45. Deed of Narrator Pandit Maniram | Way of Living

There was a well-known Narrator Pandit named Maniram. He organised recitation of Ramayan in a village of Haryana. The story of Ramayan generally finishes in maximum eleven days. Maniram Pandit finished it in thirty days. He had thought that the more days it will continue for, the more donations he will get as donations will be made every day. In thirty days of story-telling, Maniram Pandit only received thirty rupees. The day on which Maniram had to complete the story, some people of the village held a dance show of a dancer Champakali from Delhi at the same time on the same day. The entire village gathered to watch the dance and listen to the songs. Within two hour, Champakali earned five hundred rupees. Maniram only got thirty rupees in thirty days. Pandit ji’s sorrow was boundless. On the way was village Chhudani. Maniram knew that a Supreme Saint Garibdas ji resides here. I will meet him and then move forward. Ten-twelve devotees of that village and the neighbouring villages were sitting with Sant Garibdas ji. At that very moment, Pandit Maniram ji reached there. He greeted Sant Garibdas ji by saying “Ram-Ram”. Saint Garibdas ji also said, “Ram-Ram”, and offered him a proper seat. On being asked about his wellbeing, Maniram said, “O Maharaj! The end of Kalyug has come. Religion has been destroyed. People have lost devotion towards religion. Even if the earth and sky explode, it would not be a surprise.” The devotees present there asked, “O Pandit ji! What is the matter?” Maniram ji said, “What shall I say? Saint Garibdas ji knows everything.” The devotees asked, “O Maharaj! What is the matter that has caused such a blow to Pandit ji?” Sant Garibdas ji said: -

Garib, footi aankh vivek ki, andha hai Jagdish |
Champakali ko paanch sau, Maniram ko tees ||

       Meaning: - The person named Jagdish who had intentionally mischievously held Champakali’s dance show on the day of the completion of Maniram’s recitation of Ramayan, is blinded by ignorance. Even the villagers have lost the eyes of discretion, that is, even they did not contemplate that recitation of a religious story is going on; it should not have been opposed in such an indecent way. O Devotees! Maniram, lured by extra donation, stretched a story which can be finished in eleven days to thirty days. Some mischievous people of the village were also familiar with this motive of Maniram ji. Due to which, to teach Pandit ji a lesson, they have incurred a heinous sin by calling a dancer.” On hearing this truth from Sant Garibdas ji’s mouth, Maniram ji was extremely astonished. He was thinking that – “After completing the recitation this morning at 11:30, I have directly come here. How did Sant Garibdas ji come to know about it? He is God. He knows everything.” Maniram got up from his seat and fell at the feet of Sant Garibdas ji, and said, “Lord! You have said the truth that I had also out of greed prolonged the recitation of the story. You are omniscient. O Lord! Please show me the true path of religious-meritorious deeds and of life. Then Sant Garibdas ji by delivering satsang (sermon) told that pious soul Maniram ji that: -

            O Maniram ji! You take money from people by doing ‘Paath’. This becomes a debt on you. You will have to return it with interest. You do not have true spiritual knowledge. You do not even have the authority of doing ‘Katha-Paath’ (recitation of holy book/story) and Satsang. You have worn a Kanthi (putting a bead of Tulsi in a string, it is worn around the neck. It is a symbol of Vaishnav sect) around your neck. You have also worn a necklace of 108 (one hundred and eight) beads of Rudraksh, which is for reciting mantra; Saints call it ‘Sumarni’ (rosary). You have put a mark on your forehead. You are wearing yellow colour clothes. Sant Garibdas ji has explained through his speech: -

Kanthi mala sumarni, pehre se kya hoye | oopar dooda saadh ka, antar rakha khoy ||

       Meaning: - O Maniram ji! From the external ostentations, you appear to be a Sadhu, that is, you have not left any shortcoming in the external ostentation. Seeing your attire, the devotee society can sacrifice their lives in awe of you. But internally you do not have any quality of a Sadhu. You have defiled your conscience due to greed. You have lost saintliness, that is, you do not have a saintly attitude. Therefore, one does not become a sadhu by putting a kanthi-rosary around one’s neck. For self-welfare, one should take initiation from a Complete Saint and then do bhakti by abiding by the code of conduct throughout one’s life. This leads to welfare. You do not have the authority to do Paath. It is a fraud with the host if Paath is conducted by an unauthorised person. Your ancestor sages were real Pandits. They were learned men. They did not use to commit such a mistake. Sant Garibdas ji has explained through an example of King Parikshit (Read in next topic)