She was only a child of five and he a mere image of the Lord Krishna, but little Mira loved him with all her heart. So strong was her devotion that it rendered even irate kings and murderous relatives powerless. Mirabai became a queen, but she continued to serenade her Lord through the ups and downs of her eventful life. Her hymns to Krishna, which are sung to this day, left even the great Mughal emperor, Akbar, spellbound.
Could a man of flesh and blood be Lord Vishnu himself? The infant who insisted on claiming the offerings made to the lord had matured into a single-minded Vaishnava. People thronged to him for his happy, simple message of love.
This is the story of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the renowned Vaishnava saint (16th century) who popularized the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. His followers regard him as an avatar of Krishna.
Given a choice, Guru Nanak would rather have been a guest at a poor hard working man's but then at a rich but idle landlord's mansion. His vision and intellect helped change an entire community. Combining wisdom with mercy, his teachings impressed Hindus and Muslims alike, while his songs of devotion gained favour with even the most oppressive of masters.
It was predicted by a sage that the children of Vithal and Rukmini would be great spiritual leaders. But of their four children it was little Jnanadev who seemed to have a special inclination for the scriptures. In his brief life as a preacher Jnaneshwar, as he was called later, spread the message of Bhagwat Dharma or love of God and brotherhood of man. He was the founder of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra. Jnaneshwar renounced the world at the age of twenty-one.
TALES OF SAI BABA
The pious flocked to Shirdi in Maharashtra. Sai Baba's all-encompassing love made them feel better, happier and more at peace. He could reveal himself as the Supreme Deity and yet assume the form of a street dog; he could turn water to oil and save a child far away from burning flames. However, by the time he left this world, in 1 91 8, he had also made thousands understand that good acts are the only miracle needed to find God.
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