There lived a learned man called Kamalakar in Pandaripur. He was known
for his good qualities, Bhakti and knowledge. He had a wife known as
Sumathi. True to her name she was a dutiful wife, good natured, pious
and intellectual lady. They had a five year old son-Padmakar.
They spent their life in a pious way. They had holy bath in Chandrabhaga
River, and their morning prayers served the Bhagavatas and offered food
to them and ate the remaining food.
One day, on their way to their work, they came across the great saints,
the beloved devotees of the Lord. They were Nivrithidev, Jnanadev, Sopanadev,
Muktabai, Namadevi, Gorakumbhar, Changadev, Kabirdas etc. They were
chanting the name of God. Kamalakar fell to their feet with his son
and said ‘Oh great saints’! I am lucky enough to have your
Darsan. I request you all to visit our house and bless us.
The saints were impressed by his good faith, but said, ‘You are
a great Bhakta of Lord Vishnu, but still we are quite a few. It will
be difficult for you. So please forget it. We’ll bless you from
here itself.’ He answered, ‘Oh! Don’t you worry about
that! Lord Vittala and Goddess Rukmini Devi are my parents. They take
care of every one of us. I am blessed by their love and concern. So
you can come without any doubt and bless me.’ Then the Sadhus
said. ‘Ok we’ll come, you proceed first.’ He went
home, informed his wife about the Sadhus’ arrival and went back
again to receive them.
Sumathi Devi borrowed the required material from her neighouring lady.
Suddenly the firewood was exhausted. So the mother sent her son to fetch
the cow-dung cakes. Unfortunately, as he was removing them, a snake
which was hidden under them stung him. He let out a big cry and died
within no time.
Sumathi’s grief was beyond expression, but she had to put her
duty before her sorrow. She had to control herself at once. She brought
her son’s dead body and kept it in a corner, had her bath again
and continued her cooking.
Kamalakar brought the guests, served them humbly, prayed to God, offered
prasadam to God and served food to the guests. Then Namadev prayed to
Lord Sri Krishna. Krishna, who answers his call at once and comes immediately,
did not come then. Namadev was worried. How much ever he prayed God
did not come!
He called Kamalakar and said, ‘Oh Bhakta! Call your son! He will
eat with us! Then Sumathi answered, “Swami, He had his food just
now and he is sleeping’. Namadev said, ‘No, we will not
eat until he comes. Sumathi Devi said, ‘Swami! I am sorry. However
much I tried, he is not getting up. Please, you carry on.’ Then
Namadev prayed to God again and said ‘Oh God! If you don’t
arrive here, we will not accept your Prasad’. Then God arrived
and asked ‘What do you want?’ ‘Oh God! Please see
to it that Sumathi’s son wakes up and has his food with us.
Immediately, the son woke up and called his mother. He said he was thirsty.
The mothers’ joy knew no bounds. She hugged him with tears of
joy and brought him to the feet of Namadev and thanked him profusely.
She said ‘Oh God! You have driven out our misery.’ They
all asked her, ‘What exactly happened to your son?’ Sumathi
explained everything. When they heard the whole story, the Sadhus praised
Namadev as reincarnation of God.
Later all of them had their food along with the boy. They blessed the
couple and the boy and taught them Krishna mantra. They prayed to Namadev
and other Sadhus.
One day God dressed himself as an old Brahmin went to Kamalakar’s
house when he and his son were away. God asked Sumathi, ‘Oh lady!
I am unable to bear my hunger. I am about to die, please serve me something.’
She took pity on him, borrowed items from the neighbouring lady, cooked
food, served him, made him sleep on a comfortable bed and started pressing
Kamalakar reached home and was pleased with his wife’s good nature.
He took over her place. His son was fanning the guest. God was impressed
by the family’s respect for Sadhus and went into ‘Yoga Nidra’.
Sumathi cooked food for her husband and called him, but he did not want
to disturb the guest. So he sat at his feet, unmindful of his hunger.
The Sadhu woke up late in the night and asked, ‘Why did you not
have your food, Go have it now!’ Kamalakar invited the Sadhu too
and all of them had their food. God thought it was high time he revealed
himself to the good family. They were excited and prayed to him in various
ways. He said ‘Oh my devotees! I am impressed by your good nature.
I’ll reside in your hearts forever’ and disappeared.
Kamalakar’s family lived happily thereafter with the blessings