Panduranga - 27

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 11
      Radhekrishna! The Lord says in the Bhagavath gita that one who does not desire anything, hate anything, worried about anything, who has sacrificed good and evil things, is dearer to me. That bhaktha has no differentiation. He has no sorrow. He wants to live his life only according to the wishes of the Lord. Thukkaram was like that. Always immersed in the thoughts of the Lord. He never had the thought that the Lord ignored him. He always knew that Panduranga does some leela since He takes liberties with Thukkaram. 
       Now Thukkaram again settled back in his life doing namajapam, spending most of his time in the Bhandara hills. One day when he was circumbulating the temple he noticed that it was damaged here and there. He felt very sorry. The Lord who is taking care to keep us all perfect is living in a damaged temple! He couldn't bear that. He decided to do whatever he could for the temple. He got permission from the Lord though he had no money with him at all. Daily he would go around, collect sand, bricks, etc from wherever he got and keep it at the temple. He never depended on anybody else for this kainkaryam of repairing the temple. Lord Vittal was moved by his devotion. 
          He gave darsan to the chief of the village and asked him to restore His temple.  Next day he called the people and told them about his dream. When they visited the temple they found Thukkaram silently doing the repair works little by little. They were inspired by his determination. So it was decided to sell the corns kept in stock for Thukkaram and collect the necessary money. With the money collected from the corns the work was done. But for consecrating the temple they lacked money. Thukkaram was very happy that the temple work was finished. But was sorry there was not enough money for the consecrating function. He prayed to the Lord.
     The Lord again came in the dream of the village chieftain. He said they have all cheated Thukkaram. The man wondered. He said he had taken the corns kept for Thukkaram for the reconstruction of the temple with his consent only. The Lord replied, that those extra corns were given by the Lord for Thukkaram. But for the efforts taken by Thukkaram by singing and chanting to ward off the birds was not rewarded. That man has not paid the salary Thukkaram deserved. So next day the farmer was called to ask for his wages. He already was instructed by the Lord in his dream and was prepared to pay. Due to Thukkaram's connection these people had the Lord's darsan so easily. The money was paid by  him. Thukkaram conducted the function feeding everyone with the money he got. He was moved by the Lord's grace showered on him. Whatever he wanted He fulfilled. Panduranga is karunasagaran indeed! 
       Meanwhile Jijayi kept abusing her husband. But could not bear her husband deprived of food and so daily would walk 6 kms to the hill to give him his food. To and fro she would be scolding Panduranga, that He was the only culprit to have spoilt her husband this much. He is indirectly troubling her by enticing her husband. It was very difficult for her to walk this distance daily. One day she was carrying the food abusing the Lord. On the way a big thorn pierced her feet. The pain was terrible. She cried aloud and sat down holding her feet. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she felt left alone. She put the blame on the Lord again. It is His doing only to hurt her! She couldn't take out the thorn. It was getting late for her husband. She became worried. But she never wanted Vittal to know her predicament. She did not want to be defeated in front of her. 
       Just at the right time Lord Panduranga came from a distance. Her hatred knew no bounds. He was the last person she wanted to see at that time. Her continuous thoughts that He should not come there brought Him automatically. "Sathatha smaranam!" She did not want to see Him there. She thought He would definitely tease her because she was in a dependent position now. That Lord which the three worlds yearn to get became something unwanted for her. She looked down away from Him. Panduranga sat beside her, took her feet in His lap and softly removed the thorn from her feet. She felt as if she was touched with a flower and was immediately relieved. As she was His bhaktha Thukkaram's wife He volunteered to help her inspite of her hatred towards Him. All the devas who were watching this wonderful leela were spell bound by His kripai. They wondered what austerities Avali did to attain this grace! 
      Avali got up collecting her things and walked towards Thukkaram. Panduranga started following her. She was getting irritated very much by His action. But her hatred made her mind think of Him only. Such concentrated thoughts of the Lord forced Him to follow her. Thukkaram was sitting chanting. Today somehow he could not get the Lord's darsan to his satisfaction. He was wondering why bagavan was not coming so easily today. As he looked down he saw Panduranga and  Avali walking towards him. He was taken aback by the scene. He never expected Avali with his Lord! 
      Lets also keep wondering with the happenings. Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna! 

Panduranga - 26

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 10
      Radhekrishna! The creation, protection, and destruction of this universe is wholly controlled by Bhagavan. We must depend on that bhagavan to rescue us from all sorts of ailments (thapathrayam).  It is His duty to protect us. We must have full faith in that. It is only the mind that plays with us and make us do all karmas. So turn this mind towards God. That will lead us in the right path. Keep our mind engaged with the thoughts of bhagavan instead of rotating around the world. That will slowly change the heaviness of our mind. It will become soft as butter so that Krishna can steal that! Bhaktha's mind is like that. They want to do only good for the world around. Thukkaram was no exception from that. He was entrusted by the farmer to take care of his field full of ripened corns. But Thukkaram was happy to see the birds feasting from it. 
       The farmer came to see his field and was shocked to see all the birds eating his corns. He shouted at the top of the voice at Thukkaram. He was worried about how he was going to meet his needs right from paying tax to his expenses of his house. So he took Thukkaram to the local court and asked for justice. They enquired with Thukkaram whether the farmer's complaint was true. Thukkaram admitted that he was entrusted by the farmer to look after the fields and he 'looked on' the birds who came and ate the corns. People laughed at his answer. Thukkaram was asked how he was going to substitute for the farmer's loss. Thukkaram said he would somehow pay from his hands for his loss. The farmer said he usually expected around 15 to 18 sacks for corns from his field after harvest. Thukkaram agreed to pay the farmer whatever he got from the field and money for the rest. 
        Next day all the people gathered around the field to see what was happening. They were shocked to see the field was full of corns. The farmer couldn't believe his eyes. It looked as if there would be more than 30 sacks of corns. The people now began to shout that the farmer would be paid only 18 sacks and the rest should be given to Thukkaram himself. The local head agreed to that and offered Thukkaram the remaining corns. But the mahan was very reluctant to accept what was not his. He just left away the place. The village chieftain was a kind hearted man. He decided to keep the corns in Thukkaram's account with the government itself. It will be given to him when some proper occasion arises. This was agreed by all and so the corns were taken and kept in the government granary in the account of Thukkaram. 
        Within short time that occasion came. What was the occasion? We will see in the next issue. Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!

Panduranga - 25

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 9
       Radhekrishna! Human birth is for realising God. But we seldom aspire for that. We are so immersed in worldly matters that we forget our source itself. We have to divert our mind from the worldly matters towards the Lord. For that again we have to depend on the Lord Himself. The easiest way to attain our aim is namajapam only. Many acharyas have stressed the importance of namajapam. Bhagavan sends mahans among us to prove the power of namajapam. Their charithras inspire us to the divine path. We are seeing the story of Sri Thukkaram maharaj through the past few issues. How he clings to chanting of the holy names at each and every situation he had to face. We saw that his thirst to see the Lord became so intense that he forsook everything and adhered to chanting. The Lord was forced to give him darsan of Panduranga as he wished. 
        Thukkaram could not take his eyes away from the beautiful form. The Lord was pleased with His bhaktha's devotion. Bhagavan made Thukkaram sit on His lap. Bhagavan's karunyam brought tears to the devotee's eyes. He couldn't bear the grace. Both of them lost themselves in each other blissfully unaware of the surroundings. At this time Thukkaram's brother Kanniah came searching for him. He was searching for the bhaktha for the past few days. His search for the bhaktha gave him darsan of bhagavan Himself. He was wonderstruck at the sight of Bhagavan and His bhaktha! He folded his hands and worshiped them both. Bhagavan disappeared suddenly. Kanniah came rushing to his brother and held on to his feet. It is always better to hold on to a bhaktha because that will defintely give us Bhagavan! Thukkaram hugged his brother. Since he had Thukkaram dhyanam in his heart he could experience the Lord through him. "Samsare asmin kshanarthopi sathsangah sevadhir nrinaam". All the efforts to see the Lord was taken by Thukkaram. But just by thinking of him Kannaiah attained the experience very easily!
      Kannaiah invited Thukkaram to his home. Thukkaram was very reluctant to come back to this world. Kannaiah convinced him to come at last. Thukkaram could not be in that atmosphere after seeing the Lord. He took all the promisery notes of many who owed Thukkaram money for the things they bought. Then he proceeded towards Indrayani river. Knowing his intention Kannaiah requested him not to do so. Thukkaram was content with the darsan of the Lord and needed nothing more. But now Kannaiah had the responsibility of looking after the family. He needed money for that so pleaded not to throw them away. Thukkaram laughed and gave half of the papers to him and took the other half with him. He threw them all in to the river. Again returned to the bhandara hills. Nowadays he spent most of his time there only. He would come down to take bath in the river and go to the temple to have darsan of the Lord. The rest of the time would be spent on the hill only chanting. He completely stopped coming home. He spent his nights at the temple. He struggled to win his sleep and kept awake doing chanting. 
        As usual people started criticising him. Kannaiah was looking after the family. Jijayi used to take food to him where he was. Just below the hillock there was a farm. The farmer was cultivating corn in his fields. The corns were ripening so birds kept coming to eat them. The farmer requested Thukkaram to sit there and watch the birds. Thukkaram obliged as he was always reluctant to refuse anything. He always accepted whatever came as Panduranga prasadam only. He took bath in the river had darsan of his Lord at the temple and came and sat down in the farm to continue his chanting. He was expected to ward off the birds which came to eat the corns. Jijayi was searching for Thukkaram to give his food. She got tired looking for him. She entrusted her daughter to search him. The girl at last found him and invited him home for food. He told her that he was taking care of the farmer's field. Jijayi was happy that he was doing some work. 
        His food was daily taken to the field. Thukkaram kept chanting loudly. The birds hearing the sound were scared of him and kept away. Thukkaram saw that and prayed to the Lord to ward off the fear in the birds and let them come there. Well slowly one by one the birds started coming and pecking at the corns. As Thukkaram did not drive them away they started coming in groups. Thukkaram was happy to see them feast in the fields. He told them to come daily there for their food. Now all the birds in the area came to the field and started eating without any fear now. Radhekrishna! Radhekrishna!

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!

Panduranga - 23

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 7
           Thukkaram left Kongan chanting Panduranga Panduranga. He was walking towards his home town. His staunch faith in the Lord saved him from the predicaments Thukkaram had to face in his business. A man had been watching Thukkaram for a long time. He thought it was very easy for him to cheat Thukkaram and approached him. He told some lies to Thukkaram that his wife was admitted in the hospital for delivery etc. He showed a pair of bangles and said it was made of gold. He wanted money in exchange for the bangles. Since the man was in distress Thukkaram accepted the bangles and gave whatever money he had with him. Then he reached his home. 
       Hearing that Thukkaram was coming back from chilli business people who had lent him money were waiting outside his home. As he entered they all gathered around him and enquired about his business. He replied it was a grand success and gave them the gold bangles. He asked them to sell it and take whatever money he owed them and return him the balance. Jijayi was surprised and happy that her husband had improved. Meanwhile a goldsmith was brought to check the quality of the bangle. It was found out that the bangle was not gold but duplicate covered with gold. The man had cheated Thukkaram. Jijayi was upset and shouted at Thukkaram at the top of her voice.
           A true wife should never let her husband down in front of the world. Be it poverty she should silently bore it as her prarabdha instead of abusing the husband who is the head of the family. It is a woman's dharma to protect and support her husband. That family will be filled with positive vibrations which will show in the prosperity of the family. Thukkaram realised he was cheated by the man. People began to say that his continuous chanting has lead him nowhere, it has not helped him at all. But Thukkaram didn't pay heed to them. He knew whatever happens is only because of some reason. It is only because he was prepared to be cheated that he was cheated. Now he has learnt his lesson. Events teach us new lessons he said. He prayed to the Lord that the man had done this due to some need so he should not be punished. This is the heart of a bhaktha. It is like butter and melts at other's distress. 
         Jijayi again managed to collect some money from her relative and requested her husband to do salt business. If he could do the business successfully it would be good for him. Otherwise he would have to go to them as their slave she warned! Thukkaram didn't reply her but laughed to himself. Are we not all slaves of the Lord he wondered! Anyway along with some other merchants of his village he tried selling salt and found out he could make some money out of it. With the money he again invested in jaggery and could do that also successfully. 
         The other merchants found Thukkaram spending his spare time chanting the Lord's name. Jijayi had requested them to have an eye over him lest he should go astray !!!! They teased him a lot. But he ignored. They were staying in a wayside inn at night. A man with a log of wood tied to his neck walked in with his family. He was begging. The people there drove him out saying he must be a thief. Thukkaram felt pity for him. He called the man aside and found him to be a brahmin. He enquired why he was so punished. The man said that he was working as a village chieftain who was straight forward. His relatives who were jealous of him managed to accuse him of some fault and bribed higher officials to punish him. He was found guilty of cheating the government of money and the King announced that he should pay Rs/300 as fine. Since he could pay only Rs/50 the log was tied around his neck till he paid the rest. 
          Thukkaram's heart melted at the brahmin's plight. He gave the brahmin Rs/300 which he got from his business and asked the brahmin to pay it. Other merchants tried to prevent Thukkaram from this. They told him he should not be so foolish to lose all the money he had earned like this. He should remember his family waiting for him at the village. But Thukkaram as usual ignored all these.The Lord was watching all these wondering. The other merchants hurried to their village to report the matter to Jijayi. Thukkaram dared not go back and face her. He decided to stay there itself to avoid that. 
      The Lord could not see His devotee suffer. He decided to solve the present predicament and again took a new form. This time He took the for of His bhaktha Thukkaram himself! What leelas the Lord did in the form of Thukkaram? Wait and see. Radhekrishna!

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!

Panduranga - 21

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thukkaram - 5
      Radhekrishna! The Lord's leelas are unpredictable. He takes the jeevan to the pinnacle of luxury at a time and all of a sudden will take him down to the lowest level of poverty. There is a reason behind his every leela. We might wonder why things happen in a strange way. But only He knows the real reason behind all that. But what ever level He places us the grace is there for sure. Only we have to realise that. 
        Last issue we saw Thukkaram going out with some merchants for doing some grain business. All his friends left him midway and went away. He found himself alone in the dense forest. But he was not at all afraid and kept chanting vital vital. In the darkness somehow his bullock cart fell into a pit and one bull died. A sack of grain fell into the pit. Alone he was not able to recover everything from the pit. His only resort was the Lord and so kept crying out to Panduranga loudly. Actually only the Lord can come to our rescue when all other ways are closed before us. 
         Hearing Thukkaram's pleas a man walked in from nowhere. He asked Thukkaram why he was crying out. Thukkaram was taken by surprise by his sudden appearance and asked him who he was. The stranger replied he was a passerby who heard Thukkaram's cries in distress. Thukkaram told him his predicament and asked his help. The man single handedly pulled out the sack of grain from the pit and put it on the cart. He tied the remaining bull to the cart and asked him to proceed. Thukkaram requested him to accompany him. He agreed and gave him company. They reached the banks of Indrayani river. 
       The heavy rains were slashing down and the river was flowing spuriously. Thukkaram was shocked at its fury and wondered how to cross the river. The man said He is familiar with the place and told him there was a high sand mount somewhere forward through which they could cross the river. He took Thukkaram to a place,  told him to be confident and lead the way forward in to the flowing river. The water was upto Hip level only. Thukkaram followed him closely behind chanting the Lord's name. There was utter darkness which was broken by intermittent lighting. Suddenly the sky burst with a lout sound and powerful light. In the light Thukkaram could clearly see the man who was leading him. He could clearly see His both hands carrying Sankhu (the conch) and Chakra (the disc). Amazed at this vision Thukkaram cried out Panduranga! The darkness again engulfed them,. Three or four times Thukkaram saw in the light of the lightning the same vision. Tears were running from his eyes. They reached the otherside and Thukkaram now saw Him as an ordinary man only. He didn't say a word but took him straight to his house. 
        On reaching home Thukkaram realised that the stranger had taken him there without any instruction from Thukkaram. How did he know the way to his house he wondered. When he wanted to ask the stranger he found He had vanished. The truth struck him now. He was overwhelmed with gratitude for his Lord. He could only chant Vital Vital ! He ran madly towards the banks of the shore but could not find Him. Suddenly he saw a golden light coming out of the water and realised it was the disc - chakra. He realised he had crossed the river walking on the chakra to prevent from immersing in to the river. Immediately he fainted and fell down. After sometime he recovered and got up. Slowly he reached home and knocked at the door. Jijayi opened the door and saw him sitting on the verandah speechless. She noted the cart with the single bull with the grain sack. She realised he had not done any business and was disappointed very much. Thukkaram immersed in the grace of the Lord could not utter a word. He was not at all bothered about his loss and failure. The Lord had come to his rescue was more than anything else for him.  
      Days went on. As usual Avali was complaining that the Lord's devotees are all useless! She firmly believed that the black god had something against her, so is making her husband dance to His tunes. The days were filled with her abuses and curses. Thukkaram was getting fed up with the life. He prayed to Panduranga "Vitala ! I am tired. I cannot carry on this life forward." Again a turning point came in his life. Somehow he gathered some money and  decided to start chilli business. He took the chilli sacks and went to Kongan. He surrendered to the Lord completely and proceeded. Surrender shifts the responsibility from our shoulders to the Lord's. Then He will take care of everything. He reached Kongan and took a place in the market. 
      Could Thukkaram do the business successfully? Let us see in the next issue.  Till then keep chanting. Radhekrishna!


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