Respected Devotees, after a long time I’m (Rajesh Haldar) back with a post on Narsinh Mehta, however, this time it’s not me who has written the post, but Sai Aanchal who is a devotee & wish to spread the pious name of Lord Krishna in world. By profession she is an Assistant Professor in Sociology. Let’s read about Narsinh Mehta whom we also know as Narsi Mehta.
Saint Narsinh Mehta,from the land of Surat lived around 14th century AD and is one of the greatest devotees of the God. He is the composer of the soul-stirring song, “Vaishnava Jana to Tene Kahiye je“, which describes the qualities of a devotees Narsi Mehta belonged to a Vadanagar Nagar-Brahmin family of Junagarh in Kathiawar, Gujarat. His was a poor family. From the very young age he had great devotion to Lord Krishna. Not many people know that Narsinh couldn’t speak or listen and understand gestures of others right from his birth till the age of eight. He lived with his brother. His parents died early and he was looked after by his grandmother. His grandmother was a very devout and pious woman. She would attend Satsangs and listen to Lord Hari’s name whenever she got the opportunity. Likewise she would also serve at functions in the name of Lord by washing the utensils used by the devotees of the God. Thus she would engage herself in many such pious activities. After the conclusion of Sankirtans she would take Narsinh in her lap and place him at the feet of pious saints asking them to relieve Narsinh from his sins. Narsinh’s grandmother would get sad thinking of Narsinh’s bleak future as she was not happy with her daughter-in-law’s attitude toward Narsinh. She was aware that after her death probably Narsinh won’t have anyone to look after him. So, for Narsinh’s grandmother the priority was nothing but Narsinh’s welfare. She wished him to be like other children. She wanted her grandson to listen, understand, speak and sing like other children of his age. One day Narsinh’s grandmother took him to a Hari Satsang. She got to know about the saints over there and she placed Narsinh at the lotus feet of one revered saint. After explaining her misfortune and family’s condition to the saint Narsinh’s grandmother moved to inconsolable tears. The saint melted upon seeing the plight and earnest yearning of the old woman. He stood up from his seat and called Narsinh near him. The saint picked up his Kamandalu which was full of holy Ganges water. Saint dipped his fingers in the water and splashed the water on Narsinh’s ears, mouth and head. The holy water acted as an elixir for Narsinh. The saint after his inexplicable act commanded Narsinh to speak “Radhey Shyam”. Lo and Behold! At that very instance Narsinh spoke the very first words of his life “Radhey Shyam”.
Who is Narsinh Mehta?
Many people are not aware about Narsi Mehta’s past life. Our Narsinh Mehta was none other than revered Muchukunda in his past life. Let us know about Muchukunda first and then we will proceed to Narsinh’s life.
Muchukunda, son of King Mandhata, was born in the Ikshvaku dynasty. Ikshvaku dynasty is also known as Suryavamsha. He actually fought against deadly demons just for the sake of Deities/Devataas. I hope we all are aware of the fact that battles between Devtaas and Asuras(Demons) was not rare but common thing in those days. After the conclusion of the battle Muchukunda got very tired. Devataas thanked him for sacrificing his comforts for their safety and protection. They further asked Muchukunda if he had any desire. Muchukunda did seek a boon but his boon was very strange. After battling with demons for thousands of years Muchukunda didn’t take sleep and proper rest. That was the moment of victory for others but Muchukunda wanted to rest. He wanted to sleep. So, looking at Indra he said, “O King of the deities, I want to sleep. Anyone who dares to disturb my sleep must get burnt to ashes immediately”. Indra was pleased with Muchukunda, so without any hesitation he granted Muchukunda the boon of calm and peaceful sleep. Indra said, “So be it, go to the earth and enjoy your sleep, one who awakens you would be reduced to ashes”.
After this, king Muchukunda descended to earth and selected a cave, where he could sleep without being disturbed. In the Dwapar Yuga there was a great warrior by the name of Kalyavan, he was Yavana King. No one could defeat him in battle due to his unmatched powers. Kalyavan thought of contradicting Lord Krishna and defeating Lord Krishna in the battle. Lord Krishna was aware that Kalyavan had certain powers due to which he had certainly become invincible. So, Lord Krishna realized that to defeat Kalyavan a clever strategy rather than strength was necessary. When Lord Krishna faced Kalyavan in the battlefield, rather than facing him Lord got down from his chariot and started running from the battlefield. Kalyavan thought that Lord was afraid of his powers and thus was running away from him. After running for long, Lord entered into the very same cave where Muchukunda was sleeping. Lord Krishna cleverly took his yellow Angavastra(a long cloth for covering the upper body) and placed it over Muchukunda’s body. Kalyavan hastily entered the cave and upon seeing Muchukunda, he got into delusion and mistook him for Lord Krishna. Kalyavan mercilessly kicked Muchukunda, forcing Muchukunda to open his eyes. Thus, by the mere gaze of Muchukunda, the Yavana King Kalyavan was burnt to ashes. Muchukunda was blessed by Lord Krishna with his sight. And Lord promised him that after Muchukunda’s another earthly sojourn, Muchukunda would stand liberated and he would be free from the cycle of births and deaths.
Thus Muchukunda was born again as Saint Narsinh Mehta in this very Kaliyug to spread the name of the Lord Krishna.
All the time Narsinh kept himself engaged in composing and singing songs on Lord Krishna and Gopi Lila. He would dance out of bliss in ecstasy. He was not much concerned about household matters. He did not earn anything; his brother’s wife taunted and ill-treated him. One day he moved out of his house and reached a secluded Shiva Temple where out of love he embraced Lord Shiva’s Shivlingam. He didn’t eat anything and drink anything for seven days. It is said that Mother Parvati was moved to tears upon seeing his fate and she asked Lord Shiva to bless Narsinh. Lord Shiva finally blessed Narsinh with his glorious sight. Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati served him with sumptuous food and then Lord Shiva took him to Vrindavan to see Krishna and Gopi Raas Leela. Narsinh was fortunate enough to see the Krishna and Gopi Raas leela.
He had the firm conviction that Lord Krishna would provide him with all his wants. This was all the result of his previous lives Samskaras-good virtues.
Narsinh’s family members thought that perhaps Marriage would bring good fortune to him and make him aware about worldly affairs. But it turned the other way round as Narsinh fell all the more in love with Lord Krishna. After his marriage he was blessed by Lord Krishna with a son by name Shyamaldass and a daughter by name Kunwarbai. Narsinh Mehta was a contemporary of Mira Bai. He had Sakhya Bhav-feeling of friendship towards Lord Krishna and he would address Lord Krishna in terms of equality. Having a simple nature Narsinh was a frank Bhakta. He would see Lord Krishna everywhere and in everything. He had Para Bhakti and cosmic consciousness-something which comes after long penance and pining for Lord. Narsinh Mehta was very poor and thus Lord Krishna performed the marriage of his son-Shyamaldas and daughter-Kunwarbai. When Gujarati marriages are organized then Mameru ceremony takes place one day before the marriage ceremony. As per this Mameru ceremony Bride’s Uncle is supposed to shower his blessings on the bride in the form of precious gifts. Lord Krishna himself came to Narsinh’s place as Kunwarbai’s Uncle and he showered his blessings on Kunwarbai. According to the Gujarati customs in the seventh month of the Garbha Dharan by the daughter-in-law, a pompous Baby Shower ceremony (Gaud Bharai Rasam) takes place. According to the cultural norms the girl’s family too is supposed to bless girl with the gifts. Though Narsinh Mehta was very poor, rich presents were given to his daughter Kunwarbai by Lord Krishna himself in the guise of Narsinh’s relative. In the case of marriage of Narsinh’s son Shyamaldas Lord Krishna himself shouldered all the responsibilities of the marriage. Shyamaldas marriage was a surprise for all the people who knew Narsinh.
Later Part of Narsi Mehta’s Life
After the death of his wife Narsi became free from earthly bondage. He began devoting all his time to worship and singing of Bhajans. After breaking down all caste rules and observances Narsinh started observing Kirtan everywhere, even in the houses of sweepers and men of inferior caste. All the Nagar-Brahmins hated Narsinh and also out-casted him. Once it so happened that these Brahmins decided to conduct a big pompous function which was followed by a feast. They invited all learned ones and great intellectuals having knowledge of Vedas and Religion. They used that opportunity to undermine the self-respect of Narsinh. Thus they allowed everyone in but refused to allow Narsinh to the feast. Due to the grace of the Lord Krishna a miracle brought unusual things into action. It so happened that a Dom or a man of inferior caste was found sitting next to each Brahmin who sat for the feast. The haughty Nagar-Brahmins were moved by this miracle. Their hearts got purified and they began to show immense respect to Narsinh. All the Nagar Brahmins openly admitted and declared that Narsi Mehta was a great Bhakta.
Narsinh’s devotion to Lord Krishna was of a unique nature. Narsinh was a perfect devotee of Lord Krishna. His famous devotional song “Vaishnava Janato Thene Kahiye“, gives a fine description of a true Vaishnava. This song was sung by Mahatama Gandhi on many occasions.
Let us bow down our heads in reverence for the highly spirited Bhakta Narsinh, Lord Krishna and the all powerful name of the Lord Krishna.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!
In Krishna’s Love
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