Dhanurdhara Swami December 4th, 2001
Vrindaban Mysteries II
His Holiness Niranjana Swami arrives in Govardhan for the month. He joins me on my late-afternoon walk to Anniyor. We discuss his favorite topic, the holy name. Maharaj becomes animated and shares his realizations. We become lost in hari katha for forty minutes. As we are almost back to the ashram, an old sadhu appears on the parikram path racing towards us in a swift wobbling old sadhu walk. It is dusk. We can barely make out his silhouette. As he approaches I hear a faint, but rapid machine gun-like mutter of the holy name mantra after mantra, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Hare Hare”, mixed with an occasional ecstatic emphasis on one of the names in a couplet, HAREEE Krishna! “Hare RAAAMA!” He seems familiar. I politely study his face. It?s namacarya Sanatan das babaji, the siddha mahatma from Nandagoan. “Sanatan das?!” I query in almost a “Dr Livingston, I presume?”* tone. He nods. I hit the sands of the path. I offer pranams. Sanatan stops, smiles and responds in his typical rapid repeated murmur of maha mantra, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna…”, and then passes continuing his babaji trot around Govardhan.
Siddha Mahatma, perfected soul? How can I say? But day and night, Sanatan never stops chanting the holy name. For over forty years, the holy name has remained on his tongue every minute of his waking existence. Sanatan Das is the foremost disciple of Srila Prabhupada?s god-brother Akincana Krishna Das Babaji, who Srila Prabhupada himself recognize as a paramhamsa. The true disciple imbibes the mood of his guru. Like his master, the holy name incessantly pours from his lips.
When Srila Krishna Das Babaji passed away, my god-brother BB Govinda Swami felt deep separation. He thus went around and asked Sanatan?s contemporaries and followers if there was anyone left on the planet of his stature. The same answer echoed again and again, “Sanatana Das”, “Sanatana Das”.
I have been praying sadhu sanga. It?s my entreaty while chanting the holy name. The holy name sent Niranjana Swami to accompany me today, who immersed me in nam katha around Govardhan. By nam katha, Sanatan appears out of the dark and blesses us with the pure name, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna”. The mysteries of Vrindaban unfold.
* A famous phrase uttered by Albert Sweitzer when meeting the long lost missionary doctor, Dr. Livingston, in the depths of Africa where he was ministering medical assistance to the people.