One day a merchant from another town came in search of Narahari. “I had taken a vow to offer a waistband to Vitthal if He blessed me with a son. Now, I’ve come to redeem that vow. People told me you are the best goldsmith in town, so I came to you!”
Narahari refused, saying, “I won’t have anything to do with Vitthal!”
But when the merchant pleaded with him for long, Narahari grudgingly agreed to make the ornament; but on one condition. “I will not enter the temple; you must bring the measurement for me.”
The merchant brought the measurement of Lord Vitthal’s waist, and after a few days, Narahari had prepared a beautiful ornament studded with diamonds and other precious stones. Happily, the merchant took it to the temple, but it turned out to be too tight, and wouldn’t fit the murti. So, he took it back, and Narahari added an extra link. What a surprise, now it was too loose. Exasperated, the merchant insisted Narahari should himself come to the temple and take the measurements.
This was unpalatable to Narahari because he wouldn’t even look at Vitthal. So, they reached a compromise. Narahari wore a blindfold, and led by the merchant, entered the temple. Stepping up to the murti of Vithoba, he began feeling around the waist to take His measurements. Wonder of wonders! He felt his fingers brushing against animal skin. Reaching upwards, he could feel the moon and matted hair, in the murti’s hands, he could sense the trishul and the damaru!
|Image courtesy: Wikipedia|
Narahari ripped away his blindfold, only to see the form of Lord Vithoba, standing on a brick, arms akimbo, dressed in yellow silk, and decked with golden ornaments, with a bemused smile hovering on His lips!
|Image courtesy: Bhaktamal.com|
Shocked, Narahari pulled on his blindfold, and began taking the measurements. But no! Again, he could feel the murti was that of his beloved Mallikarjuna! Again he pulled off his blindfold. Now, not only did his physical eyes open, the ignorance that covered his mental eyes was also stripped away. Crying tears of gratitude and joy, Narahari fell at the feet of Vitthal, realizing that the Lord Himself was explaining that Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same!
From that day onwards, Narahari Sonar learned to see the oneness of God, and influenced by Sant Dnyaneshwar and other Varkari saints, composed several abhangs (devotional songs) born out of his new-found realization.
Bhaktavijaya by Mahipati