Panduranga - 9

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sakkubai - 5
Aabhyam vilochanabhyam 
Ambuja dala lalitha lochanam baalam
Dwaabhyam api parirabdhum
Doore mama hantha daiva saamagri! 
         Radhekrishna! 'Krishna's eyes resemble the petals of a pink lotus. How I wish to hug  Him with both my hands! But the grace of God is still far away from me to do that' says saint Leela Sukar in his Krishna Karnamritham. Sakkubai who could hug the Lord directly now did not want to lose the fortune from her hands. She stuck to Pandarpur doing small small services in the temple. She was enjoying her life. But mother Rukmini was worried of her husband. What fate has the Lord to do all the house hold chores for a human family! He has promised Sakkubai that He would remain there till she returned. So the Lord had to remain there till she came. 
      The great devotee Sakkubai's longing for the Lord became so intense that she left her body and was dead. The people there took her body and did the last rituals. It so happened that a brahmin from Sakkubai's village was there in Pandarpur who witnessed everything. He felt sorry for Sakkubai and thought he would inform her people about her demise. He returned to the village and headed straight for Sakkubai's home. 
        Meanwhile mother Rukmini could no longer bear the separation of her Lord and she forced back Sakkubai's athma in to a new body by her divine sankalpa. She ordered Sakkubai to go back to her home and spend the rest of her life doing service to her husband and in laws.Wasn't it her duty to relieve the maya Sakkubai who had come to help her? When the mother reminded Sakkubai of this she immediately agreed to go and started towards her village. 
       When the brahmin from Sakkubai's village reached her home the maya Sakkubai had gone to the pond for washing clothes. He started consoling them saying athma thathva. Sakkubai's husband was puzzled when the brahmin said he met Sakkubai in Pandarpur and that she was no more. He also said he himself attended her funeral ceremonies. Sakkubai's husband began to laugh thinking that the brahmin had gone out of his mind. Now the brahmin looked puzzled and asked why he was laughing. Sakkubai's husband replied that she was very much there and how could the brahmin have met her in Pandarpur? It was all his imagination or a mistaken idendity. But the brahmin was sure it was Sakkubai herself that he had met in Pandarpur. He had talked to her personally. 
     The argument was going on when original Sakkubai from Pandarpur entered the house. She was feeling slightly hesitant since she had gone out of the house without their knowledge. She has to somehow get into the house and relieve the other lady who had helped her. She must apologise to her first for taking such a long time. Seeing Sakkubai her husband pointed her to the brahmin jubilantly. "Didn't I tell you my wife is here?" The brahmin was totally taken aback. He couldnt believe  his eyes. He has seen Sakkubai's dead body and the cremation with his own eyes. How could this be he wondered. 
      Seeing the brahmin Sakkubai was also startled. Oh Vitala! He would have told everything to them she wondered. Her mother in law approached her and asked her lovingly whether she has finished washing so quickly? Sakkubai didnt understand a thing and stared blankly. Her husband turned towards her and told that the brahmin had mistaken somebody else for Sakkubai in Pandarpur. Then Sakkubai interrupted him saying that the brahmin was absolutely right. Suddenly there was a silence in the room. 
"What are you blabbering my dear?" asked her husband. 
"The truth my swamy! I must apologise to you now for what I have done!" replied Sakkubai.
"But you have done nothing wrong! You were only serving us the most appropriate way my dear! Why should you apologise?"
"I am sorry to say that it was not me who was here! It was another woman who resembled me!"
Nobody could believe her. They all stared at her in surprise. Then Sakkubai narrated everything that had happened till now and said she wanted to apologise to them all and also to the lady who had volunteered to take over her duty. The neighbours had all gathered there hearing the commotion and somebody rushed to the pond to see the other Sakkubai. But she had disappeared miraculously. Sakkubai could now guess who that other lady was. She remembered how mother Rukmini took interest in her case and sent her back with a new body. Immediately she cried out Vital! Vital! with tears flowing over her cheeks. 
     The story was now clear to everyone and everybody started chanting Vital! Vital! thrilled to the core. What fortune they had to have the Lord Himself with them all these days! Sakkubai's in laws recognised her devotion and accepted her whole heartedly. They were changed completely. The whole village was moved with the grace of the Lord. Sakkubai now entered into a new life of devotion along with her husband and in laws. The whole village changed itself and devotion spread among them. 
      A single devotee could bring about devotion to a whole village! Panduranga's grace and simplicity to stoop to such a low level conquered their minds. He is bhaktha vatsala!  We have to give our mind to Him like Sakkubai to enjoy the grace! Radhekrishna! Sakkubai's story has been an inspiration for many people. We will meet with the story of another bhaktha of Panduranga in our next issue! Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!   



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