Yogini Shri Satranji Bai
This story of a beautiful woman dates back to somewhere around the late 1800s. Could be around 1875. This is how it goes.
Once, a beautiful married woman at the age of twenty had an inner calling. Her soul kept beckoning her. With her husband’s consent, she became a pilgrim. After wandering the Himalayan region and visiting shrine to shrine for many years, she had found a home in a ruined temple at Brahmavarta Ghat, Uttar Pradesh. It is a ghat in Bithoor (Bithur) near Kanpur where Lord Brahma had performed Ashwamedha Yagna and installed Brahmeshwara Linga.
Yogini Shri Satranji Bai was a woman so full of love, peace, joy, so graceful and lustrous.
At this temple on the banks of Ganga river she plunged herself into the heart of the Universal Energy. Engrossed in intense spiritual practices she rose to higher levels of soul consciousness. The locals came to know her as the mad woman. Some called her the ‘Lady of the Mat’ because of the cotton mat that covered her loins.
‘Lady of the Mat’ had but two possessions, the cotton mat and her lute. She would play the lute and remain soaked in divine bliss most of the time.
During this period, a certain Pandu Tatya Natekar of Dhulia village was on a pilgrimage to Brahmavarta with his son.
The son was but a child then of probably around 2 years age. After taking a dip in Ganga at the Brahmavarta Ghat and visiting the Brahma temple, the father and the son visited the Lady of the Mat.
Seeing the Saintly lady, the child climbed on to her knees. She said to the father: ‘Leave him with me; I will take care of him’.
The father did not dare to disobey. However, he was alarmed because she had no food supply, except that a local water-carrier brought her a piece of roti daily. However, gathering courage, the father bowed to Yogini Shri Satranji Bai and left his son behind.
Next day, filled with anxiety when the father returned to the same place with food, the child would not touch it. The child was already fed by Yogini Shri Satranji Bai from her breast milk. She fed him for a fortnight and then gave him back to his father saying: ‘He will know when a grown man what I have done for him.’
The father prostrated before the Saint and left with his child. This child later went on to become a great Saint. He was known by the name of Bhagawan Hamsa (Natekar Swami).
Yogini Shri Satranji Bai – Soul merges with parambrahm
Time passed. One day the Saint called the water-carrier and told him that she was about to leave the world. Taken by surprise, the water-carrier started weeping. Consoling him, the Saint gave him her mat as a relic. She also instructed him that he must give her lute to the boy whom she had fed.
Then as she played and sang, the water of the Ganga river became disturbed. First little waves, then great waves started rising from the river. The more intense her songs, the greater grew the waves. Soon the rising waves touched her feet. She handed the lute to the water-carrier and a moment later was swept away.
At that instant, all was still.
Forever, Yogini Shri Satranji Bai, a Saint, Lady of the Mat was taken into the bosom of Universe via the holy Ganga. She merged with one of the pancha maha bhutas, the five great elements – akash (Ether), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (water) and lastly Prithvi (earth) .