एक घडी आधी घडी, आधी में पुनि आध |
तुलसी संगत साथ की, हरे कोटि अपराध ||
‘A single ghadi (24 minutes) or even half. May be it halved again, spent in the company of a saint destroys millions of sins.’
Satsang frees us from the bondage created by sins and vicious acts committed in innumerable past lives and fills the heart with Divine joy. Even the most wretched of men, a damfool despised even by fools, becomes great if he gets satsang of a saint. He is worshipped by kings and emperors, even gods. Even may become his servant. Such is the power of satsang.
It was a full Moon light. The king of Vijay Nagar was taking a stroll on the spacious terrace of his palace. His trusted favourite minister followed him closely and obsequiously. In the course of the conversation, the king said to the minister, “You say that everything is possible with satsang. But what will one, who is a moron or luckless or destitute, gain from satsang?”
The minister said, ”However wretched one may be, satsang can elevate him.” “He may be wretched but should be intelligent (to get benefit from satsang)!”
The mother never cares whether her child is intelligent or dull. She just suckles he child. She never denies care and nourishment on the grounds that the child is dirty and unclean. She accepts the child the way it is just because it is her child. Similarly as soon as one gets the company of a sant and hears a few words of satsang, one becomes God’s or saints.”
“But he should have something at least.”
“If he has something, it is ok; otherwise satsang will give him everything.”
The king of Vijay Nagar disagreed with his minister but the latter stuck to his views. In the meanwhile, they saw a Brahmin boy going. It was a moonlit night. He had shoes in both hands. The reflection of the Moon was seen in one of the shoes. The king noticed it and sent for the boy.
The king asked, “What is your name? What is that you are carrying in the shoe?”
The boy said, “My name is Shridhar. And I am carrying oil in the shoe.”
“Why are you carrying oil in the shoe?”
“My mother asked me to bring oil. I had no container; so I am carrying the oil in the shoe.”
The king said to the minister,”Make this boy great if you can.”
“Yes, it is not so difficult.”
Talking to the boy, it was found that he was worse than a lunatic. Even a lunatic would not carry oil in a shoe.
The king asked,”Will he become great?”
“Of course, yes.”
His parents were called. The minister said, “We will make arrangements for your livelihood, and we will take your son to satsang. And it will work wonders in his life.” Who was their wonder in his life?” Who was their son? Shridhar. What was his level of intelligence? He was such a dam fool that he was carrying oil in a shoe. He was sent to bear satsang. The minister initiated him into a mantra from the Nrusinhtaapani Upanishad, and told him, “Japa of this mantra opens (develops) all the chakras (energy centers) of the body.”
The boy started the japa of the mantra. Initially, it was boring for him. In the beginning, you were bored learning counting and alphabet also. But now you do it with ease.
An illiterate was taken to night school, where he was told, “Write ten letters of the alphabet.”
He pleaded, “Sir! Why do you trouble me? I can graze your ten buffaloes or cows, or carry ten kg when to flour mill for you, but it is difficult to write these ten letters.”
You will find it difficult to carry ten kg wheat, but will easily write scores of letters, because you are used to it. Similarly, with the help of satsang, if your mind gets used to get Divine Joy, Divine Knowledge, and this hellish world become the Lord’s abode for you. The boy started japa of the mantra. He learnt from satsang that the child born out of conjugal union on Purnima (full moon day) or an Amavasya (no Moon Day) is physically handicapped; that japa and meditation done with self-restraint develops intellectual capability; that japa done on the auspicious days of Shivaratri, Janmashtami, Holi and Diwali gives ten thousand times more merit; that japa done in the vicinity of the Guru gives many times more merit; that meditation on the Guru or the Sun god along with japa develops the intellect; that visualization of the Sun god in the navel is health-promoting.
जपात सिद्धि: जपात सिद्धिर्न संशय: |
‘Dedicated chanting of the mantra gives Siddhi; it gives Siddhi; it does give Siddhi; there is no doubt about it.’
Go on doing japa. Slowly but surely, your nadis and blood vessels will be purified, and you will grow in divine nature.
One day, that boy was doing japa under a roof made of sheets. A sparrow had made its nest in the roof. The sparrow was out. The young bird newly hatched fell down on the ground. Its beak was opening and closing. It seemed the bird would die. The boy was concerned as to what will become of the chick. ‘Its mother is not around. Even if she comes, she would not be able to place it in the nest with her beak. The chick has nobody to help,’ he thought. Then he remembered what he had heard in the satsang. ‘The Lord is everybody’s. Foods alone think they are orphaned or widowed. The Supreme Lord, the husband of the Universe is present and how can you be widowed? The Master of the World is present and how can you be orphaned?’
There is nobody to take care of this chick. Let me see how God protects it, he thought. And it so happened that two flies fighting with each other fell into the open beak of that chick. The chick closed its beak. Its hunger was satisfied.
अजगर करे न चाकरी, पंछी करे न काम |
दास मलूका यूँ कहे, सबका दाता राम ||
‘The python does not serve any one; the bird does not work. Malook Das says the Lord alone provides for everybody’s needs.’
Shridhar was amazed, ’O my Lord! You inspire the flies pick a quarrel and enter the beak of a chick so that they get elevated to the bird form in the next life! And in the process. You save the life of an unattended chick. O Lord! You are great! You inspire me to get this knowledge! You are so kind a dam fool who carried oil in a shoe! O Lord! ॐ…. ॐ ……
Shridhar later became a great saint and came to be known as Shridhar Swami! He observed a vow not to beg for alms and live on alms given by people of their own. He wrote a beautiful commentary on Srimad Bhagwad Gita. While writing the commentary, he thought the words ‘I secure what they already possess’ in the ninth canto of the Gita were wrong and replaced them by ‘I help them secure what is not already possessed and preserve what they already possess’. He went to take a dip in the pond thinking that he would write the commentary after coming back. In the meanwhile, the Lord came to his house in the form of little Krishna. There was a load on His head containing a mixture of rice and dhal. The boy said to Shridhar’s wife, ‘You don’t have in your house rice and dhal for preparing khichadi tonight. Take this lad of rice and dhal off from my head.’
Shridhar’s wife was amazed. She was filled with wonder and delight talking to the child. Then she looked at his face closely and said, “Your lips are swollen. Who has slapped you?”
“Your husband Shridhar Swami slapped me before going for a dip in the pond. Now I am going.”
After some time, Shridhar Swami came back. His wife asked, “Such a cute child! He carried rice and dhal to us and you slapped him in the face?”
When the wife told him in detail as to what had happened he lost no time in making out that the Lord Himself has come to explain how the words ‘I secure what is not already possess’ were correct and that he had been foolish to think it was wrong.
This was the man who had once carried oil in his shoe. His wife had Lord’s darshan. Yet she could not understand the import of what the Lord has said. But he understood. The commentary on the Gita written by Shridhar Swami is well known. My Gurudev used to read it. I too do the same.
Finally what the minister had said was proved to be correct. Satsang works wonders in our lives.