English Translation of G T Sreedhara Sharma’s
Shrīdhara Smarane – Part 1
By Ms.Vijaya Bhatta & Adya Bhatta USA
Once, when Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji was in Shīgehaḷḷi, it was raining heavily. In the evenings during monsoon, especially in the Western Ghats region, one can find earthworms everywhere. One evening, when Shrī Shivānanda Swāmīji and Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji were coming together by the hill side, many black ants were biting an earthworm. The earthworm was struggling in excruciating pain. Compassionate Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji was deeply moved as soon as He saw this scene. He decided to free the earthworm from the black ants. He kept a two feet long smooth stick close to the ants. When the black ants came over the stick, He put them aside slowly without hurting them.
According to Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji, the earthworm needed to escape from the ants and the ants too needed to reunite with their own colony. So, He took the earthworm to a safe place that had water.
Watching all of this, Shrī Shivānanda Swāmīji told Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji courteously, “Dāsa1! What did you do? Don’t you know that it is told in Garbha Gīta that one should not deny animals their food? It is also told that doing that would be a big sin!”
To this, Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji consoled, “The fortune of escaping the bites of the ants must have come to that earthworm. Similarly, the fate of the ants must have been to not get this food now. Therefore, I am just a medium. Everyone must experience the consequences of their karma, nothing special about it. It must have been written in their fate that I would be doing this. Shrī Samartha himself has told ‘Freeing animals of their bondage is the characteristic of virtue’. Everything has happened according to the inspiration from God.”
Having been satisfied with this answer, Swāmīji Shrī Shivānand exclaimed, “Dāsa!, You do not get trapped anywhere in the debate of the Vedānta. Your contention is right,” and laughed. Then, both walked down the hill and went into the monastery.
- Dāsa is a disciple.
- Garbha Gīta is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna regarding karmās and their consequences.
|| Jaya Jaya Shrīdharāya Namaḥ ||
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