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THE POTENCY OF MAHAPRASADA
When he returned home, Varadacarya was filled with happiness to see his guru actually in his own house. However, when he heard about the wonderful prasddam they had all been offered, he was astonished, knowing only too well the povertystricken condition in which they were living. When he inquired from his wife as to how she had been able to serve their guests in a manner so befitting, Laksmidevi bowed her head in shame and nar¬rated to him all the arrangements she had made with the merchant.Far from being angry, however, Varadacarya be¬gan to dance with joy when he heard what had hap¬pened and he cried out, "O, I am blessed! I am blessed!" Addressing his wife, he said, "Today you have shown the highest degree of chastity. Narayana, who is represented by SrT Guru, is the only purusa and thus he is the enjoyer of prakrti. Only a great soul can fully realize this knowledge of devo¬tional service. How fortunate I am to be married to such a lady who is the embodiment of religious principles.Taking his wife with him, Varadacarya then went into the presence of Yatiraja and explained to his guru everything that had taken place. By Ramanuja's order they sat down and took prasddam in his presence. When they had finished eating, he told them to go to the businessman's house together and take all the remaining prasddam to offer to him. When they arrived at the large mansion, Varada¬carya waited outside while Laksmidevi was admitted to the merchant's rooms. She immediately offered him the prasddam they had brought, and he accepted it with pleasure. Prasddam is not ordinary food, and particularly the remnants left by pure devotees possess great spiritual potency. This prasddam began to affect the merchant at once and by the time he had finished eating he was a changed man.
All the sensual desires having been purged from his heart, he looked upon LaksmTas he would his mother and spoke to her with tears in his eyes, "How sinful I am! My fate would have been the same as that of the hunter who was burned to ashes when he attempted to touch the chaste Damayanti. Only by your great compassion have I been saved. O mother, please forgive all of my offenses and have mercy upon me by showing me the feet of your guru."
In great happiness LaksmTdevTand Varadacarya returned to their house along with the merchant. In the presence of Ramanujacarya all three of them bowed down to the ground to offer their prostrated obeisances. When Yatiraja touched the merchant with his hand, all of the man's miseries were removed and he begged for initiation from that great soul.Desiring to make life easier for the devoted brah mana couple, Ramanuja requested them to accept the large sum of money the merchant had offered. At this Varadacarya spoke to his spiritual master with folded palms, "O master, by your mercy everything that we require is provided for us. Money is the root of all evil, for it distracts the senses and thus drags the mind away from service to the Supreme Lord. Please do not order me to become a wealthy man.Ramanuja was satisfied by these words, and he embraced the purehearted devotee, saying, "Today I have become purified by the association of such a great mahatmd as yourself, devoid of all ma¬terial desires.