Varta 39 from 252 Vaishnavs
Mathuradas is a satvika bhakta. His lila name is Premvallari. In this world, Mathuradas was born in Gopalpur (Jatipura) into a Kshatriya family. When he was twenty, he had the association of another bhakta and after becoming Shri Gusainji's disciple he daily received his guru's darshan and his Shri Subodhini teachings in Gokul.
Once day while Shri Gusainji was sitting in his room with seven other bhaktas, Mathuradas respectfully sat down and asked his guru, "What is the difference between your following and the following of your father, Shri Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya?"
Shri Gusainji remained silent. A few days later when he came to visit Shri Gusainji again, the guru told, "You are no longer my disciple." Mathuradas, was filled with shame and returned home. From that day, everyone avoided him. For three days Mathuradas did not eat a thing. On the fourth day he decided to die. He wandered outside of town and passed the home of an elderly woman, a disciple of Shri Mahaprabhuji. "Before I die, I will greet this bhakta with Krishna's name."
As he entered her house he called out to her "Jai Shri Krishna" She was pleased to see him and with much bhava she offered him a seat, "Now I am very old and can not daily visit Shri Gusainji. But look, today Hari has showered His grace over me today by sending a bhakta to my house, uninvited. His mercy knows no bounds."
Know that God is happy with you when bhkatas come unexpected to your house. The old lady knew this truth. Surdas has also sung in this devotional mood
Know Krishna is pleased
When you see another bhakta.
Then your impurities are removed
And Hari's lila arrives in your heart
Overturning all other hankerings.
Suradas has definitely come to know
That is the moment when
Hari's form becomes illuminated.
When Mathuradas broke down sobbing, she querried, "Why are you so distraught?"
"Shri Gusainji renounced me. Now I have left all food and drink."
"Shri Gusainji is just a kid. He said something in a frivolous mood and you have taken it badly. Now get up and bath and then go for darshan. We will go together."
Arriving before Shri Gusainji, the guru immediately asked, "Mathurdas, I have not seen you for four days, Where did you go?"
When the elderly lady bhakta retold his story, Shri Gusainji explained, "I never renounced you."
As those words filled them with joy, Shri Gusainji addressed the assembly of bhaktas sitting there, "Now understand the way of Shri Mahaprabhuji's disciples."
Solid love rules Shri Acharya Mahaprabhu's following. In the Path of Grace, no one can ever be truly left. What can be said of Shri Mahaprabhuji's followers, Mathuradas was blessed by that woman and brought back to life.
Everyone sitting there was stunned. They all bowed to Shri Mahaprabhuji's elder disciple before she took Mathuradas back to her home for prasada. Through her intervention, Mathuradas came to understand Shri Gusainji's true form.
Mathuradas is a blessed vessel of his guru's grace. To what extent can we
tell of his story!
This story is so full of bhava, me and Shyamdas discussed it over the internet and here are some of our thoughts.
My thoughts :-
After considering and reconsidering what you have mentioned, a thought has occurred to me. A possible explanation of this varta is - the vaishnav thought of Shri Gusaiji as "son of Shri Vallabh" and not as Guru incarnate. As his bhava was "This is the balak of Shri Vallabh - and hence His views will probably be different to his father, let me find out the difference." As his bhava was that of "this is a child" - Shri Gusaiji reflected his bhava and behaved like a child ! In His childlike fashion, He said - "OK, I am not playing with you anymore !"
When the old lady found out, she realised the lila of Shri Gusaiji and requested the young man to return. This time he returned and saw Shri Gusaiji as his Guruji and hence the Acharya behaved as such - once again reflecting the bhava of His devotees. What he had said earlier was as a child at play and so that was not binding.
Children often say things one minute and than change their mind the next ! They live for the moment and never hold on to feelings of love or hate for too long. This is the essential nature of a balak - unattached (nirmoha) at best and fickle at worst !
Shri Gusaiji demonstrated this to the vaishnav and taught him that "If you look upon me as a balak, I will behave as one. Look upon me as your Guru and I will behave as one. Look upon me as your Lord God and I will reflect that view too. Like a mirror I will reflect your bhava of me."
The Lord too reflects the bhava of those who go un to Him. When the Lord entered the wrestling arena of Kansa, the mature men and women saw Him as their child, the young women saw Him as an ideal lover, the Vrajvasies saw Him as their friend, the oppressed of the town saw Him as their liberator, the wise and enlightened in the assembly saw Him as God incarnate and Kansa and his evil men saw Him as their Death !
In the Bhagvada Gita, the Lord says the same thing - I appear unto others as they expect to see me. ... I give them their dues according to their bhavas.
This, in my most humble opinion, is the secret reason/ meaning behind the word "svarup". The Lord simply reflects the bhava of those who come to Him - sva= own ; rupa= form. Bhakta sees his own bhavas and ideas reflected in the form of the Lord ! For the Lord is nirguna and is but a mirror of our own bhavas ! (please read the article on Svarupa)
Thoughts of Shyamdas :-
You know the Vallabh Kul are called Balaks, children. This woman bhakta, mature in every sense, knew Shri Gusainji svabhava, that he was a kid, a divine one that is who can do, not do and not do either doing or non doing.
The question Mathuradas poised was what are the difference between your followers and Shri Mahaprabhuji's, a sort of rude approach to the guru. Shri Gusainji remained silent. When SG renounced him, his followers would have nothing to do with him while Shri Mahaprabhuji's follower had total compassion for him, and hence in the bhava prakash it is mentioned that Shri Mahaprabhuji followers have solid love, maybe this was a teaching for the followers of SG who were sitting there.
Many ways to look at this almost strange varta. In the end, the bhava we worship with is what we get, as you have said, the Gita sloka is the essential siddhant here. Meanwhile, we should live in varta land, our lives should reflect the various teaching in
their own original way. for we too can be blessed ones living out our lila dreams and making them real, for Hari can appear even now, each path is unique and wonder-filled.
To refer to SG as a Kid was actually a praise, a demomstration of her natural love devoid of Mahatmyajnan, knowledge of HIs greatness, an obstruction to the higher states of bhakti....
The rest is grace
This was kindly translated by Shyamdas.
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