There lived a cobbler by the name Ramdas who lived and worked near river Ganga. A pilgrim group came there and they saw Ravidas sitting and fixing leather shoes. They gave one or two pairs of shoes for repair and asked him how many times he had taken bath in Ganga. He replied that he had not bathed in Ganga at all. These pilgrims who took pride in their spiritual accomplishments sarcastically told him:
“We wish we did not give our shoes for repair to such an atheist who lived and worked near divine Ganga nadi and still never bothered to take bath in this punya nadi.”
Then they gave him a coin as remuneration for mending their shoes. He refused to accept the money and told them that he never accepted money from pilgrims. If they are very particular, he said they could offer that coin to Ganga Nadi saying :
”Ganga Devi, this is an offering from cobbler Ravidas”.
So they took bath in river Ganga and threw the coin in to the river and said mockingly: “Divine mother Ganga, here is an offering from cobbler Ravidas.”
Immediately two beautiful hands appeared from inside the river and caught the coin with those hands and told: ”I am so honored to accept this gift from Ravidas, the great soul. ” Then she gave a beautiful golden bangle studded with precious stones to the pilgrims and told them that it was a gift from her to Ravi das.
As we can imagine, they did not give it to Ravi das, but took it to the king of Benares and offered it to him to please him. King gave the bangle to the queen and queen liked it so much that she wanted another one. So king asked the pilgrims where they got it and they were afraid to tell the truth. So they promised the king that they would get another one and ran to Ravidas and fell at his feet and and asked him to get one more bangle.
Ravidas had a small container in front of him with water to wet the leather. He said:”If our mind is pure and if we love Ganga Devi, Ganga Devi will even come and stay in this container.” Then he asked them to look inside the cup and they saw another bangle in that water that matched exactly with the one given before by Ganga Devi. They could not believe their eyes. They took the bangle, prostrated at his feet and apologized for their treating him with disrespect. Ravidas blessed them by praying to Ganga Devi and continued his job of mending the shoes.
It is our sincere attitude of surrender that matters and not nothing else.
May Bhagavan bless us with an attitude of total surrender!
Regards and prayers