Monday, August 13, 2012

Shri Ghanshyam Das ji Thakur: A Great Saint of Vrindavan

Shri Ghanshyam Das ji Thakur ji

Shri Ghanshyam was a resident of Ghangholi village of Vrindavan. His father Shri Laxminarayan hailed from a brahmin family and was a good astrologer. Shri Laxminarayan had predicted in Ghanshyamji's childhood that this boy had the traits of a great mahatma. Shri Naval Kishor Shastri and Shri Ram were his two elder brothers.

Shri Ghanshyam Thakur ji With Saint Manohar Baba
He had an innate affection for saints as this photograph with Shri Manohar Baba endorses. Ghanshyam loved  to sit alone by himself and was well-built and good looking.  

 Pandit Gaya Prasad Ji

Ghanshyamji had the inborn faculties of religious devotion right from the beginning. Pandit Gaya Prasad ji would call him a ' Bal Sant ' with affection.

The three brothers were quite young when their father passed away. The house faced financial contraints. Therefore his mother made him and Shri Ram join the rasa mandali of Shri Chetramji, their maternal uncle.

 The Rasa Lila

Even when he became the svarupa of Thakurji in the mandali, he used to  do the seva of Gopalji. He would place Gopal ji on a small beautiful silver throne and go through several divine experiences while attending to His needs.In the raas he enacted the roles of a sakhi, Mansuka and Sriji, and the role of Thakurji  later on. Dressed in the best of finery while emulating Thakurji, he would invariably be intoxicated with religious frenzy as per the act. During the viraha lila or anguish of separation from Krishna, he would start sobbing and even after the episode the tears would not stop.

 Shri Shri Radha Baba

Once the rasa mandali was staying at Thakuri Babu's place in Gorakhpur. Shri Radha Baba and Shri Hanuman Prasad Poddar (Bhaiji) had also been invited to the lila. Bhaiji took Radha Baba and went to the rasa. Uptil now Baba did not have any particular attraction towards the rasa lila but seeing Ghanshyamji's enactment he was fascinated.             

 Lord Krishna Resides in Ghanshyam Thakur ji

Radha Baba had thought he was a mere child; but an incident made him change his mind. Once Ghanshyamji had come to (Gita Vatika) where the rasa was to take place. He went towards the car to go home but Baba had stopped Shriji Svarupa and got talking. Ghanshyam ji became impatient, " Sriji does not belong to him." When Baba came to know of this, he  fondly said, " Sriji is first ours and then Thakurji's. I am going to give him two slaps when I meet him. "

For some reason, revered Baba asked Bhaiji to go to Thakuri Babu's place where the rasa mandali was staying. As the car reached the residence, Ghanshyam ji who was strolling alone outside, went to open the car's door himself. As soon as Baba stepped out he held both his hands. When Baba walked ahead, Thakurji stopped him and said, "Slap me first and then move on." Radha Baba was flabbergasted. Until this moment  Baba had considered considered him to be just a young boy but understood now that Thakur ji (Lord Krishna) resided in him, for certain.
Once Shri Baba thought that if the musician begins the rasa by singing the pada 'Banyau Mor Mukut' , he would consider Ghanshyam to be the true Thakur. And that is precisely what happened. At another time Baba thought that if Ghanshyamji personally called him to the rasa he would go there.  Amazingly  while dancing in the rasa Ghanshyam ji said-'Go and call Baba!' This incident made Baba ecstatic.

The Sapt Sarovar in Haridwar

 After a few day the rasa mandali went to Sapt Sarovar in Haridwar. There are several ashrams of sanyasis here. The rasa was enacted for some days but there was a definite change in the mindset of Shri Ghanshyamji. He became disinterested in rasa, unattached to the mundane world and longed to stay in isolation. After the rasa he would go and sit by himself on the banks of the Ganga or in the forest. Seeing his plight, Banwari Sharan ji was pained but what could he do.


He would often go to the Garud Chatti in Rishikesh and sit in seclusion for hours together. Banwari Sharan ji would accompany him. A couple of times he ran to the mountains on top and had to be coaxed to come down.

Ghanshyam ji Thakur ji is Passionately Drawn by Dark-hued Krishna

There in Gorakhpur Radha Baba had come to know of Ghanshyam's condition. Through Chimmanlal Goswami he had a letter sent to Shri Ramji, his elder brother.  Seeing the heights of elation and ecstasy which Ghanshyam ji had reached, Baba had vowed that such a perfectly virtuous boy should not enter the mundane world. He must get absorbed in the path of attaining the divine. And as a result of this pledge Ghanshyam had become a hungering devotee passionately drawn by the love of Lord Krishna.

A Rasa Mandali

A few months later the mandali went to Reewan and stayed at the dharamshala of Shri Rameshwar Aggarwal. Every day after the rasa Ghanshyam ji would rest in the room upstairs and Rameshwar would press his legs. At that point of time, Rameshwar carried a written satsang copy of Shri Maharaj ji's transcendental experiences. One fine day Ghanshyamji read some instructive sentences from that copy and was very impressed. Reading the experience of cow grazing in Shri Ji's (Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj) rapturous state, he was very curious to know about this great saint. Coming to know from Shri Rameshwarji that this great mahatama live in Vrindavan, he instantly decided that he would be his guru and he would be staying with him. When Rameshwar ji disclosed that he lived with this great personality in Vrindavan, his joy knew no bounds.

Shri Hanuman Prasad Poddar

In 1950, he had left enacting the role of Thakurji but stayed on to sing and play the sarangi in the mandali which would keep going to Gorakhpur. Bhaiji Shri Hanuman Prasad ji Poddar felt that Ghanshyam should be put up with some learned bhakta who was a householder and could make him study. He sent him to Shri Laxmi Narayan ji Raj Vaidh in Calcutta, who had a huge ayurvedic pharmacy there and was a great scholar of Sanskrit.

Bhaiji wanted to educate Ghanshyamji and had also put aside some money for his future. Ghanshyam ji had just completed six months of stay in Calcuta when Vaidhji became disinterested in mundane matters and wished to stay in Vrindavan.  

 Vrindavan Dham

He came along with Ghanshyam ji to live in Vrindavan. As a matter of chance Vaidhji took a house on rent very near to the Ganga Mandir. Hearing the name of Shri ji (Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj) from someone he began coming for darshan. At times Ghanshyamji would also accompany him.

Ghanshyam ji had come to know that he was the same saint whose divine experiences he had read in sections of Rameshwar ji's book in Reewan. Gradually his attraction towards Shri ji increased and he lost interest in studying and working in Vaidhji's clinic. Shriji also did not like this work of his.

Shri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj

By chance Rameshwar ji was staying in Vrindavan these days. He also did not want Ghanshyam ji to get entangled in worldly affairs. Secretly, he kept meeting him and talked about Shri Maharaj ji's satsang. In 1952 Ghanshyam ji had taken the refuge of Shri Maharaj ji completely.

Shri Narsinh Mehta

One fine day Ghanshyamji went with us to see 'Narsinh Mehta Charit' without telling Vaidhji. Seeing which his mind was restive and he fled from Vaidhji's place after a few days. Staying some time in his village he came to Vrindavan again. With Shri ji's permission he st vcayed for two years with Rameshwar ji. The time spent here was of great abstinence. He would recite the mahamantra, three lakh times a day. And eat  rotis made of wheat husk, and boiled vegetables.He sometimes drank the water by boiling a pumkin's peel, for food. He would circumambulate Giriraj, a couple of times in a day. Shri Rameshwar also lived a life of great austerity. He stayed in a separate hut for ten years. By this time the bhaktas of Sri ji's parikar had increased.

He would prance around Shri ji (Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj) like a child for coming close to God. Shriji would also shower Ghanshyam ji with full affection. This was the daily regime for three to four years.

With the passage of time Shri Ghanshyam Das ji Thakur began taking great care of Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj when he would reach the heights of religious rapture.

Celebration in Vrindavan: 13th August, 2012

Our Yugal Sarkar

By the grace of our lovable Shri Yugal Sarkar and highly revered Shri Balkirshan Das ji Maharaj on the janamotsav (13th August) of Shri Ghanshyam Das ji Thakur ji, his very own lovable student, we are organising the Shrimad Bhagavad Katha & Bhaktmal Katha  fro m 7th to 14th August, 2012 .

The Programme is as Follows:

Shrimad Bhagavad Katha                         
7th to 14th August, 2012

Speaker: Brajrasik Pandit Shri Ramesh ji Upmanyu

Shri Bhaktmal Katha
12th to 14 th August, 2012

Speaker: Jagadguru Shri Rajendradas ji Maharaj

3 comments: said...

I am a daas of Shri Radha Baba and also have heared a lot of Shri Maharajji & Shri Ghanshyamdasji. Is there any information I could get if Shri Maharajji? Would really appreciate it. Please let me know on my email -

HariHarji said...

'Charit Vaibhav' is a beautiful biography on Shri Balkrishna Dasji Maharaj and it is available in Venu Vinod Kunj, Seva Kunj, Vrindavan.

Jai Radhe-Shyam!

HariHarji said...

'Charit Vaibhav' is a beautiful biography on Shri Balkrishna Dasji Maharaj and it is available in Venu Vinod Kunj, Seva Kunj, Vrindavan.

Jai Radhe-Shyam!