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God's Way of Granting Grace

There was an illustrious devotee in Guruvayur (a famous Krishna temple in Kerala, South India) by name Poonthanam, who lived in the 16th century. He was so devoted to the Lord that Lord Guruvayurappan would converse with him everyday.

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In the same town, there was a man who was afflicted with a grave disease. No medicine gave him relief and he became quite depressed. One day, when the man could bear his affliction no longer, he approached Poonthanam and told him about his ill health. He requested Poonthanam to ask Sri Guruvayurappan if he would ever be cured of his disease.

That night, when Poonthanam spoke to Lord Guruvayurappan, he asked the Lord if the patient would ever be relieved from his pathetic condition. The Lord told Poonthanam that the disease cannot be cured.

The next day, Poonthanam met the ailing man and communicated the Lord’s message. No sooner did he hear of the Lord's word than the sufferer burst into tears. He cried all day lamenting that even the Lord had forsaken him.

That was when he met Kururamma, a humble devotee of the Lord who hailed from a very poor family. Although she did not have any preeminent status in the society, she possessed a special place in Sri Guruvayurappan’s heart. The Lord would talk to her as regularly as He spoke to Poonthanam.

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Kururamma heard the patient’s story and assured him that she will take his case to the Lord. The very next morning, Kururamma came down to greet the sick man. She said enthusiastically, "The Lord spoke to me. When I asked Him about you, He said you should chant the Divine Names, 'Achyuta Anantha Govinda' continuously, and your disease shall be cured!”

At these kind words, the man’s joy knew no bounds. He implicitly followed the Lord's instructions, chanting the Names of the Lord with complete faith. As the Lord had predicted, the man was cured eventually.

Later on, the man went to Poonthanam’s residence and told him what had happened. He felt aggrieved that Poonthanam had advised him wrongly in such an important personal matter. ”You lied to me!” he incriminated. “Lord Guruvayurappan has indeed cured my disease!”

Though happy that the man had been cured by his Lord, Poonthanam could not bear the allegation that he had spoken untruth. He wept to the Lord, “Oh! Guruvayurappa! Was it not You who told me that the man would not be cured? Today, I am being blamed for uttering lies. Did I really speak a falsehood? Is this fair?” Poonthanam kept sobbing at the feet of the Lord.

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That night, Sri Guruvayurappan spoke to Poonthanam and pacified him. He said, "Do not doubt Me, or even yourself, my son. It was indeed I who told you that the patient will not be cured. This is the truth! You had come to me and bluntly posed a question whether that ailing person will be cured or not, and I replied to you appropriately.

“But what did Kururamma do? She beseeched me, 'Oh Guruvayurappa! Today a devotee came and asked me if his disease would be cured. Lord! With Your grace, is there anything that is impossible in this world? Pray tell me what he should do to be cured!' and I told her the way!"

God undoubtedly listens to each one of us and answers our wishes when we pray to Him sincerely. So, whenever we chant the Divine Names of the Lord and say our prayers, we should be careful to ask the right thing of the Lord. There is nothing impossible for the Lord, and for us too, when we rely on His Name and His grace. Faith can indeed move mountains.

Bhagavan Baba says, “When losses or calamites occur, when plans go awry, the devotee blames the Lord. Some on the other hand, pray to Him to save them. If complete faith is placed in the Lord at all times, why should He deny you His Grace?” (Prema Vahini)

~ Adapted from ‘Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas’

~ Illustrations: S. Sai Aditya

To access all the previous stories of inspiration, please click here.

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Vol 7 Issue 06 - JUNE 2009
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