Bhadarva Sud 2, Wednesday 23 Aug 2017

Nilkantvarni bathes the Shaligram

Passing through Sunderaj Shetra and having had darshan at the Vishnu temple, Nilkantvarni came to a dense, wild and dangerous forest. Having entered the forest He walked for five days without any food or water as He had seen no place where He could take a bath and hence he could not perform His pooja. On the fifth day He came to a lake and bathed. He then sat by the banks of the lake and performed Chandan Pooja of Shaligram rather than with water which wasn't suitable to perform pooja. Nilkantvarni searched for an offering to give to the Shaligram but all that he could find were four pods (cccc2c0e). Nilkantvarni made a small fire, cooked the pods and having offered them to the Shaligram, He took them as prasad.

Nilkantvarni rested here for a while and then continued walking. On the next day at noon, Nilkantvarni came to a well. He drew water from the well, took a bath and since the water was clean, filled the kamandle that He carried with Him. Sitting beneath a nearby tree He then performed pooja of the Shaligram. At this time, Parvati Devi and Lord Shiva, who were wondering the forest to observe the behaviour of the people on earth, saw Nilkantvarni. They wore old clothes in order not to be recognised and observed Nilkantvarni from afar. Nilkantvarni performed abishek with the water drawn from the well. He poured the water from the kamandle over the Shaligram and miraculously, the Shaligram drank all the water that He poured. Nilkantvarni drew more water from the well and again poured it from the kamandle over the Shaligram. Again the Shaligram drank all of the water. Nilkantvarni continually carried out this sequence. When Nilkantvarni offered water for the fifth time, the thirst of the Shaligram was quenched. Nilkantvarni thought that if the Shaligram was this thirsty, they must also be very hungry. Nilkantvarni therefore began to search for a suitable offering.

Parvati Devi and Lord Shiva witnessed this miracle and having had the same thought as Nilkantvarni, they stepped forward to offer some food. They gave Nilkantvarni sathro (flour of baked corn) and salt, which Nilkantvarni added to water and offered to the Shaligram before taking it as prasad. Nilkantvarni then said, "To meet someone in this wild and dense forest is rare." "You are therefore no ordinary human beings so show me your true forms." Lord Shiva and Parvati discarded their disguise, revealed their true form and said, "We have come to have your divine darshan." Nilkantvarni replied, "You are supreme beings, you do not need to have my darshan physically as you have the power to have my darshan at any time." They replied, "My Lord, we are honoured to have your darshan in the human form and we are pleased to see how you have conducted your life as normal as you possibly can knowing the powers that you possess." "We therefore grant you a boon to help you in your aim." Nilkantvarni was grateful and asked them to assist Him to achieve asceticism (one who practices severe self discipline). Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi granted Nilkantvarni this boon and then continued their task.

Nilkantvarni moved on and soon arrived in Bhutpuri, the birth place of Ramanujacharya, the guru of Ramanand Swami. Nilkantvarni prayed to the Bhuteshwar Mahadev and recommenced His journey Southwards.