Bhaktavijaya: Stories of Indian Saints

by Justin E. Abbott | 1933

This is the English translation of Bhaktavijaya which is a Marathi poem written by Mahipati in 40,000 lines. The text documents the legends of Indian saints from various backgrounds and extensively covers figures like Ekanath, Tukaram, and Ramadasa, highlighting their contributions to scholarship, philosophy, poetry, and social reform. The Bhaktavi...

10.3: Namdev’s doubts and Dhyandev’s replies

In the meantime Nama looked back very often.

87. He cried, ‘O, God, Thou hast forsaken me. Thou hast not come to see me off.’ Thus speaking he fainted away.

88. Just as a child cries aloud when separated from its mother; as a young deer feels when losing sight of its mother-deer hunts for her in every direction;

89. and as a man overcome with hunger, suffers from lack of food; and as one overcome with thirst hunts for water; and as the chatak bird, in its thirst, watches for a cloud;

90. and as a chakor bird, on the first day of the month, searches for the moon; and as a fish in the hot season is troubled by lack of water;

91. and as when a young turtle is hungry and does not see its mother within sight; so by separation from Pandurang, Nama was overwhelmed with grief.

92. He said to himself, ‘I find myself in a forest overcome with anxiety. I see no one who is near and dear to me. Thou art my father and mother. O God, rush to my help.

93. O Lord of Pandhari, Thou alone art my dearest friend, my brother and my uncle. O Shri Vitthal [Vitthala], Helper of the helpless, Thou alone art my family deity.

94. Thou alone art the means for my gaining final deliverance. Thou, O Cloud of intelligence, who knowest the thoughts of the heart, who knowest whether my words are true or false, O Shri Vitthal [Vitthala].

95. 0 Ocean of mercy, supreme Lord of the earth, Nama is in great trouble without Thee. Look upon him with the eye of mercy, and let him be in the chamber of Thy heart.

96. Thus Nama, overcome with grief, used moving words. Dnyandev then addressed him. Listen to what he said.

97. ‘With streams of love in your heart, why are you sad? God being in your heart, you are needlessly troubled.

98. O chief of bhaktas, think for a moment. Your joy is in your heart. You yourself without question are the visible God with attributes.

99. The fragrant perfume, existing as it does in the navel of the deer itself, the latter needlessly wanders through a forest in search of it, so you, ignorant of your own spiritual nature, are overcome by the pain of separation.

100. It is as if untold wealth lay buried in the house of an unfortunate man; he does not see it and therefore he goes hungry. Such is your case.’

101. Hearing his words, Nama replied, ‘Show me God Supreme before my eyes, and possessing attributes, with His feet parallel on a brick,

102. clothed around His waist with a yellow robe, with both hands on His hips. Show me this Advocate of bhaktas, and Saviour of the world.

103. Show me the object of contemplation for Sanak [Sanaka] and the others, the precious ornament of Shiva, the Husband of Rukmini, the Life of the world.

104. Show me at once Him of whom Narad [Narada] and Tumbaru with love sing day and night, the Giver of the promise to Pundalik.

105. I know nothing of the means adopted in the yoga philosophy. My resting place is the Life of the world. O Dnyandev, if I do not meet Him, my life will desire to depart.

106. Dnyandev replied, ‘O God-loving bhakta, there is no place empty of God. Abandon the idea of any difference in nature and recognize in your heart the One Being who is without a second.’

107. Nama hearing this replied, ‘The chatak bird will not drink water out of a river; be will only drink gladly of streams of water from the skies.

108. So God fills the whole universe, this seems to me as a false theory, just as a dutiful wife will not listen to the story of anyone aside from her husband.’

109. In reply to this, Dnyandev said, ‘The Being who is imperishable and One only, whom the wise worship, it is He who is in your heart.’

110. To this Nama replied, ‘I am fond of a form that has attributes. For to look at it, is refreshing to the eye. I feel as if I wish to listen to songs in His praise.’

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