English Translation of G T Sreedhara Sharma’s Shrīdhara Smarane – Part 1
By Ms.Vijaya Bhatta & Ms. Adya Bhatta, USA
Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji was an embodiment of detachment. He never went after money. Having dedicated His entire life for His devotees, He always wished for their upliftment.
Once, when Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji was in Shrī Shivānand Swāmīji’s maṭha2, one of the devotees came forward to offer bhikshā3 for Shrī Shivānand Swāmīji. Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji, who normally used to be in the woods meditating, was in the maṭha that day. Therefore, with devotion, the devotee invited Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji too, for bhikshā. In accordance with the practice at the maṭha, the devotee offered the holy water for Shrī Shivānand Swāmīji’s hands. He offered the same to Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji, and came forward to give bhojan dakshinā4. Immediately, Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji declared definitively, “I do not accept any dakshinā,” and refused to accept it. Still, with a lot of devotion, the devotee put the dakshinā coins into the kamandal. Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji, who kept Himself away from money even in dreams, did not even touch the kamandal and left. Then the people who worked at the maṭha removed the money from the kamandal, threw the water, and washed the kamandal. Only after making sure that it had no money, Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji accepted the kamandal again.
Thus, Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji, who rejected even the kamandal that was touched by money, became a model for all the Swāmījis.
- Kamandal – A pot made of special wood or metal used by Hindu ascetics for carrying holy water.
- Maṭha – A monastery.
- Bhikshā – In this context it means food offered to a Swāmīji by a devotee.
- Bhojan dakshinā – Dakshinā is an offering or gift of money typically given to a guru or priest. Bhojan dakshinā is a dakshina given at the time of bhikshā.
|| Jaya Jaya Shrīdharāya Namaḥ ||