Srila Gurudeva continued his studies in Dalsagara after returning from his guru’s residence. The teacher there had great affection for him because he was expert in all subjects and was never frivolous. Moreover, the other boys respected him and followed his example. Amongst the students, there was one boy who was particularly troublesome and consistently disturbed the class. He ignored instructions and would not adjust his behavior even after repeated warnings from the teacher. Unlike the other students who maintained their composure in Gurudeva’s presence, this boy was always restless and taunted the other boys while they studied or performed religious activities.
One day, this boy caused so much mischief that the teacher locked him alone in the school shed. After sometime, the boy began to scream, “Master! Master! Open the door! There is a snake attacking me! It’s wrapping me up in its coils to suck my blood! Open the door! Save me! Help! Help!”
The other students looked up from their assignments in concern, but the teacher dismissed his cries, saying, “How could a snake have gotten in there? He’s just making it up.” The boy continued screaming for a few minutes while the teacher ignored him and the students tried to concentrate on their work. Then he fell silent.
In the afternoon, when school was finished for the day, the teacher went to let the naught boy out. Opening the shed door, the teacher cried out, “Hey Bhagavan!”
All the students ran over. “What happened?” They clustered around the shed door and screamed in horror. A huge snake was coiled around the body of the naughty boy from head to toe and was drinking blood from his neck. His lifeless eyes stared out helplessly, foam driveled from his mouth, and his skin had turned pale blue.
The teacher exclaimed, “Oh my God! Now his family will come and dig my grave.”u
News quickly spread to nearby villages. By twilight a crowd of hundreds had gathered. Everyone was afraid to go near the snake. Observing the situation, Gurudeva addressed the crowd in a loud voice; “the boy is dead. Now we must get the snake to go away. Have faith in the holy names of Lord Rama. The Ramayana is the supreme truth. When Indrajit (Ravana’s son) bound Rama and Laksmana with his mystical snake arrow, Garuda appeared and the snakes immediately fled. So let us pray to Garuda for help with verses from the Ramayana; by his power the snake will leave.”
Although Gurudeva was only nine years old, the villagers, moved by his conviction, accepted his ad ice and began praying to Garuda. Gurudeva recited relevant verses from the Ramayana, and soon the snake uncoiled and slithered away. The boy’s stiff body was picked up and put on a table. Seeing their dead son, his parents wept uncontrollably. Hearing the cause of the accident, the furious villagers were ready to punish the teacher.
Srila Gurudeva intervened, ”What is the use of beating the teacher? Be peaceful and pray to Bhagavan for the boy’s soul. If God desires it, the boy can come back to life. If not, at least by our prayers his soul can progress to a higher destination. A person who dies horribly may wander in the subtle body of a ghost. Therefore, we must pray for his benefit. Later we can go to the Ganga and observe his last rites. Sri Rama is identical to His names. If we pray to Him by calling out his names, He will surely be merciful. The personification of death himself runs in fear upon hearing the name of Rama.”
As the simple-hearted villagers began to sing the Ramayana darkness covered the land. At dawn, amongst the sound of solemn kirtana, Srila Gurudeva worshiped the Salagrama of Lord Narayana by bathing Him with Ganga water and offering Tulasi leaves dipped in sandalwood paste. Afterwards, he sprinkled the holy water in the boy’s mouth.
To the astonishment of all, the boy opened his eyes and looked around in bewilderment. As he sat up, loud shouts of “Haribol! Haribol!” filled the countryside People said, “By Lord Rama’s grace, the boy has come back to life! Sriman Narayana is no ordinary child.” The villagers ecstatically placed Gurudeva on their shoulders a d danced, chanting, “Victory to thee! All glories to Sita-Rama! Victory to thee!”
News of the miracle spread and it was widely discussed. Locals concluded theat Sriman Narayana was a great devotee blessed by God. The residents of Tiwaripura respected Gurudeva and discussed the occurrence, saying, “Sriman Narayana is like the shining sun of our village.”
The revived boy was no longer naughty and became a dear friend of Gurudeva, staying nearby like his shadow. After sometime, this boy became restless at home and decided to undergo severe austerities to achieve mystic perfections One day, he entered the forest and was not seen again in Tiwaripura for many years.
Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (excerpted from the book “Sri Guru Darshan”. To order this wonderful book contact Rasik Mohana das at d[email protected])