Basara – A Datta Dham!

Jatin Kuberkar

Everybody who had visited Basar Saraswati Temple, know that there is also a Sri GuruDatta Mandir (under an Audumber tree) in the premises. Many devotees don’t even visit the temple. Let me tell you a little secret about it today. The statue of Sri Guru and his holy feet are not an ordinary installation but carry a sacred story which is mentioned in “Sri Guru Charitra”. Sri Guru Charitra is an influential scared Marathi text describing “Datta Avtars”, mainly the life of Sri Nrusimha Saraswati. Written in 14th century by Sri Saraswati Gangadhar, this book has stories of Sri Guru’s travel from place to place. It has the mention of many south Indian villages/towns/cities such as pithapuram, Srisailam, pandharpur etc. The following is an extract from 13th chapter Sholk 91 of Sri Guru Charitra. The underlined sentence mentions Basara as “Vasara Brahmeshwar”

The story as in Chapter 13 is as follows:Sri Guru left towards Trimbakeshwar, the place where Lord Siva, impressed by Gautam muni’s penance, brought Godavari down to earth. Sri Guru traveled by the banks of Godavari and reach “Vasara Brahmeshwar”. Shri Guru saw a Brahmin who was trying to commit suicide by drowning in to Godavari River. Shri Guru called him near and asked, “Dear Brahmin, why are you committing suicide? Don’t you know that suicide is not the solution for freedom from worldly existence? What made you think of such a gory act?”

The Brahmin realized that the person He is standing in front of is no ordinary being. He fell unto Shri Guru’s feet and began to narrate his problem. He said “I am suffering with severe colic pain that does not allow me to dine. I had dined last night after a considerable gap and look, the pain is killing me. I felt it’s better to put an end to it at once rather than dying minute by minute. You look like divine incarnate. Can you please cure me of this pain or let me die…” Listening to the misery of the poor Brahmin Shri Guru looked mercifully towards him and called a well to do Brahmin who was going by his way and asked his whereabouts. The Brahmin solemnly replied, “My name is Sayamdeo. I am serving as an officer at the durbar of a Muslim ruler. I feel my self very fortunate to see you. Please order me what can I do for you” Shri Guru looked at the poor Brahmin, who was still yelling with pain, and said “All right, I have a medicine for you. Go with this gentleman and have a full day meal at his home. Do not have doubts in your mind. Eat stomach full and you will be cured” Just then, Sayamdeo interrupted and said, “O Divine Sir, this Brahmin suffers from a colic problem. If he has food at my home and if some thing happens to him out of pain, then I would be a victim of “Brahma-hatya”. To this Shri Guru Said… “Believe me! Do not have doubts…” Sayamdeo agreed and further invited Shri Guru to visit his home and have lunch to which Shri Guru gladly accepted the request. That afternoon Sayamdeo was much pleased to see Shri Guru at his home. He, with his family, offered worshipped to Shri Guru’s feet and started to have lunch. The poor Brahmin had the meal of his life and wonders of wonders! There was no mark of pain in his stomach. He

was completely cured. Everybody was wonderstruck with this leela and hailing Shri Guru’s name. After looking at this miracle, Sayamdeo put across his problem in front of Shri Guru. He Said “Guru Dev! I am working at the durbar of a cruel Muslim king. He has no respect to any other religion other than Islam. He makes fun of Hindu Veda’s and Kills one Brahmin every year. He has summoned me today. I am scared if today would be the last day of my life. Please protect me from the cruel king” Shri Guru said, “FEAR NOT my devotee! I am always there with you to protect you. Just face the king and leave the rest to me” Sayamdeo took blessings from Shri Guru and went to meet the King the next morning. As soon as the king saw Sayamdeo, he rushed towards him and said “Sir, why did you take trouble of coming here…you would have ordered me and I would have appeared before you.” Sayamdeo was shocked, he asked the king about this change to this the king replied “Last night, an enlightened figure came into my dream. His eyes were burning with anger and he warned me of my evil deeds against Brahmins. I am sorry to cause inconvenience to you. Please forgive me, O Brahmin” There was every reason for Sayamdeo to be happy and thankful to Shri Guru. He rushed towards the bank of Godavari and fell unto the feet of Shri Guru and asked him to accept him as his disciple. Hearing to a true and devout request Shri Guru said, “I am going southwards. I shall reappear after 15 years. You will be my disciple then” Saying this, Shri Guru traveled towards south.

So, the Datta mandir and the Holi feet of Shri Guru are installed at Basara to mark this historic and divine event. Next time when you go to Basara, don’t forget to visit the Datta mandir. Devotees still get enlightening experiences.

Jatin Kuberkar Visit