VITOBA, THE NECTAR - 20 Aug 28, 2013 23:41:54 GMT 5.5
Post by jksivan on Aug 28, 2013 23:41:54 GMT 5.5
20. "Potter's Assistant"'
I am sure you would have noticed our introducing to you different stories about the same devbotee like Thukaram, Namdev, Eknath etc., We could have grouped all the stories relating to each saint and present to you in batches pertaining to each saint. But there is a reason for not doing this. This is not a study about any particular saint and his experience. The main person in all these stories is Vittalan who appears most certainly. If we present different saint and his experience with intervals you would not lose interest in knowing more about him. Besides, each experience for the same person at different times is incomparable and it adds to your interest to read them on and off.
If the heroes of these stories are normal people, yes, we can combine their experience as there would not be any thing special in the case of ordinary persons. . But as you would have realised, the heroes of all these stories are Mahaans, who have fixed their mind totally on VITTAL and experienced His divinity. Each of their unique experiences has to be read and enjoyed individually. If we combine all the experiences of a mahaan in a single story, we shall not be able to relish it as much. It is always welcome to have assorted sweets than a particular sweet in more quantity. Is n't it?
When we read about the saint Gora Kumbar in a prrevious story, we noted that he cut off his own hands as they committed a sin. He was a potter and earned his living by making pots daily. Because he lost his hands of his own volition. giving himself a punishment his life became miserable.
As any other Vittala devotee, Gora Kumbar never went in search of money. He became a potter to earn money for the day to day living. Now with both hands lost, how can he make pots? How the family would survive? But none of these questions bothered Gora as he was immersed in Vittala.
Both his wives decided to make the pots themselves and sell in the market. But they could not do much. There is a proverb "trouble comes in three. That is what happened in Gora's case. People who lent money to him earlier came back pressing him to return their money.
They realised that Gora could not repay money because he could not earn and he could not work to earn as he had no hands now. So when he was pressurised by money lenders, from whom he borrowed money earlier, and Gor had to settl his only asset in the form of his old house and pot making equipments. They put his property on public auction for highest bidder to to collect money and settle therir dues.
A day was fixed for auctioning Gora Kumbar''s house and other movable and immovable property. A young man from a neighborhood town bought Gora's assets in the auction as his bidding was the highest.
All the borrowers' accounts were settled. Gora did not have any money left. Both the wives cried but Gora did not worry about anything. He was happy that all his debts were settled. He told his wives "Why not we go to Pandaripuram today? We can live there peacefully with Pandurangan's darshan and HIS prasad".
When they were about to leave, the young man who bought Gora's property came to meet them. He said:
"'Gora, You should not leave this place or this town. My name is Rangan. I have seen you many times in the market. I bought a lot of dolls from you and sold them for good profit. I did not want you to lose your house. Hence I myself bought your property paying more money than its value, so that no body can own it than me. You will continue to live here as before. As I dont have my parents, I consider you both as my parents. You need not pay me any rent. My wife Rukma and I intend staying here with you and help you in your pottery work. You just sit and watch singing your sangeerththan. We will listen it with joy and I shall make the pots and both of us will go to the market to sell them. We will bring money. Please do not worry".
Hearing this Gora was overwhelmed with joy. He cried out of gratitude with tears rolling down his eyes, "Vittalaa! This is your miracle. Ranga! You are my son. Your wife Rukma is my daughter-in-law. We are lucky to have you with us". From then on, both Ranga and Rukma worked hard to make the pots and sell them. Gora's wives took care of the family. As usual Gora involved himself in the bhajans.
Once Gora asked Rangan "Ranga! Shall I knead the soil for you with my feet. Though I do not have hands, I can mix the soil for you". Ranga replied "No. You just sing bhajans. Listening to the songs will energize me and I shall make the pots.
One day, when Ranga was mixing the soil, he kept his hands automatically in his hips. The pose reminded Gora of Pandurangan. Gora asked "Are you Rangan or Panduranga? Tell me?". Ranga laughed " Gora, all the time, you are thinking of Pandurangan. That’s why everyone looks like Pandurangan" to you."
In Pandaripuram, Namadevar and others realised the absence of Vittalan in the temple for long. The true bhakthas found the difference in Pandarpur, with Vittalan not being in the stone image missing him a lot. So they all decided to go in search of Vittalan. They went from town to town singing bhajans and at the same time, looking for Vittalan. They reached Gora's town.
The people in the town were eagerly waiting for the bhajan group's arrival. Gora did not know anything as he was sitting inside his house. When he heard the commotion he asked "What is this? A lot of out of town people are here. Our place has a festive look".
Someone said "Oh! Don't you know? Today, saints like Namadev and Gyaneshwar are visiting our town".
Gora Kumbar has already met Namadevar on a few occasions at Pandarpur Vittal temple. Namadevar and his friends heard about Gora Kumbar's loss of hands and went to his house.
"Goraji! when we entered this village we heard about the young couple Rangan and Rukma of whom everyone talked very high about their selling pottery made at your house, which when they use, brings fortune for them. we also heard about their staying with you for long. We have a feeling that since Panduranga and Rukmabai are missing in Pandarpur they must be with you because our legs automatically dragged us to your house when we entered this village. Do you know how lucky you are? Vittalan and Rukmani came and lived here with you as your son and daughter-in-law".
Namadevar asked Gora " Is it my Vittal and Maaji who were with me all these days as Rangan and Rukma. He called ""Ranga, Ranga. Where is he?". Gora was eager to call them both and verify. They were in the house only till a few minutes ago. So he looked for them. He rushed inside every part of the house and back yard where pottery was made for him by thek. But he could not find any of them.
''You are blessed Goraji, because Vittal chose to live with his divine consort with your family and work for you" so saying both Namdev and Gyaneswar fell at Gora's feet.
Both Namdev and Gora did not hear Ranga telling Rukma on their way back to Pandarpur. "Naamdev had exposed us and so our happy sojourn at Gora's place had come to an end. Did you enjoy the happy time as I did.? ""Of course"" was Her reply.