POWER OF GURU
(From the glorious life of Saint Damaji of Mangalveda as narrated by Mr. Venkatesan)
That the Lord is servant of the devotee and His wages are mere devotion and steadfast meditation on Him alone as the sole Refuge, is well exemplified in the story of the illustrious saint of Mangalveda, is in Maharashtra and Damaji even from his younger days had developed a spirit of surrender to the Lord. His intelligence and popularity attracted the notice of the ruler of the province who appointed him as the Revenue Collector of Mangalveda.
Once a great famine raged over the entire locality. Rains failed and there was a great dearth of food grains. Starvation and disease exacted a heavy toll among the population and people flocked to Damaji for help. Damaji wanted to relieve them of their distress and ordered the entire royal- granaries to be opened and the grains distributed among people.
But envious minds began to chafe at Damaji’s added glory. They sent petitions to the ruler that he had laid bare the entire granaries belonging to the state. Damaji was summoned to the Durbar for an answer. Nothing daunted Damaji and he followed the emissaries. Pandarapur was on the way and Damaji felt that he should have a bath in the sacred Chanrabagha and offer his worship to Lord Vittal. “Oh Lord, it was you who made Damaji distribute the grain among your starving children, and again it is You that is taking me for an explanation at the Durbar. Your ways are indeed mysterious. What need for fear have I, as I know it is You in everyone who is playing this Drama? I have little care for this body for it is Thy and at Thy service.”
In the meantime at the palace of the ruler, there appeared a Talayari and presented his credentials to the ruler as the servant of Damaji, and told him that his master had submitted the value of the grain that he was accused to having misused. The Talayari’s appearance overwhelmed the ruler and he was thrilled. The amount of four lakhs of rupees which was the value of the grain so utilized by Damaji was promptly paid and a regular receipt taken. Immediately orders were passed withdrawing all proceedings against Damaji and he was honorably acquitted.
Here at Pandarapur, Damaji after worship began to read ‘Bhagavadgita’ as usual. On opening the sacred book he found in it a receipt for four lakhs and an order withdrawing the proceedings and a direction that he would be received in the palace with all honor. Damaji could not believe his eyes. The Lord’s ways are certainly inexplicable.
The Ruler fell at Damaji’s feet and begged for forgiveness for the great hardship he had caused him. Damaji discovered that it was the Lord who had thus saved His devotee and decided to spend the reminder of his life devoted to the Lord at Pandarpur.