Shri Vitthaldas Kayasta

Episode 1:
There was a Vaishnav named Vitthaldas Kayasta, Shri Gusaiji’s Sevak. He stayed in a village about two miles away from Delhi with his father. His father was serving the king and was quite rich, So he could give good education to Vitthaldasji.

Some years later, his father died. Vitthaldas then decided to go to Vraj for pilgrimage. He came to Mathura, took bath and gave daan -dakshinas to Vrajvasi Brahmans. After that he went to Gokul. There at Thakurani Ghat he accidentally got darshan of Shri Gusaiji who had come there for his Sayan Sandhya. Shri Gusaiji’s swaroop (personality) attracted him so much that he got absorbed in it and could not turn his eyes away from him. He went near to Gusaiji and requested him to take him under his refuge. Shri Gusaiji knowing him to be a divine being (jeev) asked him to take bath in Yamunaji and come to him. Shri Gusaiji then bestowed him with Naam-Nivedan Diksha and advised him to recite ‘Vivekdhairya Ashray’ Granth daily. Vitthaldas requested Shri Gusaiji “I did not understand the meaning of this Granth. Please therefore explain the same”. Shri Gusaiji then explained the Granth at length to Vitthaldasji so that the principles of the granth got deep rooted in the heart of Shri Vitthaldas.

Afterwards he went to his village. He changed the clothes and the utensils in the house and started living like a Vaishnav. He used to come to Shri Gusaiji’s darshan once in a year regularly. He would take best available samagri with him and present it to Shri Gusaiji.

His wealth gradually started diminishing and therefore he decided to take up a job for earning his livelihood. He got a job with the Baadshah working under one Vaishnav named Narayandas who was Dewan there. Vitthaldas though knew that Narayandas is a Vaishnav but did not disclose to him that he is also a Vaishnav.

Once Narayandas sent Vitthaldas for collection of revenue for the state. Vitthaldas returned after some days and gave his account to Narayandas. Narayandas found that cash was short. He therefore asked Vitthaldas to reimburse the same. Vitthaldas said “I do not have any money now. But I shall reimburse the same when I go for collection next time”. Narayandas did not agree to this and put Vitthaldas behind the bars. Narayandas used to bring Vitthaldas out of jail and punish him with 101 whips every third day. This went on for several days but Vitthaldas never disclosed his identity or Bhagwat relation to Narayandas. Ultimately Vitthaldas’s body got rotten and became very weak. So Narayandas freed him from the jail. After some days when he became a little better, Narayandas again put him in jail but stopped beating him.

One day a messenger came to Narayandas and informed that Shri Gusaiji had come to a nearby place and he could have darshan of Shri Gusaiji. Vitthaldas heard this and requested Narayandas that if he permits him he shall also accompany him to Shri Gusaiji.

Hearing this Narayandas asked him “Why did you not tell me that you are a Vaishnav?”

Vitthaldas replied “Look Narayandas, I had come to you for a job and not for encashing or selling my Vaishnavta”.

Vaishnav should not take direct or indirect material advantage of his Vaishnavta or his religion.

Episode 2:
Narayandas then relieved Vitthaldas. Vitthaldas went to his house and got dressed with Jhama and went to Shri Gusaiji with Narayandas. Reaching there both performed Dandvat to Shri Gusaiji. Gusaiji got very much pleased to see them and told Vitthaldas “it is quite long that I received your news. Since when you have commenced coming here”.

At that time Gusaiji had offered Rajbhog of the Samagri that he prepared himself. Shri Gusaiji asked Vitthaldas “You were quite healthy. But now you seem to be much weak. Why so?”

Vitthaldas replied “I am serving the Baadshah who had put me in prison. Hence such is my condition”.

Shri Gusaiji asked “Why did you not tell to Narayandas about this?”

Vitthaldasji replied “I had accepted the job for my livelihood so how can I encash my Tulsi Mala. Taking job is the result of Laukik karmas (material deeds) one has to bear that. But how can I sell my religion?”

Hearing these words from Vitthaldas, Gusaiji expressed his feelings “You are really a blessed one”. At that time Narayandas’s face turned pale. Gusaiji asked both of them to take Prasad over there.

Vitthaldas told “My body is in bad condition. Therefore I have not taken bath here”

Gusaiji said ” Take bath here.” and he ordered his servant to arrange for Vitthaldas’s bath.

Vitthaldas and Narayandas were sitting there after taking bath while Shri Gusaiji came with the Patal of Prasad for them. Shri Gusaiji saw the marks on the open body of Shri Vitthaldas and got very much shocked at the site of the body.

He asked Vitthaldas “How this has happened?”

Tears started flowing from the eyes of Vitthaldas and he said “I have been beaten”.

Gusaiji asked “Who has done this?”

Vitthaldas looked at Narayandas. Gusaiji then told Narayandas “Why you have beaten a Vaishnav like this?”

Narayandas said “I never knew that he was a Vaishnav.”

Gusaiji told to Narayndas “You did not know that he was a Vaishnav. But did you not know that he was a living being? Vaishnavs should not be cruel to any living being.”

Narayandas said “I am sorry; I have done a big offence.” He then requested Vitthaldas not to leave him but to stay with him. Vitthaldas did not accept his offer and left the place immediately after Shri Gusaiji had left the place.

Asmita Bodh:
Vitthaldas left Narayandas because he then would have treated him favorably knowing that he was a Vaishnav. Thus there would be an indirect advantage or encashment of Vaishnavta. One should never take material advantage from another Vaishnav on his only merit of being a Vaishnav. Every Vaishnav should be merciful and not cruel not only to other Vaishnavs but to any living being.

252 Vaishnav Varta – Shri Dawarkadas Parikh