Lord Brahma, Lord Indra and the other gods as well as the Lord of death, Yamaraj went to Lord Vishnu to ask him who was his most trusted and devout devotee.
Lord Vishnu replied, ?It is Rantidev.?
Lord Brahma asked if it was the same King Rantidev who had been doing penance for the last 48 days, chanting Vishnu'sname. Lord Vishnu agreed.
The gods discussed Rantidev among each other and decided to visit the earth to see if King Rantidev really deserved Lord Vishnu'srespect. As it was the day when Rantidev was expected to end his fast, the gods decided to ask him to feed them on meeting him. They were convinced that a person who had been fasting for so long would not be willing to share his food with them.
On reaching Rantidev, the gods disguised as poor Brahmins, found him seated with food on a banana leaf and praying before breaking his fast. As soon as he finished his prayer and was about to take the first morsel, a Brahmin approached him, ?Please give me something to eat as I have not eaten anything for very long.?
Rantidev gave half of his food, saying, ?Here, take this. Maybe this will fill your stomach.?
Then a beggar reached near him and asked for some food. Rantidev gave him a quarter share from what he had left with him.
Then an emaciated person drew near him, asking for food. Seeing his emaciated body, Rantidev gave away the last bit of food that he was left with. The Brahmin, the beggar and the boy were none other but the gods disguised as poor persons, who had approached Rantidev to test his kindness.
They all agreed unanimously that Rantidev was indeed a true disciple of Lord Vishnu.
But Yamaraj was not convinced and thus intervened to say, ?Wait, let me also test him, before you come to any decision.?
So disguised as a poor man he approached Rantidev and asked him for food. Rantidev replied that whatever he had with him he had given away. Now he was left with water only and thus offered to give him that.
Yamaraj replied, ?Never mind, give me the water to drink.?
Rantidev drew near the poor man and gave him the container of water. Yamaraj stopped him mid-way, ?Do not come near me as I am an untouchable. You will become impure.?
Rantidev ignored his words and placing his arms around the poor man, said, ? I do not care what you are. Since the time I have become a devotee of Lord Vishnu I see him in every person that I see. Here, drink this water,? and gave the container to the poor man. The poor man drank all the water till the last drop.
Lord Vishnu decided to appear before Rantidev and said, ?Rantidev I am very happy with you. The fact that you treat everyone equal to yourself shows you are a great man. You are fit to achieve moksha (salvation).?