Panduranga - 13

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

          Radhekrishna!  Panduranga is the form of simplicity, sowlabhya. Pandarpur is the only place where we are forced to surrender. The pandits will push our head to the lotus feet of the Lord.The man behind us in the queue will only push us forward towards the Lord. Inspite of Panduranga's simplicity and love a man despised Him very much. He even did not want to hear His name like Ghantakarna. We will now see the story of Naraharisonar - one who hated Panduranga but ultimately turned to be a great devotee.
       Naraharisonar was an expert goldsmith living in Pandarpur. He was a pure saivite - a devotee of Lord Siva. Somehow he did not like Panduranga and hated people going to the temple chanting aloud. But since he was in Pandarpur he had to see loads of devotees, singing aloud abhangs, dancing on the streets. Daily he had to pass the temple to go to his shop. Unknowingly he did circumbulation of the  temple daily. The antharyami knowing Narahari's hatred for Him kept him very near and would interfere in his path someway or other daily. That is His leela! Panduranga is so possessive that He cannot stand anybody turning his face away from Him. He decided to win over Narahari. It is only His karunyam with which He defeats us and pulls us closer to Him. Whoever tries to run away from Him ultimately land up in His lotus feet. That is the greatness of the Lord. 
        According to the divine leela a rich man from another village came to see Lord Panduranga. For a long period in his marriage life he was childless and was blessed with a child by the grace of Lord Panduranga. He wanted to offer something for the limitless grace he received from the Lord. The Lord always snatches whatever they have from His bhakthas first. Then He will snatch the devotee himself in the end. This is openly stated in Srimad Bhagavatham too. The Lord as antharyami inspired him. He stood in front of the Lord and stared at the fascinating form for a long time. The charming form from toe to top looted his mind completely. Lotus feet and hands, slender hip and neck, broad shoulders, coral lips, long nose, shining cheeks, wide eyes, curly hair, everything was capturing him. Watching His hip he was reminded of Yasoda matha tying Him onto a stone mortar. The mark of the rope was left on His hip forever. 
         Suddenly he thought wasn't it a good idea to make a golden belt for the Lord. 'At least I can also tie Him this way like Yasoda matha' he thought. He immediately enquired at the temple whether his offering would be accepted. They were ready to accept. The Lord is waiting to accept whatever we offer so that He can shower grace for that! Well the rich man enquired whether there was anybody who was good at making the belt. Immediately they referred Naraharisonar who was a staunch opposer of Lord Vittala! But of course he was a wonderful goldsmith. What a strange leela!
       The man went to Naraharisonar. He welcomed the rich man and enquired what he wanted to make. He replied that he wanted Narahari to make a golden belt for His personal God. It should be the best with precious stones studded in it. Narahari happily agreed to do that. He was sure he could make the most woderful golden belt for the rich man's personal God. Next he asked the rich man the measure of the hip of the Lord. He said he preferred to measure it himself because he did not want to take any chances. The rich man was happy and said he would take Narahari to the temple.
Narahari: Ok. I will come with you. Where is your temple?
Bhaktha: Oh in this village only. 
Narahari: Wonderful! Then I promise you I can make the perfect one which will please you. Which is the temple? Come on tell me.
Bhaktha: Oh it is the main temple in this village. Dont you know? Lord Panduranga's temple.
Narahari closed his ears. He was shocked to hear his enemy's name. He was a totally changed person now. He shouted angrily at the bhaktha 'Hey get out of here! How dare you come to my shop and ask this to me?
Bhaktha: Well what happened? What is wrong with you? I clearly told you that I want a golden belt studded with precious stones for my Lord and you agreed to that a moment before. Now why are you shouting like this. Are you insulting me? 
Narahari: You dont talk to me. I cant take your order. You may go to somebody else.
Bhaktha: But why? You must tell me the reason for the sudden change in attitude.
Narahari: I wont do for your Lord. I hate Him.
Bhaktha: But why?
Narahari: I am always meditating Lord Siva only. 
The bhaktha laughed. 'Dont you know that your Lord Himself is immersed in my Lord's meditation? He has clearly told 'ahameva achyutha priyah'.
Narahari sonar was irritated to the core to hear this. 'I dont want to hear such silly stories. I dont believe He is god at all. How can He be greater than my God.
Bhaktha: Ok. let it be. But dont u make jewels for many ladies and children.
Narahari: Yes of course.
Bhaktha: If you dont consider my Lord as God then what objection have you to make this jewel. You may consider that you are making for an ordinary person. Does that harm you?
But Narahari did not agree to that. He was very reluctant to accept the offer. The Bhaktha tempted him with  a lot of remuneration since he was the only goldsmith who was expert in this art. By this time hearing the raised voices a small crowd had gathered around his shop. Now the public also interefered in their quarrel. Most of them supported the Bhaktha. Many who were jealous of Narahari were happy to see that he was defeated. The argument was going on and on. Finally the pujaris of the temple also interfered and talked with Narahari. Ultimately a compromise was formed and Narahari accepted to do the work for a huge fee ignoring the fact that it was for Lord Vittala. The Lord has His own way of winning over people. Narahari agreed to make the ornament on the condition that the bhaktha would bring the exact measurement of the Lord's hip. 
        The bhaktha happily took the measurement of the hip with a string and marked on it. Narahari took the measure and asked the bhaktha to come back after about a week. The antharyami in Narahari confused him totally and made him work for the Lord. With full concentration Narahari worked out the jewel in a unique design. He felt proud that even his enemy wanted him to make a jewel. When the bhaktha came after a week he showed him the jewel. The bhaktha was taken back at the exquisite design he had made. He was very very pleased with the jewel. Carrying the jewel he went to the temple to check the fitting. The eyes of all who saw the piece bloated with wonder at the beauty of it. When he tried to tie the belt around the Lord's hip he was dismayed to see that it was a bit short. However much he tried it would fit in to His hips. The man was shattered. Nobody have ever seen such a beautiful ornament before. But unfortunately it does not fit Him. 
      We can very well guess the disappointment of the bhaktha. What happened next? Wait and see. Till then Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!



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