Panduranga - 22

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 6
     Radhekrishna! Last issue we saw Thukkaram going to Konkan for doing chilli business. He completely surrendered to the Lord. Surrender can definitely do wonders. Just surrender to the Lord saying you don't know anything. Don't plan or think about your life. Let Him finish the work as He likes. It will be done wonderfully. Kunti surrendered like that to the Lord. He took care of her children on every occasion. He came running when Uthara cried out to Him when she was tortured by Aswathama's arrows.
           Thukkaram also surrendered like her and kept waiting. He spread his chillies by the side of a Siva temple in the village. Two ladies came to buy chilli. They asked him the price. He told them to fix the price for themselves. He was so innocent as to ask the price for his own product. They took advantage and collected good quantity of chillies from him. Thukkaram with a pure heart was prepared to give away lavishly. The news of cheap good quality chillies spread into the town like wild fire. People began to rush in. Many found Thukkaram can be cheated easily. Some paid money many didn't even pay money on some excuse or other. Within minutes all the chillies were sold. With the money he got he thanked Panduranga for being so kind in helping him sell his products so quickly. Bhaktha's heart is like that of an innocent child. There is no malice or enmity towards anyone.
         But Panduranga could not stand His bhakhta being cheated by them like this. As He has promised in Bhagavath Geetha "sambhavami yuge yuge" he came down in a human form. He tied a turban over His head and went into the village. He knocked at the houses of the people who had cheated Thukkaram that day. He stood before them demanding the payment of the cost of the chillies introducing Himself as Vittoba, Thukkaram's servant. Many tried to argue that Thukkaram had given them free. But He could not be easily convinced. His dexterity in words made them accept Him and were forced to pay the money meekly. Some were scared by the way He stood and demanded. The man was well built with a scaring turban. They didn't dare to fight Him physically. One man had taken a sack of chilli from Thukkaram telling him that he would pay the money next time when he came there. He was happy that he could cheat the poor man so easily. Vittoba went to his house and knocked. When he came out Vittoba demanded the money. He refused to give saying that he would give the money next time when Thukkaram comes. Then Vittoba said 'ok! then give me the chilli sack. You can take it next time when we come here'. He was speech less for a minute but said he had taken it only with the full consent of Thukkaram. But Vittoba would not accept his answer. He again argued that without money He could not go back. However much the man tried to resist Vittoba he realised he could not. Ultimately He managed to collect the money due to Thukkaram from him. 
          He took all the money in a bag and walked towards Thukkaram in a different form now! We can never guess or decide in which form the Lord will appear. Even today the Lord takes various forms in Brindavan and is doing divine leelas! We can never find out. When Lord Rama came He acted as a human only. In the same way we cannot find out mahathmas easily. Sri Suka was considered to be insane by the world. We fail to recognise many mahathmas in our life. So we have to be careful in dealing with people to avoid bhagavatha apacharam by mistake.
            Now Panduranga took the form of the village chieftain and came him. He asked him "are you Thukkaram?" 
Thukkaram replied he was. 
Then He gave the money to him saying, "take this money for the chillies you sold."  
Thukkaram replied that he already got paid. 
Then the chieftain replied "You sold 3 sacks of chillies and got only 5 or 6 annas so far. How is it fair! The people of our village are very straight forward and naive. We don't take other people's money. So they have entrusted me the duty of giving your money."
Thukkaram was very happy and invited Him to join for dinner which he had brought. The man happily agreed. Thukkaram requested Him to get some ghee for them. He handed over some money to Him. He was back within minutes with a vessel full of ghee. Thukkaram put two leaves and served for both of them. 
         Lord Siva was watching everything.  Bhaktha serving food to God and both taking together is something second to none. He didnt want to miss the opportunity. So He also took some form and joined them requesting a share.  Thukkaram was overwhelmed with happiness. He got 2 athithis (guests) today. He served them both with love and affection. They ate the food with utmost enjoyment. They spent sometime with Thukkaram and then left. Thukkaram took whatever left as prasadam. He was so happy to get that prasadam. With devotion plain rice with warm water and little salt will taste divine. Bhakthi is the main ingredient needed. Accept everything as bhagavath prasadam. Even when u take food from a hotel you can consider it as bhagavath prasadam. That itself will purify the food and give divine taste! 
        The people of the village came to see him. They all complained that his servant came and forced money from them. He didn't understand what they were telling. But realised that all this must have been  done by Panduranga only. His eyes again filled with tears at the Lord's mercy. He left Konkan with the money he had made in that business. Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna! 
We will be back with more stories of Panduranga leela! Radhekrishna!


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