English Translation of G T Sreedhara Sharma’s Shrīdhara Smarane – Part 1
By Ms.Vijaya Bhatta & Ms. Adya Bhatta, USA
Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji was not limited to any one religion, caste, or race. Therefore, His disciples hailed from all religions, as they do now. Wherever Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji stayed, devotees, the needy, and scholars congregated in large numbers. Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji answered everyone’s query with patience and gave tīrth1 and prasād2 to them. Those people would return home satisfied with the responses they received from Swāmīji.
One day a Muslim official came to meet Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji. Shrī Swāmīji was in solitude at the time. On seeing Swāmīji, the official immediately started to cry incessantly. Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji consoled him and asked him the reason for his distress. The official said with fearful devotion, “Swāmīji, I had attained the siddhi3 of ‘trikāl jñān’ 4 through several days of austere penance. As a result of my penance, I used to even have the divine darśana 5 of The Prophet. But I lost all of that due to an extra-marital affair. Due to the fruits of my penance, I got Your darśana today. Swāmīji! Will I ever be able to regain the siddhi I have lost?”
Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji consoled the official in a compassionate voice “Son! Repenting for the sins of the past purifies them. One should swear on God that he would never do such a sin again, even if his life his lost. You should tell your experiences to other womanizers and reform them towards the right path. If you find any woman is in distress, you should consider her as your mother, take her safely to her home, and take her blessings. Once you do such a righteous act twenty-five times, you will get the divine darshan of The Prophet again. The Prophet will direct you to the location and tell you the number of times you should do the pārāyaṇ 6 of the Qurān at that place. If you complete the pārāyaṇ with devotion and austerity, you will regain the siddhi you have lost.” The official repeatedly prostrated to Swāmīji with joy, regained confidence, and returned home. It was very common for Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji to bless the Muslims this way, considering them to be His devotees too.
- Tīrth – Holy water given to the devotees as a blessing.
- Prasād – Fruits, flowers or vegetarian food that is offered to deities that is shared among the devotees after the worship.
- Siddhi – Accomplishments that are attained through yogic practices or penance.
- Trikāl jñān – The state of a Trikāl jñānī, the one who knows the past, present and the future.
- Darśana is the auspicious sight of a deity or a holy person.
- Pārāyaṇ – is a prescribed spiritual study or recitation of the names of a God, a scripture or compositions in praise of God done without interruptions.
|| Jaya Jaya Shrīdharāya Namaḥ ||
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