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DHANURDASAS MEETING WITH RAMANUJA
However, walking amongst the crowd was one man who was behaving in a completely different manner. He was tall and handsome with broad shoulders and seemed to be walking without any particular purpose, just being swept along by the crowd. With his left hand he held aloft a decorated umbrella with which he was shielding a most beau¬tiful young woman from the sun's rays. In his right hand he carried a fan, which he continually flicked back and forth to remove any discomfort she might be feeling from the sun's heat.It seemed that the young man's attention was so completely absorbed in the beauty of his lady friend that he was oblivious to everything else that was going on around him. Though many people The young mans attention was so absorbed in the beauty of his lady friend that he was oblivious to every thing else that was going on around him.whispered and some made joking comments on seeing such a public display of affection, the young man did not notice this at all, so great was his at¬traction to the lady's good looks.After bathing in the Kavenand worshipping Lord Rahganatha, Yatiraja was returning to his dsrama with his disciples when he noticed the young man walking with his companion on the other side of the road. "Dasarathi," he said to his disciple, "go and ask that man, who is devoid of both shame and ha¬tred, to come to me."
Quickly Dasarathi crossed the street and spoke to the man, who was so engrossed in the beauty of the lady that he had to be addressed several times before he became aware of the other's presence. Slightly disturbed, like a man who has just been roused from deep slumber, he then gave his atten¬tion to the brdhmana who had accosted him, join¬ing his palms as a mark of respect and saying, "Sir, how may I serve you?"Over there," replied Dasarathi, "is Yatiraja, the great devotee of Lord Narayana, and he wishes to speak with you.
Please come with me for a few moments.On hearing the name of the famous dcdrya, the young man took his leave of the lady and went with Dasarathi across the street to where the devotees were standing. Having bowed down at Yatiraja's feet, he stood in silence before him, wondering why it was that this famous sddhu should want to talk with him. At last Ramanuja said, "What nectar have you found in that young lady that—giving up all hatred, shame, and fear—you think nothing of making yourself a laughingstock throughout the whole city of SrT Rahgam by acting in such a way?O Mahatma," the young man replied, "I have seen many beautiful sights on this earth, but noth¬ing which came even close to matching the en¬trancing beauty of the bright eyes of that young lady. When I see them, I become so captivated that I cannot look away.Is she your wife?" Yatiraja inquired.No, she is not married to me," the man replied, "but I am certain that, even though she is not my wife, I will never love any other woman.What is your name," asked Yatiraja.I am known as Dhanurdasa," came the re¬sponse, "and I come from the town of Nichulana-gara, where I am famous for my ability in wrestling. The lady's name is Hemamba.Dhanurdasa," said Yatiraja, "if I can show you a pair of eyes even more beautiful than those of your beloved, will you give up this lady and love the other?The wrestler replied, "0 great soul, if it were pos¬sible to discover a pair of eyes filled with a more haunting beauty than those of my Hemamba, then surely I would leave her and worship instead that lady who possessed them.Then come to me this evening at my dsrama concluded Yatiraja, "and pemaps we can resolve this matter.At your command," was Dhanurdasa's respect¬ful response. He then returned to where the lady was waiting for him and continued walking with her, still holding the umbrella over her head.