Salutations to Ganesh !

And Raghao Ram be victorious.

With the grace of Ram

The monkeys could crush Ravan

And his golden Lanka.

Oh Ram, Your grace will

Always make me victorious.

When I look to myself,

I find that I am very miserable.

I do not have intelligence.

I do not have devotion.

I do not have faith.

How can such a doubting sinner

Get you grace?

But in know

That you love sinners too

And liberate them.

This has been recorded

In a number of Puranas.

If you liberate the victuous,

It is no miracle,

But he is great

Who liberates the sinful.

So please do not hesitate.

This humble Dasa Ganu

Beseeches Thee. Be merciful to him.

Khanderao patil was

The chief organizer of the Hanuman festival.

The worship of Ganesh was prevalent

In his line. He was rich and

Had enough gold and grains.

His ancestors were virtuous

And served the sages and sadhus.

The ancestors were fortunate enough

To get the rights of revenue collection.

Mahadaji Patil had two sons.

The elder was Kadtaji.

The younger was Kukaji.

The elder had six sons,

The younger had none.

In course of time, Kadtaji

Became the village headman.

When he died,

Kukaji looked after

His six newphews,

And brought them up as if

They were his own sons.

The family prospered

In the lifetime of Kukaji.

Khandu became the head of the family

After Kukaji’s death.

Khandu was all powerful.

His five brothers ¾

Ganpati, Narayan and Maruti,

Hari and Krishna were all athletes

And wrestlers too.

All those brothers harassed others.

The festival was in the name of Hanuman.

But the Patil brothers enjoyed themselves

And used to have a lot of fun.

The people used to sing glories

Not of Hanuman but of the Patils.

Once the Patil brothers

Came to the temple

And teased Maharaj.

Some one would say ¾

"Oh you Ganya,

won’t you eat Kanya?"

Other brother would step forward

And would ask Maharaj

To have a wrestling bout with him.

He teased him thus,

"Oh you great yogeshwar,

Why don’t you wrestle with me?

Shows us your prowess,

Or else we shall knead you well."

Maharaj used to hear

All what they said

And used to laugh it away.

The things went on this way.

Tried of this,

One day, Bhaskar Patil

Came to Maharaj

And requested him to

Accompany him to Akoli.

Maharaj said to Bhaskar,

"Oh Bhaskar, have patience.

The Patils are not humble

And refined in manners,

Yet I love them.

As they have been born in

This line of the Patils,

Who had been my devotees,

They are jameendars

And it behoves them to be

Sharp and pungent with their tongues.

Can a tiger show the temperament of a cow?

Can the steel of a sword be as soft as butter?

Or rather, can fire be as cold as ice?

This rudeness of the Patils

Will vanish after a time,

Even as the muddy water of a stream

Becomes crystal clear

As the rains recede.

One day Hari Patil

came into the Hanuman temple

And threw a ganutlet at Maharaj.

He coaxed him to come to the gymnasium

To wrestle with him.

He said to Maharaj,

"Don’t sit here

And sing your usual song

"Gana Gana Ganat Botey"

Come and have a trial of strength

With me. If you make me

Fall flat, I shall give you

A big prize."

Maharaj agreed and both

Went to the dug out square

In the gymnasium.

Maharaj crouched on the ground

And Hari tried to turn him

So as to make him fall flat.

But all his efforts were in vain.

Hari tried his best

And with all his might

He could not budge Maharaj

From his position.

Beads of perspiration

Appeared on his forehead

And began to trickle down

From his shining muscular body.

All his wrestling skill

Was of no avail.

Hari said unto himself,

"Verily this man is

As heavy as a mountain

He looks thin and supple,

But has the strength of an elephant.

Take heed of a jackal,

Or a tiger

of an ordinary cur?

Whatever it be,

Now I must bow down

Before him.

Never before did I bow down

To any one."

Maharaj simply smiled

And asked Hari

To give him his prize.

Maharaj said to Hari,

"Wrestling is a good sport.

Krishna and Balaram

Indulged in it,

When they were young.

Did not Krishna and Balaram

Killed Mushtik and Chanur,

Who were bodyguards of Kans?

Health and Physique rank first,

Then one’s home

And then come money and respect.

Was not Krishna, the Patil of Brindavan?

Did not he train all the cowherd boys

And made them strong wrestlers?

You should also follow him,

And make the local boys strong.

If you do this,

I shall feel rewarded."

In this way Maharaj

Humbled Hari.

Hari said to Maharaj,

"Surely these boys

Shall become healthy and strong,

If you will so wish."

From that day onwards

Hari became docile.

And he ceased to harass

Not only Maharaj, but all others.

Hari’s brothers noticed this change

In Hari’s attitude and

Said they to him,

"Hari why have you become

So much afraid of that pseudo yogi?

We are sons of Patil,

And collectors of village revenue.

Why do you prostrate before that naked fakir

Greatness has been thrust upon him.

He is a mad man.

We must show him his place

And alert the simple people.

If we won’t do this,

Who else will?

How can we tolerate the hypocrites

Robbing the people of the town?

Is it not our duty

To caution all the men?

Gold is not accepted

Unless tested on a touchstone.

The episode of sugarcanes

Was the crucial point in Tukaram’s life

Which manifested saintliness in him.

Jnyaneshwar was acclaimed as a saint,

Only when he made the buffalo

Recite the holy scriptures.

Let us now test this naked mad."

So saying, they entered

The temple with a bundle of sugarcanes.

Hari did not say anything.

Others said, "Oh idiot,

Do you want sugarcanes?

We shall give you;

But on the condition that

We shall thrash you with these canes.

Let no mark appear on your body.

Then only we shall accept you

As a yogi."

Maharaj was silent as usual.

Why should he say anything

At the childish prattle?

Maruti said,

"He is afraid of the beating;

that is why he is silent."

Ganpati said,

"Don’t you know

That silence is a half consent?"

The others three

Appreciated this

and came forward to beat Maharaj.

When men and women who were in the temple

Saw this, they ran helter-skelter.

Bhaskar did not run.

He tried to stop these brothers.

He said unto them,

"Please do not beat

This god intoxicated man with sugarcanes.

We have been born in the live of the Patils.

The Patil is one who protects,

Not one who kills.

A good marksman

Shall aim his weapon

At the tiger and not at a cockroach.

Maruti set Lanka on fire,

He did not set ablaze the huts of the poor."

The other brothers, hearing this,

Asked him to keep quiet.

Said they, "People call him yoga-yogeshwara

We want to see whether

He is a real yogi.

Please do not join us if you wish so,

But see the fun.

So saying, all of them attacked Maharaj

With sugarcanes, hard and thick.

They beat him as a farmer would

Beat the sheaves of wheat,

In the late winter.

Maharaj was all happiness.

He looked at the boys

And smiled.

In spite of such a severe beating

There was no perforation on his back.

Seeing this, the brothers were surprised

They sank down and lay prostrate

Before him saying "Really, you are a yogi,

You are a yogeshwar."

Maharaj said unto them,

"My boys, you have laboured hard.

You are tired.

Let me give you some juice.

So saying , Maharaj took canes

And squeezed them dry

With his own hands

And collected the juice

For the boys to drink.

All the canes in the bundle

Were exhausted.

There was enough juice

For all of them to drink.

This was a yogic feat.

Maharaj wanted to bring home

To the Patil brothers

That yogic strength is better than physical strength.

The boys went home

And told Khandu Patil

The yogic feat exhibited by Maharaj.

So Khandu Patil came

To have darshan of Maharaj.

As was the practice with Patils,

He was often curt in addressing Maharaj.

He used to call him "Ganya"

When a child calls its mothers,

Or when a mother speaks with her child.

No Honorific terms are used.

So also when the village headman

Addresses anyone in the village,

He also does not use any honorific terms.

Although Khandu Patil

Was curt in addressing Maharaj

He loved him still.

Once Kukaji said to Khandu,

‘Khandu, you often visit Maharaj,

And say that he is a realized soul.

Why do you observe silence in his presence?

You have grown old

And you have no issues.

I wish to see my grandson play in my lap.

Why don’t you ask Maharaj to bless you with a son?

If he is really a great yogi,

He will fulfil your desire,

And my desire also will fulfilled thereby."

Khandu, then, at once went

To the Hanuman temple where

Maharaj stayed,

And supplicated to Maharaj

In the following words,

"Oh, Ganya, my uncle is old

And desires to see a grandchild

Play in his lap.

People call you a sadhu,

And one who fulfils.

Why should one whose

Head bows down before you daily

Should suffer the pangs of childlessness."

Maharaj simply smiled, and said,

"It is good that you have wished

Something from me.

You have enough wealth,

You believe in your own efforts.

Why then, you ask me to favour you?

You say, wealth and strength

Are enough to conquer the world.

Why then can’t you achieve this desire?

You have a large property.

You are owners of shops and mills.

None disobeys you and everyone

In Vidarbha honours your word.

Why not ask Brahma

To bless you with a son?

Khandu said,

"It is true that

Crops grow when it rains.

But can man with his own efforts

Cause rain? In that case

How do famines occur

And the parched land cracks?

So man’s efforts can produce corn

Only when god will cause rains."

Maharaj smiled and said,

"Now that you beg me a son,

I must do something.

If you beget a son,

name him Bhikya.

Surely I shall pray God,

To bless you with a son.

I know, God will listen.

You just do one thing,

Throw a feast to the Brahmins.

Let Mango juice be served.

I know from within

That you will be blessed with a son.

But continue to feed the Brahmins

Mango juice every year."

Khandu returned home

And told Kukaji everything.

In a few days Gangubai,

Wife of Khanduju conceived.

Khandu Patil was all joy.

Kukaji also was very happy.

They distributed wheat and jaggery

And sweets to all children in the town.

A son was born

And was named Bhikya.

Khandu celebrated

Cradle-ceremony of the child.

He threw feasts to the Brahmins

And served sweet juice of mangoes.

The practice is carried on

By his successors even this day.

There subsisted rivalry

Between the Patils and the Deshmukhs.

This is a scourge

Of many villages in Vidarbha

They try to outwit each other.

It is not true

that two shastris or mantris

Or two armed men

Or two specialists

Or two dogs,

Do not confront each other

Without growling?

The rivalry between the Patils and the Deshmukhs

Was ever irreconcilable.

Later on Kukaji passed away.

Khandu Patil was all sorrow.

He felt forlorn.

Seeing Khandu steeped in sorrow,

The Deshmukhs tried to implicate him.

I shall narrate that story

In the next chapter.

Be attentive and listen.



References : N/A
Last Updated : June 24, 2010

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