Namdev humbled


Namdev had been having the vision of the Lord at Pandharpur since his childhood and therefore had a bit of self-pride that he was something special. The Lord decided that it was necessary for Namdev to have a Guru.

A feast for the saints was arranged at the village of the potter-saint Gora, where the saints were each tested by Gora the potter. Jnaneswar asked Gora to test each of the ‘pots’ to see which ones were fully baked in the Knowledge of Brahman. They were asked to sit in a line while Gora hit each one of them on the head with a stick. All of them humbly submitted to this, except Namdev. All the saints laughed at him, calling him ‘half-baked.’

He went running to the Lord who comforted him and told him that unless he attained Enlightenment, he would not understand the significance of the saints’ actions. For that purpose,the Lord asked Namdev to go to Vishoba Kechara who was staying in a Shiva temple on the outskirts of some village.

Reaching there, he entered the temple and saw an old man lying down with his feet resting on the Shiva Lingam. Indignant at this sacrilege, Namdev clapped his hands to wake up the old man. Waking with a start, the old man saw Namdev and said, “Oh, you are that Namdev who Vittal has sent, aren’t you?” Namdev was shocked and thought that this man must be a great being.

He said, “You seem to be a great man, but why are you resting your feet on the Lingam?” “Oh, are they on the Lingam? Please remove them for me. I am very tired,” said the saint. Namdev lifted the old man’s legs and placed them in various spots, but wherever he put them, a Shiva Lingam appeared on the spot. Finally, he put them in his own lap and himself attained the State of Shiva.

Please note that it was only after Namdev surrendered himself to the Guru and touched his feet ,he was enlightened. Now Vishoba Kechara asked him to leave. Namdev returned to his village and spent most of his time in his house. Noticing that Namdev was not coming to the temple anymore, Vittal went to his house and enquired why. “You cannot fool me anymore, O Lord. Where is it that You are not? And can I exist in any way apart from You?” It was to learn this lesson that the Lord sent him to a Guru.

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