Bhagat Namdev Ji And The Value Of God

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Once there was a banker whose riches were so great that he had himself weighed with gold which he distributed among his poor fellow citizens. He sent for Bhagat Namdev Ji at somebody's suggestion.

Bhagat Namdev Ji twice sent him word that he wanted nothing, but on the third invitation decided on going to meet him. The banker said that he had distributed a large amount of money through the city, and asked Bhagat Namdev Dev Ji also to take some, so that he (the banker) might reap some advantage from his sharing of his wealth.

Bhagat Namdev Ji replied, 'Why should I refuse anything that would be for your benefit?'

At the same time he reflected that when the banker abandoned the pride of wealth, it would be well for him. He therefore wrote the letter R, being half of God's name - RAM so, on a sprig of sweet basil, and told the banker to weigh gold against it.

In Sanskrit Ram can be written with only two letters as the A is not written out, but is spoken as part of the R. Speaking and spelling the word in English requires adding the A.

The banker asked Bhagat Namdev Ji if he were making fun of him, as his mind told him the small sprig would only take a few grains of gold to balance the scale. Before Bhagat Namdev Ji could answer he added saying, "I have high regard for your Holiness and appreciate your kindness in coming to visit me, please ask for what ever you desire."

Bhagat Namdev Ji replied that laughter and pleasantry were out of place stating that his request was serious he only required gold equal to the weight of the sprig of basil. Upon this the banker sent for a set of small scales, and began to weigh the basil with a little gold. Surprised he was when the gold was not sufficient to counter the weight of the sprig.

The banker then sent for larger scales, and finding the sprig weighed more than five or seven sers (a ser = 2 troy lbs.), he next added six then seven mans (49 sers = 1 mans or maund = 100 troy lbs.) of gold, but still the scale with the basil remained on the ground, while the scale with the gold remained high in the air. The banker then borrowed more gold from his tribesmen, but all would not suffice to lift the basil.

At this the banker and his dependants were very distressed. Bhagat Namdev Ji then saw that the banker had parted with his pride of wealth, but that he was still proud of the good acts he had done during his life, and it was necessary to dispel that pride also.

Bhagat Namdev Ji told him to add the offering of the good acts of his life, and perhaps the scale with the sprig of basil would rise. The banker did so, but still the scale refused to move. The banker's good acts possessed no weight.

Upon this he told Bhagat Namdev Ji to take away all the gold. Bhagat Namdev Ji inquired what use it would be to him for he wanted only the wealth of God's service, to whom all the deities and the powers of both worlds were subservient.

The banker grew ashamed and inspired with faith became a saint of God.