Dec 10: Tukkaram and Samarth Ramadas

10 Dec

Our Guru Maharaj says that there is a constant battle between the Lord and the Jivas. The Lord keeps following the Jivas to take us unto him. But we, being who we are do not desire to be caught in the clutches of the Lord and hence keep running away from the Lord. The Lord being astute and sagacious than the normal mortals devised an easy way to catch these normal mortals. He placed traps very frequently in such a way that one cannot escape them. The traps are none other than the Sadhus themselves. The Lord has caught the Jivas through these Mahans and their divine satsangs. We are in this trap finally and now being a recipient of the sadhu’s grace and thanks to the Lord’s compassion for leading us unto the sadhus. Sadhus are verily the extended hands of the Lord to catch the jivas unto them.

Our Guru Maharaj says that there is one difference between the Lord and the Sadguru. If one goes to a Sadhu’s sanctum and puts forth his desire to talk about the Sadhu to everyone, the Sadhu would deny his request and instead request him to talk about the Lord to everyone. On the other hand the Lord would not be interested to hear about him and ask his devotee to sing praises of the Mahans and to extol their divine glories. It is a fact that it is easy to comprehend the Lord but very difficult to fathom the Mahan. The glories of the Lord can be told by Mahatmas only since they keep reveling in the bliss of bhakti and devotion to the Lord all the time through their divine hymns and divine experiences and expositions.  It is verily the Lord who can understand the Mahatmas. The Lord unfortunately is tight-lipped and hence it is impossible to perceive the Mahatmas. Our Guru Maharaj preaches the precept to everyone that one should not try to interpret a Mahatma by one’s intellect and instead believe his actions are for the welfare of the normal mortals.

Sant Ekanath extols the greatness of a Guru by saying that a Guru is verily a mother and a father.

“Guru Maatha Guru Pitha  Guru Amuchi Kuladevatha
Gora Patatha Sankatae Guru Rakshim Makemputae
Kaaya Vacha Aani Mana Guru Charanim Arpana
Ekajanarjanim charana Guru Eka Janardhana

I offer all my actions through my words, body and mind to the holy feet of my Sadguru, sings Sant Ekanath in his above Abhang. He says that he fails to see any difference between the Lord Janardhana and his Sadguru.

Sant Ekanath spent all his lifetime doing service to his sadguru Janardhana Swami. The Sadguru was very compassionate to him and decided to bestow the darshan of his Lord Dattareya. One day Janardhanaswami felt guilty for not having given anything to this attendant devotee of his. He was wonderstruck that this young fellow had nothing to ask of him. So, he himself decided to bestow darshan of his Upasana Murti, Lord Dattatreya, on the selfless Ekanath. He asked Lord Dattatreya to give darshan to Ekanath when the latter returned from his morning bath in the river. The next day when Ekanath stepped out of the river Godavari he found Lord Dattatreya under the nearby tree. Since one should not be disrespectful to God he prostrated before this Lord and circumambulated the Lord. Lord Dattatreya blessed him by placing His Feet on Ekanath’s head. Ekanath then returned home.

Here, at home Janardhanaswami was restless. He walked up and down awaiting Ekanath’s return. He kept rehearsing as to how he should handle the stunned Ekanath. It was not going to be darshan in a dream but a real one, just as one person sees another. Janardhanaswami thought, “Anyone who has darshan of the Lord would swoon. Ekanath would be in bliss. Full of joy he would come running and narrate the darshan breathlessly. I must calm him down.” But Ekanath returned home and carried on with his work as usual! The Guru waited for Ekanath to come and describe the darshan in an excited tone. But Ekanath did not! The surprised Janardhanaswami called his upasana devata and asked him, “Did you not give darshan to Ekanath?” Lord Dattatreya said, “I did! Just you had asked me I gave him darshan as he returned from his bath in the river”. The astounded Guru called the devotee. “How can you be so calm? Have you not had darshan of Lord Dattatreya this morning?” Ekanath simply replied, “I never desired this! Only if I considered someone other than you as God should I feel ecstatic! Since I consider you as God there is no new darshan of God to be had anywhere else. I never desired for it nor does this surprise me. I desire only you!”  “Ekajanarjanim charana Guru Eka Janardhana” – Sant Ekanath said that his Guru is verily his is Lord.  There is no difference between the Lord and the sadguru.  It is verily the Lord who sends the Mahans to rule the Jivas and liberate them eventually akin to how in a democratic country people elect their leader.

It is verily a Sadguru who grants liberation to the Jivas. Samartha Ramadas in one of his Abhangs sings that a Sadguru brings Lord Rama in front of his eyes. The life-history of Sabari is a classic example to substantiate this precept, where her Sadguru said that the person representing the Rama Naam will one day come in front of her and it is true that Sabari experienced it. Rama was indeed “Sabari Moksha Sakshibhuta”, which connotes that Lord Rama witnessed the Sabari’s liberation and the Moksha was bestowed on her by her Guru, Mathanga Maharishi. Such is the glory of a Sadguru and it is verily he who can bestow liberation to the Jivas.

After the wonderful exposition on the greatness of a Sadguru by Sri Narayananji fromBoston, Sri Zivanji fromChicagolectured on the greatness of a Mahan with excerpts from life-history of Samartha Ramadas and Sant Tukkaram.

It is only a mother who goes through all trials and tribulations to bring up a child. When the child grows up, the father proudly acknowledges his son to the world. A guru is akin to a mother since he absolves all the ignorance and makes him pure and pristine to reach the holy feet of the Lord.

How can a normal mortal identify a Jeevan Mukta? It is not possible for him to identify a Jeevan Mukta. Even the shastras, which is our reference to everything, fails to give a specific criteria or indications for identifying a Mahan. The way the Mahans conducted themselves is totally different from one another. We cannot call someone as a Mahan if he proclaims that he has seen god. One can only experience the god and not perceive him directly.  No one can actually mark the date as to when they experienced the Lord because the Lord resides in each one of the mortals and it only due to sheer ignorance of the normal mortals that one is unable to experience the Lord. Mahans on the other hand have torn apart their personal traits and merged with the Lord directly.

Once upon a time, there lived a king called Chatrapati Shivaji who was the ruler of what is now known as the state ofMaharashtra. One of his main objectives was to establish Hinduism across the state.  He was given blessed with the power of Tapas by his Guru Samartha Ramadas and he was trying to establish the Hindu religion in the state ofMaharashtrausing this benediction in his reign. It is interesting to see how Shivaji met his Guru, Samartha Ramadas.

Chatrapati Shivaji was once resting on the banks of a river on his way back from a hard-fought battle. He found peepul leaves with divine hymns on Lord Rama inscribed on them floating down the river. He read them and realized that the kirtans must have flowed out of a great Mahatma who has experience Lord Rama. One can realize if a kirtan or a sloka or a hymn has flowed out of a great Mahatma through the divine grace of the Lord or has been composed by a man by mere reading itself.  Shivaji traced back the leaves that were floating down the river and reached
Sanjanghat where Samarta Ramdas resided.  Shivaji shed off his attire and clad in simple clothing prostrated unto the holy feet of this Mahatma. The Mahatma welcomed Shivaji warmly as if he awaited his visit.  He offered a seat to Shivaji and the Mahatma asked him to have his food with them.  The king said that he was not by himself since he was returning from a battle. He had requested his battalion to stay away while he had the darshan of the Mahatma. Samarta Ramdas assured him that he was cognizant of the fact that the king would be accompanied by his entire army.  He said that food will be served to all including the elephants and the horses.  Shivaji humbly consented to the request.  The Mahatma then instructed his disciple to remove the huge boulder that covered the cave nearby and the sight that caught his eyes astounded Shivaji. The cave contained huge amount of various kinds of dishes that was more than adequate to provide a sumptuous meal for the king and his battalion. The King and his huge army had a great food. We all know that one should never question a Guru, but the flabbergasted King politely said that it was not possible for him, in spite of being a King to prepare this amount of food for a large number of people and humbly asked the Mahatmas as to how has this been made possible by the him.

Samarta Ramdas replied to the King’s question by saying “a Mahatma by name Tukkaram dwells in Dehu Roadand asked him to go and place his question before him and that he will give you the explanation.”  The king then left the divine abode of Samartha Ramadas after paying his reverence. Upon returning to his Kingdom, Shivaji forgot his meeting with Tukkaram, as he had to attend to various issues in his Kingdom. Many years passed by. One day while travelling with his army he found a signboard ‘Dehu Road’ inscribed in it. He immediately recollected his meeting with Samarta Ramdas and his words about Tukkaram. He proceeded staright to Dehu Roadand enquired Tukkaram. The people in Dehu Roadsaid, ” Tukkaram is a great Mahatma who is always immersed in singing the praises of Lord Hari and said that one can find him sitting on the mud pyol of a small hut which is his divine abode. ”

Shivaji, stopping his army at a distance, walked all alone to the home of Sant Tukkaram who was poverty stricken. He was playing the ‘tamboora’, sitting on the mud pyol of his hut and was singing the glories of Lord Sri Hari.  Shivaji bowed down to him and humbly introduced himself. Tukkaram said, ” Oh! You are the great Chatrapati Shivaji. I am glad to meet you have you here and offered him a seat and requested him to have his food with him.”  Shivaji, said, ” Oh! Master! I have not come alone and I have left my battalion some miles away. “Tukkaram replied saying the he is very well aware that a king does not come alone and assured him that there is enough for all!”  Shivaji was aghast. Tukkaram lived in a small hut made of mud walls and his children wore torn clothes. There were only a few mud pots inside the hut. The roof had lots of holes and hence the sun’s rays were streaming inside the hut through them. Tukkaram then went inside and brought some wheat flour. He gave a pinch of it to Shivaji and to his huge army, including the elephants and the horses. No sooner has  every one of them  consumed the small pinch of wheat flour than they felt satiated that it seemed as if they would not need any food for  the next couple of days.

Shivaji thought to himself, ‘Samarta Ramdas being a single person, provided us all with a real sumptuous meal. But on the other hand Tukkaram being a householder living in utter poverty, gave just a pinch of wheat flour and it filled everyone providing nourishment for several days. Astounded by this miracle, he then hesitatingly and humbly asked Tukkaram as to how this has been possible by him. Tukkaram at once replied saying that there is a great Mahatma by name Samarta Ramdas and asked him to go to him and that he will provide an explanation for his question.
What does one need to decipher from this? It is not possible for a normal person to understand a Mahan. One needs to realize that only a Mahatma can understand another Mahatma. The way in which a Mahan is introduced to this world is only by another Mahan either in their lifetime or after their lifespan.

It is only by the ordinance of the Lord that one will have the divine association of a Mahatma.

The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.

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