¬ism.
The Governor too was not a broad-minded man. He was also a cruel-hearted person. Forthwith he issued orders to arrest Haridas Thakur. Within a short period, Haridas Thakur was produced before him. By the causeless Mercy of Shri Krishna, Haridas Thakur was not afraid of death even, not to speak of the Muslim Governor and his wicked advisers. The virtuous and devoted inhabitants of Fulia felt immoderate sorrow at this most unwise action of the Government authorites in imprisoning a great saint, such as Haridas Thakur and depriving them of his happy and inspiring company.
Without the least hesitation, the cruel Governor cast him into a prison like an ordinary felon. There were at that time many others imprisoned. As soon as the arrest of Thakur Haridas reached their ears, they experienced a
great joy from the bottom of their hearts. They thought, that since Haridas Thakur being a devo¬tee of the highest order, his mere glimpse would bring to an end the miseries of their present prisoner's life. Hence, all of them requested their warders to afford them an opportunity to have a glance of the great devotee when he passed their quarters. After a short period he came to the very place where all of them were eagerly expecting him. Haridas Thakur was greatly moved in his heart to see them all in such earnestness. His soft and compassionate heart yielded to those convicts. He silently showered his blessings on them. The personality of Haridas Thakur impressed them deeply. His hands extended as far as his knees, a rare sign in any ordinary mortal; his moonlike face with eyes similar to lotus petals added to the charm of his matchless appearance. The very sight of the most handsome and revered personality of Thakur Haridas made all the prisoners present there to bow down with a natural impulse of regard and devotion. Their feelings had their consequent results. Sincere longings even of a momentary nature can never be a failure. The sweet wishes of Haridas Thakur were not in vain. All of them felt in their hearts a flash of unparalleled joy which brought in them a great change in the form of loving devotion to Shri Krishna. Haridas Thakur noticing the circumstances in the midst of which they were for the moment, blessed them smilingly thus:- "God bless you! May you all continue to re¬main for ever as you are at present." Those poor prisoners felt utterly disappointed at the words of Haridas Thakur from whom they were expecting a blessing that would surely save them from the fetters of 1 life.yes, they totally failed t0 grasp hls kind inten-could not catch the meaning underlying the expression of his. Find¬ing that all of them were disheartened by misunderstanding his words, he made haste to explain the hidden meaning of his-expressions. He said, "I suppose you all feel miserably disappointed over my words of blessings which I used just now. You have utterly misunderstood the real meaning of my words. I never bless anybody in a way that would bring mishap to him. If you just try to think deeper, you will surely be convinced of my intention. Do not feel sorry over my words. Let the minds of all of you remain absorbed in Shri Krishna as is your state at present This attitude that you are fortunate to have in you now, is highly beneficial to you. May you all from this moment jointly chant the Name of Shri Krishna and think of Him constantly. At present, the minds of all of you are entirely free from any evil thought of malice, oppression to other fellowbeings and such other vices. Medi¬tate on Shri Krishna incessantly, taking His Name in all humility. If you plunge into the material world once again, you are sure toforeget Him by the influence of evil company. True love for Shri Krishna is unattainable by one who is deeply absorbed in worldliness or who is in the company of the worldly-minded. Shri Krishna is farther than the farthest star in the heavens to one who is madly hunting after life's transitory pleasures. But to one who has completely surren¬dered his all to Him and who seeks earnestly to love Him, 'He is closer to him than his very breath, nearer than hands and feet'. A mind that is engrossed in enjoying mundane objects is the worst im¬pediment towards God-realisation. As long as there is present in you an iota of desire to satisfy the cravings of your material senses, so long the chances of attaining devotion to the Feet of Shri Krishna remain slender.
The service of Shri Krishna and that of the objects of sense-en¬joyments are the extreme opposite poles. A 'forgotten soul' who has in him no leanings towards the service of the Supreme Lord, wastes. his valuable time on worldly topics. Time and tide wait for no man'. With an unimaginable speed, time fleets fast. If by the causeless Mercy of the Supreme Lord, one is fortunate enough to get the company of pure devotees at this stage, he will be extricated from this whirlpool of worldliness, and a tendency to the service of Bhagavan will be infused in him. "All those offences from which you are free at present, will once again make you a target for their attacks when you mix with the people of this world. That is the invariable nature of the world and its relationship. Understand this as the substance of all that I wished to convey to you. You could not grasp it, and you mis¬understood me. I never desired that you should continue to remain in this prison for life, nor did I bless you to that purpose. Forget this transitory world and its fleeting pleasures and constantly utter the Sweet Name of Shri Krishna. May you all be blessed with unflinching devotion to Shri Krishna." After delivering a soul-stirring sermon and showering his blessings on all those prisoners present there, Haridas Thakur reached the Governor.
The Governor had taken Haridas Thakur to be an ordinary man;but when he saw his impressive figure and striking personality, he had to change his view,. He offered him a seat with greatrespect the Governor asked him in
a familiar tone, "Brother! What is wrong with you? How are you given to this peculiar dispo¬sition? It goes without saying that of all the com¬munities in the world, the Muslim community is the best, you are extremely fortunate to have taken birth in a noble community. Why then are you given to the practices of Hindus who are socially our inferiors? You have transgressed the religion of your race and adopted other methods of conduct in your life. By such improper behaviour in the present life, how can you expect deliverance in the next world? For the misdeeds you have already committed out of ignorance, you are guilty of grave sins. 'It is no use crying over spilt milk'. Try to free yourself from the sin that you have incurred. I shall give you a bit of advice that would save you from your present critical situation. Utter the 'Kalma' of our noble faith and get reinitiated into our reli¬gion and that will be the end of the whole trouble. I am of the firm opinion that it is the only solution to meet the situation."
ishvarah sarva-bhutaanaam hrid-deshe ’rjuna tishthati,
bhraamayan sarva-bhutaani yantraarudhaani maayayaa..101
On hearing the words of the Governor, infatuated by the delud¬ing energy (Maya) of Godhead, Haridas Thakur could not suppress laughter. He was greatly astonished over the wonderful skill of Maya in deluding unlucky souls about the true knowledge of the Lord and His eternal religion. He burst out amidst laughter: "Wonderful is the
illusory power of Shri Vishnu!" And continued in sweet words. "Listen, dear sir! God is One for all. He-is the One
Eternal Object of worship without a second, for all Hindus or Muslims. For young and old, Hindu and non-Hindu, for man and woman, He and He alone is the Supreme Godhead. Those ignorant Hindus and Muslims, who have no knowledge about the true nature of Godhead, are solely responsible for these unpleasant rivalries in religion. They create separate gods, lay the foundation for unnecessary foolish quarrels, which lead to unfortunate develop¬ments of bitterness amongst the members of both the sections. If you can forget all these petty, narrow, begotted, and fanatic feelings for awhile and try to understand with an impartial mind, the real Truth, by holding both the Puranas of the Hindus and the Koran of the Mus¬lims as sound authorities in judging such matters, then and then alone we will be in a position to understand that they speak of the same Truth. Both the Puranas and the Koran remarkably agree on this is¬sue. It is the self-same eternal entity, the Embodiment of Perfection, the Indivisible Truth, the Supreme Lord, the Indestructible by nature that resides in the hearts of one and all. The inhabitants of all the worlds function in accordance with the guidance which the same Supreme Lord instills in their minds. "O Arjun! The Supreme Lord is directing all Jivas like toys wire-pulled by a machine from behind,by His external potency Maya and dwells as the Indwelling Monitor in the hearts of all jivas."101
The Name and Glories of the same Lord are sung by all people in every part of the world according to the declaration of their re¬spective scriptures. But, the same Godhead accepts the inner mo¬tives underlying the actions of all persons. Any act of contempt against any of His creatures is verily a contempt shown against Himself. Hence, it is not advisable to show any hatred towards any of the creations of the Almighty Lord. By forcibly making one denounce his natural feelings and thrusting upon him the narrow views of an other, great injustice is done to all other religions of the world which, again, is a gross contempt of the Supreme Lord, the One Object of worship of all these different schools of thoughts. Often we confuse the words 'service' and 'contempt' of the Lord. People, forgetting the love of Godhead, become the slaves to many creeds and practices in this world. Arresting their present courses of action, which are really detrimental to their everlasting good, is not to be confused as con¬tempt for any religion or disregard to Godhead Himself. On the con¬trary, if instead of enlightening them with proper religious Truths and turning their mental disposition towards the Eternal Service of the Lord, any work is offered to them that engrosses them all the more in material environments and finally ends in their total perdi¬tion, it is not a sign of any kindness to them. In fact, it is a great injustice done to them. Such actions, though they outwardly appear as kindness and sympathy, are to be completely avoided.
teshaam satata-yuktaanaam bhajataam priti-purvakam,
dadaami buddhi-yogam tam yena maam upayaanti te..102
Hence, I am acting in the way, the Lord has been pleased to guide my mind. The progress of a soul in the service of the Lord, entirely depends upon the causeless Mercy of the Lord Himself. We advance only to that extent, to which He permits us to proceed. "Those who worship Me with a loving heart, and are ever intent on communion with Me, are endowed by Me with such unmixed love, born of pure intelligence, as enables them to attain My Blissful Abode."102
If a Brahmin, discarding his riligion, embraces the faith of Islam, how do you account for it? How can you check these hap¬penings'? The deeds of every person are his own concern. Influenced by certain instincts, beings perform actions in this world. Those ac¬tions themselves, pay them in their own coin since actions have al¬ways their reactions accompanying them. There is no further neces¬sity, of imposing special punishment on them. What is the good of killing one, who has already committed suicide? 'As you sow, so you must reap'. Good sir! Please judge my case now. If you still feel that I am guilty of any offence, you can punish me.
There was a big gathering present to hear this peculiar case. All the Muslims gathered there, were highly satisfied by the genuine words of Haridas Thakur. All religions of the world, have many ideas common in them, that can impress the followers of any religion. When we undergo a careful study of all religions, we come across two important aspects in them, viz.,the 'generic' and the 'specific'. The generic teach-ings of all religions of the world are more or less of a similar nature. But, the entire difference and rivalry arise when we expound religion in the 'specific way'. The specific study of any religion, clearly deals with all the intrinsic, and subtle problems in a profound sense. As Haridas Thakur did not go, deeply into the specific aspects, of the belief he was following, he could easily im¬press the common Truths, of religion even upon the Muslim audi¬ence.
dharmam tu saakshaad bhagavat-pranitam na vai vidur rishayo naapi devaah,
na siddha-mukhyaa asuraa manushyaah kuto nu vidyaadhara-caaranaadayah..103
ved0sch srurhameba vedantakrudedabeedeva chahum..104
In fact, our noble religion 'Sanatan Dharma', inculcated by the Supreme Lord Himself, on the strong foundations of the infalliable scriptures, has marvellous features in it. all the religions of the world, can be easily and beautifully accommodated into it. The various view of the different schools of thoughts, do find a meeting ground, in this eternal religion, known as 'Hinduism'. It is splendidly rich in philosophical achievements, and highly advanced theological realisations, which are reinforced with inspiring rules of social and moral principles, in the day to day life of mankind. This religion claims its origin in the Eternal Lord Himself. "It is not founded by Rishis or Yogis, Jnanis or Karmis-no, not even by celestial beings. Bhagavan Himself is its Founder."103
He expresses in the Gita, "I am the One to be known in the Vedas and It is I Who am the Author of the Vedanta and the Knower of it as well."104
As it originates from Bhagavan, it is known by the name 'Bhagavata Dharma'. Its jurisdiction is very vast. It is a veritable repository of different creeds. As such, it claims the widest range, beginning from the lowest stage, of dedication of all actions, to the highest attainments of Transcendental Love. It also provides its fol¬lowers with realisations of all the different aspects of the Absolute Reality,.
Though Haridas Thakur, could win the hearts of all the persons,present there by his lucid exposition of Truth, he could not convince the sinful Kazi. He possessed an adamantine heart, with no particle of human kindness in it.
He said to the Governor, "Let him be punished.This wicked person will mislead many others,and ruin their lives. Denouncing our noble reli¬gion, the ideal that he has now set up, i.e., establishing the promi¬nence of Hindu religion, will unfailingly pave the path, for many others in the near furture, to follow in his footsteps. This will bring total discredit upon the Muslim race. Hence, in order to remove such a slur on our society, Haridas must be severely punished. If not, let Haridas Thakur repent for his sinful deeds, accept his guilt, and fol¬low the sublime Muslim scriptures." Kazi is a religious authority, and hence, his words could not be ignored. So, once again on the appeal of the Kazi, the Governor spoke to Haridas Thakur. "Dear brother! Give up the practices of Hindus, and come back once again to our fold, recite our own scriptures, and be relieved of all these unnecessary worries. This is the only alternative for you now, if not, all the Kazis together, will impose heavy punishment upon you. Once again I warn you. In the long run, you will have to repeat our scrip¬tures. Why should you suffer unnecessarily?"
khand khand hai deha yaay yadee prana
tabu avee vadne chadee hari nam..105
Haridas Thakur, was more firm in his faith and convictions, than all of them put together in theirs. Neither the suggestions, nor the threatening attempts of the Governor, or the Kazis could make any change, in the firm atti-
tude of Thakur Haridas. He said, "None can go against the wishes of the Almighty Lord. What¬ever the Lord wills one to do, he does the same. There is no power on the infinite number of worlds, that can revolt against God's Will. Be rest assured, that the fruits of one's actions, are befittingly rewarded by the ever just hands of God. The punish¬ment for the various offences, committed by ourselves are awarded by the same Almighty Lord. 'Thy will be done'. "Even if my body is cut to pieces, and my soul leaves the body, I will not give up chant¬ing of Shri Hari Nama."105
What a brilliant example of firm determination, and a noble ideal, of extraordinary will power! For every aspirant marching to¬wards God-realisation, this example of Haridas Thakur, is like a guid¬ing star. Anything that is genuine tending to our eternal good, is of¬ten beset with obstacles of obstinate nature. Unless the aspirant is firmly disposed to meet every hindrance, that occurs in his path, his progress becomes impeded, and disappointment only is in store for him. He must be prepared to face, any of these emergencies, with a cool brain. A firm determination, coupled with patience, that stands any test, can sterm all the onslaughts, that are aimed, against our attempts. There is a wise proverb, which is worth recollecting al¬ways, 'Patience and perserverance will overcome mountains'. These two qualifications, aid his cause to a degree, that is beyond words. One of the four qualifications, mentioned by Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, for the constant chanting of the Holy Name is endur¬ance greater than that of a tree. Let these words of Haridas Thakur, ring always in his ears. Let them be branded on his brain. Let, them make deep, and permanent impressions, in his weak heart, so that by following in his footsteps, and through his causeless mercy, he also can get strength, to face all such obstacles on his religious path, with courage, and attain succcess in reaching his goal.
The words of Haridas Thakur, were like piercing shafts, released from a powerful bow. Everyone, there, was taken by great surprise. The Governor felt frustrated in dissuad-ing Thakur Haridas. Noticing, the strong re-
solve of Haridas Thakur, he ased the Kazis,"What is your next move?" The wicked Kazis replied, "Let him be whipped in all the twenty-two streets of the town. That alone would open his eyes. He will understand the result of his sin, committed by taking the Name of Hindu God. Take out his life and have no consideration for him. If he continues to survive even after severe whippings, in all the twenty-two streets, then we shall believe the statement of Haridas Thakur. If he succumbs to the whippings, we are satisfied, that he is severely punished, for his grave offence."
On the advice of the Kazis, the Governor ordered his men in a loud voice. "Whip him in all the twenty- two streets of the town. Execute your work, in such a way, that he should not survive. Being born as a Muslim, he practises Hindusim. Deliverance from such a sin, is possible only, at the heavy cost of his life itself." By the orders of the Kazis, and the Governor, a group of wicked men-nay brutes-caught hold of Haridas Thakur. They whipped him mercilessly, from street to street. Haridas Thakur meditated, on the blessed Name 'Krishna' continuously.
Deeply absorbed in the incomparable joy of Shri Krishna-Nama, Haridas Thakur did not feel, what was happening to him. He never felt any physical pain at all. The good and pious people of the town, were shocked at the sight of this heinous work. They felt greatly grieved at heart. But, what could they do? Some said, "The whole country is doomed, on account of this crime of torturing a saint, like Haridas Thakur." Some fired a round of curses on the Ruler, whereas, some did not hesitate to organise even a regular riot. Some fell at the feet, of those wicked ruffians, in charge of whipping Haridas Thakur, and offered tempting bribes, thinking that, such offers might soften their hearts, and make them desist from such severe beatings. These actions of the people, did not melt the stony-hearts of those cruel servants, of the wicked Governor. Without the least pity, they ex¬ecuted the order entrusted to them. They appeared as it were a sepa¬rate creation, in whom the softness of the human hearts was utterly absent. By the continued executions of such orders, they were ren¬dered absolutely devoid of any feelings in them. Above all, the strict orders of their master, urged them still more to the work. By the causeless Mercy or Shri Krishna, Haridas Thakur did not feel the slight-es' pain, in spite of such inhuman punishment.
Just as in the days of yore, the various tortures peipetrated by lr*e Asuras, under the orders of Hiranyakasipu, on the person of the great Prahlada, proved an utter failure, even so, the continuous and pernicious whipping of those wicked ruffians, did not do any harm to Thakur Haridas. This extraordinary endurance, is the innate virtue of genuine Bhaktas. They remain so much intoxicated, in the eter¬nal service of the Supreme Lord, that they never feel the pains and sorrows of the various harassments, inlicted on them, by the demo¬niac elements of the material world. As one of the qualifications, for constantly chanting Shri Hari-Nama, we have already seen, that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has asked us to be more enduring than even a tree. If the devotees in daily life, get easily upset, and intolerant by the external events, their progress towards the goal is hampered. Of¬ten we see in this-world, that the sincere exponents of Truth, are persecuted for no faults of thier own. They have to face oppositions from a quantitative majority.
It is not that, only Haridas Thakur did not feel any mortal agony;but even those who remember with faith the great saint in such straits,can overcome their sufferings and calamities.Haridas Thakur was feeling sorry, for those in-
nocent persons, who were involved in this terrible crime. He repeatedly prayed to Bhagavan Shri Krishna, to shower His blessings on those innocent Jivas, and pardon them for all their offences. Such wishes, for the welfare of even one's enemies, could never come out from a selfish man of this world. None, except the magnanimous devotees of the ford, who are free from any prejudice can cherish such a wish. Men of the world are addicted to selfish pursuits. They always try to keep the other Jivas, in subjection to themselves, by exercis¬ing brute force over them. To achieve their selfish purposes, even the worst of the tyrants, do not change their cruel disposition. Even those, who appear to be apparently liberal, are keeping appearances, for their own purposes, and for earning a reputation in society.
All these people beat him severely, from street to street, They whipped him, with all the force they could muster to end his life. But to their extreme surprise, there was not even the least change ifl Haridas Thakur. He was oblivious of what was happening to his phys1' cal body, as he remained lost in Divine Bliss. He looked as lively
and cheerful as he was ever. They wondered over this fact again and again. They could not get a satisfactory clue to it. They thought with great astonishment amongst themselves. "Is it possible for any hu¬man being to stand such heavy beatings? Usually by the beating in two or three streets, men are killed. Whereas, we have beaten him with extreme severity, in all the twenty- two streets of the town. Let alone the idea of bringing death to him; it is wonderful that he laughs very often. As the people remark, is he actually some Pir (Muslim saint)?" Thus thinking, these wicked men said to Haridas Thakur. "Well, Haridas! You will be the cause of our destruction. It is indeed strange, that even such continuous, and vehement whippings, have not resulted in your death! We have beaten you to our utmost capac¬ity. We are now completely exhausted, and there is not more strength left in us. Still, we are threatened with a heavy punishment, if our beatings do not cause your death. Our superior authorities would not trust us. Kazis will certainly get enraged, and put us to death for our negligence in executing their orders."
On hearing these pitiable expressions of those people, Haridas Thakur said with a smile. "If by my survival any ill-luck befalls you even after your continuous beating me for long, I am the last person to wish it. Hence, in order to prevent such a calamity, and in your best interest, I shall give up my life now itself. You need not have the least doubt about it; you may witness it now." So saying, Haridas Thakur engaged himself in deep concentration of the Supreme Lord. It did not take much time, for him to lose world-consciousness. Within the next few moments, the great Haridas Thakur became absolutely motionless. There was no sign of life on any part of the body. Those ruffians, were greatly surprised at this sudden change, in Haridas Thakur. How could those unlucky sinners know about the superhu¬man powers of Haridas Thakur? They took him to be dead. They bore his body and laid it down at the door-steps of the Governor's residence. The Governor immediately ordered them to remove his body for burial.
Even to this order, as to the disposal of the body, the cruel Kazi had his own opposition. He had his own explanation, which was purely based on his religious belief. He said, "If his body is buried after death, he is sure to attain salvation. In spite of his birth in a high family, and in a superior faith he was used to mean acts. Hence, he must be properly made, to pay for the unpardonable sin he has com¬mitted." According to the religious belief of this brute of a Kazi, if the body of such a person is buried, he attains everlasting good, whereas, if it is thrown in the Ganges, he will suffer endless miser¬ies.
This evil-minded Kazi, who was supposed to be an authority in matters concerning religion, had now exposed his heart, to a greater extent than before. He was determined to wreak vengeance on Haridas Thakur even after his death. He wished him to take birth continu¬ously amongst the Hindus, and to suffer heavily in all his births, as a penalty for taking the Name of Hindu God,
sa tat-kara-sparsha-dhutaakhilaashubhah sapady abhivyakta-paraatma-darshanah,
tat-paada-padmam hridi nirvrito dadhau hrishyat-tanuh klinna-hrid-ashru-locanah.
astaushid dharim ekaagra-manasaa susamaahitah,
prema-gadgadayaa vaacaa tan-nyasta-hridayekshanah..106
On the instructions of the Kazi, his employees lifted the body of Haridas Thakur, to be thrown into the Ganges. During this time Haridas Thakur, was deeply absorbed in the meditation of Shri Krishna, and tasting the ineffable joy arising from it. His body became so heavy that they could not move it, in spite of their great efforts. The Divine Lord, in Whose contemplation, Haridas Thakur, remained thus absorbed made, a special Descent into his body. The appearance of the All-Powerful Lord, the Upholder of the infinite number of worlds, into the body of Thakur Haridas, made it unbearably heavy. Haridas Thakur himself, was floating in the eddies of the Nectarine Ocean of Divine Bliss. He was totally absorbed in his meditation, and as such, he was free from any gross feelings. He did not know where he was, whether he was in the air, on the bare earth, or in the flowing waters of the sacred Ganges. The devotion exhibited by the great Prahlada in days of hoary antiquity, by meditation on Shri Krishna, is the only illustration, that can be adduced with reference to this particular in¬cident. Shrimad Bhagavata states, that Prahlada had in him, a natural instinct for devotion to Bhagavan Shri Vasudev. He never used to waste his time in boyish games, as other boys of his age. By giving up all such useless sports, he used to engage himself single-mindedly in the meditation of Shri Krishna. By the effect of such meditation, be became saturated with the incessant flow of the Lord's contempla¬tion, and as a result was absolutely unconscious of the physical world.
His routine work, such as taking food, walking, sleeping, drinking water, etc. went on undisturbed like the movements of an automation.106"
brahma astra tohee sandho kapee mana kinh beechara,
jon na brahmaswar manaon maheema meehai apar..107
A similar incident from me Ramayana can be narrated here. When Indrajita, the son of Ravana, could not catch Hanuman, he aimed the infallible Brahmastra at the latter by which he (Hanuman) fell down stunned and submitted himself to the blow to show his due respect to it.107
In the same manner, Haridas Thakur, too, received the whip¬pings of these wicked people, for setting a living example of the highest order of tolerance before the world. Haridas Thakur proves in action what he has already once spoken to the Governor and Kazi with great emphasis. "If I am to face Himalayan hardships and if my body is chopped off, and if life itself departs from my body, yet, I will not give up the chanting of Shri Hari's Name." The firm faith and the constant chanting of the Holy Name in the face of all risks, sacri¬fices, and hardships are the important teachings that Haridas Thakur, out of his overflowing kindness, leaves to the world. Otherwise, is it possible for any one, in all the worlds, even in dream, to harm Haridas Thakur, whose Protector is none else than Govinda, the Supreme Lord Himself? All the suffering of humanity come to an end, by mere recollection of Thakur Haridas. Hence, how can any one think of offending him?
Even after a regular struggle to lift the body of Haridas Thakur, by the strongest of the employees, they could not succeed. Later on, the Lord willed Haridas Thakur to allow himself to be thrown by them in the sacred Ganges. He floatd in the flowing stream. By the Divine Will, he regained his consciousness soon. Saturated with in¬comparable joy, he came ashore, and chanting loudly as usual, the Name of Shri Krishna he came to Fulia once again.
All the Muslim inhabitants of the place were highly impressed by the marvellous powers of Haridas Thakur. They realised his great¬ness They were freed from all malice. Their hearts were purified. They regarded him as a great Pir. They bowed down to him in all humility. By the unaccountable mercy of Haridas Thakur, all the Muslims there got deliverance.
Haridas Thakur, who was all along in a mood of divine rapture,got back his external consciousness in a short while. On receipt of information from the local public, the Governor himself hastened to the presence of Haridas
Thakur to have his sight. The merciful and great Haridas Thakur did not look down upon the Governor and he had no idea to avenge himself for all the atrocities perpetrated by the Governor. He received the Governor with a merciful and smiling glance. This charming and uncommon behaviour of Haridas Thakur penetrated deep into the innermost chamber of the Governor's heart. It left a permanent im¬pression on him, unchangeable for lives to come. With all sense of reverence and with folded hands, the Governor humbly uttered thus:-"Verily, indeed, I am now thoroughly convinced that you are a Pir. You have really realised the knowledge of the One and it is well proved beyond any doubt. The large host of Yogis and Jnanis only made a false claim by their high sounding words, but you have firmly attained it through incomparable joy of Lord's meditation. I have come over here to obtain a sight of you. O high-souled one! Forget and forgive all my offences. Everyone is equal in your view; you have neither a friend nor a foe. There is none in all the three worlds who can understand you in your essential nature. You may freely move any where at your sweet will. You are at perfect liberty to do so. You may continue to stay at your solitary cell on the banks of the Ganges. Have your own choice, stay wherever you like, and do what¬ever that pleases you. Nothing worldly can bind you."
The glory of Haridas Thakur is indescribable. Not to speak of those good natured inhabitants, the hard-hearted and prejudiced Muslims themselves forgot all their bitter feelings towards him by his mere sight. What a miraculous change? With burning wrath they brought him to the Governor to take out his very life, but lo! the marvel of marvels! His extraordinary patience and implicit faith in Godhead brought about a wonderful change in them, particularly in the Governor. He saw in Haridas Thakur a true messenger of Godhead. The wicked man repented for all his offences and without the least hesitation requested pardon for all his evil deeds. All fell at his feet, recognising him as a great Pir. In spite of the severe persecution, the magnanimous Thakur Haridas blessed all those Muslims.
Thakur Haridas now returned peacefully to Fulia. Loudly chanting the Name of Shri Hari, He arrived at the assembly of the Brahmins. They gave him a hearty reception. They were extremelyjoyful to have once again thakur
Haridas in their midst. They greeted the occasion with loud shouting of Shri Hari-Nama with inexpressible delight. Haridas Thakur danced with indescribable delight. Marvellous signs of spiritual perturba¬tions manifested on his body. Tears, shivering, laughter, swooning, hair standing on end, etc., were distinctly visible on him. Intoxicated with Divine Love he now and then fell and rolled on the ground. Witnessing these wonderful signs of Transcendental Love, all those assembled there were lost in an ocean of unbounded joy. After awhile Haridas Thakur slowly composed himself and took up his seat. All the Brahmins sat around him with eagerness. Haridas Thakur was overcome by a feeling of utter humility for which he justly repented and said thus:- "O Brahmins! Please listen. I have reaped the conse¬quences of my evil actions, in the form of hearing the blasphemies against the Lord, Who out of His causeless Mercy, punished me very lightly. I must consider myself very fortunate indeed to be thus par¬doned by Him with a very mild punishment. One who hears the vili¬fication of Shri Vishnu has to undergo endless sufferings in the infer¬nal hell known as the 'Kumbhipak'. I have with my sinful ears heard much of impious talks. I have borne enough of mental tortures as Punishment, lest i should repeat such conduct in future."
By thus giving instructive piece of advice, Haridas Thakur con¬soled all the Brahmins present there, and performed with great joy tne chanting of Shri Hari-Nama in their company. All those wicked people who had persecuted him were ruined in a short time with all their families.
Haridas Thakur lived in a solitary cell, on the banks of the river Ganges, constantly uttering Shri 'Krishna', 'Krishna', he chanted three lacs of the Holy Name daily. The cave was a veritable Vaikuntha itself to him. A huge ser-pent also lived in the same cave. All the visitors to the cave suspected its presence by the un-
usual burning sensation prevailing there. No liv¬ing being could stand the burning sensation, created by its poison. Haridas Thakur had a good many visitors everyday. None of them could bear the influence of this poison, and remain there even for a short while. But to their great surprise, they noticed Haridas Thakur quite ignorant of this. All the Brahmins put together their heads and discussed among themselves. "Why is there so much of burning sen¬sation in this cave of Haridas Thakur?" There lived at Fulia many physicians who were adepts in the treatment of snakebites. On re¬ceiving information from others, they came and diagnosed the real cause of the burning sensation. Till the arrival of these physicians, none was in a position to locate definitely, the origin of such a burn¬ing sensation. One of them said, "Just beneath this cave there is an extremely poisonous serpent. I am sure, it is its burning poisonous breath that is making impossible for any being to live in the cave. May Haridas Thakur forthwith shift from here to some other place. It is never advisable, to live in the company of a serpent, which is al¬ways cruel by nature. Let us all go to him and earnestly request him, to leave the cave without any further delay." As suggested by the physicians, all of them approached Haridas Thakur, apprised him of all the facts, and appealed to him to abandon it, and move to some other safer place.
tam mopayaatam pratiyantu vipraa gangaa ca devi dhrita-cittam ishe,
dvijopashrishtah kuhakas takshako vaa dashatv alam gaayata vishnu-gaathaah..108
On hearing the suggestions and requests of the Brahmins, and the expert physicians, Haridas Thakur replied, "I have been here for many days. So far 1 have neither felt in the cave, the presence of any poisonous nor burning sensation. But 1 feel sorry that you feel it and its unbearable burning. So I shall leave this place tomorrow,, to some other place according to your suggestion. To be franck with you, I personally do not feel the least inconvenience. But since all of you, are very interested in my safety, I must certainly satisfy you. If really there dwells in the cave a huge venomous serpent, as narrated by you all, and if it does not leave the place by tomorrow, then by all means, I shall quit this cave. It is sure that, either I, or the serpent, should leave this place tomorrow. Anyhow you need not be anxious. Avoid all these fears and let us have our discourses on Shri Krishna. "Let ail the Brahmins met here, as well as the goddess Ganga herself take me to be a devotee, with my mind fixed on the Supreme Lord. Let the cheat of a Takshak bite me at his will, to fulfil the curse of Shringi. I only request you to sing the Divine Glories and Excellences of Bhagavan Shri Krishna."108
As they were thus engaged in discourses on the Transcendental Sports and Qualities of Shri Krishna, a most wonderful event took place there. On hearing the words that Haridas Thakur would leave the place, a huge serpent came out of its hole. In the presence of all others, it slowly went away elsewhere. All who sat there uttered the Name of Shri Krishna out of great fear. On the departure of this dread¬ful serpent, all of them were filled with boundless joy. They were now completely relieved of all their anxieties, and fears due to the presence of the serpent there. The people assembled there could not at all feel any burning sensation. Overwhelmed with wonder at the marvellous power of Haridas Thakur, the Brahmins there, became very much devoted to him. People who are wicked by nature and who feel great pleasure in harming other beings, are apt to fall vic¬tims to the cruelty of snakes, etc., or the ferocious nature of other wild animals. But even serpents, cruel by nature, do not harm Mahabhagavatas like Haridas Thakur; why, they even readily obey all their orders. This incident is an excellent example that illustrates our case. This is actually a very insignificant proof of the powers present in Haridas Thakur. By his mere kind glance the bondage of ignorance leaves the soul. Even the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna never opposes the words of Haridas Thakur