Shri Guru Leelamrit
(The Nectar of Teacher’s Sport)
Pujya Shri Rang Avadhoot
Put into English by:
Shri Shantilal Thaker, M.A. B.T.,
Book of Knowledge
CHAPTER I. – INTRODUCTORY, LINEAGE OF SHRI RANG
The spiritual teacher is
Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the God protector; Maheshwar,
the God Destroyer. He is the Highest all-pervading divine
consciousness. A bow to such a holy spiritual teacher.
In the beginning of this
book, I prostrate before thee, Oh Ganapati, who is
beginningless and who has created this universe, in whose
vast belly countless cosmoses are contained, who has the big
head of the elephant – the great intelligence, whose minute
eyes perceive everything, who has the white tusk of
knowledge, who picks up the smallest and the biggest by
means of his trunk, who eats fondly the sweet-ball of
Self-Knowledge, who is the son of God Shiva, Self-trance
incarnate, and Parvati who is Self-Knowledge incarnate.
Then I prostrate myself before Saraswati, the goddess of
learning, of speech, the daughter of God Brahma, the eternal
virgin, the form of the sacred syllable OM incarnate, the
moon-faced, white-bodied goddess, in whose hands are the
white lotus, the lute, the book and the rosary of beads. She
is the Power of the Lord. All letters belong to her. She is
the master of all sacred mantras.
Then I bow down to Lord Dattatreya, who is the master of
all yoga, who combines in him the three great divine powers
of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, who is the great Avadhoot,
self-centered, absolutely detached, beyond all scriptural
commands and prohibitions, who is the son of the Sage Atri
and mother Anasuya, chastity incarnate.
Then I bow down to Lord Datta’s incarnations – Shri Pad
Shri Vallabha, Shri Nrisinha Saraswati, and my own spiritual
teacher Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati, who gave me the
treasure of his self-knowledge. In fact, he has inspired me
to write this book with his compassionate gaze. I am only a
pen in the hand of my teacher. He is the writer, the book,
and the knowledge contained in it. I am only his instrument.
Otherwise, I am quite ignorant, the slave of holy
Then I bow down to all the holy saints of the world,
whose mercy I beg.
Then I bow down to my father Vitthal and mother Rukmini,
by whose auspicious blessing this poor Rang has crossed the
ocean of worldly existence. I am a Maharashtri Brahmin,
Kahade is the title of my family. I belong to the Gotra
(family-ancestry) of the sage Atri. Rig-Veda is my family
Veda. Ashvalayan is my Sutra -the holy body of aphorisms.
Shekel is my Shakha, the branch of Veda. Valame is my
surname. Pandu-Rang is my name. I do not know poetry,
rhetorics, metrics, etymology, exposition.
I have begun to write this book, for my teacher
Vasudevanand commanded me to do so in a dream. putting his
hand on my head; and who can remain silent although he may
be dumb, when the teacher says, ‘Speak’ ?
I write in Gujarati, and not in Sanskrit, the language of
the learned. But that is immaterial. Is not a jewel a jewel,
though placed in a wooden box ? I have packed the treasure
of knowledge in this book. Though the bee is small its honey
tastes sweet. There can be a pearl in a shell. The pippal
tree is worshipped, though stained by the feces of crows.
The sugar-cane is crooked, but its juice is sweet. The swans
taste of pearls while crows eat of the feces. Similarly, the
wise pick up the substance and the worldly-minded wallow in
sensual pleasures. This book contains the sweet taste of the
Brahmic juice. You will be convinced of it. if you have
faith in my word.
There was a Brahmin, Niranjan (untainted by ignorance) by
name. He was a great devotee of God. He was self-controlled,
had a peaceful mind. He wanted eagerly to realize God. So he
was not easy in mind. His mind was deeply agitated. He did
many pilgrimages to holy places, observed many vows, gave
much in charity. studied many scriptures. But he did not get
God. So he renounced the world, and went into the forest. He
started doing rigorous austerities. But who can show the way
except the spiritual teacher ?
What is the use of devotion, if God be got by fate? If
books can give self-knowledge, white ants should get it. In
the world there are neem-trees at every step; but rare is
the sandal-tree. Only a rare fortunate person can see the
desire-yielding heavenly tree. In the world there are many
hypocrites, who assume the role of a teacher. But they do so
to rob a disciple of his wealth, not to remove his mental
agony, arising out of worldly ignorance. A real teacher is
made available by storing holy deeds in many births. He
gives self-knowledge. So Niranjan went out in search of a
true spiritual teacher, indifferent to all worldly
enjoyments. The foolish people of the world were laughing at
him. He forgot to eat and drink, the distinction between day
and night. There was only one idea in his mind. ‘How and
when shall I see God ?’ His eyes were sunken in the sockets.
His body was covered over with the dust of the road.
Children pelted him with stones and smashed his begging-bowl
to pieces. His clothes were torn, became rags. His hair flew
loose and dry. He did not get food to eat for days together.
Still he was firm in his resolve. He wandered like a ghost.
He came to the mount Girnar in his wanderings. That is the
abode of Lord Datta. He had fasted for four days. He prayed,
‘Lord, oh teacher, appear before me. Remove my agony. Have
compassion on me.’ Then the teacher appeared. His name was
Alakh – the Inscrutable, the Secret. He got a guru,
spiritual teacher after many troubles. Then the teacher
Alakh began to teach Niranjan.
The Lord wanted to create the universe in this Varah age.
So he abandoned his yogi sleep and willed. From his navel
rose up a lotus stem. In it was God Creator He had four
faces in four directions of the vast space. He found nobody.
So thought he was the supreme. So, Lord Narayan smiled
seriously and said, ‘Child, I am your father. Don’t get
puffed up. I command you to create the cosmos.’ Brahma sat
‘I don’t know the way of creation. How can I create the
The Lord Narayan thereupon gave him the Veda, the
knowledge, the eternal mirror. Then the God Brahma created
the beings born of womb, the birds, the vegetable kingdom a
creatures born of perspiration. He created his mental sons –
Sanaka, Maric, Atri and others who helped him in the process
of creation. He created gods, demons, human beings,
demi-gods like Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Yakshas and the rest.
He created the four castes and four stations of life, the
four ages. The golden age of truth is when all will be
religious-minded. Its duration was fixed 17 lakhs and 28
thousand years. Then came the Treta age, when sacrifices
were performed. Its duration was fixed 12 lakhs and 96
thousand years. Then came the Dwapar age, when religiousness
and irreligiousness will be half-half. Its duration was
fixed 8 lakhs and 64 thousand years. The last came the Kali
age, the iron age of quarrels and hatred. Its face was
dirty, its heart was tainted. It walked stumbling. It was
impure, given to all sorts of addictions. It held the
procreative organ by its left arm, and its tongue with the
right. Its speech was sweet, but heart full of deadly
poison. It laughed and wept alternately. Brahma said to it.
‘When you will rule the universe, people will be
short-lived, atheistic, selfish, slaves of lust and greed,
given to anger and jealousy. They will have no self-control.
They will not like to practice austerities. They will revile
holy people and the scriptures. But those, who will do the
Lord’s devotion, will be quickly saved. The true teacher
will save his disciples.’
Kali-age asked Brahma to tell him the greatness of the
spiritual teacher. Brahma told this story:
Formerly, there was a beautiful hermitage on the bank of
the holy river Godavari. In it was dwelling the Sage
Vedadharma, a descendant of Sage Angiras, the son of Sage
Paila. He had many disciples. But Dipak was most devoted to
the teacher. Once he gathered them all and said, ‘I want to
exhaust all my sins by experiencing in this body a deadly
disease. Who is ready to serve me during that period? Who
will take me to the holy city of Benares ? ‘ Dipak willingly
offered his services. The teacher put him to a severe test.
Pus began to form in his body. He passed urine and feces in
the bed. Dipak washed him clean with love and devotion. When
he would bring food in alms, the teacher would show
mock-anger, ‘why do you not bring sweet dishes daily ? ‘ If
he would bring vegetables and light food, or sweet dainty
dishes, he would get invariably angry and scold Dipak. But
Dipak would smile and bear all abuses, remain steady and
unflinching in his devotion to the teacher.
God Shiva was pleased at his such devotion and service.
He appeared before Dipak and asked him to choose a boon. He
came to the teacher and asked if he should choose from the
God the healing of his body. The teacher said, ‘No, I want
to exhaust away my sins by experiencing this agony in this
very body.’ Dipak came to God Vishwambhar and requested him
to depart. Then came God Vishnu to give him a boon, but he
politely declined and said, ‘I have not worshipped you. Why
do you insist on granting me a boon ‘ But God Vishnu said,
‘I am pleased with thy devotion to and service of the
teacher. So do ask for a boon! Dipak replied, ‘All right.
Then grant that I may have still more devotion and love for
my teacher.’ The God was pleased, blessed Dipak, granted the
boon, and departed. The teacher knew all. He was pleased and
blessed Dipak. He said, ‘Stay here in Benares. All yogic
powers will wait upon you. Even God will be always pleased
with you. People will be happy, when they will take your
name. Live in peace and supreme happiness.’ Vedadharma
removed his assumed disease, and became well with a lustrous
body. Dipak passed the test.