VITOBA, THE NECTAR - 13 Aug 14, 2013 20:26:02 GMT 5.5
Post by jksivan on Aug 14, 2013 20:26:02 GMT 5.5
VITOBA THE NECTAR 13
13. " BAG OF SINS"
Thukaram was able to create many excellent devotional songs on Vittal in colloquial Marathi, but very meaningful poems, known as abangams and he sang them. People gathered in large numbers to listen to his abangams. Even Sadhus and musicians went to him to learn the abangams. He was living in a small thatched shed in the village of Dehu. When a person becomes famous, there are always many jealous of him, isn't it? . The same thing happened here also. There was a brahmin who knew sanskrit and vedhas, in Dehu, by the name Rameshwara Bhat who was conducting spiritual discourses. He became very jealous of Thukaram because people preferred Thukaram's bhajans instead of attending his discourses.
He was spreading rumours that Thukaram was not educated and without knowing sanskrit, he was writing abangams in Marati and corrupting people's minds. Even Thukaram heard this and he rushed to Rameshwar Bhat. Prostrating to him, Thukaram asked "Sir! Did I commit any mistake?". Bhat retorted "You have not done anything right. Do you know any sastra or Purana? You are committing a big sin by writing songs on Lord Vittal, out of your imagination and singing them. Those listening to them are also committing sin because of your abangams."
Hearing this Thukaram was shocked. He knew he had no knowledge of sastras, samskrit or vedhic background. With tears flowing from his eyes, he said "Sorry sir! I am an uneducated person. I did not know what I have been doing is wrong. I always thought of Vttal and was inspired to sing what I could, in my limited knowledge and capacity and enjoyed singing it and since many people liked to listen to them. I sang before them. You are a learned person. Please forgive me and tell me what I should do now."
Bhat said "Do not write or sing any more abangam. Throw whatever you have written so far".
With a bheavy heart Thukaram said "Vittala! Panduranga! Please forgive me for whatever sin I have committed unknowingly. I shall follow Rameshwar's advice. I do not know anything other than your naamam and whatever came to my mind, I wrote in the form of songs and sang them. Now that a learned person like Rameshwar told me what I am doing is wrong, I will not write anymore." Lamenting thus, Thukaram bundled all the abangams he wrote in a cloth and threw the bundle in the Indriyani river.
His wife found him sitting in the river bed crying and took him home. Thukaram went home but all the time, he was chanting Panduranga, Vittala till he fell asleep.
A few days passed thus, with Thukaraam sitting quiet doing nothing, without writing or singing any abangam. One day early morning, someone knocked at his door and called his name. Thukaram opened the door and saw the chief priest of the temple. He had the bundle which Thukaram had thrown in the river.
Thukaram asked "What is this? Why did you bring my sin bag from the river".
The priest answered "Swami! No one went to the river. Pandurangan himself went to the river and brought this bundle. He had this bundle carried on his head. When I went to open the temple this morning as usual, I saw this bundle on Pandurangan's head. I opened it and found your abangams. I understood something is wrong and hence came here". Thukaram choked with emotion and said. "Vittala! You are very kind. Though I committed sin, you have forgiven me. You are really great".
The news spread through the town and Rameshwar Bhat heard this. He ran to Thukaram and said "Swami! You are a Mahatma and a devotee liked by Pandurangan. That is why he himself went into the river and retrieved your abangams. Now I realise my folly. I am the sinner. Please forgive me". Even then Thukaram said with much reverence "Swami! You are a learned person. You should not fall at my feet". Thus saying, he went back to his naama sankeerthanam.
Dear children, I need hardly say that Thukaraam's abhangs were heard as before in the ashram and many were enjoying it and were thinking and singing of Vittal joining Thukaram in a chorus.