Jeth Vad 14, Friday 23 Jun 2017

Nilkantvarni Changes the Direction of Temples

Nilkantvarni left Pandhali Kapoor for Dandakaranya, passing through Janarbag and Burhanpur on His way. Dandakaranya was a large forest and since it was considered to be holy, Nilkantvarni did pradikshina of the entire forest. Nilkantvarni came to the river Godavri here He took a bath and sat down to perform His prayers. On the bank of the river were two temples, a Hanumanji temple and a temple of Ganpati.

These temples had been built on the request of Queen Ahalyabai of Shriman Peshra. Unlike the king and the people of Shriman Peshra, Ahalyabai was a religious person. However, unknown to herself and others, the murtis were installed facing in the wrong directions. Hanumanji should be facing to the South whilst Ganpati should be facing North. Even the brahmins who installed the murtis did not know this as they lacked in religious knowledge. They were to learn of their mistakes when a learned brahmin arrived in the kingdom. He immediately noticed this error and approached the king, telling him of his finding. He warned the king that if the murtis remained in their current positions, his family would be destroyed. The king became furious at the brahmins who installed the murtis for their unforgivable mistakes and imprisoned them in jail. Escorted by the kings guards, the brahmins were allowed to take a bath in the river Godavri every day and it was here that Nilkantvarni saw them.

Nilkantvarni approached the brahmins and asked, "Why do you look so sad and worried? Why are these guards with you?" The brahmins told of their story, admitting that they had not learnt correctly. Nilkantvarni comforted them by saying, "Do not worry. Tomorrow the king will release you as the direction of the murtis will be changed." Under the cover of darkness, Nilkantvarni changed the direction of the temples. Dawn broke and the towns people began to notice that the direction of the temples had been changed. Word eventually spread to the king, who was relieved as he no longer feared for the safety of his family, but he was now puzzled as to how this had happened. He summoned the brahmins from their jail.

The king told them that they were free to go but asked them if they knew how the directions of the temples changed so mysteriously. The brahmins told of their encounter with Nilkantvarni and what He had said to them. They all felt that Nilkantvarni must be some powerful being and so went to have His darshan. They became Nilkantvarni's followers and vowed to obey religious laws.

Religion soon spread throughout the kingdom and with it also came prosperity.