Bhagawān Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji
English Translation of G T Sreedhara Sharma’s Shrīdhara Smarane – Part 1
By Ms.Vijaya Bhatta & Ms. Adya Bhatta, USA
A large number of devotees used to gather wherever Bhagawān Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji went. Swāmīji used to listen to the worries and problems of those devotees and suggested appropriate solutions. Once Swāmīji came from Chikmagalur to Sāgar in Shimoga district. After the various pujas, reading of the Shri Gurucharitra, Vedās, Purānas and Dāsabodha, etc., food was also served. Usually, during those times, thousands of devotees used to listen to Swāmīji’s discourse, take tīrtha1, prasāda2, and eat their food before leaving. However on that day, there was a rare order from the government. An order had come from the district administrator that no more than twenty-five people could gather anywhere for any reason.
Coming to know that Swāmīji was in Sāgar, hoards of devotees from there and other places gathered. How could the devotees be sent back without being fed? Regardless of the various questions of who was going to gather the groceries or who was in charge or who was instructing whom, all the devotees who had come would definitely get the meal. Having heard about this, the district administrator himself came to investigate. He could not understand what was happening because all the devotees were serving voluntarily. After observing all of this, the district administrator went straight to Swāmīji, prostrated and exclaimed, “Swāmīji! It is only due to punya from my previous birth that I got your darśana3.” He immediately called his wife too and had her prostrate to Swāmīji as well. They stood there not knowing what to say. Understanding the situation, Swāmīji consoled him. “Son! It is true that you are the first official and regulator of the district. It is true that the restrictive rule is there for gathering. The devotees gathered here, had to have their food at their homes if not here. Is it possible to stay hungry? No one is harming anyone here. Those who can afford, bring the food out of their own will, everyone gathered here accepts the meal together as prasāda.” Swāmīji explained in detail to the district administrator about charity, righteousness, good character and good practices and asked softly, “Son, do you want me to do anything for you?” Having heard these words from Bhagawān Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji, the district administrator said, “Swāmīji, what can I ask for? Your darśana itself is such a fortune. I only ask for your blessing,” and stood bowing down. Swāmīji blessed, “Son, my blessing is always there for the best to happen to everyone,” and went on towards other devotees.
On Swāmīji’s instructions, the administrator and his wife also had their meal as prasāda and bowed to Swāmīji once more and left.
- Tīrtha – Holy water given to the devotees as a blessing.
- Prasāda – Usually fruits, flowers or vegetarian food that is offered to deities or saints and then shared among the devotees after the worship as blessings.
- Darśana is the auspicious sight of a deity or a holy person.
|| Jaya Jaya Shrīdharāya Namaḥ ||
© All rights reserved. No part of this translation may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without written permission from the publisher, the author, and the translators.