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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tulsidas and thieves



Tulsidas and thieves


One night two thieves broke into the temple. They took as many as they could carry. And when they tried to go out...


Many years ago when the great Emperor Akbar ruled at Delhi there lived a man named Tulsi Das who wrote the Ramayana. Valmiki wrote the Ramayana in Sanskrit but Tulsi Das wrote it in Hindi the spoken language of the people. That is why Tulsi Das’s Ramayana is more popular than that of Valmiki’s. It is enacted every year as Ramlila in every town and village in India.

Tulsi Das had come to love the name of Rama from very childhood. But the turning point in his life came a few years after his marriage. Tulsi Das was very fond of his wife. He could not bear to be separated from her even for a short while. One day shortly after the birth of their little son he went out leaving his wife at home. When he returned he didn’t I find his wife there she had gone to her father’s place with her brother who visited in the absence of Tulsi Das.

This made Tusli Das very sad. Unable to bear the separation he at once set out for his father-in-law’s house. On the way he had to cross a swollen river in the dark. But he jumped into the river and swam across it and reached the house of his wife’s father.

His wife had hardly reached her father’s house when she was surprised to see Tulsi Das just coming after her. Instead of welcoming him she rebuked him by saying" If only you had as great love for Rama as you have for me a bundle of mere flesh and bones you would have become a great saint."

These words pierced his heart. Suddenly he had a vision of a blissful life wholly given up to God. He said to himself: "what a fool I have been all these years! I loved my wife with all my heart. But why should I have done so? I should have set my heart on something higher. I should have devoted my life to Rama."

The next morning at daybreak he left home for Varanasi where he became a devotee of Rama. He went about the streets of Varanasi begging. "Ram! Ram!" he cried as he went from street to street.

It was not for himself that he begged but for a temple in the name of Rama which he wanted to build in the city. Rama had appeared to him and blessed him. Now he wanted to tell the people about Rama so that they could lead better lives.

Little by little the money came in till at last Tulsi Das had enough money to build the temple. The temple was built. Here Tulsi Das started teaching people singing beautiful songs about Rama. So beautiful were his thoughts that people looked upon him as a saint. They loved and honored him and brought him presents in form of gold and silver vessels.

Tulsi Das kept these presents in the temple. One night two thieves broke into the temple to steal the vessels of gold and silver in it. They took as many as they could carry. And when they tried to go out of the door they had come in from. Whom did they find there? The two men armed with bows and arrows standing outside the door. Then they went to another door. Here too they found the same two men standing guarding it. They then ran to the third door but the same two men were standing outside this door too!

Tulsi Das Who wrote 'Ramayana'Trembling with fear the two thieves now took back the vessels to the place from where they had taken the mand tried to get out without them. But outside every door they went to they found the same two men standing guarding it with their bows and arrows. So they had to stay inside the temple that night.

In the morning when Tulsi Das came to the temple he saw the two thieves trying to hide from him. Tulsi Das wanted to know who they were. They fell at his feet and told him the whole story.

As Tulsi Das listened to their story he wondered who the two men could have been. But as he stood there thinking he knew all at once who they were. They were Rama and Lakshmana!

The two thieves said : "O holy man! We are wicked men. We have done many sins. Let us serve you so that we too may become good men."

"You have been greatly blessed your eyes have seen the two great ones. Live in peace here. You are the true devotees of Rama. Very few in this world are as blessed as you are."

From that day the doors of the temple were never closed they were kept open day and night. No one came to the temple to steal.

The people came to see the temple from other cities and towns. When they heard Tulsi Das singing songs of Rama they were filled with a strong desire to lead good lives. In this wayTulsi Das taught people the love of God. He did great good to them by writing a wonderful book on the life of Rama called Ramayana. There is hardly any boy or girl in India who does not know the beautiful story of Rama and Sita.

Tulsi Das could count among his friends some of the famous men of his time. Todar Mal Akbar’s minister Maharaja Man Sing and his brotherJagat Singh of Amber were among his best friends. Some one once asked him: "Why do such great men now come to see you who had been so humble and so unknown?"

Tulsi Das replied: "Once did I beg and could not get even a cracked cowrie (Coin) in alms. Who wanted me then for any purpose? But Rama the lover of the poor made me of great price. I used to beg from door to door for almsnow kings are at my feet. Then it was without Rama now Rama is my helper."

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