Alikhan and his daughter Pirajadi from Mahavan.
Varta 37 from 252 Vaishnavs
Alikan was born in Bachgam into a Kshatriya family. When his father moved to Delhi and became solider, he converted to Islam and called his son Alikan. When Alikan was twenty-five, his father passed away and the Emperor employed him as a tax collector. After getting married, Alikan had a daughter, Pirajadi. He was very fond of her.
They lived in a Hindu neighbourhood and when Parijadi was five, she played with a Krshna Deity. She would bath, adorn and feed her Krshna and then give the other bhakta children prasada. Her heart was set on Krshna.
Alikan moved to Mahavan, a town next to Gokul and was put in charge of the forest. He wandered the lands of Braja, and was pleased. He became so attached to the divine region that he issued an mandate, "Anyone who cuts the trees, branches or tears leaves off of any tree in the Vrindavan area will have their fingers broken." He protected the land of Braja.
One day Alikan saw a man selling oil. He noticed that his vase of oil was covered with fresh leaves. Alikan had the man brought before him. "From what tree did you get those leaves."
When the oil man showed him the tree, Alikan order him, "Pour all of your oil onto the roots of tree."
The oil man pleaded, "But sir, I did not know! Please forgive my mistake."
"Today I will let you keep your oil vase, but if I ever see you take even a single leave off of any tree, I will break your hands." Everyone feared Alikan.
One day, after eating lunch, Alikan took a nap and when he awoke he saw a gardener tearing some leaves from a tree and called out. "What are doing! Why are you taking these leaves?"
"These leaves are for a festive banner that will be hung in Shri Gusainji's home in Gokul.
Because you come from an exalted home, I will let you keep these leaves but from today onwards, for Shri Gusainji, you may take no more than ten leaves from any single tree."
Alikan then informed his guards, "Allow only this man to pluck leaves."
Alikan was a great guardian of Krshna's trees.
The Vrindavan trees are all divine. In the Padma Purana, while describing Braja it says,
"In Vrindavan, Krshna resides
In every tree holding a flute
In ever leaf
He appears with four arms."
The trees of Braja are all great bhaktas. For this reason you should never tear anything from the tree in Braja. But if something is picked for Shri Krshna seva, then there is no fault. Never take too much from any single tree. For seva we may request a small amount of leaves and flowers from each tree.
When Alikan daughter became a young girl, she asked her father, "Please make a temple for me to play in."
Alikan called a buildered and on an auspicious day, when the foundation was dug, a beautiful diety of Krshna was found underground. Alikan present the Krshna image to his daughter and she play with Him. She took care of Him just like she cared for herself. She bathed and adorned Him with cloth and jewels. She was very devoted and her love created absorption. She could not remain a single second without Him.
Shri Krshna knew of her longings. One night, after going to bed, Shri Krshna appeared to her in the middle of night. When she awoke and did not find him, she stayed up the entire night in deep reflection. When morning came, she vowed, "I will only get up when He gives me darshan again. If He does not give me darshan, I will die."
Shri Krshna could not withstand her distress and appeared before her. He awarded her the sight of the divine Shri Vrindavan and then told her, "Now get up and cook something for me. Its late and I'm very hungry!"
And so she did. Later that evening Shri Krshna again appeared to her. This time he gave her darshan of the rasa lila. From that day He always played with her and told her everything He likes. Some days later, Alikan observed a change in his daughter. When he mentioned it to his wife, she said, "She has met a man!"
Alikan then hired guards to stand guard at by her house. Late one night, the guards heard the sounds of drums, chimes, and waist bells ringing. In the morning they mentioned this strange occurance to Alikan. He thought, "Tonight I will see for myself."
Later that evening, Alikan went to his daughter's palace and looked through the key hole. He saw nothing but heard what seemed to be a great festival happening inside. At sunrise the sounds stopped and Alikan returned home.
That afternoon, after sending all of the guards home, he locked all doors to his daughter's palace and just sat there. Three hours after sunset, when he heard sounds of celebration, Alikan understood, "Those sounds are not human.
This is Shri Krshna's lila and when He graces me, I will see it."Then suddenly, Shri Krshna appeared in His full lila glory. He became the moon of Vrindavan and danced the rasa while many Svaminis sang. When Alikan saw his daughter standing there in Krshna's lila, his heart overflowed with so much joy that he fell unconscious by the door. An hour later he came to and again listened to the lila inside the palace. He saw his daughter sitting on a seat with Shri Krshna. The Blessed Lord had His hand on her neck and was eating a beetle pan. Then they got up and started to dance arm in arm. He could not see very well, so he took a knife from his belt, and made a large hole to peer through. This time, the force of the Krshna's darshan was so powerful that he again fainted.
He arose an hour later to gaze again. This time he saw Shri Krshna wearing a crown standing with his daughter. Both of them looked blissfully tired from all the lilas and Alikan again fell unconscious to the ground. By then it was morning. When Parijadi opened the door and saw her father lying there, she slapped his face to revive him and sat him up, "Father, Father, wake up it is the morning."
Alikan got up and bowed at his daugther's feet, "You are very blessed. Can you arrange for me to see Shri Krshna?"
That evening when Shri Krshna appeared before her, Pirajadi requested, " My father desires to see You."
"In the morning, go with your father to Gokul and take initiation form Shri Gusainji. Then I will give him My darshan."
"Will he accept Muslims?"
"Of course. Now wait for him by the Thakurani Ghat."
Here a big doubt arises. Shri Krshna has already showered grace upon them. Alikan saw the lila while his daughter danced with God. Why then does Shri Krshna tell them to become Shri Gusainji disciples?
The reason is that although they had divine experiences, only with Shri Gusainji's connection will it become firm. Shri Krshna is independent, He awards according to whim. Shri Gusainji's connection will bind them to the Path of Grace where Krshna is under his control. Shri Krshna showers grace with the guru's intervention. For this reason Shri Krshna told them to become disciples.
Meanwhile, Shri Krshna informed Shri Gusainji about Alikan and Pirajadi. The following morning they went to Gokul and sat on the Thakurani ghat. When Shri Gusainji arrived there for his Yamuna bath, he called them over. They were delighted. "We have come here to take your refuge."
After Shri Gusainji brought them to the Yamuna river and initiated them with Krshna mantra, Alikan asked, "Why did I become a Muslim?"
"Why speak of that?"
"There must be a good reason. Isn't it important to know the soul's previous birth. Please explain."
"In you last birth you were both born in south India and worshipped Lord Rangnath. One day while you were putting the Lord to sleep, your daughter began dancing before the Lord. At that moment, a famous king arrived in the temple and you left the seva of arranging the Lord's bed to greet the worldly ruler. Your daughter left her dance and gazed at that king with amorous gestues. That incident influenced your present lives."
Shri Gusainji then blessed him, "Alikan, now I will never leave you. You are mine."
That eveninhg, Alikan mentioned to his daughter, "Remind Shri Krshna of my request. Through your grace I will see Him again."
His daughter replied, "I will mention it but remember He is Shri Krshna and does whatever He likes."
That night, Krshna arrived before Pirajadi with many other Gopis, "Did you take initiation from Shri Gusainji?
"So where is Alikan? Call him in!"
Having been thus blessed, Alikan was now full of bliss. Knowing him to be an accomplished pakhavaja drum player, from that day Shri Krshna always had Alikan accompany him during His dance lila.
In the lila, Alikan is part of Shri Yamunaji's lila circle. His lila name is Rasarangini. She is a great drummer and Shri Krsihna loves to hear her play. For this reason, Alikan was given the seva of playing the pakhavaja.
Pirajadi is a tamas bhkata. Her lila name is Salouni. She is enchanting as well as a talented dancer and always hangs around Shri Krshna. Their lila lives now brought them directly before Shri Nathji.
Through Shri Gusainji intervention, Shri Nathji showered His grace.
Once Pirajadi heard from some other bhaktas that Shri Gusainji was giving teachings. That afternoon, she told her father, "I wish to hear Shri Gusainji speak in Gokul."
From that day, both of them daily attended the teachings and Shri Gusainji would only begin after they arrived. Seeing that, people began to talk, "Look, Shri Gusainji sends his men to call in those two Muslims and begins only after they sit down!"
Shri Gusainji knows all hearts. On the following day, before he began, he asked the bhakatas sitting there, "What did I speak about yesterday?" When no one could answer him, Shri Gusainji turned to Pirajadi, "Can you tell me?" She bowed to her guru and said, "I can tell you what you have spoken about everyday since I've come here."
When she began to relate the previous day's teaching, Shri Gusainji mentioned to the other assembled bhaktas, "Are your doubts removed?" Those who questioned Pirajadi felt ashamed and remained silent.
Alikan and his daughter, through the guru's grace, established their minds hearts in Hari.
One day while Alikan was riding on his favourite horse, Shri Gusainji mentioned, "That is indeed a fine horse." When Alikan heard that, he sent the horse with a new bridal as a gift to Shri Gusainji, but the guru did not accept it. Alikan never rode that horse again, nor did he let anyone else ride it. He took very good care of that horse and when ever Alikan when out on a official ride, he would adorn that horse and would put it in front so he could always see it. He felt as if Shri Gusainji was riding it. He would bow to that horse before mounting any other horse. Every year, on the festival of Darshara, he would give it a new bridal and ornaments and put its old bridal on his own horse. He would always say, "Shri Gusainji has praised this horse." Alikan had great bhava. Both Alikan and his daughter had exalted bhakti. To what extent can we praise them?
This was kindly translated by Shyamdas.
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