Panduranga - 4

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


      Radhekrishna! We will continue from the last issue's story of Panduranga! Thus the Brahmin brought back the Lord whom we are now able to see in Pandarpur.The brahmin was none other than the great devotee Bhanudasa!  To this day all who enter the premises can go and touch the Lord. There is no discrimination of caste, creed, rich or poor, educated or illiterate. He stands there showering His grace on all without any reservation.
       Sri Namadeva was the rebirth of Sri Uddhava, Bhagavan Krishna’s minister and friend. He had a blemishless devotion to Lord Pandarinatha. He has sung innumerous abhangs on the Lord. His abhangs are sung by many till today. Even today we can see his house in Pandarpur. The sound of singing abhangs will be coming out of the house always. The devotion of the people of Maharashtra for Panduranga is unequalled. The chanting of Vitala, vitala fills the atmosphere. Nobody feels ashamed of chanting bhagavannaama. Those devotees have enchanted Him with their devotional chanting. 
        Once Namadeva happened to meet a girl in the street who was orphaned. He took her to his home and brought up her in the family. She was called Janabai! The whole family was immersed in devotion. Janabai did house hold chores chanting Vital nama. Nama deva used to sing bhajans till late hours of the night. Janabai enjoyed the bhajan. She too developed immense bhakthi in her heart. One night it was raining outside. Namadeva was unconscious of the world, singing abhangs. The house had mud walls. Slowly the mud walls began to be soaked by the heavy rains and started melting.  Namadeva was blissfully unaware of everything immersed in his bhajan. Panduranga rushed to Namadeva’s house and stood leaning on the mud wall supporting it. After finishing his bhajan Namadeva came out to have a look at the temple. He was totally surprised to see Panduranga himself standing outside supporting the wall. His peethambaram was soiled totally.
        Namadeva was very much moved by the mercy of the Lord. He invited the Lord inside his house. Together they put some wooden planks as support to the mud wall and entered the house. The members were overwhelmed with happiness seeing Panduranga in their house and welcomed Him. It was past midnight. Namadeva enquired whether the Lord would have food. Panduranga was only delighted to have. So Janabai hurriedly started making rotis for Panduranga. Meanwhile Namadeva requested Him to change His wet and soiled dress. Panduranga refused Namadeva’s dress saying it was small for Him. Immediately Janabai offered her long sari. Panduranga happily accepted and wore it. Janabai took the discarded peethambara inside for washing. In her intense love for the Lord she hugged the dress, smelt it kissed it and danced around holding it in her hand.
       Namadeva seated Panduranga and served the prepared rotis. Panduranga enjoyed the devotion with which the rotis were soaked in. All the members were given His left overs as prasadam also. Janabai was in the kitchen eagerly watching all these. Suddenly she felt sorry that she was deprived of Panduranga’s prasadam. Her heart ached much for it. After the untimely dinner Panduranga showed signs of sleepiness. So a comfortable bed was arranged for Him and He was put to sleep. All the members lay around the floor near Him.
     Inside Janabai was awake with a throbbing heart. How much she wanted to be with her Lord! How much she wished to touch Him! He is so near but still so away from her, she felt! All were fast asleep. The Lord got up slowly without making any sound at all and entered the kitchen. Janabai was sitting there longing for the Lord. Suddenly seeing the Lord in front of her she was totally surprised and cried out Panduranga. The Lord immediately pulled her towards her in a tight hug mumbling her cry to a soft sound. Tears were rolling down her eyes. She couldn’t stand the mercy of the Lord. He caressed her lovingly and dried her eyes. The Lord who had hugged Radhika Rani, Kuchela and others, hugged Janabai too. She was overwhelmed and kept crying. Panduranga asked her “why are you crying now?”
When I think of my guru Namadeva’s kripa tears keep coming” she replied. They kept talking with each other, singing, and dancing for a long time. Janabai’s devotion earned her these solitary moments with the Lord. The sounds of their laughter, and mumbled whisperings woke Namadeva’s mother. Thinking it was some third person who has entered Janabai’s room she came with a long stick and gave a blow to Panduranga. Panduranga cried out ‘Namadeva’ in pain. Seeing that Namadeva dissuaded his mother saying it was Panduranga blessing Janabai.
      Day dawned. Panduranga left Janabai  and hurried to His temple. The pujaris chanting mantras opened the sanctum door. They were astonished to see Panduranga wearing a worn out sari instead of His peethambara. They enquired within themselves how it has happened. Namadeva came in and with tears in his eyes told everyone that it was Janabai’s dress. He narrated everything that happened last night. People were stunned to know about Janabai’s devotion who never showed it to anyone. Thus the Lord through is divine leela proved the bhakthi of His devotee to the world. Panduranga is the form of simplicity, sowlabhya. For His devotees’ sake He would go to any extent. Numerous are the experiences of His devotees. Sakkubai was a simple woman who worshiped Him with great fervor. For her sake He once assumed her own form.We will see her story in the next issue. Radhekrishna!



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