Faith in God - An Essential Ingredient for Success: The Story of Ramadas

The Story of Bhadrachalam Ramadas

Kancherla Gopanna (1620 - 1680), [popularly known as Bhadradri Ramadasu or Bhadrachala Ramadas was a 17th century Indian devotee of Lord Rama and a composer of Carnatic music] was the Tahsildar (revenue officer) at Bhadrachalam (located in present day Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh). He was determined to live truthfully till the end of his life. He would not give up truth even at the cost of his life.

Once, he could not handover the annual land tax which he collected as Tahshildar from the people of Bhadrachal to Tana Shah (Qutub Shahi Sultan Abul Hassan Tana Shah - eighth and last ruler of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, who ruled the kingdom of Golconda in South India from 1672 to 1687). When Ramadas went on a survey, he found the idols of Rama, Lakshman and Sita in a forest. Seeing the idols lying in the forest, Ramadas prayed to the Lord, “Rama, is there no one who could build a temple for You? Is not the whole world Your temple? But these idols don’t have a temple.”  So saying, overcome by great love for Rama, he got a temple constructed with the amount collected as tax.

Tana Shah imprisoned Ramadas as he could not submit the annual land tax amount. As a part of the punishment, Ramadas was whipped by prison guards. For every whip, Ramadas went on repeating ‘Ram, Ram’. Without any compassion, he was given one more lash. Not being able to bear the pain, he began scolding Lord Rama thus:

“Rama! I did all this for Your sake and not for my own.
Then why so much suffering for me?
I made that Turai (crown) for You.
Wearing that You move about so happily!
Whose property is that?
For Sita, I made a gold necklace, Oh Rama!
That cost me 10,000 Varahas (gold coins).
Oh Rama! For Lakshmana I got made a gold waist belt.
Oh Rama! And that cost me 10,000 Varahas! ”

Saying all this, he realised that it was Lord Rama who did all this and not he. After realising his mistake, he pleaded with Lord Rama, “Oh Rama! Do not feel bad that I used harsh words against You. As I could not bear the suffering, I abused You. Let this mean body perish. But, I should not abuse You. I should not doubt You. Those who doubt You, suffer like this.” Then he apologetically pleaded, “Do whatever You feel like”. As he was being lashed, he went on repeating the name of Lord Rama. Scorched iron rods were put on his skin. He surrendered before God and silently bore all the persecution.
Bhadrachala Ramadas praying to Lord Rama
He reflected thus, “You are burning Your own body. You are beating Yourself. All this is not mine. Only You are mine”. The moment he developed strong faith, two boys came with two big sacks containing gold coins to the palace of Tana Shah. Tana Shah saw them and asked, “Who are you? Why have you come? What do those sacks contain?” Then the boys replied, “We were Ramayya and Lakshmayya. We have been sent by Ramadas to handover the pending tax amount for which he was put in prison”. They informed him that the money comprised the principle amount plus interest. The money was transferred to the royal treasury and Ramadas was released from the prison.

Though Ramadas was not aware of anything, Lord Rama did everything on His own to liberate His devotee from the clutches of indebtedness. Ramadas then sang the following lines in praise of Lord Rama:

Oh, Mind! Do not ask. Oh, Mind! Do not ask.
The more frantically you ask, the less it will be fulfilled.
That which you do not ask will come to you forthwith.
Oh, Mind! Do not ask. Oh, Mind! Do not ask.

If you have faith in God, do not ask for anything. If you give true love, God will give you everything without any request or petition. He will provide the devotee with everything the devotee needs. If such a spirit of surrender is present in the youth today, the whole world will be free from injustice, falsehood, misconduct and corruption. Today, one finds corruption everywhere. In every office, there is corruption. If you find an office locked, even the pillar would stretch its hand for money! That is the situation prevalent in society today. Educated youth should eradicate this social evil. 

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