Experience of Poorhood

Even when Venkatabhatta, who used to live in penury and would eat one day and would be without food on another day, Saraswatidevi would maintain her appearance as if all was normal and always remain smiling. This is the sign of a divine human. Those who did not realise this would count them as poor. Totally ignoring such people, their minds would be always engrossed in the chant of SriHari. Therefore, this trait, which ordinary mortals were not capable of, was the indication of rich devotion. By the grace of SriHari, Venkatabhatta was gifted with a son by his wife Saraswatidevi. They named the bonny baby as Laxminarayana.
One day unable to see his wife and son suffering the pangs of hunger, Venkatabhatta went to a neighbouring village where a rich man had a celebration going, in the hope that he would be able to collect enough food for at least two days. Seeing his tattered clothes, unkempt beard and detached look, the priest of the host mistook him for some ordinary person and ordered him to make out sandalwood paste required for all those present. Assuming this as the Lord’s wish, Venkatabhatta made out the paste as prescribed. But when the participating Brahmins applied this paste on their bodies, all of them started suffering from a burning sensation. The host realised the mistake of his priest and surrendered before Venkatanatha. It turned out that Venkatanatha, as was his habit, was chanting the Vedas while making the sandal paste. At that time he had chanted the Agnisukta. Realising that all the Brahmins had suffered so much
because of his chant, he prayed to the benevolent (iod for relief. Immediately all the Brahmins who had applied the paste felt the cooling effect. Seeing this everybod\ realised that this Pundit was accomplished in the mantras and honoured him.
However, going around like this for food was not to Venkatanatha’s liking. To make things worse, whatever few vessels they had in their kitchen were stolen. That was when Venkatanatha became relieved. Without further delay he decided to seek refuge at the Guru’s feet and went to SriSudhindratirtha. At Kumbhakonam SriSudhi- ndratirtha allowed him to stay at the establishment.

Leave a Reply