Namadeva was a devotee with pure
heart even from his tender age. The parents were devotees of Panduranga. So the son's
heart also was given away to Vitthala. Many stories about his wonderful devotion are in
vogue. They are very interesting.
It was customary with Damashet to carry every day to the temple the offering of food
for Vitthala. After the ritual of offering was made he would bring it back home as
'prasad.' Then all of them would have their food.
One day Damashet did not return home from the bazaar for a long time. Thinking that he
might be very late, his wife told the boy Nama, "My dear, you had better go to the
temple today to offer this food to God."
In obedience to his mother, the boy went to the temple. He worshipped Panduranga and
then placed before Him the food he had carried. He believed that God would actually Oat
it. So he stood modestly with bowed head and folded hands.
"Your lunch is ready, my Lord, you may kindly begin," he requested.
But there were no signs of God's eating the food. The boy became sad.
"My father was not at home. So my mother sent me with this offering. It you don't
eat, mother will take me to task when I return.
Have I made any mistake in the ritual of worship? But I don't know these rituals. I am
still young. Please don't be angry with me" lie entreated cajolingly.
Moved with these sweet words of the innocent boy that day the God actually ate the food
and told the boy, "Look here! Don't tell anyone about this."
The boy felt very happy. He bowed again to Vitthala and went home. His father also by
that time had come home.
"Where is prasad' offered to God?" asked his mother.
"God ate it," said the boy.
"What do you mean by that? God ate it! Is it ever possible?" Said the father
"Yes, God came and ate the food," the boy repeated.
The father could not believe it. But the innocent face of the boy indicated that he was
speaking the truth. He was too young to know a lie. At last the father said, "Can you
show me God eating the food?"
"0, Yes, I can show it tomorrow," replied the boy.
The next day Damashet went to the temple with his son.
The pooja was performed as usual. The offering was placed before God.
But Vitthala did not eat. Namadeva was disconcerted. If God does riot take food, what
would his parents think about him? Do they not infer that he himself?
Might have eaten the food the previous day? Will they not get angry?
"Vitthala, please take food," he implored.
Vitthala remained motionless. The boy felt deeply hurt. "0 Lord, please don't be
hard like this. Will not my father and mother
misunderstand me? Will they not be angry with me thinking that I must have eaten the
food and uttered a lie? Well, indeed you ate the offering yesterday. But now is it right
to be like this?" the boy went on pleading.
Deeply moved with this prayer, God Vitthala opened his mouth. The little devotee
started feeding Him. Seeing this, the father was amazed. As soon as he returned home he
told his wife about this. Both were filled with joy. They began loving Namadeva all the
Thus goes a beautiful story.
The boy Namadeva grew up cheerfully. His mind was bent upon God right from his
childhood. As he grew older he began to spend more and more time in the temple of Vitthala
meditating always on Him.
His father was not so poor. So, as soon as the son came of age his marriage was
celebrated. Namadeva's wife was Rajayi; she was also called Radha Bai. Namadeva got four
children, namely Narayana, Vitthala, Govinda and Mahadeva.