Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae
STONE BULL EATS GRASS
In Paithana, lived a sannyasin called ‘Dandavat Baba’, who liked to salute God in the form of whoever he met on the road. They called him Dandavat Baba. As he passed one day by the carcass of a donkey, some children asked him: “Dandavat Baba, why don’t you also prostrate to the dead donkey? ”
Obliging them, the Baba did so and to everyone’s amazement, the animal came back to life, got up and romped away. Saint Eknath went and asked the old Baba why he had revived the donkey. “Do you realise,” said Eknath, “how people are going to exploit you and trouble you to revive their dead? What are you going to do about it?”
Baba asked, ” Please tell me what you think is best.”
Eknath then spoke about the ideal of sannyasins who have no ties in this world and for whom life and death are the same since they are identified with the soul which lives in its infinite state and suggested he give up his own body, by taking Maha Samadhi. This suited the Dandavat Baba well and he accepted his idea with great relief.
Eknath was forthwith branded as the killer of a Brahman. All the learned pundits of Paithana held a meeting in front of a Shiva temple and Ekanth replied that, “I did not force Baba and God is witness that I am not guilty.”
“Right,” cried their spokesman, ” If God is witness of your innocence, let us see you feed fodder to this Nandi Bull (Shiva’s Vehicle). If God causes the bull to eat the grass, you will be exonerated, not otherwise!”
Eknath thought, if this were the wish of his beloved Panduranga, well then let Him deal with this in His own way. He took the fodder from the pundit’s hands and walked up to the bull. The pundits laughed. They had seen many miracles in Eknath time and life, but this was something outside the pale of any.
Eknath humbly bowed to the stone Nandi, patted him gently on the head and offered him the fodder, and yes, he opened his mouth, licked and ate the fodder, got up and trotted away and disappeared into the Godavari!