Sri Guru's Forgiving Mercy
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Gurudev is always merciful. I can give you an example of how merciful Gurudev is, I can tell you one story (I told it last year also). Disciples always do wrong, but Gurudev is always merciful...
Once, there was Gurudev and a disciple. At that time, there were no cars or trains and they were walking on foot—Gurudev walked and the disciple carried his things. They were walking, walking—suddenly the disciple said, "O Gurudev, I am very hungry! I am very hungry! I cannot walk any more!" Gurudev said, "OK, I have this one coin, I can give it to you. Go to the market and bring me some chana." Chana means chickpea dal. They call it chana in Vrindavan, and chhola in Bengal.
The disciple was very happy. He went to the market and he saw many kinds of fruit, apples, nice paneer, curd, etc. He thought, "Oh, it is a very good market!" He asked some shopkeeper, "How much is one kilo paneer? How much is one kilo apples?" The shopkeeper answered, "Here, everything is the same price—one paisa." "Bah! Very good market! Very good area! I do not want to leave this place!" (Lord Siva, Durga, Kali, Lord Brahma—everything is equal!) He quickly got one kilo of paneer (chhana) with the paisa that his Gurudev had given to him and went back to Gurudev.
"Where is my chana?" Gurudev asked him.
"Gurudev, the market is very nice, everything is equal, everything is the same price. Apples, paneer, etc. When one kilo paneer (chhana) is one paisa, why would I ask for chickpea (chana)? I bought a whole kilo of paneer instead!"
"OK, you eat it then!" Gurudev became angry.
The disciple ate the whole kilo of paneer alone, and Gurudev was worried and annoyed because he had to go. When the disciple finished, Gurudev asked him,
"Have you finished?"
"Yes, I have finished."
"We must go, let's go!"
"No, Gurudev, now I need to sleep, I cannot go... I will not leave this place..."
"OK, then I am going, you can stay here. But remember one thing. You were supposed to go with me, and now you are not coming, but if you get into trouble or some danger one day, you will remember me."
Gurudev left and the disciple stayed sitting under a tree alone. It is similar to Ishan. Sanatan Goswami and Ishan were going to Vrindavan to meet with Mahaprabhu, but Ishan had some desires—he took some gold coins with him, and Sanatan told him, "Go. Go back to your home." Here too, Gurudev left and the disciple stayed behind.
He was sitting under a tree and chanting. What kind of chanting did he do? He was not actually following his Guru. When he saw some people coming, he would shout, "Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna!" The people thought, "Oh, it is a very big Vaishnav!" and they would give him some money. The brahmachari took that money and bought paneer every day. He pretended to be a Vaishnav—he would put a big tilak, show a big mala, etc., but actually what he was doing was for his own enjoyment—he chanted "Hare Krishna!" for money. He lived in this way and soon became fat and got a big belly.
Then, some problem came to that area. Today one house was burgled, another day another house, next day another, and so on. There was a thief in the area who went house to house stealing things. One day, one big man's house was burgled. The rich man went to the local government, council, and complained,
"You are in the government, we all trust you. Why are there burglaries every day in different houses? My house was burgled today!"
"All police and security guards are trying to catch the thief, but they have not found him," said the minister. "Did you see the thief?"
"Yes, I did. When he broke into my house, I heard some noise and woke up. I saw him."
"What does he look like?"
"He is very fat!"
So, the police started searching for a fat man. Soon they saw a man sitting under a tree, he was very big and fat (it was the disciple of Gurudev).
"You are the thief! You have been stealing from the houses!" said the police.
"No, no, no! I have not done anything! I did not do it!"
"No, it is you!"
The police caught the man and took him to the minister (or like the king of that area). There was a trial, and the judge found the man guilty. The punishment was death—shul (শূল, impalement). ('Shul' is a kind of punishment that existed in India, in British period as well. It means that a body is pierced being thrown on a stick.) The king announced that the thief was caught would be punished the next day. Everybody could come and see the impalement.
In the meantime, the brahmachari sat in prison thinking, "Oh, why did I not listen to Gurudev? But Gurudev said that if I got into danger, I would remember him!" He started thinking about Gurudev, crying and calling to him, "O Gurudev, please protect me! Please protect me!" Gurudev immediately came. Do you see how merciful Gurudev is? He immediately came to protect him.
"I told you many times, 'Come with me,' but you did not listen to me, and now they are going to kill you tomorrow. Anyhow, you have called me, and I have come to protect you. Now listen to what I say to you. When they take you to the shul, I will go with you and I will tell him that I want to die instead of you—"
"No, no, Gurudev!" said the disciple quickly, "You do not need to die. I did wrong, it is my fault, so I will die!"
"Hey! I told you, গুরুমুখ-পদ্মবাক্য চিত্তেতে করিয়া ঐক্য, guru-mukha-padma-vakya, chittete kariya aikya! [Make the teachings from Sri Guru's lotus mouth one with your heart!]! You did not listen to me in the first place, and now also you are not listening to me! I am telling you what to do. If you want to be rescued, then do as I tell you."
The next day, the police took the brahmachari to the shul. Gurudev (an old man with a white beard) was walking near. When they were near the shul, Gurudev shouted,
"Wait! I will die! Let me die instead!"
"Who is this man?" asked the king.
"I am an astrologer. You made this shul on a very good day, and today is also a good day. The person who will die on this shul will go to Vaikuntha! Let me die instead of him!"
"No. I made this shul with my money, and my father is always very sick, he always keeps saying, 'When will Krishna take me to Vaikuntha? When will Krishna take me to Vaikuntha?' Why should I allow somebody else die and go to Vaikuntha? I will bring my father instead! Get out of there!" Then the king ordered the police, "Take these men away from there. Call my father."
At that time, Gurudev said to his disciple, "Now is the time. Let's go!"
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