Potter by name Raka, In that town there once lived a potter by name Raka. His wife was Bhaga. They were a devout couple. They worshipped God Vithal day and night. They sang God’s praise even while making pots.
Pandharpur is a holy town in Maharashtra.The river Bhima flows by its side. There is a temple dedicated to God Vithal in that town. It is famous all over the country.Many saints have worshipped in that temple.
In that town there once lived a potter by name Raka. His wife was Bhaga. They were a devout couple. They worshipped God Vithal day and night. They sang God’s praise even while making pots.
They made pots out of wet clay on a wheel. One day Raka got ready to bake the wet clay pots he had made. He placed all the wet pots in a huge fire. When the fire started burning, he heard the cries of kittens coming from one of the pots in the fire. The kittens had been sleeping in that pot. He had not noticed them.
Fear and pity overcame Raka. He wanted to save the kittens from being burnt; for it is a great sin to kill living creatures. The fire was so big that he could not even go near it. Whenever we are in serious difficulty or in danger, we pray to God with all our heart. All that Raka could then do was to pray to God Vithal.
He cried: “O Vithal, please save the kittens. I shall do whatever you ask. I shall even give up this potter’s profession. But please save the kittens!”
Bhaga also prayed to God along with her husband. And they prayed throughout the night. The fire burnt all night and only in the morning did it cool down.
When they went near the kiln, they heard the feeble mewing of the kittens from inside. To their great joy they found one pot in the centre still wet and unbaked.
And from inside it the kittens cried. They removed the young ones one by one from the wet pot and set them free. The couple shed tears of gratitude.
The whole town came to see the miracle. From that day Raka gave up pot-making. Did he not promise that to God? He and his wife thereafter went to the forest to collect firewood and dry leaves. By selling them, they earned a frugal meal.
The couple led a pious life. Namdev, the great saint, also lived at Pandharpur at that time. One day Namdev’s daughter picked up a quarrel with Raka’s daughter. She said: “Your father is a hoax. He wants to show off. He has no true love for God.”
Raka’s daughter retorted: “What you say of my father is false.
It is your father who goes about bragging.”
The quarrel reached Namdev’s ears. Namdev was a great devotee of Vithal. So he appealed to God Vithal: “God! Is Raka as pure and pious as he shows himself?” God at once took Namdev to the forest. There Raka had cut some wood and was collecting it to make a bundle.
Without being seen, God placed a gold bangle beneath the bundle. God and Namdev watched from behind a tree. When Raka lifted the bundle, he saw the gold bangle.
He called his wife Bhaga and said: “See! It is evil. Someone has put it here. How can a gold bangle get into a forest? It is sinful to take what belongs to others; God will punish us. Come, let us go.”
The husband and wife walked away carrying the firewood and left the bangle lying on the ground.
Namdev felt ashamed. God stopped Raka and blessed him: “May you always live thus without craving for what belongs to others!”