Sufi Mystics, Bhaktas, and
Yogis in India.
Sri Radha Madhava
Monday, February 03, 2014
Sankirtan Samraat Swami Mukund Hariji Maharaj of Bathinda & Hari Nikunj Ashram.
His Ashrama, Sri Hari Nikunj,in Bankey Bihari Basti was the first place I stayed in Vrindavan way back in 1971. At that time it was a delightful friendly little Ashram, where one was invited to stay by Maharajji himself, who was often there, though he had a lovely place in Bathinda, Punjab also. There was daily kirtan and puja, but most outstanding to me was that this small Ashram would daily prepare food and distribute it to more than 50 mahatmas, sanyasis, and sadhus,who calmly stood in a long line with their own containers to be filled. And last would be feed just anyone who wanted to eat! At least in those days there were three or four places in Vrindavan, this holy abode of Lord Krishna, that were "free kitchens" for sadhus and devotees of all kinds. I thought that was so beautiful! And I still do. Every day we would rush to have the 'Darshan' of these sadhus.
The first one always to be fed was a young Mauni Baba who would come, but only sit under the tree outside, and never even stood in the line. Years later we came to know this Bengali Baba as Swami Vimalananda Saraswatiji, a disciple of the renowned Swami Akhandananda saraswati. The Mahant, manager-sadhu, of the Ashram at that time was Sri Ladali Sharonji,from Punjab. All our time was spent in spiritual pursuits.
This was the address in Vrindavan left on all letters I had received from Baba Sripadji, that brought me to the ecstasy that is Sri Vrindavan. And the meeting of Swami Mukund Hariji, his kindness of magnificent Grace that manifested around him no matter the occasion, what to say of witnessing his amazing sankirtanas, that I always tape-recorded. Specially since Balyogiji Sripad Baba had given me a new portable tape-recorded(rare at the time)for this purpose.
One of the Greatest experiences of my life was at the Opening of the new Ashrama, when the entire 7 days of the Srimad Bhagavath Septha was completed with me sitting right up in front taping the whole thing, in the company of these wonderful saints. This was in the early 1970's. The inspired Speaker was Goswami Atul Krishnaji and the exalted Listener was Swami Mukunda Hariji. Baba Sripadji and countless saints and devotees were present for the Kathas and kirtana daily. The end result, which I was completely not expecting, is an ecstasy and vision far beyond words to describe!! So is the company and grace of the saints.
~*~ Hari Om ~*~