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GOVINDA'S UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR
While he was staying at Sailapurna's dsrama, Yatiraja was astonished by the behavior of his cousin on a number of occasions. One day he saw Govinda preparing his gurus bed, but he was shocked to see his cousin lie down himself upon the same bed. Ramanuja was disturbed to see such apparently disrespectful behavior and went at once to inform Sailapurna, who immediately summoned his disciple to his presence."Do you know what happens," he asked Govinda, "to one who sees fit to lie down on his guru's bed?One who lies down on the bed of his guru is certainly destined for hell," replied Govinda calmly."If you are aware of the consequences, then why do you act .in such a way?" Sailapurna then inquired.To this Govinda replied, "Every day I lie down on your bed just to make sure that it is comfortable and that your rest will be undisturbed. If it ensures your comfort, then I am certainly willing to remain eternally in hell." When Yatiraja heard his cousin's humble submission, he felt ashamed of his ignorance in misjudging Govinda and begged his forgiveness.On another occasion Ramanuja saw his cousin behaving in a manner that was totally bewildering. He saw Govinda holding a snake in his left hand and repeatedly thrusting the finger of his right hand into the creature's mouth, causing it almost to die from pain. After taking his bath, Govinda came to Ramanuja, who inquired from him, "Why were you acting in such a strange way with that snake? It was sheer madness, and only due to good fortune were you not bitten. By acting like a cruel child you not only placed yourself in great He saw that Govinda was holding a snake in his left hand.danger, but also caused needless suffering to the poor creature, which is now lying there almost dead."But my dear brother," replied Govinda, "while eating something that snake had got a thorn stuck in its throat and was writhing in pain when I found it. I was putting my finger into its mouth only to remove that thorn. Now it appears lifeless only be¬cause of exhaustion and will soon be fully recov¬ered." Yatiraja was both surprised and gratified to see Govinda's compassion on his fellow living beings, and after this incident his love for his cousin became even more profound.