Sri Narsi Mehta (Part – 3)
The kirtans of true devotees are real gems shining in the glory of its purity and serenity, withstanding the tough test of time and illumining everybody into a devotion filled life. Narsi’s heart was filled with immense love for his Lord which ebbed out as devotion- filled kirtans. Every word of his kirtan conveyed deeper and subtle ideas of Bhakti bhavas.
Narsi became a member of a congregation formed by a few devotees of Junaghat. This group maintained certain ideals and principles. Narsi loved solitude. He always remained drowned in the inexplicable bliss of kirtan. He found it difficult to adhere to these rules and regulations. As a result he was thrown out of the congregation. This disturbed Narsi. He was a not the ordinary kind of devotee and hence no mundane rule could bind him. He had read Srimad Bhagavatam and imbibed all the qualities of a true devotee. Musing over what had happened his mind dwelled upon the Bhagavatam verses; and this gave birth to the immortal kirtan ‘Vaishnava janato’. This unique kirtan explains the conduct of the true devotee of the Lord, under all circumstances.
Narsi had a daughter of marriageable age. As the family was very poor Narsi’s wife was deeply concerned over the matter of finding a suitable groom for their daughter. All other girls of her age in the village were married but Narsi being immersed in his devotion of the Lord had not thought about this. As far as he was concerned his life moved as per the will of God.
One day, a big landlord of Junaghat passed by Narsi’s house. As he felt very thirsty, he requested for some water here. Narsi’s daughter gave a warm welcome and offered him water. This man was highly pleased by her qualities and decided to make her his son’s bride. He was doubly happy as she hailed from a pious family. He immediately expressed his desire to Narsi. Narsi hesitated as he was fully aware of his own financial conditions and also realized that he could never fully satisfy their demands. However, the landlord managed to convince Narsi that the whole marriage expenses would be borne by him and that he would also speak to and convince all his family members on his decision. Narsi with the strong conviction that this was verily the divine Lila of his Lord gave his consent.
The marriage took place as promised by the landlord. But the landlord’s wife, who was not at all pleased with the way the marriage had taken place, gave vent to her displeasure at the right opportune; She abused Narsi for not offering dowry in keeping with their status and left the place of marriage with her family without taking the new bride along. She refused to accept Narsi’s daughter as her daughter-in-law so long as she did not bring the amount demanded as dowry.
Narsi, drowned in the meditation of his Lord, remained totally unperturbed by all these happenings. Narsi’s wife pleaded with him to settle this issue by pacifying the landlord’s wife as she could not bear to see her daughter grieve. At once, Narsi took his daughter to her husband’s home. He begged for their mercy but the landlord’s wife remained unmoved. Narsi, to everyone’s astonishment, promised to bring the demanded dowry amount before the close of the following day and left his daughter in her husband’s home.
Narsi was in tears not knowing a way to fulfill his promise. Come what may he would never fail to keep up his word. He knew that this was the divine play of his Lord but was baffled as to how he would be able to fulfill his promise. Just then he heard a melodious kirtan by a group of devotees and rushed out. He learnt that this group was on its way to Dwaraka(the holy land which was ruled by Lord Krishna). These devotees were highly pleased to meet Narsi. They asked Narsi if he knew anyone at Dwaraka. They were afraid of attacks by dacoits during their long journey by foot. They wished Narsi to take the cash they had with them and to give them a letter addressed to a friend of his at Dwaraka who would give them this amount.
Narsi informed them that he had a good friend at Dwaraka. His name was Shyamalasa and he owned a big bazaar at Dwaraka. Saying this he immediately penned a letter addressed to him and gave it to these devotees. He asked them to show this letter to Shyamalasa and assured them that he would take good care of them for four months (‘Chaturmasya Yatra’). The devotees received this letter joyfully and continued on their journey. It so happened that the amount of cash that Narsi had received from these devotees was exactly the same that his daughter’s mother-in-law had demanded. He at once took this amount to his daughter’s home and gave it to her mother-in-law.
The fact was that Narsi did know anyone by name Shyamalasa at Dwarka and the letter that he had written had actually been addressed to none other than his Lord Dwarakadeesha who is also known as Shyamala because of his dark blue hue. He shed profuse tears in front of his Lord praying to Him to help keep up his word of assistance by Him and to take care of those devotees who had trusted him with their money.
The devotees reached Dwaraka and went in search of Shyamalasa to whom Narsi had addressed a letter. They had absolute faith in Narsi as he was a great sadhu. Without Shyamalasa’s help their Yatra would be impossible. A very handsome young man in royal attire came up to them and introduced himself as Shyamalasa. He made all arrangements for their comfortable stay and pilgrimage; he also gave them the amount of cash that they had entrusted to Narsi. He also wrote a letter addressed to Narsi, which bore his signature. He requested the devotees to give it to Narsi when they visited his place. Soon this young man left.
Thinking of the plight of the devotees, due to his act, Narsi did not take a drop of water and pleaded with the lord to show His boundless mercy on these devotees who were on a pilgrimage. Narsi even decided to give up his life if these devotees suffered due to his thoughtless act. While he spent his days thus, one day, Narsi heard the same melodious kirtan and rushed out and saw the same group of devotees who he had met four months ago and whose cash he had used for the welfare of his daughter. Narsi fell at their feet with tear filled eyes and begged their pardon for what he had done. The devotees were doubly enthralled when they came to know that it was the Lord who came for their help and embraced Narsi. Looking at the letter which the Lord had himself written to him, tears rolled down Narsi’s eyes and Narsi started singing and dancing along with those devotees, completely drowned in the limitless mercy of the Vrindaban lad.
Truly, the Lord who is unattainable even through severe austerities is easy for those who sing His glories. Isn’t He?
Indeed the relationship between a genuine devotee and the Lord is for eternity.