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...

13.4: Nama told to give a feast to Brahmans

49. ‘O Nama, listen, you have seen all the sacred bathing places; in coming to this birth you have accomplished your good, and have satisfied the desire of your heart.

50. Now in order to complete your pilgrimage, bring your rites to a close by feeding the Brahmans. Perform what is prescribed and thus wholly complete your purpose.

51. You have suffered many things. They will bear good fruit. Listen, O Nama, to what I have said.’ So God spoke to him in love.

52. ‘Although one may have wandered to many sacred places, yet if the final rites have not been performed, it will be as if the most delicious food had been cooked, and then finally not eaten;

53. or as if one should listen to the reading of many Puranas, yet unless they are meditated upon it goes for naught; or like ornaments beautifully formed but useless if not worn;

54. or as if one in order to have a healthy body should take medicine, O Nama, but if he did not eat digestible food, the medicine would not prove of use;

55. so you may have seen many sacred bathing places, including Saptapuris [seven cities, givers of final deliverance:—Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika, Dwarawati], and yet if you do not perform the final rites, your wandering will be in vain. So say the Shastras.

56. This holy city of Pandhari is a heaven upon earth, far famed, and for comparing it nothing animate or inanimate exists.

57. It is a place where if one offers food to Brahmans it satisfies to the end of the ages. So collect all the Brahmans who live in the sacred city and bring them to the feast.

58. Worship them with the proper materials and give them a feast of delicious things. Offer them also with reverence the pansupari and gifts of money.’

59. After saying this, Krishna took Nama by the hand and led him into the inner shrine.

60. Then with a smiling face the merciful One and Holder of the Sharang bow (Krishna) said to Rukmini, ‘My love for Nama is very great, I can never be separated from him.

61. After having visited many sacred bathing places, he is going to complete the final rites to-day.’ The Life of the world having said this, the Mother of the world replied,

62. ‘O Lord of the universe, Thy most beloved friend Nama has put aside all other loves and affections, and in deep love is worshipping Thee alone.

63. He has abandoned every business enterprise. Who then will perform the final rites? By serving Thee he has made Thee his debtor, casting aside pride and affection.

64. Having passed through a great number of births he has accumulated some good deeds. All these he has lovingly offered at Thy feet.

65. Just as rivers in great volumes of water pour into the sea, so Nama has followed Thee with singleness of devotion.

66. And so it falls to Thee to perform Thyself everything in Thy affection for him.’ Hearing her say this, Shrirang (Krishna) smiled.

67. Rukmini added, ‘O good Being, Nama’s love is extraordinary. Brahmadev [Brahmadeva] would not be able to describe it by His lips. It is always new and beyond comparison.

68. So Thou, O Holder of the disk, must now go taking Nama with Thee and after inviting the Brahmans come back quickly.

69. If all the Siddhis are favourable, one will not have to worry; if Thou, Lord of Pandhari, hast the wish to do a thing, what canst Thou not do?

70. The calf of the wish-cow does not have to go into the mountains to feed. The sun never has to light a lamp to cause brightness.

71. The ocean does not have to worry as to whether it will rain or not. A person who drinks nectar continually, what does he have for digestible food?

72. Why should the moon make an effort to become cool? How can it be difficult for Sarasvati to compose poetic verses?

73. The elephant-faced (Ganesh) does not have to labour to put away hindrances. Why does one want a mirror to see the bracelet on one’s hand?

74. So, O Life of the world, it will not take much effort to feast Brahmans for Nama.’ Hearing her say this, the king of Vaikunth [Vaikuntha] started on his way.

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