India is a land of many bhaktas and saints who experienced
many miraculous powers of God. If one follows total surrender to God
(sarvasya saranagathi) God takes care of him. Come rain or shine, come
praise or curse he will remain untouched. Bhakta Laadubava is one such
bhakta who could dictate terms to Kalimata.
There was a famous bhakta called Laadubava in Jyothipuram. He was known
for his bhakti and vairagya. He went on pilgrimage all over the country.
He went to Gangothri in the Himalayas to Rameswaram in the South. Throughout
his pilgrimage he was lost in prayer to Lord Krishna.
Once on his way to such holy places he halted at a place called Kaavuur.
As usual he was praying to God. That place was inhabited by cruel people
known for their violence and atrocities. They offered human sacrifices
to the Goddess Kali. Poor Laadubava was unaware of this custom. The
king’s soldiers could not find a single soul for sacrifice that
day. When they saw him they were more than thrilled and so dragged him
to the feet of Kalimata. Three of them held him tight, when one was
getting ready to kill him.
Laadubava, a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna, stood undaunted. He did
not think of any other means except praying to the Lord. If God wills
to save him, He would save him.
Kalimata manifested Herself before them in an angry mood, and killed
all the four soldiers. Then she cooled down and sought forgiveness from
Laadubava for offending a bhakta like him. She also offered to sanction
a boon. Laadubava said, ‘I don’t require any boon, but since
you are offering on your own, please fulfil my wish. You have given
place to violence in your jurisdiction. All the people here are behaving
cruelly and are becoming sinners. So please entrust them to turn for
the better and to become devotees of Lord Srihari’. Kalimata agreed
to do so. Accordingly, she manifested herself before the king in her
dreams and said,’ Oh king ! you pass an ordinance that from today
onwards your people should give up violence and you become disciple
of Sri Hari’s devotee, presently seen in my temple. If you don’t
follow my order, I’ll see the end of your people, your family
The king woke up from his sleep, called the minister and told him to
spread the news to the people thus,’You give up violence and seek
the blessings of a Haridas in Kalimata’s temple.’ He personally
went to the temple and was shocked to see his soldiers lying dead there.
He prostrated himself before Laadubava and prayed to him in many ways.
Laadubava angrily admonished the king. ‘Oh king, why are you so
cruel ? How did you take a liking to human sacrifices ? You could not
realize the truth that God is Omnipresent. He manifests himself in all
creatures. Your wealth, position, wife, children, you people are all
temporary. They don’t come with you in your final journey. This
body over which you are gloating over is but a water bubble which might
evaporate any moment. It is high time you change for the better. If
you continue thus you will be made to suffer in hell. Seek the company
of Sadhus and refine yourself. They will teach you vairagya. You will
learn to be detached from your kith and kin. When you get detached you
attain atma gnana. If you attain atma jnana, you will attain moksha.’
The king felt insulted when he was chided by the saint. He said, ‘you
are looking down upon me. Can you be called a sadhu, if you cannot control
your anger. Let me test your bhakti.’ He ordered his people to
throw him into a dilapidated well and to cover it with a big boulder.
Laadubave sat coolly on the grass growing at the lower part of the well
as if it was a soft bed and continued his chanting of Lord Srihari.
The honey bees there provided him honey. He satiated his hunger with
that and carried on his prayer undisturbed.
The king was frightened by the mystic powers of Laadubava. He ordered
his people to remove the boulder from the well. But lo ! They could
not lift it. Then he sent for elephants but they too were unsuccessful.
The king was at a loss to do anything. Having realized the greatness
of the Sadhu, that very minute he gave up violence, he ordered his people
also to give up unruly behaviour and to change for the better. He started
praying on the boulder over the well. He constructed many Vishnu temples
all over the villages, saw to it that prayers were conducted in the
temples three times a day. He made them do bhajan to Sri Hari constantly
and he too actively partook in the bhajans. He has been honouring sadhus
and devotees of God. He has been ruling through dharma and has been
regularly praying to Laadubava.
Twelve years passed thus. The Lord Vishnu was impressed by his bhakti,
gnana and vairagya. So one day He manifested Himself before the king
in his dream. The king was more than excited to see Lord Vishnu with
His four arms, with sankhu, chakra and with diamond studded gold jewels
,with Goddess Lakshmi on His Garuda vahana. His glow was greater than
the light emanated by crores of sun God. He prostrated himself before
God and prayed to him in many ways. He added with tears of joy,’
I am an ordinary man. How can I praise you?’
Lord Vishnu said, ‘I am pleased by your jnana, bhakti ,vairagya.
You will attain moksha, but to reach me you should seek a sadhguru’s
blessings. You have thrown my devotee into a well to test him. You make
him your guru. The king shuddered at the thought and said, ‘Oh
my dear God! I am very sorry to tell you. I threw him into the well
twelve years ago out of my foolishness. The very next day, I wanted
to bring him out and seek his forgiveness, but I was helpless. However
much we tried we could not remove the boulder over the well. Ever since
then, I have been praying to the boulder itself, treating it as Laadubava.
We have been giving him many offerings. As per his order, I saw to it
that my people had been changed for the better. They too ve became Your
devotees. Now You blessed me to seek his teachings, but I wonder how
it is possible, I wonder how he would be after these 12 long years.’
God answered, ‘Why do you worry unnecessarily. Do as I tell you.
Go there , do your pooja as usual and lift the boulder. It will move
very easily. Then you seek forgiveness from Laadubava and get his blessings.’
So saying God vanished.
The king woke up from his sleep, narrated his dream to the minister
and priests, went with them to the well, prayed there in the regular
way and touched the boulder. How strange ! They could lift it very easily.
They saw Laadubava there with a glowing face and prayed to him. ‘Why
did you come to disturb my loneliness’ questioned Laadubava.
The king explained how God ordained him to become his disciple and requested
him to forgive him. Laadubava let out a smile and said ‘You are
not a sinner. In fact, you have done me a favour. You have provided
me an opportunity to pray to God incessantly for 12 years. I am free
from the shackles of the mundane life and I am far from the madding
crowd. So how can I repay your kindness?’ He came out of the well.
The king took him to his house with all the pomp and show and made him
seated on an elevated seat. The king and his people prayed to Laadubava
with folded hands.
Laadubava spoke to the king, ‘Oh king ! I could see in my mind’s
eye the transformation in you, your good deeds and the blessings of
God on you. You will one day be like God.’
He addressed the public, ‘Oh people! you wanted to test me and
so pushed me into the dilapidated well. Whoever created the world, whoever
controls the seas from occupying the land, whoever decides the cycle
of sun, moon and other planets, whoever controls the Kaalachakra, whoever
can bring the whole world to a standstill if He so desires, whoever’s
atma is seen in you, me and others, that God, the Lord Vishnu, has been
protecting me all along. Is it strange ? God in fact protects even those
who are entangled in their family life. In such a case won’t He
protect one who is devoted to him totally ? God wants to show you that
he takes care of all those who surrender to him totally. Everything
takes place as per His desire.
Who are we to act against his will ?’
The king surrendered to the Guru and the Guru initiated him Sri Krishna
mantram and its impact. He said that the very name of God would drive
out the sins, the desires, the worries and all materials bondages. The
people also fell to his feet and were initiated into prayer. They continued
to do henceforth bhajans and Ekadasi Vratam.
Laadubava stayed there for some time and continued his pilgrimage for
quite some time and finally settled in his native place. He carried
on his Hari bhajan till he breathed his last and became one with his
lord. After some days the Lord appeared before him in his dream and
blessed him. Finally he and his subjects attained moksha. This story
tells us that a Sadguru can lead us to the righteous path.