84. Swami Ramdas. Part three
One day they arrived at the temple of Jagannath( human incarnation of God Vishnu ) in Puri ( see blog 5 ). There was a great crowd of pilgrims at the entrance, pushing and shoving each other. Entrance was impossible. Ramdas said “ Oh Ram , how can your poor slave have Your darshan ( a term used for seeing a great person or an idol of some deity ). Sri Jagannath murti (statue ) was inside the temple.
Suddenly a tall stout Brahmin, standing at the entrance, came to Ramdas, took him by the arm, and using all his strength, forced his way through the crowd, and took him inside. Soon he was standing by the big idol of Lord Jagannath. He was shown the temple. All this time Ramdas was filled with ecstasy, tears flowing down his face. At the end Ramdas asked the Brahmin priest, that why, he, a poor nobody, was chosen by him. He replied, that only Lord Jagannath knows the answer. When he saw Ramdas a sudden desire impelled him to take Ramdas inside.
In Kalighat (near Calcutta ), there was a big image of goddess Kali in black stone, with big red tongue hanging out of her mouth. Tears flowing, Ramdas asked the Mother of the Universe to have mercy on Her humble slave.
They had to spend a night in intense cold. As it was close to the river, there were lot of mosquitoes.
Sleep was impossible. Sadhu-Ram said that in Tirupati there was only cold which was relatively bearable, but here one has to contend with the stings of mosquitoes also.
Ramdas said that the Ram should be praised even more to make arrangements for them to stay awake and to perform Ram-bhajans. By meditation Ramdas stayed in a state of unawareness of his body the whole night.
Next he wanted to see the room where Sri Ramakrishna lived and performed his austerities ( see blog 19-24 ). As soon as he wished it, a young monk appeared and asked them whether they wanted to visit the places where the great saint lived few years ago. Ramdas replied that Ram brought his humble slave over here for that very reason. As he entered the room, he felt the electric like air in the room. ( this mote’s Hindu friend felt the same way when he visited that room ). He went into great ecstasy. Waves of bliss ran through his body. He lost his body and started rolling on the floor. He was still rolling half an hour later.
On Ram’s command he spent 8 days in a cave, in solitude. He would sing loudly Ram-mantram. Birds, squirrels, goats, and bullocks would listen.
One day he was having discussions with a friend about a religious movement. That friend supported it while Ramdas opposed it. The friend became abusive and left. Next day he came, very anxious and agitated. He was unable to speak!. His throat had choked up. He asked Ramdas for forgiveness. Ramdas said that it had nothing to do with him, and God never punishes.
Suddenly, he took hold of Ramdas’s hand and put it on his throat.
Strangely, his throat cleared, and in a few minutes he was as good as new.
In the Himalayan tomb of Badrinath, he could not get entrance into the temple due to the crowd of pilgrims at the door. There was a smaller side door reserved for the sick. The gatekeeper told Ramdas that he could go inside if he pretended he was sick. Ramdas said, that he would not lie. The gatekeeper then changed his mind and took him inside.
He was directed to visit Ajmer, where there is the tomb of famous Muslim saint, Moin-ud-din Chishti (see blog 63 ). As he descended from the train at night, he landed up in sleeping in a corner of the railway compound. When his nose touched the bare ground, he could smell urine. He slept in that ground, praising Ram, for showing him his worth. All for his own good
Next day as he was walking in the city, a tall and stout Muslim approached him and signed him to follow. Ramdas obediently followed . He took him to the tomb of the great saint. The Muslim friend asked him to kneel and enlist himself as a chela ( disciple ) of Muhammad ( peace be upon him ). Ramdas did as he was told . He also told the friend that he had always been a chela of Muhammad (peace be upon him )
To be continued