197. The Trial

Tyâgarâja was invited by the Mahârâja of Thanjavur, Sarfoji Mahâraj, the descendent of Sivaji, so that he may be loaded with precious gifts or nidhi! But, the poet-singer-mystic-saint took it as a trial, trying to entice him into error. He asked the question: "Is nidhi more valuable as giver of joy or, is sannidhi (divine presence) more useful for the purpose? Of course, the answer was clear. Tyâgarâja's brother who was counting on the treasure which the Mahârâja wanted to bestow on Tyâgarâja grew wild with anger at his refusal to go to the Durbar. He pushed his brother out of doors, and did not allow him to re-enter! He threw the idols, which he was worshipping, through which he had realised Râma as the indweller of everyone, into the flooded river!

Tukaram was honored by the gift of a gorgeous palanquin and caskets of jewels by Sivaji. But, Tukaram said: "Râm! I will not take my hands from off Your feet, for, I know you are waiting to escape from me the moment I release the grasp to hold anything other than Your divine feet".

When Tyâgarâja passed away, his wife kept his head on her lap, and when the saint was calling out 'Râma! Râma!' of ecstatic agony, three hot tear-drops fell from her eyes on the face of the dying Tyâgarâja. 'O, I am the property of Râma! But, you are still the property of Kâma!", Tyâgarâja exclaimed.

Sublimate the love you have for the pleasures of the world, for the objects of the world, into love for God. Do not waste even a single second in idle scandal or hollow praise. Bend your head before God, welcoming whatever be His will; then, you too can have the Lord as your guide and guard.