Saint Narsi & mortgaging Raga Kedar.

Oh! the ever compassionate, the all knower, Do you see this? What you make of me?

Saint Narsi (Narsinh Mehta), always engrossed in singing songs to the Lord, was particularly fond of the raga ‘Kedar’. When he sang in Kedar, it brought such an intimacy with the Lord that he forgot everything, including himself. But today he has to mortgage the raga to avail money because a poor man has asked him for some money for his daughter’s wedding. The money lender asked Narsinh for something as security. Narsinh said, “The only valuable asset I have is raga Kedar. If it can be of use for someone’s well being so be it. “The condition imposed was that Narsinh should not sing in ‘Kedar’ till all the money was paid with interest. Days and months passed but he could not repay the debt. Narsinh continued singing songs but without ‘Kedar’, he couldn’t find peace. This separation from the Lord was unbearable to him.

While this was the routine struggle, some people envious of his devotion complained to the king, accusing Narsinh of behaving contrary to scriptural law. King called for Narsinh and it was decided that Narsinh should undergo a test to prove his devotion. The king continued, “I will place a garland around Damodar’s (Lord Krishna’s) neck in the temple and lock the door from outside. If by next morning that garland is found around your neck, I will consider you innocent.”

“Whatever is the Lord’s wish, may it happen.”

Not for a moment Narsinh was shaken, he said, “Whatever is the Lord’s wish, may it happen.”
Time was running out, Narsinh was imprisoned but meanwhile a miracle was happening on the other side of the city. There was a knock at the money lender’s door. The Lord disguised as Narsinh apologetically said, “I have brought the principal amount and interest. Sorry for being late but I need the payment receipt immediately that now raga ‘Kedar’ is free.” The moneylender accorded. Here Narsinh opened his eyes and saw the Lord for a moment like a flash.To his surprise the receipt of loan payment fell in his lap. His happiness knew no bounds. Now that the raga was free, he sang with such devotion. He was one with the Lord. You can guess what happened later? Did the garland adorning the Lord’s neck find its way to Narsinh’s?

Incredible is the path of devotion! How and where it takes you, what it makes of you, is beyond all imagination? Ain’t it so?

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