The Supreme Lord, Shriman Narayana is an epitome of grace and kindness. His grace knows no bounds. Similarly our dear Guru, Sri Gurusarvabhouma, Kaliyuga Kalpataru-Kamadhenu, Sri Raghavendra Teertharu has shown glimpses of His richness in kindness in several instances both before and after entering brundavana at Mantralaya.
Rayaru sees no race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders while protecting his devotees. A glance at his life will reveal many stories of his kindness. Just as his revered in-dweller Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, Sri Narasimha, Sri VedaVyasa or any of the Supreme Lord’s infinite avataras.
Was Gajendra, the elephant from a higher birth? Or for that matter, the crocodile. Didn’t Sriman Narayana rush to their rescue the moment He was called?
Did Sri Rama refuse the fruit offered by Shabari because of her lower birth?
Was Bali Chakravarthy, whom He graced with Vamana avatara, not from a rakshasha kula?
Back to our Rayaru…
Once, while camping at Manvi for Chaturmasa, Rayaru’s eyes fell upon a seemingly common man. Sitting afar, he was almost hiding from everyone else. Every other ‘higher-born’. But this was no common man. Rayaru immediately recognized him and addressed him as
“Hey Kanaka! How have you been?”
Rayaru, with his divine vision could recall that when he was Sri Vyasarajaru in his previous avatara, this ‘common man’ had taken avatara as Sri Kanaka Daasaru.
“I have come to see you, oh Guru!”
“I am happy you have come. What have you brought for my Sri Rama?” said Rayaru.
Kanaka offered a small pouch of black mustard seeds. Rayaru nonchalantly instructed his kitchen staff to use it for the next day’s preparations. The traditionalists at the Mutt were alarmed. They humbly submitted to Rayaru – “But Gurugale, this is Ashada maasa and as you are aware, we do not use any of these ingredients in our food preparations because this is Bahu beeja vratha, Chaturmasa. “
Rayaru smiled and said “Yes we are aware of it. But what to do, our dear kanaka has offered it. So even though it is unorthodox, make arrangements for it to be part of Naivedya offering to Sri Moola Rama Devaru.”
This practice continues to this day. In Rayara Matha, and in all of Rayara devotees houses, mustard seeds(ಸಾಸುವೆ ಕಾಳು) is still used even during chaturmasa period.
From this one incident, we can understand that by accepting the offering made in true devotion by a pious devotee, albeit born in another caste, Rayaru displayed his magnanimous character.
It is not just the antyajata-Kanaka, there are umpteen number of other examples ; the ‘mlencha’, Sir Thomas Munro – had Rayaru’s darshana and sandarshana from within the brundavana, the ‘yavana’, Siddi Masood Khan, the Nawab of Adoni – learnt his lesson in humility and Rayaru accepted his gifts of ‘fruits’, and many more sajjeevis who received Rayaru’s kindness.
It is with this magnanimity that Rayaru rules, with nobility, over every devotee’s heart!
Across oceans, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, nation, gender and age, all sajjeevis are eligible to receive Rayara karune(his kindness).
Let us pray to this ‘atyanta dayalu’ (extremely kind and benevolent) Guru to guide us in our path and help us follow our sadhana marga.