Transforming grace of the Guru  

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimad Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


The compassionate glance of a true saint is enough to transform our lives forever. 

Once in southern India, there lived a vaishnav devotee named Dhanurdas. But he was not always a devout bhakta. In his earlier days, he was enamoured of a prostitute by the name of Hemamba. Totally besotted was he by her beauty. The thought of God was not even remotely on the horizon of his mind.

Dhanurdas was a strong and stout man and many addressed him as “pehelvan” or fighter.

Time passed. The time for the annual festival in Lord Ranganath’s temple came. The great sage Jagadguru Shri Ramanujacharya would come to the temple during the festivities and lakhs of people would throng the temple to see him and the Lord.

Now the pehelvan and Hemamba also desired to participate in the temple festival. People were joyously singing kirtan and dancing as the Lord’s chariot was taken around the temple. Thousands of men and women were jostling for a glimpse of the deity. But Dhanurdas had eyes only for Hemamba. He watched her without blinking like a spellbound bird.

Just then Shri Ramanujacharya’s eyes fell on him. Dhanurdas’ good fortune awakened. The acharya asked “who is that?” He felt pity for the man. The people around enlightened the acharya about the couple.

The guru went up to Dhanurdas and said “ Brother! Thousands of people here are immersed in the beauty and joy of the Lord’s darshan but your eyes are straying...how is that?” 

Dhanurdas replied “I am a worshiper of beauty and I have never seen such beauty as Hemamba. Therefore I keep looking at her face.” The acharya said “what if you saw something even more beautiful than her, would you then leave her?” The man replied “That anything can be more beautiful than Hemamba ...I just can’t believe it”. 

“Very well! This evening after the aarti is over and everyone has gone come and meet me” said the acharya and left.

Shri Ramanujacharya went into the sanctum and prayed, “Lord! Today you have to deliver a most fallen wretch. For once please show him a momentary glimpse your Tribhuvan Mohan form and give him a chance to redeem himself”.

Now the Lord never lets down his devotees. So in the evening when Dhanurdas showed up, Ramanujacharya took him right up to the sanctum door and said, “Behold! See and tell me, have you ever seen anyone more beautiful than this?”

In that moment, the stone deity that everybody else saw, was for Dhanurdas transformed into the living presence of God Himself. Dhanurdas took one look and fell down unconscious.

After a long time when he regained consciousness, he clasped Ramanujacharya’s feet and wept uncontrollably saying, “Please! Please bless me that I may behold that world-enchanting form again !” 

The acharya then initiated Dhanurdas and gave him a mantra. He went on to become one of the most dear disciples of Ramanujacharya and a highly realised soul. 

Verily as Sant Tulsidas says, “Binu Hari Kripa Milahi Nahin Santa”. Without the grsace of God, one cannot meet a true saint.

This story also illustrates why we should not try to go deeply into the origins of a holy person, for that could shake our faith. Rather what the person is at the present time is what really matters. Many sinful and fallen souls have been transformed into great mahapurushas by the grace of God and His dear devotees.


Bhaktavatsal Bhagavan ki Jai!!

Jai Guru !!

Jai Jai Shri Radhey !!