HH Raseshwari Devi Ji
In service of the Divine!
A story depicting the true way of serving
Gouranga Mahaprabhu lived in Jagannath Puri during the latter part of His pastimes. Krishnadasa Kaviraja composed Chaitanya Charitamrita, the biography par excellence, detailing the life and times of Gouranga Mahaprabhu. It is part diary and part book of sermons and presents a vivid description of that age. This is a story from that book, an exemplar of serving the divine.
Once, Mahaprabhu was utterly worn out after a long, arduous day and fell in a heap near the doorway where He lived. It was customary for His servant to massage Mahaprabhu every night. But the position in which Mahaprabhu lay, prone at the entrance, made it impossible for the servant to go over to the other side without jumping over Him. He made repeated requests, but Mahaprabhu refused to budge, saying that He was too tired to move.
The servant mulled over this, ‘What should I do? If I do not go to the other side, I cannot serve my master and massage Him. Yet, it is a sin, a great transgression, to leap over the guru in this manner.’
After some deliberation, he leaped over the prone Mahaprabhu, went to the other side, and massaged His tired body the whole night. The night passed, and Mahaprabhu woke up, ‘Hello! Are you still here? Why didn’t you go to sleep?’ enquired Mahaprabhu of the servant.
‘Lord, how could I possibly sleep? You have been lying in this manner, making it impossible for me to go out of the room. I urged You so many times, but You refused to move’, replied the servant, ‘And it is a grave transgression to leap over the body of the guru.’
‘But you had no problem in leaping over Me and entering the room,’ Mahaprabhu pointed out. ‘Why didn’t you go out the same way?’
‘Lord, it is true that I jumped over Your prone body and entered the room. A grave sin indeed, but I did it for Your sake, to serve You. But going back would have been a different matter,’ answered the servant. ‘Had I jumped over You and gone out of the room, it would have been for my sake, for my bodily comfort, not for Your sake. Lord, I am Your humble servant. How can I do such a sinful act?’
What an outstanding example of serving God and guru! As my esteemed guru, Sri Maharaj Ji, says,
‘Anything, done to please God and guru, is a virtuous act.’
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