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Saturday, 28 December 2019

MargazhiBlogotsavam: Day 12: The Lord became his weighing stone: Sadan Kasaai

Sadan was a butcher, but only because he belonged to that particular caste. His heart, however, was filled with compassion for all living beings. Forced to sell meat, he would purchase it from other vendors and sell in his shop; not once did he ever kill an animal himself. All through the day, whatever work he was doing, Sadan always had the name of Hari on his lips.
Image courtesy: Punjab Kesari

Once, walking by the riverbank, Sadan found a round, shiny black stone. He liked it so much that he brought it to his shop, and began using the stone as a substitute for a weight he had lost.

One day, a saint passed by Sadan’s shop and his eyes fell on the black stone. He immediately recognized it as a Shaligram (or Salagrama)! A Shaligram is a fossilized black stone, considered to be a form of Sri Vishnu, and worshipped in homes and temples. Upset at seeing the Lord in such impure conditions, the saint asked Sadan for the black stone. The compassionate Sadan immediately handed it over. 
Shaligram. Image courtesy: IndiaMart
Taking the Shaligram home, the saint cleaned and purified it, and worshipped it as per the prescribed rituals. That night, Sri Vishnu appeared in the saint’s dream, and said, “I’m feeling suffocated here. I miss the feel of Sadan’s gentle hands on me; I yearn to hear his voice talking kindly to the customers and repeating my name. Take me back to him at once!”

The next morning, the saint returned the Shaligram to Sadan and narrated everything. Sadan was full of remorse for having unknowingly defiled his Hari. He had never liked his profession; now he couldn’t bear to continue as a meat-seller anymore. Begging forgiveness of the Lord, taking his beloved Shaligram with him, Sadan left at once for the darshan of Lord Jagannath at Puri.

On the way, he sought shelter in a house. When all was quiet at night, the lady of the house came to Sadan with immoral intentions. Sadan prostrated at her feet, saying she was like his mother. She ran away and came back a few moments later with a sickle drenched in blood, crying, “I have cut off my husband’s head – now there is no barrier to our union!”

When Sadan continued to resist, she changed her tune. Crying loudly, she gathered all the neighbors and told them Sadan had killed her husband and tried to rape her. The crowd abused Sadan and beat him up; the King ordered that Sadan’s hands should be cut off as punishment for the crime. All through these events, Sadan was a calm spectator, trusting in his Hari, and continuing to chant His Name.

Even with blood gushing out of him, Sadan somehow covered the rest of the distance and reached Puri. Hari appeared in the dream of the Chief Panda (priest) of the Jagannath temple, and instructed, “My beloved devotee Sadan is coming to see me. He has lost both his hands and is lying unconscious outside the temple. Carry him into my presence at once!”

The priests found Sadan, revived him, and brought him into the temple. Hearing the bhajans being sung, Sadan tried to move the stumps of his hands, to clap to the rhythm. Lo and behold! Sadan’s missing arms reappeared! Crying tears of gratitude, he joined enthusiastically in the bhajan.

That night, Hari appeared in Sadan’s dream and told him, “In your last birth, you were a good Brahmin. Once a cow was escaping from the butcher and asked you for help. But you only put your arms around the cow, stopped her, and handed her over to the butcher. That cow was reborn as the woman you met, and that butcher became her husband. As punishment for your misdeed, you had to have your arms cut off.”

Sadan lived for long in Puri, singing and chanting Hari’s name till his last breath.

Like Sadan, can we learn to do even things we dislike with a smile and God’s name on our lips always?

When someone points out our mistakes, can we feel genuine remorse and try to change our behavior instead of justifying why we are right? 

Realizing that our difficulties are results of our actions in past lives, can we act appropriately at least in this life?

Can we learn to see God’s hand behind all that happens in our lives, and trust in Him to make things right?

Bhakt Charitank (Bhaktamal). Gita Press. Gorakhpur


  1. Oh my God beautiful πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸŒˆπŸ’

  2. Have heard this story before but in the context of the purity n sanctity of shaligrama n not even meat can destroy it's divine powers. πŸ™πŸ™πŸŒΉπŸ™πŸ™

    1. Right! That's the purist's perspective story!


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