In these days of mad race, man seeks a quiet resting place, where he can get peace of mind. The lives of Great Saints provide needed rest and peace. The saints are absorbed in the work of upliftment of masses. They work without any expectation of rewards. In fact, it is the God's work they are doing, under His instructions. To lead the masses into righteous path is the only purpose of the Saints and their lifework.
An extraordinary pearl of a girl was born to Raghunath Shenvi, a resident of Mangeshi in Goa on 29th May, 1934. At the time of the birth of this, girl Aadi Shakti (Divine Mother) appeared in a vision to her mother and said "The one who will be born to you will perform great deeds. Therefore read and recite SaptaShati (a book containing sanskrit Mantras), The religious minded mother thereupon scrupulously read and recited the Holy book. Her parents had earlier lost their children, born before her, at their tender age, which disappointment had turned them to contemplate on God Almighty. During this period Leela was born. All were happy. All entered the new house built by her father. Their financial condition was not that good. Leela's father was running a canteen business and had two cooks for his help. After the birth of Leela within 1½ years, her father left this abode. Thus orphaned Leela was broughtup under the care of her mother and her paternal aunt. Leela from her childhood was an obstinate and rebellious girl. She never used to miss the 10 PM Aarati at Mangesh Temple - during her childhood. She was ever ready to do errands for the temple and the neighbouring Math.
Once 3 sadhus came to the temple. They distributed Veldoda (Cardamum) as prasad after the worship of Mangeshi. Leela was present all this time in the temple. Next day, as her mother had chided her, she did not attend the evening Aarati, but went to sleep at home. The sadhus while distributing prasad asked "Where is the girl who was here yesterday? Prasad will be distributed only after she comes here". Therefore, everybody started Searching for Leela. Shri Karandekaka brought sleepy Leela. Sadhu put "Veldoda" prasad on her hand and there after distributed to others.
Leela was very enthusiastic about her education. She was famous as a diligent girl. She was fondled by her paternal aunt. It is she who brought her up and gave her shape. Aunt was unfortunate. Her husband had gone out one day but never returned. This made her very lonely. Leela loved her very much. Leela had schooling upto Std. IV. During this period, high school was established in Mangeshi. Leela appeared for the exam of Std.VII and secured 2nd rank in the final examination. Thereafter, Leela went to Belgaum for her further education. While studying in Chintamanrao High School, she earned the name as an outstanding girl. Harekar helped her in all respects. All used to call her as Goa because she hailed from Goa. After completing SSC, under the shelter of famous poetess Indira Sant, Leela completed one year course in PTC (Primary Teachers Course). On 25.8.56, she joined as a teacher at Khanapur.
Leela was having, like her parents, unshakable faith in Mangeshi and Nav Durga. But from her age of 9 till now, Lord Krishna has taken His abode in her life. "Krishna is my father, mother, brother, sister and all relations, is the face of His love. Leela is found immersed in devotion of Krishna, always. She has taken the message of Bhakti (Devotion) to Khanapur, Gunji, Dharwar, Chikodi areas through contemplation meditation and Bhagawad Geeta. Later, Leela was transferred to Saundalga, which is 29 KM away from Kolhapur. Thereafter to Chikodi, which is a Taluka in Belgaum Dist. Wherever she went, she conquered the hearts of the people by love and made them go mad with Krishna Bhakti.
Parabrahma Shri Krishna always speaks through her. Every thing takes place according to His predictions. In a sense, Shri Krishna Paramatma always resides in her and steers the boat of her life as He wishes. She has redeemed many persons in distress under instructions from Shri Krishna. She has shown the path of devotion to those struggling in darkness. She has given the support of love to youngsters, elders, poor and rich persons who are afflicted in their lives. She gets the messages from Shri Krishna always.
During 1963, when she was at Chikodi, Shri Krishna showed her, her would be husband during the meditation. In real life also he was the same person Leelatai was married to Shri Karve who was working in BARC at Bombay. Leelatai started staying at Dadar after marriage. Shri Karve was soft by nature, but was prone to occasional anger. Both, Shri Karve and Leelatai were devotees of Krishna. They were mad after Krishna. Together their lives blossomed. Leelatai finally settled down at Krishna Kutir, Jadhav Cololy, Badlapur after having stayed before at Dadar, Matunga, Thane, Vithalwadi and Ambernath. Leelatai was teaching at Ordiname Factory School Ambernath till her retirement.
She has two sons and one daughter. Leelatai became lonely after the untimely demise of Shri Karve in 1983. Now she has nothing except Krishna Bhakti. Leelatai spent her life in utter poverty. She is a standing example to show how the difficulties of life can be faced if Parabrahman is at your back. During the last 25/30 years Leelatai has drawn innumerable people from Karnataka and Maharashtra into Krishna Bhakti. Whoever comes in contact with her, falls in love with her. Leelatai is no other than Aadi Maya (Divine Mother). She does not approve of Pooja (worship), Archana and Karma-Kanda etc. Shri Krishna is always established in her mind and heart. Leelatai used to give guidance between 8.30 to 10.00 AM from Monday to Friday. Krishna talks to me like this". "If he says, I will do" is what Leelatai says always.
Smt. Vasundhara Patwardhan, a famous writer has written about the work of Leelatai in her book titled "Sangharsha". Girija Keer has given the study of Leelatai in the famous marathi magazine "Chitralekha" sometime back.
Shri Krishna proclaims "Everybody should recite "OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA" mantra daily whenever possible so that I will stand by them. I respond to the call of the heart immediately and invariably. See me in your duties. I am committed to those who are committed to their duties. Believe in putting faith in me and make me your own". It is what Shri Krishna says very often. He is ever ready for His devotees. His devotees experience this at every step of their life. Therefore, Krishna devotees feel that Krishna Kutir is their everything and that Tai (Leelatai) is their Aayee (Mother). Experience of happiness at every step and increased faith in Shri Krishna is the glory of Krishna Kutir. This is the speciality of Krishna Kutir. Tai says "This is my treasure and my bank balance". While enjoying this happiness, the devotees are seen charmed. They shed tears of joy singing the praise of Krishna the Parabrahman. It is beyond words to express this unseen flood of joy and happines.
"I am the indweller of everybody. To reach me recite "OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA" - mantra".
All classes of people, of all casts, creed and religion, experience the nectar of Krishna Leela Kendras, which are established all over the world. "My devotees are dearer to me than myself", says the Beloved Krishna. Smt. Tai always acted as per the instructions of Shri Krishna. She was a householder with family responsibilities. She had a demanding job of a school teacher. She retired from service in 1992.
Soon after Shri Krishna told her to expedite and expand the misson of Shri Krishna. As a consequence, the number of devotees visiting the Krishna Kutir increased. The visits ofSmt. Tai to meditate and meet her devotees in India and abroad also increased.
She went to Nepal, Dubai, Muscat, London, America, Nigeria, Kenya, Japan, Australia andAandman Nicobar Islands to spread the message of Shri Krishna in all directions.
Smt. Tai established Shri Krishna Leela Kendras (Centres) at different places in order to obtain from her devotees strength for the world mission of Shri Krishna.
Smt. Tai used to say, "I envisage more and more devotees will gather at these Shri KrishnaLeela Kendras. They will recite for the first 15 minutes the famous dwadashakshari Mantra "OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA", followed by japa of Vishwajanani, narration of experiences by devotees and glorification of Lord (Gajar) for the next 5 minutes each before returning home".
She also used to say that there is no requirement of garlands, flowers, Prasad, Arati etc.
The number of Shri Krishna Leela Kendras in India and abroad exceeds 325. They are all functional. Smt. Tai used to keenly watch the functioning so that these kendras do not become centres involving any money matters.
As directed by Shri Krishna, she established beautiful temples for Shri Krishna at Pune, Apta, Nasik and temple of Vishwajanani at Los Angles in America and Delhi. As yet seven more Vishwajanani temples are scheduled to come up in future.
During the last 2-3 years, Smt. Tai was undertaking meditation tours for the cause of universal peace, Bharata and young generation, to enable these to boldly face forthcoming turmoil of the world predicted in 2005. She used to assure that Shri Krishna shall stand by them always. Smt. Tai used to meditate for them. She meditated at Kanyakumari, Badrinath, Calcutta , Delhi, Somnath and Dwarka.
"Shri Krishna Leelavali", a book containing wonderful experiences of different devotees, was published, both in Marathi and English in June 2001.
Smt. Tai was rushing to all the corners of the world for Shri Krishna Karya (Mission).
Smt. Tai inaugurated Vishwajanani temple on 8.2.2003 at Delhi. On the morning of 10.2.2003 Smt. Tai, the endeared mother of all devotees, merged herself at the feet of Shri Krishna. Thousands of her devotees miss her to-day.
Who will look after the Shri Krishna Mission after Smt. Tai is personally no more? This problem crops up in other organizations but it is not a question here. Lord Krishna through Smt. Tai has already answered this question long back.
"Smt. Tai is mortal, but I am eternal. My existance will be experienced by my devotees in the Shri Krishna Leela Kendras".
This assurance of Lord Krishna ensures that his devotees are well protected.
We bow down to Smt. Tai in deep reverence and cherish her fond memory.
"OM NAMOBHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA"
Part of the information is from the Marathi version published in SAKAL SANT CHARITRA GATHA by Prof. Mrs. Namrata Bhatt. For any suggesions / information regarding this
Please contact Pramod Tembe,