Panduranga - 24

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 8
      Radhekrishna! Bhagavan tests His devotees in various ways. Lord Rama sent Anjaneya to test Bharatha and find out whether he had even an iota of desire for the country. Only when He got confirmation that Bharatha had no desire at all that He returned to Ayodhya. Life is a class room for studying how to live. Till the end we have to keep learning. Nobody can escape from this. Unless we learn from life we will keep rotating in the cycle of births and deaths. We should take all incidents as Bhagavan's leela only. Only because He takes liberty with us He is playing with us. 
        Thukkaram considered everything as Panduranga leela only. So he never hesitated to give the money to the brahmin who was in need. The other merchants went in advance to report this to Jijayi. Thukkaram could not face her. Bhagavan took the form of Thukkaram himself  and proceeded to Dehu. He went to the man who lent him money for the jaggery business and paid him. He was happy that Thukkaram had become more responsible now. Bhagavan in the form of Thukkaram also paid a few gold coins to him and asked him to hand them over to Jijayi. The man was perplexed and asked why Thukkaram himself did not give to Jijayi. Thukkaram replied that she will pick up a fight since there was not much profit in the business. Actually he had given 5 gold coins which was a great amount only. Avali was very happy to see that her husband had changed a lot and had earned this much money!
         Meanwhile Thukkaram after sometime decided to go home and face her at last. As he entered Dehu many greeted him and congratulated him for the success in his business. Thukkaram didn't understand a thing. He proceeded to his house.  Jijayi had prepared food and was waiting for him. Seeing him she greeted happily. Expecting abuses from her Thukkaram was surprised at her reaction. She said "Why are you so late to come. Don't u want to have proper food from our house? Do you think I am concerned only with the money you bring? I am worried about your health as well." Thukkaram could not believe his ears. From her blabbering he could at last know that the Lord had come in his form and paid the money etc.       
       He again fell at the Lord's feet for being so kind and loving. This only brought him closer to the Lord.  Days rolled by. From nowhere a heavy drought hit the country. Life changed utterly. Everywhere there was hunger and poverty. Thukkaram's first wife died of hunger. His first sons Santoba and Vitoba also met with the same disaster. Thukkaram broke down out of sorrow. He cried out to his Lord Vital. People again started talking ill of him. They criticised him for chanting the Lord's name inspite of all the disasters. But that was his right! Thukkaram was very happy! If people start criticising him he would never get ego, he thought. He never prayed for favours. Whatever he got he received it happily. His only aim in life was to be devoted to the Lord whatever comes! What a great thinking! When Lord Nrisimha offered any boon for Prahlada, he became sad and said he does not want to do business with the Lord. That is mahan's attitude. Thukkaram did not deviate from his namajapam at any cost. 
        One day Thukkaram left his house and went to a hillock near his house. He wanted to do chanting peacefully for some time. It is 6 kms away from Dehu and is called bhandara hills. We can go there when we visit Dehu. He sat under a tree and started chanting. He prayed for the divine darsan of the Lord. His family, business, house, children, relatives, could never give him happiness he said. He was yearning for bhagavath darsan which only could give him peace and happiness. Have we ever yearned for such a darsan in our life? We wish for family, wealth, children, etc etc but never wish for the Lord! We are concerned only with the body and not the athma! We should have that earnestness to see the Lord, which is the sole purpose of our births. But Thukkaram had that determination so did namajapam with full vigour.There was nobody to disturb him. 
       Days went by but the namajapam did not stop. He was determined. Either the Lord's darsan or death was his decision. 7 days went by. Panduranga was pleased with his determination. He came down as a black shining serpent. He slowly climbed on to Thukkaram's body encircling him. He raised Hood in front of Thukka's face. Thukkaram was unaware of anything immersed in his namajapam. When in deep sleep are we aware of things going on around us? Bhagavan tried to wake Thukkaram from his samadhi. A loud voice called him "Thukkaram! Why don't you open your eyes and look at me. I have come to you as a black snake." But Thukkaram had decided that he wont look at any of the Lord's form which he cannot recognise easily. Bhagavan should come with four arms carrying conch, disc, etc. As the voice said black snake form he refused to open his eyes. All the devas cried "Thukkaram! Open your eyes and see this form. Don't miss this opportunity." But Thukkaram had decided not to look at any other form of the Lord. 
       Panduranga waited for some more time. Ultimately the Lord was defeated and was forced to change his form. He took the enchanting form of the Lord with 4 arms carrying the conch, disc, lotus etc. lotus like eye hands, feet, coral lips, wearing peetambara, carrying a flute, and with a peacock feather on the head. Thukkaram was fascinated by the form and stood staring at it happily. Then he requested the Lord to take form of Vittala again. Panduranga smilingly obliged. He stared at the form without even winking. He could not take his eyes off the form. He kept drinking the nectar of His divine darsan. Keep the form in your mind and chant. We will see in the next issue; Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!


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