Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji
English Translation of G T Sreedhara Sharma’s Shrīdhara Smarane – Part 1
By Ms.Vijaya Bhatta & Ms. Adya Bhatta, USA
Crowd of devotees used to gather wherever Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji went. Swāmīji liked inquiring about the wellbeing of the devotees, listening to their problems, and giving them appropriate solutions. While doing this, He never felt tiredness, tedium, fatigue and such. Regardless of whether there were hundred, thousand, or ten thousand devotees, He used to give tīrtha to all the devotees Himself with love and affection. A gentleman named Gidda Nārāyan used to be with Swāmīji and brought tirtha to Swāmīji.
While the devotees came to Him now and then, other times the embodiment of God, Swāmīji Himself, went and stood among the devotees and gave the tīrtha. One day when Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji Himself was giving tirtha, thousands of devotees arrived in groups. On that day, the tīrtha did not fall on the hands of one of the devotees. Overcome with fear, that devotee shivered and stood watching Swāmīji. Realizing the situation, Swāmīji called him closer and told him kindly and calmly “Son! Today your work will not be accomplished. You have come here to steal. Going forward, don’t steal. Don’t worry, I will give you tīrtha. Lead the life of an honest man by accepting your mistakes; repentance is the atonement for the sins you have committed. Let good happen to you too”. Burning with repentance, the thief was perspiring with fear and anxiety. Swāmīji consoled him repeatedly and told the āshram members to give him a suitable job at the āshram or some money for his livelihood. Swāmīji continued to give tirtha as if nothing had occurred. While the public saw that man as a thief, Swāmīji saw an ardent devotee in him.
Thus, Shrī Shrīdhara Swāmīji who used to see even thieves with compassion is a rare incarnation of Lord Dattātreya.
- Tīrtha – Holy water given to the devotees as a blessing.
|| Jaya Jaya Shrīdharāya Namaḥ ||
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