What are the historically documented ShreeNathji Vartas?
ShreeNathji’s pragatya (Appearance) happened in the 14th century from Giriraj Govardhan Kandra (cave). The pragtaya varta describes the historical Appearance of ShreeNathji, and the ‘Divine Play’ that He did with His bhakts on Girirajji. The next 200 years were to witness the most astonishing and blissful play between Thakurjee and His bhakts.
When Shree RadhaKrishn Appeared as ShreeNathji in the 14th century, He also ordered Shri Vallabh Achary (A divine soul) to take birth on Earth, as only a divya atma (A divine soul) who is also a part of the divine is able to interact and understand Bhagvan and His leelas.
For the completion of His worldly leela, God needs a human counterpart to show the world His Living Presence. This soul is called “The Divine Guru”, who then becomes a mediator between the bhakt and ShreeNathji.
In the initial periods of ShreeNathji’s Appearance at Giriraj Govardhan, Shri Vallabhacharya, and then later his son Shri Gusainji,also known as Vitthalnathji took birth for ShreeNathji seva and also to help locate the divine souls who were scattered all over this earth.
These were the souls left over from the Shree RadhaKrishn Avataar, (Incarnation) when many divine shaktis inhabited earth to take part and enjoy the bliss of Shree RadhaKrishn leelas. They were the divine souls who got entangled in the worldly karmic bandhan and hence were not able to leave earth with Shree Radha Krishn when They left for Golok after the completion of Their divine leela at Vraj Mandal about 5000 years ago.
In present times (14th century) these two divine gurus searched for and initiated these divine souls into Shreeji’s leela.
Though there would be several more, main important seem to be the 84 Vaishnavas who were found, initiated in seva by Shri Vallabh Achary. The other 252 Vaishnav were located and initiated in ShreeNathji seva by the son Shri Vitthalnathji also known as Shri Gusainji. These divine souls from Golok were searched for, given the brahm sambandh and seva of ShreeNathji by these Divine Gurus. These bhakts came from all walks of life, as caught up in the karmic cycle they could not find a way out, and return back to Golok.
All the divine souls initiated by Shri Vallabhacharya and later the divine souls initiated by Shri Gusainji, were granted freedom from the earthly cycle at the appropriate time merged within Thakurjee’s Vigrah (Being).
Till the time these two highly pure souls inhabited earth as the divine gurus, Shreeji delighted us with the anand of Direct Leelas.
This direct interaction between Shree Thakurjee and His divine souls was documented about 200 years later by Shri Gokulnathji, who was granted direct vision of the original happenings.
Shri Gokulnathji was Shri Gusainji’s fourth son, and Shri Vallabhacharyaji’s grandson.
The two pavitra Granths in which the documentation was preserved are under the title of “Eighty four Vaishnavas”; “Two fifty two Vaishnav ki Varta”. Though there may have been several more divine souls, these would have been the special ones, which were documented and made available to bhakts.
These two Granths, 84 Vaishnavas and 252 Vaishnav ki Varta, have become a very important part of any Satsang in Shree Thakurjee’s bhakti.
The Live interaction vartas which form the Granths, are documentation of the important few direct leelas between ShreeNathji and His divine souls. Highlighting these leelas is done to encourage rest of the seekers towards ShreeNathji bhakti and seva.
The earlier ones are in the Vraj bhasha, and have been translated in several languages, namely hindi, gujrati, english.
Once Shri Gusainji left his earthly leela in 1586 AD, ShreeNathji nearly stopped direct interactions in the outer world. His interactions became need based and that too only with the direct sevaks from Mahaprabhuji lineage.
When Shreeji began His yatra to Mevar the only bhakt He spoke to was an old lady called Ganga Bai. She followed ShreeNathji’s Rath as per His desire. Whenever Shreeji had a desire or some aadesh to be completed He would communicate only to Ganga Bai; who in turn would let the sevaks know about the hukum.
The last direct interaction and conversation with her is documented to be in the year 1685 AD, when she was taken by ShreeNathji in His leela.
After this there is not much of documentation to show Shreeji’s direct interaction with any bhakt till now; about 15-20 years ago.
In todays time ShreeNathji once again gives anand to chosen bhakts and a repeat of the historical Vartas is among us here and now.
Jai ShreeNathji, Thank You for all Your divine leela and play in this world.