English Translation of G T Sreedhara Sharma’s Shrīdhara Smarane – Part 1
By Ms.Vijaya Bhatta & Ms. Adya Bhatta, USA
Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji used to deliver discourses wherever He stayed. Many devotees from scholars to ordinary people used to attend such gatherings. Swāmīji’s discourses used to be akin to a feast to the devotees.
Once, all the preparations were done for Swāmīji’s discourse at Mysuru. An arrogant scholar had also come for that gathering. He had come planning to pose some questions to Swāmīji to test Swāmīji’s knowledge. That day, the scholar was observing Swamiji’s every move. Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji told one of the devotees “Vidyā dadāti vinayaṁ. Vinayādyāti pātratāṁ” and “Pūrṇa kumbhaṁ na karōti śabdaṁ.” Swāmīji explained what this meant; “humility is the characteristic of knowledge; a full pot doesn’t make noise.” Thus, Swāmīji was explaining that knowledge and humility are complementary to each other. Even the scholar heard these statements. This acted like an antidote to his arrogance. Knowingly, Swāmīji behaved as if He knew nothing about this.
When Swāmīji returned after taking bath, the scholar was still there. Swāmīji told him smilingly “Brother! I am not too learned. All I know is just the Praṇava.” When the scholar heard “All I know is Praṇava,” his ego plummeted. Knowing that only an accomplished guru would be able to assimilate the praṇava mantra and discern its importance, he realized that Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji was one such. The visitor’s arrogance completely vanished, and he totally surrendered to Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji.
While Swāmīji was giving tīrtha, the scholar was there close to Swāmīji. His skepticism and arrogance disappeared, and peace emerged in his mind. He was completely enchanted by Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji’s personality and compassion. “Swāmīji, I am sorry I committed a big mistake. It is true that I had come here to test you. Now I have understood everything, and I am convinced. Please forgive my mistake and protect me,”’he pleaded. Swāmīji showed mercy and gave him tīrtha. Thus, Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji forgave even the arrogance of the scholar.
- Tīrtha – Holy water given to the devotees as a blessing.
- Praṇava or Oṃ is the sacred syllable and a spiritual symbol that signifies the essence of the ultimate reality or consciousness.
|| Jaya Jaya Shrīdharāya Namaḥ ||
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