As I mentioned in my previous post I had lost internet connectivity for nearly 24 hours so the date of this post is off by a day. Yesterday was the tirobhav of Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi, a close disciple of Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev. She was an upasaka of sakhi-bhava and an intimate companion of Lalita Sakhi Dasi (Sakhi Ma). She attained siddhi at a very early age There is a chapter about her in carita-sudhA titled, “sakhi kizorI dAsIra bibaraNa” in the SaSTha khaNDa which gives a brief account of her life and I will reproduce it here for the pleasure of the Vaisnavas and in hope of receiving the kripa of Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi.
One day, when Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev was staying in the Agaraparha Garden in Calcutta he suddenly spit up some blood while washing his mouth in the morning. This made his companions anxious about his health. They said, “What could this be due to? Does it indicate some disease?” Baba Mahasaya replied, “This is due to some sorrowful happening in Puri.” Then he went and lay in his room and covered himself with a cadara from head to feet. After half an hour he uttered, “Kishori!” Then again he was quiet.
At about 10:30 AM he got up and said to someone, “I will go to Puri today, inform Pulin.” He had hardly said this when Pulin came with a telegram in his hand. He said, “What news Pulin?” Seeing that Pulin was hesitant in replying he said, “I know that on the day following Radhastami, Radharani accepted Kishori Dasi. She is blest. Arrange for my journey to Puri, I shall go today.”
The news spread in Agaraparha that Baba Mahasaya had suddenly decided to go to Puri. Many people came to inquire the reason for his sudden departure.
Baba Mahasaya replied, “Sometime ago a twenty year old boy named Advaita Das took mantra from me and went to Braja. After seeing all the holy places connected with the lila of Sri Krishna, he went to Barsana. There he lived with vairagya and swept the Sriji Mandir. He did not talk with anyone. In the evening he covered his head with his cadara and danced before the Sri Vigraha of Radharani. While dancing he often lost himself in bhava. The people of Barsana loved him very much because of his bhava-bhakti.
“One day Radharani asked him in a dream to dance before Her in gopi-vesh. He ignored this as a mere dream. After three days Radharani again appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘You did not dance as I had asked. Tomorrow I shall send you the dress of a gopi. You wear the the dress and dance before Me. Remember that is your siddha-vesa.’
“The next evening an old lady came with a sari and a blouse and said to him, ‘Baba, you dance before Radharani everyday. I like your dancing very much. I am giving you this sari and blouse so that you may wear them while dancing.’ He put on the sari and began to dance. Slowly he became so much attached to it that he could not give up wearing it. People began to call him Kishori Dasi. After one year he went to Puri and engaged himself in the service of Radhakanta Deva in Jhanjapita Math. Everyone was charmed by his bhava and loving service of the Thakurs. During the period of his service the Thakurs put on a new appearance. They looked so beautiful that sometimes I would wonder if They were the same Sri Vigrahas or not.”
“Radharani accepted him yesterday and engaged him in Her loving service in nitya-lila for all times. I am happy because of this, but I am sorry to have been deprived of his company because the very sight of him inspired Krishna-lila in my heart.
What follows is Lalita Sakhi Dasi describing the passing of Kishori Dasi:
Kishori: “Believe me, I feel that by Radharani’s grace and your blessings I shall leave this body tomorrow between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.”
Lalita: “I burst into tears and said, “Kishori! Will you really leave us all and go?”
Kishori: “Ma! By your blessings it appears that it will be so. You decorate me and send me to Braja happily. I am sorry I have to leave your sweet company and to go without having the darshan of Baba Mahasaya.”
Lalita: “As she said this she threw her arms around my neck and began to cry like a child. After some time she contained herself and asked for some mahaprasada. Kusuma Dasi brought Radhakanta’s and Jagannath Deva’s mahaprasada. With her own hand she put a little of the mahaprasada in the mouth of each of us and then she took our remnants.”
“The next day early in the morning we assembled around her and started kirtana. At 8:30 I saw the she was slowly sinking. According to her desire I uttered her siddha name in her ear. As soon as she heard her name she became radiant and a smile came to her face. I placed a garland of Mukundavilasa around her neck. Others decorated her by putting a vermillion mark on her forehead and alta on her feet. We were singing, ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaura Radhe Syama, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Rama.’ She started singing with us. Suddenly she shouted, ‘Radhe Pranesvari!’ and she became silent forever. Her face was still radiant with a smile and her eyes were wide open and fixed on some object. It appeared as if she was looking at something extremely astonishing and attractive when she took her last breath.”
As Lalita Sakhi Dasi concluded the story of Kishori Dasi’s entrance into the nitya-lila, she began to cry. Baba Mahasaya was moved to the core of his heart. He said with a voice choked with emotion and tears in his eyes, “Kishori Dasi has left an ideal for the upasakas of madhura-rasa.”