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Chapter 41 - Sayamdev Serves Shri Guru : His Kashikhand Mahayatra

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Namdharak. `How did my forefathers serve Shri Guru?'

Shri Siddha - Your grand father's father, Sayamdev, had worshipped Shri Guru at Osargram. Shri Guru had affection for him. Shri Guru later came and stayed at Ganagapur. His fame spread all over the country. Knowing this, Sayamdev also came to Ganagapur. He came to the Math, bowed to Shri Guru and prayed him. Shri Guru was pleased. He placed his palm on his head, blessed him, and said `You will be my devotee for generations.' Shri Guru asked him to bathe at the Sangam and return for the meals to the Math.

After returning from the Sangam, Sayamdev worshipped Shri Guru with 16 upchars and offered several delicious articles of food, as naivedya. He dined with Shri Guru, who inquired about his  family. Sayamdev said, `My relatives and sons are living at Uttar Kanchi (Gadganchi) hail and healthy. I wish to stay with you and serve your holy self now.

Shri Guru said My service is difficult. I live in a town for some time, while in the forest at other time. It is troublesome to live in a forest. If your mind is firm then only you should stay here.'

Sayamdev conceded and said, `A devotee of Shri Guru has no fear.'

Three months passed. One evening Shri Guru went to the Sangam along with Sayamdev alone and sat below the Ashwattha tree. There was a great storm, followed by heavy rain, Sayamdev stood stretching a cloth over Shri Guru to protect him from the rain. There was a shivering cold in the night. So Shri Guru asked Sayamdev to go to the Math in the town and bring fire. Thick darkness and spread all over and there was lighting now and then. Shri Guru warned Sayamdev not to look to his right or left side. Anyhow Sayamdev reached the Math, took fire and returned. Out of curiosity, he looked to his right side and saw a Cobra going with him. He was frightened. He then looked to the left side. Here too he saw another Cobra. He recited Shri Guru's name and walked straight. He came to Shri Guru and lit the fire. The two Cobras came before Shri Guru, bowed to him and went away.

Shri Guru said to Sayamdev, `Why are you so much afraid? I had sent these Cobras to protect you. I shall tell you a tale, about service to Shri Guru, to pass this night.

`When Shri Shiva was sitting on a peak of the Kailas mountain with Parwati, she asked him, `How can Shri Guru be served with devituib.'

Shri Shiva said, `One who serves Shri Guru with sincerity, can attain all that one desires. Brahma had an incarnation which was called Tashthra Brahma. He had a handsome son. When his thread ceremony was performed his father sent the boy to a Guru for study of Vedas and Shastras. He served the Guru devotedly. Once there was rain and the water came in the ashram of the guru. The guru told the pupil to construct a lasting house with all conveniences, which should look always new. The wife of the Guru asked the boy to bring her a blouse, which should neither be sewn or woven. The son of the Guru said,

`Bring sandals for me, that would enable me to walk on waters and take me to any desired place. The daughter of the Guru asked the boy, `Bring earrings for me and a playhouse of a elephant tooth having one pillar and all the conveniences. Also bring pots in which food will be warm and which will not be black due to suit.

The pupil took leave of Guru and went to a forest. He was anxious how all these things could be obtained. On the way he met an ascetic, who inquired `child, why are you so worried?'

The Brahmachari boy bowed to him and said, `Kindly guide and protect me. It is my good fortune that I could see you in this forest. `He told him what his Guru, Guru's wife, son and daughter had asked him to do. He said, 'I am anxious as to how all these things can be achieved.

The aseetic assured him and said, `Don't worry. Kashi is a holy place of Vishweshwar. You go there and worship Him. All your desires will be fulfilled. Kashi is known as `Anand Kanan'. One attains all the four purushrthas after going there'.

The Brahmachari asked, `Where is Kashi? How can I go there?'

The ascetic - I shall take you there. Due to you, I shall also have the fortune to see the holy place again.' Saying so both went to Kashi instantly by yogin power. The ascetic then told the Brahmachari to do Antar Grahayatra, Dakshin manasyatra and utta manasyatra. While visiting holy places bath should be taken there. Then do Oanchkroshi yatra, Shukla and dark fortnight yatras should also be performed. Worship nine Lingas and Kashi Vishveshwar. If your devotion to Guru is firm, Shri Shiva Shankar will be pleased and fulfill all your desires,' Saying this the ascetic went away.

The Brahmachari performed all the yatras as instructed by the ascetic. Shri Shankar was pleased. He appeared before the boy and asked him to have a boon. Twashthrakumar narrated his account and mentioned the articles required for Guru, Guru's wife, son and daughter. Shri Shanker blessed him saying,

`You will be as efficient as Vishwakarma.'

The Brahmachari prepared all the articles skillfully returned to the Guru's place. The Guru was also pleased to see him back with success. He also blessed him saying, `You will be proficient in all Vidays.' Shri Guru explained the greatness of Guru to Sayamdev in this way. By this time the sun was rising on the eastern horizon. Sayamdev said, `You explained Kashi yatra in details. While hearing the same, I could see and also visit the respective holy shrines, tanks and places with your holy self and thought as if we were in Kashi. He then prayed Guru with 8 shlokas which are daily chanted after Aarati at ganagapur till now.

While praying, his throat choked and his hair stood erect on his body. Shri Guru was much pleased. He blessed him and said, `Bring your family and children here and stay with me. Do not bow to Muslims hereafter.'

Sayamdev went to his place and returned to Ganagapur with his family and children on bhadrapad Shuddha 14, the Anant Chaturdashi day. This time he prayed Shri Guru with eight Sholakas in Kannad. Shri Guru seated him by his side and inquired about all. Sayamdev had two sons. Shri Guru loved the elder, Nagnath. Shri Guru placed his palm on the head of Sayamdev and said, `You do not serve the Muslims now. You all have bath at the Sangam.'

Sayamdev and his family bathed at the Sangam, worshipped the Ashwattha there and returned to the Math. Shri Guru said to Sayamdev, `Today is Anant Chaturdashi. All Brahmins worship Anant on this day. You too should do Anant Puja.' Sayamdev said, `You are my Anant.' Still Guru insisted on him to do the anant Puja.

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