Author Topic: Stories  (Read 33931 times)

Ravi.N

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« Reply #75 on: July 29, 2014, 03:46:14 PM »
The Story of Sant Ekanath continued....

Eknath's reformist views brought him into conflict not only with orthodox pundits but also with his own family. His son Hari Pundit was annoyed at his father's habit of preaching in Marathi and of eating in low-caste homes. He went away on a pilgrimage to Varanasi and didn't return. When Eknath followed him, Hari Pundit told him the reason for his exile. With a heavy heart, Eknath promised to give up his discourses and unorthodox ways. Hari Pundit returned and gave discourses in Sanskrit, while Eknath remained silent. The audience dwindled to near-zero while the people clamoured for Eknath's discourses and kirtans. One day an old, low-caste widow came to invite Eknath for a meal at her place. She desired to feed a thousand Brahmins, but, being poor, could not do so.

Since she considered Eknath to be worth a thousand Brahmins, she decided to feed him. Eknath turned to Hari Pundit, who was moved by her plight. But Hari Pundit made two conditions: one, that he would accompany Eknath; and two, that he himself would cook the food. On the appointed day, the two of them went to the woman's house and settled down to eat. Hari Pundit noticed that the woman had slipped a dish that she had prepared onto Eknath's leaf plate. He resented this but kept quiet. After finishing the meal, Eknath told Hari Pundit to pick up the leaf plates, so as not to trouble the old woman. Hari Pundit bent down to pick up Eknath's leaf plate. As he picked it up, he found another plate beneath it. Perhaps he had been served on two leaf plates. But below the second was a third. Eventually, Hari Pundit had to pick up a thousand leaf plates! A thunderstruck Hari Pundit realized his stupidity. His father was worth a thousand Brahmins and more. He fell at his feet begging forgiveness. Eknath forgave him saying, "Hari, you have learnt the shastras, but not humility." Needless to say, after this Eknath resumed his preaching and other activities.

Besides the Eknathi Bhagavat, he wrote the Rukmini-Swyamvar, the story of Lord Krishna's marriage to Rukmini Devi. It is an allegorical tale of the meeting of the jiva and Shiva, though in Maharashtra it was popular as simply a story.

In 1583, Eknath renovated the samadhi (tomb) of Jnanadeva in Alandi. In 1584 he completed editing the Jnaneshwari. In his day, there were several interpolations on the Jnaneshwari and more than one version was extant. The Jnaneshwari we read today is his edition. He began writing the Bhavartha Ramayana, a Marathi translation of the Ramayana, but took Mahasamadhi (left his body) in 1599 before completing it. This parallels the story of the sage Valmiki: Scholars believe that Valmiki never wrote the Uttar Kanda, but that it was added later. Similarly, in Eknath's case, the Uttar Kanda was written later by his disciples.

According to scholars, in Maharashtra, Eknath's place as philosopher-writer-saint is second only to Jnanadeva's. His main achievement, outwardly, was to spread Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Religion) and its philosophy down to the lowest stratum of society. As one of his biographers puts it, "With Jnanadeva, philosophy reigned in the clouds; with Eknath, it came down to earth and dwelt among the people".

concluded.

Ravi.N

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« Reply #76 on: July 29, 2014, 04:05:01 PM »
Saint Ekanath and The vagabond

An incident in his life highlights his broad mind, forbearance and compassionate nature.

Sant Eknath lived in a village called Prathinapura, in Maharastra. He practiced Bhagvath Dharma - singing the names and glories of the Lord. He performed pooja to the idols of Rukmini and Panduranga which was presented to him by his Guru - Sri Janardana Swami. Sant Eknath was particularly famous in his village for his patience; nobody ever saw him angry, and nothing could ever make him lose his temper. Almost all his fellow-villagers paid respects to Eknath for his great virtues.

In the same village, there were a few vagabonds who used to regularly meet for gambling. One morning it so happened that one of them arrived late. When the others looked at him with a questioning look, he said, "I had been to Sant Eknath's residence to pay respects to him. So I could not come here in time."

On hearing this, the others guffawed and with a mocking tone asked him, "So my friend, what is so special about this gentleman, which makes you fall at his feet?"

"Sri Eknath never loses his temper under any circumstance. Isn't this trait unusual?"

They teased him further..."How can he who never gets angry be called a human?" On hearing thus, he immediately answered, "That is the reason why I regard him a saint..." The conversation which started in a light vein, took a serious turn... In the end, one of them challenged, "I shall make Saint Eknath lose his temper, and prove to you all that he is no different from others and I shall accomplish what I just said by tomorrow itself."

The next morning, Sant Eknath went to bathe in the Holy Godavari river early in the morning. While he was returning, the one who threw down the gauntlet, was waiting for Sant Eknath on a rooftop with mouthful of Paan (Betel leaves and Betel nuts, usually taken after meals). While walking back home, Eknath suddenly felt something wet falling on him. Without any signs of surprise, and without losing his composure, he walked back to the river for a holy dip.

The defiler was surprised, but when Sri Eknath returned from his second dip, he again spat on this great saint. Sri Eknath again went back to the river for a dip without losing his calm. But the vagabond was persistent in his efforts to make this saint angry, and he kept on spitting at Saint Eknath.
Each time he spat on the saint, he could not even detect a faintest frown in Eknath's face. As the twilight of the dawn started to bounce off from the glittering waters of Godavari, the vagabond got tired of spitting at Eknath.

He was totally bewildered on seeing the patience and forbearance of Eknath. While his mouth was aching stiff due to repeated spitting, Eknath was looking as composed and as fresh as he was early in the morning!

The vagabond, feeling guilty and ashamed, rushed down to fall at the feet of Saint Eknath. Saint Eknath, with eyes brimming with compassion and love even for this offender, blessed him.

Now the vagabond was totally perplexed, "Swami, how is it possible for you to be like this?"

Saint Eknath replied, "Brother, if you can stick so stubbornly to this vice of harassing sadhus, it isn't the least surprising that I, on my part, should stick to  virtue of not losing temper.I am on the way to offer my morning worship to the Lord. The dirt on my body can be easily cleansed by a dip in the river, but if I let anger enter my mind, it defiles the mind, and no amount of bathing in any river can cleanse me of this impurity.Worshiping with an impure mind would not bear fruits."


Ravi.N

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« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2014, 04:14:24 PM »
Saint Ekanath and his vision of Dattareya:

Saint Ekanath served his Guru Janardana Swami as his assistant .One night, Eknath was checking the accounts as usual. He found that there was 1 paisa missing in the account and he had excess in hand. He was breaking his head to find out what happened. This was because he felt all the work he was doing in the ashram was Guru seva and that he should be correct in that. As he was awake till late in the night, his guru came to see what he was doing. Eknath did not even realize that his guru was standing behind as he was thinking deeply about reconciling the accounts. Janardhana swami understood that he is checking accounts and went back to his place. He again came at mid night to see if he was done with it, but saw that he was still working on it and went back. Around 2 A.M  in the morning, Eknath emotionally shouted ?Gurunatha, I found it? as he had reconciled the accounts. Janardhana Swami immediately got up and went to him and asked him what he had seen. Eknath immediately apologized for waking him up and said that an entry for 1 paisa was missing and that he had found it. As soon as the Guru heard this, his eyes were filled with tears and told him that there were so many sishyas who had come here and found so many great things and after serving me for 12 years you are happy that you have found 1 paisa. Janardhana Swami then said that he is now indebted to him for having taken care of him and the ashram for all these years. He then went back to sleep. Janradhana Swami?s deity was Dattatreya and he requested him to give darshan to Eknath and Dattatreya agreed to his request. The next day Eknath went to Godhavari River to have his bath as usual. After completing his bath he would bring water from the river to the ashram. On his way back Dattatreya gave him his darshan in godly form. The four Vedas stood next to him as 4 dogs. Dharma devata stood behind him as a bull. Eknath on seeing him prostrated to him. Dattatreya then blessed him and Eknath came back to the ashram and started doing his work as usual. Janardhana Swami came and saw what Eknath was doing and he found him boiling the milk. He then thought that he doesn?t look like someone who has had the darshan of god. The state of a person who has realised and seen god would be different and they would be in deep meditation, sometimes crying or smiling and would not look like normal persons to the outside world. Janardhana Swami was now wondering if god had given him darshan or not. Janardhana Swami was now really confused and asked Eknath if had seen anything this morning. Eknath then told him that when he was returning from the river he saw his guru?s deity standing under the tree and that he had worshiped him. Janardhana Swami was further perplexed and told him that there are so many rishis trying to realize god for so many janmas and after having realized god how he could continue with his regular work. Eknath then replied to him that his Guru was everything to him and that he was happy to see this form of god rather than the form he saw in the morning. Hearing this Janardhana Swami was moved. Janardhana swami then asked him to go back to his parents, get married and lead a family life. Eknath hesitated as he dint want to leave his guru but Janardhana Swami told him that he would realize his presence wherever he was. This consoled Eknath and he returned home.


Ravi.N

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« Reply #78 on: July 29, 2014, 04:24:28 PM »
Saint Ekanath and Kandiya Krishna:

One day when he was reading Bagavatha a 12 year old boy came to him, prostrated to him and asked him to make him his sishya as he wanted to learn the Vedas from him. Eknath asked him who he was and where does he come from. He replied to him that his parents were no more and that he considered Eknath as his mother, father, Guru and God. He said that he was from Dwaraka and his name was Kandiya Krishna. Eknath accepted him as his sishya and looked after him as his own son. Krishnan was very smart and a learnt everything easily. He took care of all the needs of his guru and served him well. He did all service to his guru right from washing his clothes, cleaning his pooja vessels, cleaning his pooja room, preparing garlands for his god etc. He would also serve his Guru matha by getting vegetable from the market, bringing water from Godhavari etc.

One day Eknath was performing his ancestral rituals. Two outcastes happened to pass by his house and understood that a feast was being prepared. They were discussing that it would be good if they could get this food. Eknath on listening to these discussions called them and gave them the food that was being prepared. They were happy with him, thanked him and then left. The other Brahmans who had come for the ceremony left the place on seeing this. All Brahmans in the village on seeing this started speaking ill about him for giving the food that was prepared for ancestral ceremony to some outcastes before completing the ceremony. They all spoke to each other and decided that Eknath should be punished for this deed of his. All the Brahmans in the village then came to Eknath and asked him how he could do this in spite of learning sastras. Eknath then said that, he gave them food as they were hungry and that hunger doesn?t have any caste difference and hence decided to feed them. He also said that the sastras say that annadhanam can be given to anyone and that there was no caste discretion on that. They then said that none of the Brahmans in the village would mingle with him and not have any contact with him and his family from now on. Eknath now had to prepare food again for the ceremony and perform the ceremony. Eknath was now worried that he would not be able to feed the Brahmans after the ritual is over as no one would come to his house now. Kandiya Krishna then told Eknath that if Brahmans were not available the sastras say that they could give it to kurcham (a type of holy dried grass used in religious ceremonies) Eknath then started performing the rituals and when he kept the 1st kurcham, Vitthal came and sat down to have the food. As soon as he came other gods and his forefathers who were called during the ceremony came down and took the food directly. Kandiya Krishna was watching all these happening and smiling at Eknath. Once it got over, they blessed Eknath by reciting holy mantras and disappeared. His neighbours heard the chanting of holy mantras and thought that some Brahmans from neighbouring villages would have come without knowing what had happened with Eknath and were waiting for them to come out of the house so that they could warn them and advice them not to go to his house. After some time Eknath came out of the house. The Brahmans asked him who had come for the lunch and he was quiet. They then said that they heard some people reciting some mantras. Kandiya Krishnan then asked them what their problem was and said that no one had come. The Brahmans then left and thought that Eknath and Krishnan would have chanted the mantras in some different voices to fool them.  It was almost one year since they had given this punishment to Eknath. He then went to the Brahmin Samaj and said that he was ready to do whatever pariharam (doing penance) to clear the mistake he had done by feeding the outcastes. The Brahmans then told him that they would discuss among themselves and come back to him on the same. They got together and started preparing a list of things to be done as per their wish. One said that he has to make a gold cow and gift it to some one. Another one said he has to gift land and another said he has to gift a house. Like this each one came up with whatever they wished and this list was given to Eknath. Eknath then felt that he would use all his wealth and perform the list of parihara given by the Brahmins. The Brahmans were now happy that Eknath will now gift all his wealth to them and Kandiya Krishna was thinking how teach them a lesson. Krishnan tried to tell his Guru that they were cheating him and planning to acquire all his wealth in the name of parihara, but did not agree. The Brahmans were performing the rituals and Eknath was doing the sankalpam. It was noon and a leper came enquiring about Eknath. The Brahmans stopped him and asked him who he was. He said that he came from Triambakeshwar and wanted to see him. They then asked him why he wanted to see him. The leper said that he had come to do some praihara from him. The Brahmans then told him that they were doing pariharam even for Eknath and asked the leper to do it from them. The leper then said that they would not be able to do it for him and only Eknath could perform prayachitta for him. The leper said that he has done several pariharams from many people and had taken holy dips in many holy rivers but nothing had cured his leprosy. Just then Krishnan came and asked him what happened. The leper said that he went to Triambakeshwar and prayed to Lord Shiva. He said that he then asked him to cure his leprosy failing which he will commit suicide by jumping in the Godhavari River. He then said that Lord Shiva came in his dream and asked him to take the paada theertham (water taken by cleaning the feet of saints) of Eknath and that it was the only cure for him. As soon as he said this, Krishnan told him that it was his Guru whom he was mentioning and took him to Eknath. The ceremonies were still going on and the leper asked Eknath for his paada theertham. Eknath then told him that he was not such a great person and refused his request. The leper then told him that it was Lord Triambakeshwarar who had asked him to do this and that he should not refuse. When Eknath heard that it was the wish of Lord Shiva he agreed to it. The leper then performed paadha pooja for Eknath and consumed the water. As soon as he drank this water his body became normal and leprosy had vanished. The Brahmans there astonished to see this. Krishna then looked at the Brahmans and asked if they at least now understood the greatness of Eknath. The Brahmans now did not have the guts to continue with these parihara they were doing and Krishna was happy that Eknath?s wealth was saved.

continued....

Ravi.N

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« Reply #79 on: July 29, 2014, 04:29:52 PM »
Saint Ekanath and Kandiya Krishna continued....

There was a Brahman who was very pious. He set out on a yatra to visit all the holy places and wherever he went the deity in that temple would speak to him because of his bhakthi. One day he went to Dwaraka, the deity here (Kalyanarayar) did not give him darshan or speak to him. He felt that Kalyanarayar was not there and it was only the statue that was there. After sometime he thought that he dint have enough bhakthi and that is why god did not speak to him. He decided to be on fast till he gets a reply form him. After fasting for 12 days, Lord Krishna came in his dream and said that he was in Prathistanapuram (now Paithan) doing service to Eknath as his sishya for the past 12 years. He then told him that he can have his darshan if he comes there. He also asked him to do service to Eknath instead of wandering all over India. The next morning the Brahman got up and started going to Prathistanapuram. He reached Paithan and enquired where Eknath?s house was and came to meet him. Eknath was reading Srimad Bhagavadam, the Brahman prostrated to him and asked him where Krishna was. Eknath thought that he was asking about Kandiya Krishna and told him that he has gone to Godhavari and would be back soon. Eknath thought that the Brahman was related to Krishna and had come to see him. He also asked him to be seated till he comes back. Krishna then returned from Godhavari with some water but did not say anything to the Brahaman. Eknath was surprised why both of them dint recognize each other. He then asked the Brahman if he saw Krishna going inside the house. The Brahman then told him that he was looking for Lord Krishna and not this Krishna and also explained to him what had happened to him in Dwaraka. Eknath on hearing this ran in to the house searching for Kandiya Krishna but only the vessels in which he fetched water were there but Krishnan had disappeared. He searched for him all over the house and started crying. He cursed himself for not being able to recognize god when he was there with him. He could not perform any work as everything reminded him of Krishna only. He went to a Samadhi state and was thinking only about god. The Brahman who came now started serving Eknath.

Truly the Glory of saints like Ekanath puts to shade even that of the Lord.

Ravi.N

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« Reply #80 on: July 29, 2014, 04:32:47 PM »
Saint Ekanath and the Thirsty Donkey

One day Eknath decided to go on a yatra and he set out on a yatra with few others who joined him. They went to places like Kasi, Prayagai, Vrindavan, Ayodha, Mathura etc. Eknath performed Bhajans and pravachans wherever he went. When the finished the yatra and returning to Paithan with Ganga theertham, they got stuck in a place where there was no water and all of them were thirsty. Even though they had water in hand they did not use that as it was Ganga theertham and that it was supposed to be used only for religious purpose and not for quenching thirst. They then found a donkey lying down in an unconscious state due to thirst and heat. Seeing the donkey dying Eknath felt bad and moved forward to give his Ganga theertham to it so as to prevent it from dying. The others who were with him said that he should not do that as this water was supposed to be used only for religious purpose. Eknath then said that there was no better deed that saving the life of someone and that he would give it to the donkey and save it from death. Hearing this, the others left him behind and started moving forward as they dint approve of his action. Eknath then gave the water to the donkey. As Eknath was feeding the donkey it turned out to be Vitthal. He then prostrated to Vitthal and asked him why he did this leela. Vitthal then told him that he wanted to show the world that Eknath sees every living being in this world as Vitthal and hence did this leela. Eknath then returned back home.



Jewell

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« Reply #81 on: August 03, 2014, 05:10:51 AM »
   The Story Of The Three Travelers


Three travelers on a long and exhausting journey had become companions, and shared the same pleasures and sorrows, pooling all their resources. After many days they realized that all they had between them was a piece of bread and a mouthful of water in a flask. They fell to quarrelling as to who should have all the food. Making no progress on this score, they tried to divide the bread and water. Still they could not arrive at a conclusion.

As dusk was falling, one finally suggested that they should sleep. When they awoke, the person who had had the most remarkable dream would decide what should be done.

The next morning the three rose as the sun came up and the first traveler said, "This is my dream: I was carried away to places such as cannot be described, so wonderful and serene were they. I met a wise man who said to me, 'You deserve the food, for your past and future life are worthy and suitable subjects for admiration.'"

"How strange," said the second traveler. "For in my dream, I actually saw all my past and my future. In my future I saw a man of great knowledge, who said, 'You deserve the bread more than your friends, for you are more learned and patient. You must be well-nurtured, for you are destined to lead men,'"

The third traveler said, "In my dream I saw nothing, heard nothing, said nothing. I felt a compelling presence which forced me to get up, find the bread and water, and consume them then and there. And this is what I did."

The two companions were very angry and demanded to know why they were not called when the mysterious power compelled him to consume the bread.
"But you were far from here! One of you was carried away to far places and the other to another time! How could you hear my calling?" he replied.

Shah Mohammed Gwath Shattari   



Nagaraj

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« Reply #82 on: August 04, 2014, 12:52:30 AM »


Samadhi of Sant Eknath Maharaj
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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« Reply #83 on: September 06, 2014, 07:25:09 PM »
Once a ship while reaching the shore near Udupi faced a great storm and was in imminent danger. MadhwAchArya who was standing on the seashore, saw the scene, waved his cloth towards the ship and by the Grace of God the ship was saved. The first thing the captain did on landing was to prostrate himself before the AchArya and thank him for what he believed was the AchArya's miracle and request him to take something as gift. The AchArya by his inner vision saw a heavy lump of gopi-chandana (a species of white clay) lying in the ship as ballast. He asked for that to be given him as gift. Surprised at this seemingly trivial request the captain obliged. The AchArya drove his hand inside the lump of clay and brought forth a sAligrAma stone idol of Balakrishna (Krishna in his childhood) from within. The idol was so heavy that the very fact that the AchArya could carry it all by himself was itself a miracle. But more miraculous was the information he gave on the idol. It appears it was originally made by the divine architect viSva-karma and was kept by no less a person than Rukmini hrself in Dwaraka in the dvApara yuga. When Dwaraka was submerged in the sea at the end of Krishna's time, the idol was lost. That was the idol which the AchArya had unearthed! It adorns the temple of Udupi even today.

http://www.krishnamurthys.com/profvk/gohitvip/madhva.html

Ravi.N

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« Reply #84 on: September 07, 2014, 11:56:21 AM »
In The Vision of God-Papa Ramdas,   CHAPTER XVI,CHITRAKUT
                                                                     (i) A Bania's Renunciation
Ramkinkar expressed a wish that Ramdas had a companion to take care of him. Hearing this, a bania, who was then on the platform, coming forward said:
'I am also proceeding to Chitrakut. I shall be so happy to keep him company and serve him.'
Accordingly, side by side, the bania and Ramdas took seats in the train. The train steamed out of the station. The bania carried a kambal and a lota(metal vessel). He spread the kambal on the bench and making Ramdas lie on it, massaged his feet. While doing this service he opened his mind: 'Maharaj, I am disgusted with worldly life. I too would lead the life of a sadhu. I have turned my back on a life full of cares and sorrows. Consider me as your disciple and take me under your protection.'
'Ramji', Ramdas replied, 'there is nothing wrong with the world. It is your mind that is obsessed. So long as your mind is not intensely longing to tear up the veil of illusion that clouds the Truth within you, mere external renunciation is of no avail. It will only be a leap out of the frying pan into the fire. True happiness consists in our right attitude towards life and the world. Now right attitude depends on right vision. The vision comes through the realisation of Truth or God. Do not be deceived. You cannot
have liberation and peace by simply turning your back upon the world. Know your mind well. Freedom and joy are within you. Conquest of lust, wrath and greed is the path. Don't cling to Ramdas. He is no guru. He can only show you the path. The effort and struggle are your own. Be, therefore, the disciple of Truth.'
The bania's mind appeared to have been preoccupied. Ramdas' words did not elicit any reply nor did he evince any sign that he had comprehended them. The night passed. Early next morning the train reached the Chitrakut station. Alighting, Ramdas and the bania moved towards the hills of Chitrakut which lay about three miles from the station.
On the way he had again a conversation with the Bania. 'Are you doing any sadhana, Ramji, for concentration of mind?'
Ramdas asked.
'Why not?' he returned, 'I am taking God's Name sometimes.'
'Sometimes is not good,' Ramdas said, 'you ought to repeat the Name ceaselessly, and keep up an unbroken flow of remembrance in your thoughts.'
'So far as that is concerned I am all right,' he cut short.
'Ramji, leave Ramdas alone. You live your own life, because he wanders alone', Ramdas put in.
'No, no' he said with vehemence, 'I am not giving you up'.
'The path Ramdas walks is beset with pains and dangers. He is fearless and has no dread of death. To follow him would mean for you so much discomfort and misery,' suggested Ramdas.
'I too am not afraid of anything. I can adapt myself to any life you choose to live. I am determined to cast my lot with you,' he spoke with great emphasis.
Ramdas had no alternative but to submit. So God willed. Now they reached the banks of the river Mandakini in the heart of the town. They came to a bathing ghat where Ramdas took his seat on a low, worn out table. The fit of vairagya that had seized the bania was at work. He removed his shirt and, calling a passing barber, squatted down on a stone step.

continued....
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 07:34:24 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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« Reply #85 on: September 07, 2014, 12:12:05 PM »
Bania's Renunciation continued....

'Shave me clean,' he instructed the barber, 'I am taking up sannyas.'
'You mistake me,' remonstrated the barber, 'I am not prepared to bring down on my head the curses of your wife and children by helping you adopt sannyas.'
'Brother, why do you mind all that? Do as I ask you,' the bania pressed coaxingly. 'I will give you my shirt and a watch, in addition to the usual shaving charges.'
The barber was firm. His fear of the curses outweighed all other considerations. He refused to yield to the temptation. He got up and was about to leave the spot when the bania clutched him by the arm and begged:'Shave all the hair on my head and face except the eyebrows and a small tuft on the head. What do you say? You can have no objection now.' At this the barber lowered his leather bag of shaving materials and sat down. He agreed to the compromise. In fifteen minutes the bania?s face and head, except the tuft in the middle of the latter, were cleared of all hair. He gave away to the barber the shirt and the watch and also some money. Now he turned to Ramdas anticipating a look of approbation from him. Ramdas could only be a cheerful spectator of the performance.
He had now left with him a greasy old cap, which he threw away, two dhotis and a small bag containing some money. On his finger was also a gold ring. One of the dhotis he presented to a beggar. All that he now possessed consisted of one dhoti, a gold ring, some money and a lota. Bath over, he escorted Ramdas to a neighbouring sweetmeat shop where they had a tiffin of purees and milk. Then they sauntered along the bank of the river and came to a place called Phatakshila, where they saw
nearly a dozen sadhus living in a hut close by the river. Resting for some time beneath a tree they retraced their steps to the town again by noon. The bania felt hungry. A recourse again to the sweetmeat shop satisfied the ravenous wolf within. In the afternoon they went round the famous Kamtanath hill, on which it is said Sri Ramchandra made his abode with Sita for twelve years. In the evening they returned once more to the sweetmeat shop.
For the night Ramdas preferred to settle down beneath a tree and the bania slept beside him. The bania moved with him like his shadow. He was afraid that Ramdas might give him the slip at any moment. On rising next morning from the grassy bed, the bania felt that something was wrong with him. 'We shall go down to Karvi station,' he said to Ramdas, 'it is only four miles from here, and be back by evening.' It was not for Ramdas now to question why; his was to submit. After a visit to the fascinating tiffin shop they started. On the way, when they were walking through a narrow pass of a hillock, Ramdas had to follow the bania closely. Now a hissing noise and a low moan emanated from him. Ramdas jumped on one side and faced him. He was shedding tears.
'What is the matter?' inquired Ramdas.
Wiping away his tears with many a grief-laden hiccup, he said: 'I feel so keenly for my wife and children. I ran away from them without their knowledge. They might be remembering me and living in agony over my absence. For myself I don?t mind. It is for them my heart goes out.' And he burst into tears.
'Ramji, why don?t you then return to them?' asked Ramdas.
'You see I have almost burnt my boats. Oh! the barber was right.'
Now handling fondly the short pigtail on his head he continued. 'Yes, the prospect is not after all so bad. I may yet go back to them.'

continued.....

Ravi.N

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« Reply #86 on: September 07, 2014, 12:25:24 PM »
Bania's Renunciation continued.....

                                                                    (ii) Failure of the Peace Mission

Thus they arrived at Karvi. The bania went directly to the courtyard of a small thatched house near the railway station. Both sat on a bench in the yard, a few steps from the entrance of the house. Two boys were playing in front of it. The bania made several signs to the boys who neither recognised nor heeded him. His transformed appearance was the reason for their non-recognition.
Then he called one of the boys and whispered into his ears: 'Tell your mother a man wants to see her.'
The boy went in. Meanwhile, the bania confided to Ramdas the secret of his mission. He had come to his wife?s sister?s house. He wished to reveal himself to her so that through her he might find a means of reconciliation with his wife. It was evident that he had a quarrel with her which ended in his departure from his house with a threat that he would never darken its doorstep again.The boy returned and unconcernedly commenced his play with his brother. How could a lady condescend to see a stranger inside her house?
Again he drew towards the boy and told him in a low voice: 'Tell your mother that her sister Mami?s husband has come.'
The lad gaped with raised eyebrows at the face of the bania, and a smile lit up his chubby face. He again ran into the house and soon reappeared beckoning the bania to go in. With a happy face the bania now hastened to the house. Ramdas waited. About fifteen minutes - and the bania came out. He looked like a whipped dog. His bitter face told of the unpalatable stuff with which he was served by his sister-in-law! She must have given him a big slice of her mind. The burning lashes of her tongue had charred and wrinkled his face!'Her tongue cuts - like a razor. Bah! a woman?s tongue!' he exclaimed knowingly. Then he added: 'Maharaj, I have got it now. I am not
fitted for a family life. A sadhu?s life has a charm for me. I will never return to my home, there to face another sister! No, never.' The resolution made, he continued: 'Maharaj, let us be off from this undesirable place.'
It was now past midday. The wolf again sorely troubled the bania. He sought a sweetmeat shop and they had a light repast. In spite of his heart having been lacerated with conflicting emotions, his treatment of Ramdas was marked by undiminished respect and kindness. Ramdas could well understand that it was the Lord Himself playing the game. How perfect a player!
When night approached, they sought refuge in a dharmashala, but it was so fully crowded that there was no room for them. They came out. The moon was up in the heavens. Its cool and soft rays illumined the retiring world. It flooded the vast railway-yard with its genial effulgence. Ramdas went towards it followed by the bania, and crossing the gate they entered the yard. In the yard were scattered large slabs of stones. Ramdas took his seat on one of them, asking the bania to occupy another which lay by its side.
'This is a fine place to sleep in for the night,' Ramdas remarked.
The bania grunted as much as to say that he did not agree with him. He peered suspiciously into the dark spaces below the stones on all sides, but seeing that Ramdas had already laid himself down at full length on his slab, with another long drawn squeak, the bania also followed suit. Ramdas gazed on the bright moon above and the limitless blue space all around. He was charmed and absorbed. Suddenly, an unearthly yell issued from the bania. Ramdas sat up and looked at him. He was shouting out: 'A serpent! a serpent!' He had stood up and was shaking his cloth, the only cloth, with feverish agitation.
'Maharaj, this place is infested with snakes. Let us go away from here,' he said.
Ramdas had observed that lizards had made the snug nooks below the stone slabs their home.
'There is no fear, Ramji. They are lizards, not snakes, under the stone. They are harmless,' Ramdas assured him.

continued.....
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 07:33:00 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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« Reply #87 on: September 07, 2014, 12:33:34 PM »
Bania's Renunciation continued....

'Oh!'  he cried, 'the thing, whatever it is, crawled on my legs. What a horrible sensation I got!'
'Never mind, sleep on; there need be no fear,'  Ramdas said encouragingly.
Finding Ramdas was in no mood to leave the place, he coiled himself on the stone, covering his body fully from head to foot with the cloth.
During the night he started in his sleep twice with a cry of fright; the cries were only the after-effects of the first alarm. The first shriek had terrified the poor lizards so much that they dared not come out of their lairs to touch one who could produce such a soul-racking sound!
The bania?s peace mission having utterly failed, the next day, they left Karvi again for Chitrakut. Bath in the river over, the favourite tiffin shop entertained them with its purees and milk. The day was hot. They rested for some time in the cool shade of a tree on the river bank. When the sun had descended half way down the heavens, Ramdas proposed that they should go up the hill of Hanumandhara and remain on it for the night.

(iii) Sadhuism is not a Joke

Ascending over a hundred stone steps uphill, they reached the place called Hanumandhara. Here a big jet of water was pouring down from a height of about fifty feet into a reservoir below, made of brick and mortar. There was also a small rest-house near the waterfall. The place is considered sacred because it is said to have been once occupied by Sri Ramchandra and Sita. From here an extensive view of the surrounding country can be had - vast plains, high hills covered with dense vegetation and the smooth running river, are all presented to the gaze of the spectator. Chitrakut is a land of sages and saints. Hundreds of sadhus are still doing penance in their small
ashrams called kutis, scattered over and around the hills and the riversides. From where they stood at the waterfall, Ramdas casting a glance upward, saw the mountain rise still higher. He was about to climb up when the bania suggested: 'Maharaj, there is a neat little rest-house here,' pointing to the building, 'what if we spend the night there?' Ramdas without reply, taking to a straggling path, went up, of course, followed by the bania. He now came upon a somewhat level piece of ground where stood two huts and an open shed. He entered one of the huts and found in it an image of black stone dressed in female robes, representing Sita. A sadhu was sitting near the image in order to collect the pice offered to the goddess by the pilgrims. It appears Sita was using the mandir as her kitchen, hence it goes by the name - Sita-rasuyee.
The other hut was locked up. The bania sat inside the open shed to rest his tired limbs. The hill was still higher up by a couple of hundred yards. The whole place was thickly covered with tall wild trees.

continued....

Ravi.N

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« Reply #88 on: September 07, 2014, 12:42:36 PM »
Bania's Renunciation continued....

'Ramji,' Ramdas said to the bania, 'this place is best suited for bhajan and so we shall stop here for the night.' He replied that the idea did not appeal to him and that the idea was simply preposterous or something to that effect. The sun had set and darkness was rapidly creeping on the world. The sadhu of Sita mandir came out and saw Ramdas seated on the root of a tree and the bania in the tiny shed.
'How, now,' the sadhu said, 'what are you doing here? Don?t you see it is getting dark? - Iet us go down.'
'Ram wills that Ramdas should remain here for the night,'  answered Ramdas.
'Madness,' he muttered, 'this jungle is haunted by wild beasts and nobody is permitted to remain here in the open in the nights. The shut-up kuti belongs to my guru who has gone down to the city for riddhi siddhi. It is his order that none should be here in the night.'
'Ramdas obeys the command of Ram who says that he should not move from here,'  Ramdas rejoined.
'Then, do as you like at your own risk,'  the sadhu retorted. 'But one thing,'  he added, ?don?t make use of that shed. You, you,'  turning to the bania, 'get out of the shed.' The bania came out. With a last warning the sadhu left the place and went down-hill. About ten yards higher up from the shed, Ramdas saw a flat stone beneath a
cluster of trees. Going up, he occupied it. No sooner had the sadhu gone out of sight than the bania got back to the seat in the shed. Darkness came on.
'Maharaj-ji, please do come to the shed,' the bania called.
'No, Ramji, this flat stone is large enough to accommodate two persons. So you may also come here,' answered Ramdas.
'This is a better place, Maharaj'  he urged.
By now it became pitch dark. The bania cried out in terror: 'O Maharaj, do come, I cannot remain here alone in this dreadful place.'
Ramdas abandoning the flat stone went up to him in the shed. With the advent of darkness cold had also set in. The shed, open on all sides, being supported on four bamboo poles, allowed freely the chill breezes to sweep into it. Ramdas sat up while the bania lay down to sleep. But where was sleep for him in that fearful place? He was shivering both from dread and cold. At midnight there was a rustling noise among the thickly strewn dry leaves beneath the trees. Hearing the noise, with a sharp cry the bania bounded into a sitting posture.
'Maharaj,' he whispered, 'what is that noise?'
'It is nothing, Ramji,'  consoled Ramdas, 'it may be only mountain rats, sporting about.'
'For all that we know, it might be a wild animal or a cobra. I have heard that these jungles are inhabited by large sized cobras,'  he spoke with
deep concern.
'Give up your fears, Ramji, they may be rats,' assured Ramdas.

continued...

Ravi.N

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« Reply #89 on: September 07, 2014, 12:47:50 PM »
Bania's Renunciation continued...

Again an hour later, a similar noise louder and closer was heard. This time the bania was thoroughly frightened, and clung to Ramdas as the scared young one of a monkey does its mother.
'What shall we do?'  he cried.
'Repeat the Name of Ram,'  Ramdas suggested, 'you need not be afraid of anything when that powerful Name is on your lips. Do repeat it and keep calm.'
Thereafter, Ramnam worked on his lips with amazing continuity. Till the appearance of dawn he went on with the japa, and no more noises disturbed him. The day-break dispelled his fears. He lay down through utter exhaustion from want of sleep, and directly commenced to snore.
Ramdas got up from the place, and wandering in the jungle, came to the top of the hill. Through the morning mist he beheld the distant landscapes and the faint outlines of the turrets and domes of the temples of Chitrakut. The sight was enchanting and Ramdas stood still for some minutes under its magic spell. He roamed deeper into the forest where he discovered at places dry bones of animals scattered on the ground, the telltale signs of the work of wild beasts.
Remembering the bania he hastened to the spot where he had left him. But where was the bania? He had vanished. When Ramdas was looking for him, the sadhu who had come up inquired: 'Whom are you seeking for? - the bania! When I was coming up I saw him running down as though pursued by a devil.'  He added with a laugh: 'After all he learnt that sadhuism is not a joke.'
The jungle called Ramdas back again and he rambled freely through it, till about eleven o ?clock when he descended the hill and directed his steps towards the river.

In the Vision of God-Papa Ramdas