JOYOUS DAY IN SILIGURI
Deities' Pastimes (4):
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
You have heard the story of ksir-chor Gopinath—the story how Gopinath stole condensed milk (ksir) for Madhavendra Puri.
"I will go to Vrindavan alone, I will not mix with anybody—I want to get the darshan of the Lord," thinking in this way, Madhavendra Puri came to the bank of Govinda Kunda in Vrindavan and sat there under a tree. In the evening, a cowherd boy came to him with some milk:
"Madhav, drink this milk!" said the boy to him.
"How did You know I have been sitting here without food?" asked Madhavendra Puri.
"In this village, if somebody eats, they get food, and if somebody does not eat, they also get food."
(Madhavendra Puri was ayachita-vritti, he did not beg—if he got something, he would take it, and if he did not anything, then he would not eat anything.)
"I will come later to take My mother's pot. She heard that a sadhu was sitting here only chanting the Holy Name from morning to evening and not taking any food. Hearing this, she sent this milk for you," explained the boy.
"Where do you live?" asked Madhavendra Puri.
"I live in this village."
"What do You do?"
"I herd the cows," answered the boy, "you please drink the milk, and keep the pot, I will come to take it later." And the boy left quickly.
When Madhavendra Puri drank that milk, he got Krishna-prema. He thought, "This is nectar! I have drunk milk many times in Bengal, but this boy gave me milk here in Vrindavan, and I am thinking this is not milk—I am thinking this is nectar!" He finished the milk and waited for the boy. "When will the boy come back? I should ask Him who He is," he thought. Then, night came and, tired, Madhavendra Puri eventually fell asleep.
The boy came to him in a dream and said, "You are looking for Me, you want to know who I am... I am Govardhan-dhari Gopal—Krishna's great-grandson Vajranabha installed Me. I am here, and I am suffering so much. During the oppression times, when Kala Pahar was destroying temples, the pujari put Me under his uttariya and hid Me in the jungle. I am still here, covered by soil, suffering so much austerity! Rescue Me from here! Come and restore My worship and service." Gopal said this to Madhavendra Puri and left.
When Madhavendra Puri woke up, he lamented, "Oh no! How could I not recognise Him! He for whose service I have come here in Vrindavan, came to serve me and left! I have come here to serve Krishna but He came telling me to drink milk—instead, He serve me! How unfortunate I am! He came right in front of me, but I could not recognise Him!"
Then, he came to the villagers and told them, "The Deity of your village is here in the jungle!" Somebody believed him, somebody did not believe him. Some men who did believe said, "OK, come, let's see where the Deity is." Cutting their way through the thick jungle, they finally found the Deity.
They put Gopal on top of a rock and leaned Him against another rock, and all the gopis (village girls) brought water there, carrying it on their heads in pots. In this way, they made abhisekh and bathed the Lord. After that, there was a grand festival (annakut mahotsav).
Some time later, Gopal again came to Madhavendra Puri and said to him, "You bathe Me with water every day, but My body is very hot. Bring for Me some sandalwood and camphor from Odisha." So, Madhavendra Puri walked to Odisha.
On his way, he came to a temple of Gopinath and sat there. He saw that the pujari was offering ksir to Gopinath. Nobody in that area knew that he was not begging, so nobody offered him any ksir, but somehow desire came to his mind to taste that ksir. When he felt that desire, he thought, "My tongue is greedy, I will not stay here! I will go and stay somewhere at an empty market place." He left.
But Gopinath got to know that Madhavendra Puri wanted to taste that ksir, so when Gopinath's pujari offered bhog, Gopinath hid one of the pots with ksir under His altar. Later that evening, when the pujari put the Lord to sleep and went to sleep himself, he saw Gopinath in a dream: "O pujari! You do not know, but My dearmost devotee Madhavendra Puripad is staying at an empty marketplace nearby. I have stolen some ksir from your offering for him—go to him and give him that ksir!" The pujari asked then, "How will I recognise Madhavendra Puri? There are so many people at the market..." Gopinath told him, "Go and call out, 'Where is Madhavendra Puri? Gopinath has stolen ksir for you!'" Then, the pujari woke up. He went to the temple and saw that it was true—there really was a pot of ksir there! He took that pot of ksir and went to the market crying out,
"Where is Madhavendra Puri? Where did he go? Gopinath has stolen ksir for you!"
"I am Madhavendra Puri," Madhavendra Puri admitted.
"Prabhu," said the pujari humbly, "Gopinath has stole this ksir for you." He at once fell at Madhavendra Puri's feet and gave the pot of ksir to him.
When Madhavendra Puri took that prasad ksir, he got so much Krishna-prema. He broke the pot into small pieces and took those pieces too, and every time he took it he was again overwhelmed with Krishna-prema.
Then he thought, "If I stay here this night, everybody will get to know what has happened. I will not stay here," and he hurried away. But before he could reach Puri, the news had already spread there—name and fame run ahead of the devotee. Everybody had already known that Gopinath had stolen ksir for Madhavendra Puri and everybody treated him with much honour, "Prabhu, is there another great devotee like you? Gopinath has stolen ksir for you!"
This is how the Lord steals for His devotee.
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