Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s devotion for his Guru

Samarth Ramdas Swami deciding to show everyone why Shivaji is His favourite disciple

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a very faithful devotee of his Guru, Samarth Ramdas Swami. So, he was his Guru’s favourite disciple. Samarth used to love him more than the other of his disciples. Seeing this, the other disciples of Samarth started to feel that since Shivaji Maharaj is a king, he is the Guru’s favourite. Samarth decided to remove this misunderstanding of his disciples. So, he once took all his disciples to the forest. In the forest, they lost their way. Samarth went into a cave and pretended that he was having severe pain in the abdomen. The disciples entered the cave and saw that Samarth was groaning with pain. They asked Samarth how they could help. On hearing Samarth’s reply, all the disciples were amazed.

Samarth tells Shivaji the remedy to his pains

Here, Shivaji Maharaj left his fort to visit Samarth. He got the news that Samarth had gone to the forest with his disciples. So, searching for Samarth, he started wandering in the forest. All of a sudden, he heard someone groaning. He went closer and found out that the noise was coming from a cave. He went inside and saw that Samarth was tossing on the floor in pain. He folded his hands and politely asked Samarth the reason for his restlessness.

Samarth : I am having severe abdominal pain.

Shivaji Maharaj : Is there any medicine for this Gurudev ?

Samarth : No Shivaba. There is no medicine for this. It is a very rare illness. There is only one remedy, but let it be.

Shivaji Maharaj : Gurudev, please tell me the remedy. Do not hesitate. I cannot sit quietly without relieving your discomfort.

Samarth : Milk of tigress, that too freshly milked; but it is impossible to get it.

Shivaji Maharaj finds the cure !

Shivaji Maharaj picked up a kamandalu (ascetic’s pot), bowed down to Samarth and left in search of a tigress. After wandering for some time, his eyes fell on two tiger cubs. Shivaji thought, ‘Surely their mother must be around.’ Within seconds the tigress appeared. On seeing a human near her cubs she started growling. Shivaji was capable enough to fight the tigress; but here fighting was not the motive. He gathered courage and folded his hands in front of the tigress and said, ‘O Mother, I have not come here to harm either you or your cubs. I need your milk to cure my Guru’s illness. Please let me take it. I shall give it to my Guru and come back to you. Then if you want, you can eat me.’ Saying so he lovingly moved his hands on her back.

The tigress allows Shivaji milk her

Even mute animals can be won by love. The tigress stopped growling and like a cat, started to lick Shivaji. On getting the opportunity, Shivaji milked her and filled the pot. He bowed down to her with gratitude and left the place. Shivaji went back to the cave where Samarth was and keeping the pot in front of him and bowed down to him. Samarth said, “So finally you brought the milk of a tigress! God bless you Shiva! When there is such a faithful and devoted disciple like you, how can the Guru be in pain for long?” Samarth put his palm on Shivaji’s head and looked at the other disciples.

Now they realised that if a Guru loves a particular disciple, it is because he is worthy of it. He is worthy of that special grace. Jealousy increases one’s weakness and defects. So, instead of being jealous of such a worthy disciple we should try to remove our weaknesses and defects.

Reference : Monthly ‘Rishiprasad’, July 2002

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