ShriRam’s devotee Tyagraj

Around 400 years ago, there was a devotee by name Tyagraj in Tamil Nadu. He was also a very good poet. He used to compose devotional songs praising ShriRam and sing them. He used to chant ShriRam’s Name consistently. Once he wanted to go to some other city. On his way to the city, when he was passing through a jungle, two thieves started following him. Tyagraj unaware of this, was in his own world engrossed in singing devotional songs in a very low tone, he was actually humming. After about 5 hours, he was very close to the city, suddenly the two thieves bowed down before him in reverence. Tyagraj was surprised at the gesture of those two thieves. He asked them, “Why are you paying obeisance to me ?”. They said, “we both are thieves and we wanted to rob you but, we could not do anything because there were two guards on either side of you. Those guards recognised us as thieves and they were going to catch us, we asked for their pardon. They promised to let us go only if we asked your pardon and paid obeisance to Tyagraj. Hence we are offering you our obeisance.' A surprised Tyagraj asked them, 'what guards are you talking about ? I had not asked anyone to guard me !' When Tyagraj looked around there was no one. The thieves were also surprised. The guards had disappeared from the scene.

Tyagraj asked the thieves to describe the guards. The thieves said that 'they had slung a bow and quiver on their shoulders, they sported a crown and that both looked young'. Hearing this description, Tyagraj immediately knew that the youth were ShriRam and Lakshman. Tyagraj said to them, “You are very lucky. I am a devotee of ShriRam, but I have never have been fortunate to have His vision as yet. You are thieves and you are not devotees, yet you had ShriRam’s vision. If I was a thief, it would have been better!”

– Dr. Vasant Balaji Athavale (Now Pujya Vasant Athavale), Chembur, Mumbai