|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhakti Purushottama Swami > Lord Shri Jagannatha at Puri > Dasia Bauri|
Dasia Bauri Sambad
In a village called Baligram, two kilometers from Puri, there lived a low-caste tribal person named Dasia Bauri. Dasia was very much in ignorance and didn't understand very much about what was pious behavior and what was sinful behavior. He had no chil¬dren; he and his wife were very poor. Dasia was a weaver, and the money he made selling the cloth barely maintained him and his wife. During festival days, Dasia would visit the homes of brah-manas in his village and listen to the songs that glorified the Lord. Even though he could not understand anything, he liked to listen. In this way he was spending his life—working to maintain himself and occasionally hearing some kirtana on festival days. At one point he accepted mantra initiation from a guru and started to wear kanthi mala and apply tilak on his forehead. He was associat¬ing with devotees and hearing hari-katha from them. Slowly he came to learn more, and soon he came to feel that Lord Sri Hari was the only truth. Whatever came Dasias way, he was content in both happy and distressful conditions. Yet he often thought to himself, "Vidhata, destiny, has given me birth as a low-caste person. How can I get han-bhakabtmg born in this low-caste family?"
Then it was time once again for the Jagannath Ratha-yatra at Puri. Thousands of people traveled to Puri from all over the country just to see Jagannath coming out of His temple and riding in His cart. Dasia thought that he should go to Puri and see the Lord. He wondered how the Lord looked. Thinking in this way he went to Puri, accompanied by others from his village. Arriving in Puri, he found a place on Grand Road during the festival. He stood in front of Nandighosh Ratha, the chariot of Lord Jagannath, taking darshan of the Lord. Dasia was over¬come with joy. Seeing Lord Jagannath sitting on the chariot, Dasia offered his obeisances. He started to shed tears as he gazed upon the black sn-mukh (beautiful face) of the Lord. He was in ecstasy to see the beautiful reddish lips and black eyes of the Lord. He of¬fered his prayers saying, "O my Lord Jagannath. I am the most sin¬ful person in this world. Please do not neglect me. Please enlighten my heart with knowledge. You are known as Patita-pavana, deliverer of the fallen souls. O Bhagavan! Please deliver me." Calling out in bliss, he offered prostrated obeisances to the Lord. He got up and said, "You are the only truth in this universe. Everything else is false. From now on, You are everything to me!" After saying this Dasia left for his village.
Dasia arrived at his house and his wife called him to eat. After washing his feet and hands, he sat down and his wife served the food she had prepared, which included rice and spinach. She put the freshly cooked rice, which looked very white in the middle of a red clay pot. On top of the rice she put black spinach. When she set it down in front of her husband, Dasia saw the red circle of the clay pot, in the middle was white rice, and on top of that was the black spinach. To Dasias mind it resembled the eyes of Lord Jagannath. He said, "Oh! This looks like the white lotus eyes of my Lord! How can I eat this?" His body started to tremble and he could not speak. Tears were rolling down from his eyes, and the hairs of his body were standing on end. He became like a madman and started to say different kinds of things that no one could un¬derstand. He was clapping and dancing. When his wife saw the strange behavior of her husband, she called some of the village leaders and asked them to please come and see how her husband had become mad. She was thinking that since he had gone to Puri maybe someone did some tantra to him to make him mad. The villagers asked Dasia, "Why are you jump¬ing like this and not eating rice?" Dasia replied, "This looks exactly like the eyes of my Lord. How can I eat this?" After saying this Dasia started to dance. When the villagers heard this from Dasia, they were surprised to see his devotion. They asked, "Where did you get this bhava>. Did Bhavagrahi, Lord Jagannath, give His mercy to you? From today you will be known as Baligram Das." They told his wife, "Please serve rice and spinach in two separate bowls." When she served accordingly, Baligram Dasia ate peacefully.
From that day he fixed his mind on the lotus eyes of the Lord and always remembered the sound vibration of mridanga, karatal and ghanta (bell) during Ratha-yatra. Everything material he considered to be like poison. He became very peaceful, merciful, humble, and truthful. He was always thinking about Lord Padma-nabha. He controlled all his senses and, closing his eyes, mediated upon the beautiful face of Lord Jagannath. Jagannath is very dear to His devotees. The devotional mood of His devotee is everything for Him. He does not consider caste and creed and activities. No austerity, charity, religious activi¬ties, vrata, or traveling to holy places can please Hun. What is the use of pious activities and charity? What is the use of worshiping the demigods? No one can attain Him by these things. He is Bha¬vagrahi, the abode of bhava. If one chants His holy name with firm conviction, the Lord belongs to him.
Day and night Dasia was thinking about the Lord. He knew nothing except the Lord. One night, he went to sleep meditating upon His lotus feet. He prayed, "Will that Lord be merciful upon me so that I can see that four handed form of the Lord?" Under-standing his mind, Lord Jagannath left the altar of His temple and appeared in front of Dasia. Dasia took darshan of the Lord to his heart's content. He said, "What I had seen on the chariot is the same as the form before me now. I am directly seeing the Lord! Brahma and all of the demigods and asuras, yakhsas, gandharvsa, kirnars, siddhas, yogis and munis meditate constantly the lotus feet of Lord Hari. They are not able to see Him. I am ignorant, a low born. I have not done any devotional service. O Lord of the uni¬verse, You have come to my cottage." The Lord, who was wearing yellow garments said, "Dasia, please listen. My heart is not at¬tracted to heaven or liberation. Whoever worships me with devo¬tion, My mind is attracted to him. Your mood of devotion is eve¬rything for Me. My dear devotee, please ask me what boon I can bestow upon you." Being very pleased Dasia replied, "O my Lord, all I want is to remember your lotus feet constantly. I do not need any other boon from you. Please bless me so that I can fix my mind at the lotus feet of Your devotees. Please bless me so that 1 can have your darshan whenever I meditate upon You. I do not need anything else."
Hearing this, the Lord said, "Your life is blessed. Whenever you go to Puri, look upon Nila-chakra on the top of My temple. I will manifest to you there. Whatever you offer Me, I will accept that." After saying this, the Lord disappeared. One day Baligram Dasia went to the home of one brah-niana to sell some cloth. He saw a nice coconut in the tree. He asked the brahinana, "Can you give me this coconut? I would like to offer this to Lord jagannath. Whatever the cost, please deduct from the cost of my cloth." The greedy brahinana said, "I can give you this coconut in exchange for the cloth." Baligram Dasia had only this cloth to sell to maintain his livelihood. But he was not worried about that. He received the coconut in exchange for the cloth, and returned to his village. That day, one brahinana was go¬ing to Puri to offer many kinds fruits and milk to Lord Jagannath. Baligram Dasia went to him and requested him to take his coconut to offer Lord jagannath. Baligram told the brahinana, "Please take this coconut. After finishing offering of your ingredients, please diink about my offering. You hold my coconut standing behind Garuda stambha and appeal to the Lord that your devotee Bali¬gram Dasia has sent this coconut. Please accept this. If the Lord will accept this coconut by extending His hand, then give it to Him. Otherwise, bring this coconut back to me." Hearing this, the brahinana laughed and left for Puri. Baligrama Dasia went back to his house. The bralimana reached Jagannath temple and completed his puja to Lord Jagannath. When he was about to return, he re¬membered the coconut given to him by Baligrama Dasia. He thought, "Let me see what happens." Out of curiosity, he went be¬hind the Garuda pillar. Holding the coconut in his hand and clos¬ing his eyes, he said, "O Daru-brahma! Baligram Dasia has sent this coconut for You. Please accept it by extending Your lotus hand, otherwise I will take it back." Suddenly the Lord extended His long arm from the altar and took the coconut from the hand of the brahinana. In this way, the coconut was offered to Lord Jagannath. Just see the strong faith of the devoteel Even Laxmi Devi cannot understand this. By seeing this, the brahmana started to cry in ec¬stasy. He said, "Oh Baligram Dasia! Your life is blessed! Your fa¬ther and mother are blessed! All glories to them! Your village is blessed. Lord Pitavas has is so pleased with you." This news spread among the people in the temple. Everybody glorified Baligrama Dasia for his unalloyed devotion.
One day, Baligram Dasia was planning to go to Puri to take darshan of Lord Jagannath. He was thinking to take something to offer to the Lord. At that time one mango vender came along. He had very nice looking, big, sweet mangoes. Baligram Dasia bought about forty mangoes and carried those mangoes in a basket to Puri. When he reached the Lion Gate, all the pandas were behind him to take the mangoes inside the temple' to offer to the Lord. They were fighting with each other to take the mangoes. Baligram Dasia said, "I do not need any of you to offer these mangoes." The pandas said, "Then what will you do with the mangoes? If you do not give them to us, how can they be offered? What will you do with them if you take them back without offering them to the Lord? These mangoes are meant for offering to Lord. No one can touch them without first offering them to Him."
Baligram Dasia went ten feet back and placed the basket of mangoes on the ground. He looked upon the Nila-chakra. There he saw Lord Jagannath. He offered his obeisances and said, "O Bhagavan, these mangoes are Your property. You please enjoy them by your own sweet will. What is the need of these brahmanas fight¬ing unnecessarily?" After saying this, Baligram Dasia picked up two mangoes and showed them to the Nila-chakra. Immediately those mangoes disappeared and went to the hand of Lord Jagannath. Ja¬gannath ate the mangoes happily. In this way, Lord Jagannath enjoyed all the mangoes. This is the nature of the Lord. It does not matter how low born one may be, if he has strong devotion, the Lord will be pleased to accept leaves, fruits and flowers from his hand. Whatever high caste one may be, if he has no devotion, if he offers many varieties of tasty food, still the Lord will not touch it.
After eating all the mangoes the Lord disappeared from the place. All the people were watching how the mangoes were vanish¬ing from Baligrama Dasias hand. They asked him, "What hap¬pened to all mangoes? Is it some sort of mesmerism? Black magic?" Dasia told them, "The Lord of the universe ate all mangoes. Go and check inside the temple." All the pandas ran to temple. They were surprised to see mango seeds and peels lying all over the deity room. The brahamanas said, "You are a great devotee of the Lord. You have purchased the Lord by your devotion. Who is there like you in this universe? We are nothing compared to you." The brah¬manas gave Baligrama the prasadaa garland of Lord Jagannath and blessed him to achieve the highest destination of life. Hearing this, Baligrama Dasia fell at the lotus feet of all the brahmanas. He smeared the dust of the feet of brahmanas all over his body. He offered them obeisances again and again. He said, "Oh brahmanas, I am so fortunate to be blessed by all of you." After blessing Bali¬gram Dasia in this way, all the brahmanas left. Baligrama Dasia meditated upon the Lord withm his heart. He said, "Chakrapani, I offer my obeisances to that all cognizant Lord. I have a humble re¬quest to you: Please show me all Your forms. Let my life be puri¬fied by taking darshan of Your different forms!" Lord Jagannath, understanding the mind of Baligrama Dasia, appeared on top the temple at Nila-chakra in His different forms from the fish incarna¬tion to His Kalki incarnation. Baligrama Dasia fell to the ground to offer obeisances again and again, and said, "Now I am deliv¬ered!" Then he went back to his house to live, happily engaging himself in the devotional service of the Lord.