Association of Saints
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s disciple Swami Haridasji performed penance at Jagannathji. That place is near the Radhakant Math at Jagannathji. Haridasji had immense love for Lord Krishna. He was impatient for the divine vision of Lord Krishna. Some of the devotees were not happy with this, so they decided to disturb him. Once they assembled and prepared a scheme.
They convinced a prostitute to approach Haridasji and entice him. In the bargain they offered her a great monetary reward. She agreed to the scheme. She became ready without hesitation as she thought that it would be an easy task for her to accomplish. She did not foresee any obstruction in her way.
Dressed to the best of her ability and overconfident about the task ahead she approached Haridasji at his place. Haridasji was seated in the meditation at that time. A stream of tears were flowing through his eyes. The prostitute waited for hours but to no avail. Next day she dressed herself even better thinking that she might get a break but the same thing happened. She was dejected but not disappointed. She came the day after but the third day also passed in the same way. It was the fourth consecutive day when Haridasji opened his eyes.
Haridasji was surprised to see a lady at his place. The prostitute at once falls at his feet. When Haridasji asked the reason of her arrival, the lady revealed the entire story.
She said, "Some people have sent me to malign your character. I have been coming since last three days but each time I found you deep in meditation. Leave alone the plot of maligning you, after watching you for three days my mind has changed! I wonder, what have you found internally so that you are not interested in looking outside?"
Haridasji clarified, "The love of God is such a thing that once you taste it, you would not like to look at any other thing in the world no matter how beautiful it is."
The prostitute was in tears. She asked Haridasji,” I have committed innumerable sins. Is there any way I can also live a sublime life?”
Haridasji replied, “The holy name of God is all powerful. Once you surrender yourself to thy, you never have to worry about anything.”
Looking at the prostitute’s readiness to leave her old lifestyle, Haridasji blessed her with the new mantra Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare; Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare. Thereafter the prostitute dedicated all her wealth at Haridasji’s feet and led a simple and restrained life as a disciple of Haridasji . She also changed her name to Haridasi as a mark of remembrance of her spiritual master Haridasji. Even today in Jagannathpuri, beside the Samadhi of Haridasji lays the Samadhi of Haridasi.
The association of holy saints is very powerful. What it can not do? It can do everything. It has been said in Ramayana that association of saints' changes the life of an individual. Tulsidasji even elaborated this by an example; if a crow comes in contact with a true saint, it becomes a cuckoo. How true!