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Chapter - 3
It was evening. The evening cool breeze was blowing slowly. The white moon raise illuminated the entire atmosphere. All the four directions were satuarated with the fragrance of various blooming flowers such as bakul, gandaraj and mallika. So far the earth was hot due to th
He scorching heat of the sun, but now it has cooled down. At that time a traveller slowly came and satdown underneith the bakul tree situated in front of Devadass house.
The body of the traveller was very skinnyand it appeared that he has not eaten any thing for a few days. He was tall shaved headed and wore a old unclined cloth. At that time Devadass father was not at home. On seeing him Devadas went before him and in the course of their conversation Devadas could understand that this person was previouslyin Jail. Having completed his term in the Jail he is returning home. Since he had no money he could not eat anything for few daysand thus his body has become skinn
She said to her son my dear son take this leaf plate and water, the food is ready go and first feed the traveler. After speaking in this way she gave a banana leaf plate and a tumbler of water to her son. Devadasa took them from his mother and came outside the house. He cleaned up a place and set the leaf plate and the tumbler there. Then Devadasa mother came and placed sufficient rice and vegetable on the plate. The traveler sat in front of the plate to eat. Devadasa waited nearby on the instruction of his mother that he should inform the mother if the traveler needed more food. Anyway the traveler became fully satisfied and repeatedly prayed for the good fortune of Devadasa. After clinceing the eating place when the traveler asked about the pond to wash his hands and mouth, Devadasa guided him to a big pond. This big pond was situated a little distance from Devadasa house. After leading the traveler to the pond he returned home. The traveler kept on looking at this boy for some time without blinking his eyes. He was very pleased by the compassion of this boy.
The traveler was a thief. He did not get any food anywhere. Since he was a thief he was denied food everywhere. But the child Devadasa pleased him by giving food etc., If Devadasa did not show any compassion then the traveler would have suffered a lot more. There was every possibility that he would have died due to lack of food. Nevertheless this favor of Devadasa did not remove the traveler’s attachment for stealing. He took the tumbler and went away.
Meanwhile, Devadasa’s mother again began to cook for her husband and son. Devadasa sat next to his mother and was explained to her that the traveler was very hungry, he did not get any food and he was very happy to receive food. However he did not inquire whether the traveler has returned the tumbler or not. As he was sitting with his mother for a while, a man suddenly came and called him outside. Whatever Devadasa saw when he came out of his house left him speechless. Devadasa saw that the village watchmen is standing there with the traveler holding the tumbler in his hand. The watchman said this man was going away with the tumbler through the field, I saw from a distance and followed him. After a great endeavor I have caught him. When I asked him about this tumbler he said this tumbler is mine. Then I began to beat him up to know the actual truth. Being beaten repeatedly this man disclosed the entire incident. Now please check whether this tumbler belongs to you or not? Devadasa saw that indeed it was their tumbler. It was given to the traveler to drink water. It was believed that after washing his hands and mouth in the pond the traveler would clean the tumbler and return to their house. Now he thought this man is very very poor. If he sells this tumbler then with that money he can maintain his livelihood for a few days. After feeding him I should not put him in trouble. He also thought to let away a thief is harmful for the society. What to do he could not decide through his immature intelligence. His father was still absent at that time. The watchman repeatedly asked whether the tumbler belongs to them or not. Seeing the condition of the thief the soft heart of the boy melted. He said to the watchman, “This tumbler was ours, but now it belongs to him. We have no claim on this tumbler. Therefore release this man.” Hearing these words of the boy both the thief and the watchman were struck with wonder. The watchman again asked, “Where is your father? I can not let him go simply by your words.”
When such an uproar was going on, Devadasa’s father came home. After hearing the entire incident from his son as well as understanding his sons intention he supported the decision of his son. He said to the watchman, “Let him go. We have no claim over the tumbler. Actually my son gave this tumbler to him and he too does not want it back.” The watchman thought it is useless to arrest him and take him to the police station. Therefore having no other alternative the watchman released the thief.
Thereafter the thief addressed the boy as follows, “My dear son, although you are a boy still I have learned a great lesson from you today. From today onwards I accept you as my guru. I have spent my whole life in the act of stealing. Due to the offence of stealing I have been twice sentenced to imprisonment. Now this present act of stealing would easily be proved and certainly I would have been subjected to severe punishment. My dear boy! Today your uncommon kindness has defeated my habit of stealing. O Supreme Lord, I have associated with various people in your material kingdom; but the way I have been merged in the ocean of mercy today, I have never experienced such mercy before. Shame on my bad habit. For whom am I indulging in the act of stealing? I have lived in the prison for so may days and tolerated so much miseries. But none of my dependents shared my miseries. Since they have maintained their livelihood without my support in my absence then they will certainly carry on without my help in future. For a human being there is no need to worry about his own food. By some physical labor one can easily accumulate foodstuff to fill his belly. My dear son ! Please come and sit on my lap. Today let my impure body be purified by the sanctified touch of your body. After speaking in this way he placed Devadasa on his lap. Tears of joy flowed down incessantly from his eyes. Pure ecstatic emotion began to manifest in his heart time to time. The heart of any one who saw this emotion melted. The traveler then took off Devadasa from his lap and after closing his eyes and folding his hands he began to pray to the Supreme Lord once again. - O Lord ! I am an old man, I have never chanted your holy names. Today by the good association of this honest boy my heart and mind have become purified. Today you have mercifully shown me what is a saintly person. I will not return home any more. I will give up this mundane family life and go to a secluded place and spend my days and night chanting your holy names. O most merciful one! The living entities cannot understand when and how you bestow your mercy on them. The traveler repeatedly remembered his degraded condition and began to cry out of hearts emotion. He then returned the tumbler to Devadasa; but Devadasa dis not accepted. On seeing such a pious act of his dear son Devadasa father became extremely happy and in order to spend the rest of his life in worshiping the Lord at Varanasi he gave the traveler some money and necessary guidance. For a while the traveler looked at Devadasa without blinking his eyes and departed from there on the same evening. The next day this incident was spread in the entire village. Everyone in the village including children, women, and old men began to praise Devadasa.