The Shaligram Saga

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

From an article in The Harmonist, Dol Purnima issue, 2001 by Sukhvinder

At Neeta's sad and untimely death, Giri Maharj asked Baba to immerse her ashes in the Ganga at Haridwar. Baba came to Delhi and from there went to Haridwar in October 1998, when Neeta's last remains were immersed into the sacred Ganga.

While at Haridwar, Baba was contacted by the Gurudev of his elder brother, who asked Him to come to Rishikesh to meet him. Baba went to see Swami Omkarananda Maharaj who had a beautiful ashram on the banks of the Ganges at Rishikesh.

The Maharaj was then 109 years old. He offered Baba his condolences for Neeta and handed Him the Nirisingha Dev shaligram shila that he had himself worshipped with great devotion all his life. He also asked him to see his Gurubhai Shudhananda Maharaj who had something to give Him. When Baba went to see him, who was all of 111 years old, he handed over 25 shalagram shilas to Baba, as he was now too old and frail to worship them. Baba brought back the shilas to Delhi.

The next episode unfolds at Vrindavan when Baba was doing the parikrama of Seva Kunj. One monkey came up to Baba and asked for His garland. On receiving it, he did pranam to Baba, handed over a small chit into His hand and dissappeared into the Lalita Kunj.

In the chit was a message to go to Vishram Ghat at noon the next day. When Baba arrived there at the appointed time, a beautifully decorated boat, the likes of which had never been seen on the Yamuna, sailed up to the Ghat and a divine couple alighted from it. They were none other than Shri Vasudev and Devaki, the parents of Lord Krishna. Shri Vasudev embraced Baba and gave Him a Govardhan Gopala Shila.

On returning to Delhi, Baba summoned the cook and asked him to prepare an elaborate menu for lunch the next day for some special guests. Everyone wondered who those special guests were.

The next morning, a Monday, all preparations were made ready by 11 a.m. Baba seemed restless, as He waited for the mysterious guests. Just then, a couple
arrived and were welcomed at the door by Baba. They were ushered to Baba's room, and were offered chairs to sit. They conversed with Baba for some time and Baba requested them to take prasad. The lady begged to be excused, saying that being a worshipper of Lord Shiva, she fasted on Mondays.

Baba said that having come to His Ashram they could not go without having prasad, at which the husband persuaded her to agree. At this, the lady expressed the desire
to first take a bath. She went into the bathroom and came out very quickly, dressed in a different saree. Everyone was surprised as no one had seen her bring a change of clothes.

Her husband told Baba that they had brought some gifts for Him. He came and sat next to Baba on his bed without hesitation and one by one handed over 167 shaligram shilas to Him, describing each one and explaining their individual names. At Baba's request, they wrote their names and address on a piece of paper and went to take prasad.

After that, they bade Baba farewell, and stepped into the balcony and disappeared from sight. They were none other than Devadidev Mahadev and Parvati. The monkey at Vrindavan had foretold Baba about their visit.

Other than these shaligrams the shaligram of Giri Maharaj came to Baba after his death. Gulabi Saba also gave some shaligram shilas to Baba.

Today, Baba has over 367 shaligram shilas in his Delhi Ashram.They reside in beautiful gallery, while some have majectic silver thrones. Some special shalagram around 21 in number, travel with Baba wherever He goes.

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

Jai Jai Sri Radhey !!