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|Chapter 1a - Namdharak is blessed with the Vision of Sri Guru Nath|
To transcribe into finite language, in the confines of limited vocabulary, the infinite glory and effulgence of Guru Dattatreya, the unified manifestation of the Supreme Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara, is an impossible task for any. Even the Vedas failed and beat a retreat faltering an excuse 'Not this...., not this....., etc. But even so, if at least a small and single ray of Supreme effulgence of the Godhead can be captured, that is enough to redeem the world. And through divine grace, the impossible becomes possible to some or a little extent at least.
Saraswati Gangadhara, the blessed devotee of Dattavatara Sri Narasimha Saraswati, before setting out to write the sacred Guru Charitra (the life story of the Avatar), invokes the grace of Lord Ganesha. Without Lord Ganesha's grace, nothing can be achieved. He is Mangala Murthi, the embodiment of all the auspicious attributes and the abode of all auspiciousness. He is most easily pleased, responds instantaneously, and bestows his grace ever readily on whosoever calls out to him. He makes the impossible possible. With his grace and help the sage Vyasa could compose the incomparable and monumental Mahabharata, the ever greatest of the epics. Saraswati Gangadhara extols Lord Ganesha as follows:
'You are the remover of all obstacles.You keep your large fan-like ears always waving. The air-waves produced thereby drive away all the obstacles in the path of your devotees. In your stomach rest all the worlds, and that is why you are extolled as Lambodara. Even all the gods have to worship you alone first, before undertaking any of their divine tasks. I pray, you have to bless this venture of mine and help me through.....'
Next, Saraswati Gangadhara invokes the grace of Mother Saraswati, the bestower of all knowledge and wisdom. He prays 'Oh Mother! you are the Mother of all the Vedas. Without grace, man cannot pronounce even a syllable. You are the life-force behind the 'sound' faculty of men. You are the indweller in all the four-fold aspects of sound, viz., Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari-is from the subtlest of the grossesf expressions of sound. I beseech you to bless me and help me in this venture of mine....' Saraswati Gangadhara next prays to the Trimurtis and to Sri Dattatreya. He prays 'Oh Lord! You are the Primeval Guru.... You are the one who incarnated in the Kali age as Sri Narasimha Saraswati to redeem people from their ignorance and their ills. With full faith, that you alone are going to steer me through this colossal venture, I am setting out upon this task. It is like the child trying to catch the moon by stretching out its hand, but even so, I have complete faith in you, that you will help me through'.
Thus Saraswati Gangadhara starts the divine narrative - The Guru Charitra.
As a prelude, he gives a brief account of his lineage and of his immediate forbears. He belongs to the Kaundinya Gotra. He is of the fourth generation in the line reconing from Sayamdev. Sayamdev's son was Nagnath and Nagnath's son was Deorao. All of them were staunch devotees and worshippers of Guru Nath. Sayamdev and Nagnath had the blessed privilege of being the closest disciples of Guru Nath and of serving the master in his life-time. It was because of the merit earned by them, that one among their family, Saraswati Gangadhara, could become an instrument of the Lord to write about the divine Leelas of the great Dattavatara, for the benefit of humanity and the world. It should, however, be understood that the life of any great Saint or Master, and much more so of an Avatar like that of Sri Narasimha Saraswati, is like a huge ice-berg lying submerged in the frozen waters of the ocean, and showing but a tiny crest or pinnacle afloat on the waters. What will be discernible to human eyes is just the tiny portion afloat above the waters, but not the mountain-sized iceberg submerged under the waters. So also in the following account of Guru Nath's life, it is but a fraction of his glory that will be delineated. It is impossible for any to describe the Avatar's full glory. He is a mystery beyond all human comprehension. Now begins the sacred Guru Charitra narrative.
There was once a devotee by the name of Namdharak, who had a great yearning to visit the holy Gangapur for darsan of sacred Guru Padukas, the Nirguna Padukas of Dattavatar Sri Narasimha Saraswati Deva, enshrined there. He had heard much most authentic anecdotes, how Guru Nath continues to shower his grace on all seekers, even after his Mahaprasthan, and that a pilgrimage to Gangapur is sure to soothe the mind, to satiate the yearnings of the heart, to quench the thirst of the should, and to allay the hunger of the spirit, for all the devotees. With great expectations and hopes, Namdharak set out from his far off village to Gangapur. The journey was long and arduous, He was very exhausted and had lost all stamina. He was seized with despair as to whether he would survive and be able to reach the destination at all.
Lo! No mother ever forsakes her child. The cow comes seeking it's calf. Namdharak had a wondrous dream. Guru Nath Sri Narasimha Saraswati Deva stood there before him, casting his benevolent looks upon him and placing his hand on his (Namdharak's) head as a token of his blessings. Namdharak's joy knew no bounds. He fell at Guru Nath's feet. HE sang out long hymns of praise to the Lord. He offered mental worship to him. He collected the dust from under the feet of the Lord and smeared it on his own forehead and all over his body. He was overwhelmed with joy.
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