Samarth Ramdas was a great saint of medieval Maharashtra. He left his home at an early age and practiced penance for 12 years. He constructed innumerable Hanuman temples and advised people to become strong first and unite afterward'sto fight the tyrannical rule of the Muslims.
It was the practice with Ramdas to beg alms only once at noon from five houses, accept it as a gift from Sri Rama and be happy.
Once it so happened that he went to a house for such holy alms. He uttered the mantra Jaya jaya Raghuveera samarth. Thereafter, he humbly requested the lady of the house thus: ?Oh Mother, your child has appeared here, kindly offer him a morsel of food.?
In spite of repeated requests nobody turned up at the door. At long last a middle-aged lady appeared at the door. She was extremely angry. Her hair were scattered. Her face was full of dust. She was wearing worn out piece of sari. She was busy mending and clearing the walls and floor of the house with cow-dung paste.
A dirty trickling swab was held by her in her right hand.
The lady shouted, ?You appear to be robust. Don'tyou feel ashamed to go begging? Have this and go, get lost.? And so saying, the lady threw the dirty swab full of cow-dung paste on the face of Ramdas.
Ramdas was not moved by this outburst even though his face became shabby and his eyes started paining. He quietly said, ?Kalyanam astu. Oh mother, let there be peace and happiness in the household.? Ramdas then lifted that dirty swab and with equanimity he left the place. He was not at all angry with the lady. On the contrary he had all the pity and sympathy for the lady.
As per usual practice, Ramdas went to the bank of Godavari chanting the name of Sri Rama. He cleaned that old dirty piece of cloth with due care. He then spread that piece over the hot sand on the bank of the river.
Ramdas then took the usual holy bath in the river. He performed Sandhya vandanam. He carried the dried piece of cleaned cloth along with the alms to the mutt where he was staying.
Chanting the name of Sri Rama, he cut the old worn out piece of cloth into small strips. He rolled the strips properly. He then prepared wicks there from.
Ramdas then placed the wick in the nandadeep (holy oil lamp), put some oil therein, lighted the lamp at the time of evening prayer.
The sanctum sanctorum was full of light. Ramdas then performed his evening prayer with devotion. He sat quietly before the idol of Sri Rama, closed his eyes and he prayed Rama thus: ?Sri Rama, that mother must be having serious problems in her household. Kindly remove them. It is you alone who can do it. Grant peace and happiness to the mother and her family.?
Little friends, this is how the saints behave. They accept brickbats thrown at them as bouquets. They consider abuses hurled at them as flowers, as a grace from God.