Purandara Dasa - The Saint
In my last post, we read about Srinivasa nayaka transformed into a great saint as Purandara Dasa. Can we even in our wildest dreams imagine such a blessing??. But that's what grace is. By his own sankalpa, the Lord can change lives instantly. But we have to accumulate good karma for that. Purandara dasa was considered to be an avataram of Sage Narada. In this post, I would like to narrate two incidences that shows Dasa's highest philosophical thought.
Purandara dasa had surrendered to the feet of his Guru Shri. Vyasaraya. Being immersed in the bhakti towards Lord krishna, he knew not any emotions as jealousy, selfishness, lies etc. As a result of this, he was a natural favourite of his Guru. Few disciples, however, were jealous of him and wanted to put him down in the eyes of his guru. The guru came to know of this and decided to teach the disciples a lesson. He called all of them and gave them each a banana. He told them to eat it in a place where no one could see them and in absolute secrecy. The students thought that it was too easy a test and was unfit to be called a challenge. The banana was given to Dasa also.
After an hour, all the students assembled and the Guru asked them if they had eaten the banana. The students gleefully answered in an affirmative. When each one was asked as to where he ate the fruit, they had funny answers. While one ate it near the kitchen, the other ate it inside the toilet. While one ate in the darkness, the other ate in in the garden hiding in a bush. However, Dasa had not eaten the fruit. The students ridiculed Dasa. The guru then silenced the students and asked Dasa as to why he didn't eat the fruit. Dasa smilingly said that he could not find any place where no one saw his action. He always had one person monitoring him. On further enquiry, Dasa said that the Lord was omnipresent. HE was present everywhere and was always watching our actions. Hence he could not eat the fruit. There was pin drop silence. The silence that prevailed was a proof that the students had understood their lesson for the day
On another occasion, the students challenged dasa for a debate. He gracefully agreed. One of them asked "Nanu swargakke Hogabahude" (in kannada), meaning "Can i go to the heaven". Dasa replied in negation "mmmhmmm..Neevu swargakke hogalu sadhyavilla". The student was taken aback. Another one asked him. "Naanu swargakke hogabahude"? Dasa again answered in negation. He negated each student and said that none of them could go to heaven. Then one intelligent student asked, "Neevu swargakke hogabahude" meaning "Can YOU go to heaven. for which Dasa replied."Hmm, nannu hodare hogabahudu" meaning "If I go, I can go". This indeed angered the students. They now had a sound proof of arrogance and over confidence. They went to the teacher and narrated the incident. The guru again called Dasa and enquired. Dasa answered in a calm and composed manner, "Guruve, Nanu emba ahankara hodare naanu swargakke hogabahudu" meaning "If "I", the ego vanishes, I can go to the heaven." The students were again dumb founded.
Such was the knowledge and bhakti of the Dasa. He saw Krishna in everything. He had unconditional love and bhakti for his Krishna. We are all fortunate that we are born in a holy land of such great saints. May a small percentage of his bhakti be showered upon us.