"One's own dharma, even when not done perfectly, is better than another's dharma, even though well performed; one does not incur sin doing the action prescribed by one's own condition." - Bhagavad Gita XVIII.47












PRABUDDHA BHARATA Prabuddha Bharata | November 2004  





              Glimpses of Holy Lifes



               Never Does My Devotee Perish



     Dama belonged to a low caste and lived in Gargakhed on the banks of River Godavari. He had a daughter by name Jana. The girl, however, could not even spend her childhood with him. Dama had a divine dream in which he was asked to offer her as a household help to Damasheti, a tailor in Pandharpur. The tailor happened to be Sant Namdevs father. The household welcomed child Jana lovingly and treated her like a daughter. They trained her in the daily chores. Jana came under the wholesome influence of Sant Namdev and Sant Jnaneshvar, both of whom often visited the house.


     Janas devotion to God grew from day to day, her intense yearning for God at times overwhelming her: the winnowing basket remained idle on her lap while her eyes were in tears. Again, tears freely mingled with the water when she washed clothes. She sang hymns with great longing and prayed to the Lord to reveal Himself. She looked upon Lord Vitthala as her Mother and prayed, My Pandhari Mother, O Vitthabai, please come to me.


     The Lord soon rewarded her by granting His vision. In ecstasy she sang of having beheld the sacred feet of Lord Vitthala. From then on, her life became a mart of joy. Lord Panduranga often visited her and helped her in her daily chores. The Lord placed His hand on hers when she turned the grinding stone, and helped her by pushing the grains into the grind. Her life became interwoven with that of her Lord.




     The Test




     But the Lord loves to test His devotees now and then, more to proclaim their devotion to others. After helping her grind rice late one evening, Vitthala forgot His costly shawl and jewel in her house, wore her patched quilt and returned to the temple.


     Next morning, the priests were scandalized to see the Lord in the temple shrine without His shawl and jewel, but with a new apparel. The missing items were traced to Janas room. Namdev, however, assured her that her innocence would be proved before long.


     Jana was taken to the local rulers court, where she was condemned to die on the shula, a long, pointed steel pole on which she was to sit and undergo a swift but painful death.




     The Deliverance




     The young girl was horrified at this and cried to her Beloved, You have visited me often to comfort me. Why are You asleep now? Accompanied by two guards, Jana was made to cover the stretch of burning sand at a fast pace. She cried again, You are my everything. Why are You so slow in coming? Just show me Your face. I shall not ask anything of You. The Lord appeared before the little girl and embraced her. With You near, I shall never fear, cried a grateful Jana. On reaching the execution post, she looked at the shining shula, thinking that with the Lord for company, the shula should just be as soft and soothing as water. Immediately, the shula liquefied and started flowing. Jana fell at her Lords feet in gratitude. Appreciating her greatness, the priests exclaimed, She deserves diamonds, jewels and the finest clothes. The Lord did well to leave His jewel and shawl with her. Everyone sought her blessings and carried her in a procession.


     Janas soul-stirring abhangs are simple and beautiful, revealing the yearning and true love of a little girl. She is adored as Sant Janabai in Maharashtra.

International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015






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