Glory of Ganagapur ~ Madhukarya

"I will remain in Gandharvapura in the form of Narasimha Sarasvathi just as I am in Pithikapuram. I will seek Bhiksha in Gandharvapura exactly during midday. These will be clearly witnessed by those with yogic insight." - Sripada Vallabha, Chapter 11

It has been the age old tradition at Ganagapur, unique and special. It is believed that Sri Guru Narasimha Saraswathi, arrives there in some form or the other, and receives 'bhiksha' every noon, unfailingly at Ganagapur. Well, it shall be an understatement if it is merely called as a 'belief'. Rather, it is proved and it remains a 'fact' to this day.

Yes, the Supreme Master Narasimha Saraswathi is present there unseen and every noon, He walks in disguise and receives the 'bhiksha' (an offering of food with love) from His devotees. This has been happening since the last several hundred years.

This system of the Guru visiting His devotees in disguise and receiving the 'bhiksha' for which, several devotees visit from other towns, states and even countries - is called 'Madhukari'. It loosely translates to 'a work of nectar' - the system of offering nectar to the Divine.

To keep with the tradition and partake of the Divine joy of blessings, devotees to this day assemble at noon at the Sangama, and seek bhiksha in the many households present there.

Why do they do this?

By this act,
- one enrolls voluntarily in the bhiksha system which is instrinsic in Datta Sampradaya
- one practices humility
- it is a reminder that Datta alone is the True Giver
- one embraces the system of 'adwaitha' where the distinction is dissolved
- as it is believed that Lord Datta in disguise seeks bhiksha, the devotee considers it as a rare blessing to join Lord Datta in disguise.

An extract from comprised Sri Guru Charithra's by Acharya Ekirala Bharadwaja.
On my second visit to Ganagapur, I ignorantly exclaimed to a fellow ascetic who was seated by my side, expressing my doubt about Sri Guru visiting every noon for bhiksha. The ascetic was startled as I voiced my doubt. The elderly ascetic said that he had been visiting the sacred Ganagapur since very many years. And during one of his earlier visits in the earlier years, he was very eager to observe the people who seek bhiska at noon, just in his eagerness to see if he can possibly identify Sri Guru in disguise. The eagerness gripped him so much so, that it had become one of his primary occupations, getting engrossed in observing the people seeking bhiksha at noon.

One day, when he was slightly asleep afterr eading a few chapters from the Guru Charithra, beneath the tree, he was graced with a dream. In the dream, an Avadhooth appeared, majestic and tall, in the attire of a Sanyasi, the form which was too bright to recognize and HE said, "Do not try to catch me amidst the group of visiting devotees. It is not your task to probe on it."

The voice was crystal clear and in an instant the bright Sanyasi disappeared from his vision. On waking up, the ascetic was startled and was sure that it was Sri Guru Himself Who appeared in the form of an Avadhuth Sanyasi in his dream. This further enahanced his interest in looking for Sri Guru amidst the visiting folk, for he was 100% sure that Sri Guru was appearing in disguise for bhiksha.

A few weeks later, one particular day the number of devotees at Ganagapur was unusually fewer. Consdiering it easier to observe if Sri Guru was in guise of anyone, the ascetic eagerly took bath at the river and was seated in the banks. But around 10 am itself, he felt catching fever and a tiredness took over him, that he went to sleep. When he woke up from sleep, it was almost 3 in the noon. Tired and hungry, he went to seek bhiksha as was his practise. But strangely none offered him that day. When he went to one household and asked why he wasn't being offered, the person asked, "Dint we offer you just a while ago when you came seeking bhiksha?" Surprsingly, many others seemed to ask the same Question.

It was very confusing to the ascetic. That night, the same avadhooth sanyasi appeared in his dream and said smilingly, "Did I not tell you, not to look out for Me. You cannot spot me with your physical eyes only. I went in your form and recevied bhiksha." Thus, the ascetic realised how in vain it is to logically unlock the puzzle Sri Guru sports.

It is a confirmed fact, that HE seeks bhiksha every noon at Ganagapur. Several devotees stand witness to this fact!

Here Sri Guru gives us a hint - that HE is accessible only by means of Yogic Insight.

"I will remain in Gandharvapura in the form of Narasimha Sarasvathi just as I am in Pithikapuram. I will seek Bhiksha in Gandharvapura exactly during midday. These will be clearly witnessed by those with yogic insight." - Sripada Srivallabha