About Us Contact Us Help




Drinking From The Fountain Of Love: Sadhvi Rithambhara's Enchanting Krishna Katha

Dr. Mona Khaitan

Drinking from the Fountain of Love:
Sadhvi Rithambhara's Enchanting Krishna Katha

He really sees who sees the Supreme Lord existing equally in all beings, the imperishable in the perishable. (B.G. 13:27)

Sri Sadhvi Ritambhara, affectionately called Didi Ma graced the cafeteria of Waltham High School for three evenings from August 27 through August 29 converting a mundane high school cafeteria into a place of ananda, of happiness where Sri Krishna played his flute and kept the audience enthralled with his childish play. The words of Didi Ma captured the attention of each one who listened with rapt attention drinking in the scenes from Vrindavan. They could feel the love of Yashoda Ma, Sri Krishna’s mother, for baby Krishna that knew no bounds. The play of child Sri Krishna with the gopas and gopis came alive, where baby Krishna at the encouragement of his little friends would quietly steal butter from neighbors who secretly rejoiced but outwardly came to complain to Yashoda Ma. Imagine the frustration of Ma Yashoda who had plenty of butter in the house for Sri Krishna to eat. At the child’s denial, the mother Yashoda would open Sri Krishna’s mouth to look for tell tale signs of butter and instead see the whole universe revolving inside! What a beautiful picture Didi Ma could draw with her words! The childhood of Sri Krishna is the epitome of an ideal childhood and defined and established the special mother-child relationship in the Hindu culture for all times to come. The attitude is all important in raising a child, the antics of a child are not to be brutally subdued but lovingly directed, and education starts in the cradle with the mother lavishing unconditional love and affection. The childhood and play with gopas and gopis of Sri Krishna was all too short as Sri Krishna left Vrindavan when barely nine years old. Some members of the audience could barely contain their joy at this vivid imagery and would start dancing during a Krishna bhajan.

Didi Ma, who can bring to life the scenes of Vrindavan, herself flows with vatsalya bhava (motherly love) for Sri Krishna and for all children. A Bal Gopal (child Sri Krishna) seated on a singhasan (throne) travels ahead of her at all times overlooking the entire discourse as she speaks. She considers all to be her children, which includes her guru Pujya Sri Swami Parmanandaji Maharaj. Her love for others is so strong that she frequently begins to choke with tears at the sorrow of others. Seven years back she was terribly affected by seeing an abandoned newborn. She was also moved by the pathetic condition of young women who for one reason or another found themselves homeless. The condition of old people’s homes is dismal the world over where elderly wait to pass away the remaining time frequently joyless and aimless. Didi Ma decided that it was time to bring the three generations together. It is not essential to be a birth mother to love a child. She started a project called “Vatsalya Gram,” in Vrindavan where scores of families have been formed. Each family unit consists of five orphan baby girls, two orphan baby boys, a mother, a mausi (maternal aunt), and a nanima (maternal grandmother). The family is interdependent where children receive love, mothers find children to love and cherish, and grandmothers get the necessary respect and can assist with their wisdom born of experience. Vatsalya Gram has been so successful in Vrindavan that it has also been established in Solan and Omkareshwar. Other sites are being planned as there is great need to take care of all three generations. It is the loving and right thing to do so as no child is left behind. The children attend public schools and receive a good education. They are expected to leave when they become economically independent. Recently one of the young women was married into a good family and is now a mother of a son. The concept of Vatsalya Gram is so simple that it is hard to imagine why it has not been tried before. It can also be replicated in other countries as the same social problems besiege all regardless of geography. Didi Ma invited all in the audience to come and meet her children. Her pride in the achievements of her children was obvious, some of whom have excelled academically and gone on to win national awards, and certainly have a bright future ahead of them.

Didi Ma’s presence is full of love and positive vibrations. It is difficult for the mind of those in her vicinity to gravitate towards negative emotions of envy, jealousy, and dislike. When she speaks, the listeners try to catch her every word. She explains complex concepts with great simplicity. And the simple words are spoken with such spiritual force that they make a lasting impression on the mind and touch the heartstrings. She explained that man reaches for happiness in the material things of the world. Instead he only encounters sorrow; for there is no happiness in the limited, in the bounded. True happiness resides in the infinite, in the boundless. She gives a very perceptive example of a small tank dug out of the earth and filled with water. In this limited tank, the water either evaporates or starts stinking. On the other hand, when man digs a well which is connected to the underground water as well as eventually to the ocean, the well provides unlimited fresh water. So how does man connect with the infinite? It is by holding on to the two feet of the Guru. Jestingly, she asks that we avoid literally grabbing the feet of our Guru and inhibit his locomotion altogether. The two feet are vivek (discriminative knowledge) and vairagya (detachment). Detachment does not mean to abandon our current lifestyle to exit for the wilderness. Vairagya requires unlimited rag (attachment) to all equally. Do not limit yourself to the narrow boundaries of immediate family and friends but expand the narrow attachment to all living and non-living beings. This expanded attachment becomes true detachment. Vivek begins with listening to sants and participating in satsang. Upanishads instruct three steps of srvana (listening), manana (thinking over), and nidhidhyasana (concentrating) to cultivate vivek buddhi.

Sadhvi Ritambhara discourses are broadcast on two channels of Indian television. For those that missed her discourses entirely, TV Asia carries her program in the morning hours. Her schedule is also frequently advertised for those interested in attending the rest of her discourses in the United States.

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help