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Aug 26 2017

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Srinivasa Kalyanam 47: Tondaman’s worship to Lord Srinivasa

The discourse consists of the Puja procedures practised by TondamAn Raja , the way He surrendered and various methods of devotion that are found in devotees. There are different pious places where Gods and Goddesses manifested in various forms .

TondamAn felt sad that Srinivasa was angry with them and hence he wanted to pray Him. All the sages like Angeerasa advised TondamAn to pray Srinivasa with Tulasi bunches which are His favourite . TondamAn , since he was the king , decided to worship with golden Tulasi bunches . Despite worshipping with golden Tulasi bunches , Srinivasa was not impressed with TondamAn. Tondaman was egoistic and continued to worship with golden tulasi leaves.

Tondaman did not give up worship knowing that the Lord was unimpressed with him. He continued stubbornly. Then, Srinivasa addressed him and said, “Tondaman, I have many devotees. Give up the false ego that you are my only devotee. Moreover your mistake was actually unpardonable”.

TondamAn said, “O Lord even if you search minutely in all the three planes of existence you will never find a devotee who is more dear than me”.This was yet another mistake caused due to arrogance.

Many devotees have this wrong nothing that he/she is the best devotee. He/she can never make a mistake, whatever he does only is the correct method. There will be no other devotee like them in the world. This ego would be deeply filled in them.

Tondaman continued, “I am the foremost among all your devotees. I am the foremost among the persons who have received your compassion”  In reality, this compassion from God was the reason for him to become egoistic. The Lord stopped speaking.

Though egoistic, TondamAn worshipped with utmost devotion. HIs arrogance did not recede. One day , TondamAn worshipped with Golden Tulasi leaves. To his surprise he saw that the golden leaves offered by him were falling to one side. on the Lord’s feet there were tulasi (basil) leaves made from clay.  Time and again as he was worshipping with golden ones , they were disappearing but to his surpise Tulasi made of clay appeared in their place.

Tondaman got scared whether Srinivasa was unhappy with his worship. His ego also came down. He decided that Swamy was not accepting his worship and that he was not happy with him. He started crying holding His feet and started pleading

Bhajan : Ehi Srinivasa ! Pahi Venkatesha !

Srinivasa’s heart melted. He who is the father became very compassionate. From the statue itself said that He had many devotees who are very dear to him. These devotees consider Him to be everything. TondamAn was not the only devotee of the Lord.

He mentioned about a staunch devotee who was a potter called Bhima . He treated a tree in his house as his Lord Srinivasa and worshipped with Tulasi bunches made of mud with utmost diligence . Srinivasa was very much pleased and blessed him. The tualsi leaves offered by Him are now seen at my feet. Go and meet this potter. Learn from him what true devotion is.

From there Tondaman immediately walked to the potter’s home. The entire street was filled with devotees of the Lord. From every home the Lord’s names were being chanted. All of them had adorned the Lord’s sacred mark on their forehead. Tondaman was stunned. He enquired the address of Bhima, the potter, and finally located the house,

The house was an epitome of cleanliness and purity. It was conducive for meditation. Tondaman, in tiredness, collapsed at the place. Tondaman was enquiring from everyone, “Who is Bheema? I seek to hold his feet and learn from him about devotion”.

From that house a man hurriedly came out. He was Bheema. He thought, “Why is the king at my doorstep? Why is he asking for me? What is wrong with him?”

He immediately sprinkled water on the king. King Tondaman opened his eyes. The king recovered and enquired, “Bheema who taught you this procedure for worshipping the Lord? What is the procedure you follow at home? The leaves that you offer here in your home are appearing on the Lord’s feet. How is this possible? Please explain to me in detail.”

Bheema said, “O King! Please tell me who has informed you of this secret. Without taking offence kindly tell this to me.”

The king replied the Lord Srinivasa himself revealed the secret. Bheema then said, “O King, no one has taught me this puja procedure. I perform the puja based on my firm belief and conviction. Thats all. I am so pleased with your arrival here today. The king himself has come to my house.

Seeing you here today some old memories come to me. Previously Lord Srinivasa gave me some boons. He said, “O Bheema, the moment your devotion becomes well-known causing King Tondaman to come to your doorstep, you will be blessed with liberation”.

Meanwhile Srinivasa who was seated on vehicle Garuda manifested in that home. He asked Garuda to call Bheema. Garuda brought Bheema near the Lord. In great astonishment and bliss offered prostration to the Lord. His eyes were filled with tears. He asked his wife to offer obeisance. His mind was blank. HE was speechless. He kept staring at the Lord with no thoughts.

 

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