Panduranga - 10

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kooba Kumbhar
Naaham vande thava charanayor dvandam advantha hetho
Kumbhipaakam gurumapi hare naarakam napanethum
Ramyaam ramaam mridu thanu latham nandane naapiranthum
Bhave bhave hrudaya bhavane bhaavayeyam bhavantham!
      Radhekrishna! The above sloka is taken from Sri Kulasekhara Alwar's Mukuntamala! Always cries out to the Lord that he is worshiping the Lord not with a definite purpose. He says he does not want to reach non duality. Nor does he worship the Lord to avoid getting hell or naraka of kumbhipakam! He is also not interested in enjoying the pleasures of heaven like roaming in beautiful gardens with pretty damsels. He worships the Lord because he enjoys worshiping Him. Devotion for the sake of the Lord only and not for anything else!
      But usually it is the other way round among many devotees. They worship the Lord with a definite purpose of getting some desire fulfilled. Kulasekhara Alwar loves the Lord so much that he enjoys worshiping Him! Real bhakthas love the Lord for the Lord's sake only! The Lord is playing with the jeevas each and every minute to create drida visvasam or firm faith in them. Devotion is not imagination, or blind faith but experience! If we have firm faith we can definitely experience the Lord's mercy! Bhagavan's karunyam is seamless. We must try to lead the life according to His wish! We are going to see the story of a real bhaktha of Panduranga from this issue!
      There was a potter named Kooba Kumbhar in a village. They were very old very much devoted to Lord Panduranga! They did their karma, duties without any sort of attachment or likes and dislikes. They never had any sort of expectations in their life, not even worldly or spiritual! They made pots out of mud, sold them and earned their livelihood. They were happy with what they got from this which was enough for their hands to mouth existence. The local ruler of that area was a greedy man and imposed tax on the people. He ordered them to give a certain number of pots as tax to the King. 
        Kooba Kumbhar and his wife found it very difficult to meet his demand. Since they were old they could make only a few pots. But they with firm faith left everything to Panduranga and were free or worries. With full faith in the Lord and full acceptance of what was due to them they chanted the Lord's name. They kept the raw pots they made in the furnace for baking.  Every time they took pots after baking, there would be enough pots to be given to the king as tax. With tears in their eyes they accepted the Lord's mercy quietly. They never expected that a miracle could happen or never imagined that the Lord would play some leela. They never boasted this to anybody else also. They just did their duties perfectly for the sake of the Lord, and the Lord took care of their life. 
        When one chants the Lord's name He feels indebted to them and keeps showering His grace. When the Lord is showering His grace the devotee chants His name in return for the grace received. But Bhagavan gets pleased with that and is ready with His blessings again. Thus the cycle goes on and on! It is our duty to do chanting continuously. That is the only thing we can do. Chanting will cleanse our hearts completely. Bhagavan will watch our chanting keenly. At times he will test our maturity. He will watch what our attitude is during certain situations. 
       Kooba Kumbhar and his wife were enjoying various Bhagavan's leelas. But they kept it to themselves.  Once a group of devotees going to Pandarpur happened to pass through this village. Kooba Kumbhar was overjoyed to see this group of devotees and offered his service to them. He had no money at all with him but he wanted to serve them food. He approached a shop owner and requested his help for this. He said that he wanted to feed the big group of above hundred people who were on their way to Pandarpur. He had no money with him right at the moment but promised to pay the money back in small instalments as and when he could. 
        The shop keeper said that he was definitely in a position to give him the provisions now. But he was  very dubious of the repayment. He said Kooba Kumbhar was totally inefficient to repay the money. He knew Kooba Kumbhar was struggling to make two ends meet. But he had an alternate suggestion. He had bought a new land. But there was no well in it. He Kooba Kumbhar to dig a well for him in the land as repayment. Kooba Kumbhar was very happy to hear this. He thanked Panduranga for keeping a helping person as the shop keeper near him. He wanted to do service to the devotees. Though he had no money at all he could now feed them all. Isn't it all due to Lord Panduranga's grace? Not only that now he had the chance of doing another service - digging a well for the shop keeper!
         He brought the necessary provisions for the feast, and prepared enough food for the group. Looking at him the devotees wondered how he could do that. He didnt look rich enough to be able to provide food for the whole group. Kooba Kumbhar replied that it was Lord Panduranga who has provided with all the necessary provisions. He served the devotees with the food he had brought and they had their stomach full. Kooba Kumbhar was immensely happy that he could do at least this small kainkaryam (service) to the devotees who were on the pilgrimage to Pandarpur! We will be back with the rest of the story in the next issue. Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!



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