Is Lord a Magnet or Metal ?

In paying tribute to the great saint Shri Kanaka Dasa, the Government of Karnataka in India has declared his birth day as a State holiday. All the government offices, schools and colleges around the state celebrate the birth anniversary of Shri Kanaka Dasa who made even the Lord turn around and made Him listen to his prayers. At the request of Pravrajika Ishtaprana, I gave the following article, written for children. She published in Deepika, an annual children’s magazine brought out by Sri Sarada Devi Ashram at Asherville, Durban.

Is Lord a Magnet or Metal ?

an artist's impression of Kanaka Dasa Image courtesy:
an artist’s impression of Kanaka Dasa Image courtesy:

Magnet attracts Metal

The other day I was talking to a group of children. They were Sonal, Sashiv, Sundar, Mishka, Kareena and Payal. It is always refreshing to talk to children. One little girl, Sonal, enquired why she is attracted to visit the ashram regularly while some of her friends are not inclined to come. I told her that the Lord, who is the Supreme Controller of this universe, is indeed like a magnet. We are all like iron metal pieces attracted to this grand magnet and therefore visit the ashram. Those who do not like to visit holy places are also like metal but are covered with so much dust that the magnet cannot attract them. 

I asked the children what they do at the ashram. Sashiv, a young boy, said that he neatly arranges all the prayer books that were used in the morning. Another child, Mishka, said that she loves to clean the shrine carpet so that they can sit and study comfortably. Kareena teaches the little kids on how to behave in the ashram. Payal takes care of all the musical instruments.

Image courtesy: Bob from
Image courtesy: Bob from

One boy, Sundar, said that he enjoys ‘meditation’. I was surprised and asked him what he does during meditation. He told me that his mother tells him captivating stories about Lord Krishna and he sits quietly in the shrine and mentally recounts the whole story. 

So I said, “Come Sundar, today you will tell us the story that your mother told you!” Sundar gladly agreed and began relating the story.

The Singing Saint

The story is an interesting one and concerns a lovely incident that happened in the life of one great devotee. This devotee was born in the present Karnataka State in India, about 500 years ago. He became very popular by the name of Kanaka Dasa. 

Kanaka Dasa was devoted to the worship of the Lord in the form of Sri Krishna. Whatever he did – whether working in the fields or going to the market to purchase any item, cleaning the courtyard of his home or even taking care of his parents – he used to think of Lord Krishna and would always express his gratefulness to the Lord Sri Krishna. He became expert in singing the glory of God.

Once on his pilgrimage, he came to a small town called Udupi. In this town there was a beautiful temple dedicated to Sri Krishna. Kanaka Dasa was very eager to visit this temple and have darshan of the Lord.

Denied but Determined

But in those days, people born of lower castes were not allowed entry into the temple. Only the people of higher castes could enter and perform the worship. Coming to know of his social status, the men at the gate forbade Kanaka Dasa from entering the temple. Greatly disappointed, he went behind the temple and sat outside the fence just opposite a small window. This window was behind the Lord’s beautiful stone image. Though denied he was fully determined to see the Lord.

Kanaka Dasa could not see the Lord because the image was facing the entrance on the other side. Sitting there, he felt so unhappy that he began shedding tears profusely. He pleaded with God that was he not like the piece of metal drawn by the magnet in the form of Sri Krishna? He came to see the Lord but was not successful in having His darshan. He began to sing the glory of the Lord throughout the night, with copious tears flowing from his eyes. 

Metal attracts Magnet

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.56.54 PM
Image courtesy:

Just before daybreak, the people of the town who were passing by that temple noticed an amazing and surprising phenomenon. When they went into the temple as usual to offer their morning worship, they found that the image of Sri Krishna had turned 180° (half circle) and was now facing Kanaka Dasa! Behold! It was a miracle that the Lord had performed to make others understand the glory of His devotee! 

We listened to Sundar’s story with keen attention. The boy said that his mother also told him what she learnt from the Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna. Sometimes the devotee becomes the magnet, and the Lord a metal, who is attracted by the devotee. He told us that even today, in that Sri Krishna temple of Udupi, the Lord is facing the window and not the entrance to the sanctum! 

The Lord always fulfils the earnest prayer of a sincere devotee. 

 May Sri Krishna bestow ‘buddhi yogam’ – the Right Understanding to all of us !

|| Aum Shri Raamakrishnaarpanamastu ||


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9 thoughts on “Is Lord a Magnet or Metal ?

  1. Aum Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam
    Aum Namo Narayanaya
    Dear Maharaj,
    Indeed a beautiful account of the power of unalloyed devotion. We have read about it in scriptures but in contemporary times have witnessed it in the life of Master. In Swamiji‘s words we understand that we are all potential magnets.
    Thank you Maharaj for inspiring us to intensify our attractive energy to God and humanity.
    Jai gurudev!
    With love and prayers
    Tongaat, SA


  2. Revered Maharaj,
    So beautiful !
    It is a story that never fails to raise goosebumps. But the attention to detail, the considered sketches of all the children, is really touching.
    God bless His little angels!
    Warm Regards,
    Gugal-Pimpari, Maharashtra, India


    1. Jai Sri Ramakrishna!
      Revered Maharaj,
      Please accept my pranam.
      Many thanks for narrating this account in your inimitable style. Any blog from you is such that the effect of its reading continues to stir the heart for days together.
      Wonderful replies by the little and blessed children. I am wonderstruck by Sundar’s Leela Dhyana. May Sri Thakur be ever with them.
      This story evokes memories of the Saivite saint ‘Nandanaar‘, one of the 63 Naayanmaars. Being considered an ‘untouchable’, he would stand outside the Shiva temple in Tiruppunkur and in front of the deity would sing for hours together copiously shedding tears. As the divine bull (Nandi) was obstructing his darshan of the Lord, he was not able to behold Him. He was feeling miserable due to this plight. One Day, Lord Himself came to his rescue by ordering Nandi to move away so that His devotee could see Him!
      With pranam once again,
      Hyderabad, Telengana, India


  3. My sincere regards to Maharajji.
    Thanks for this story narrated in such nice way. It shows if one has strong devotion, great miracles can happen.
    Caste system has been a curse to Indian society.
    Pronam to Maharajji as always.
    Buddha D Rudra


  4. Aum Namo Narayanaya Maharaj.
    My humble pranam at your holy feet.
    I trust that this message finds You well.
    A big “thank You” for sharing your experience with us. I wish I was there to hear this first-hand from the young and inspiring Sundar. Not only did the image of Sri Krishna make a 180° turn, but so too did the “magnet” (the Lord) and the “metal” (the devotee)!
    I trust that this narration will be echoed many times by devotees that have been blessed to read and share info from this blog.
    Thanks again Maharaj for such a vibrant blog. I can only add that your future “physical absence” will be negated by your
    “electronic presence” in our homes!
    Keep well Maharaj.
    With warm love and wishes,
    Ladysmith, SA


  5. My humble Pranam Maharaj
    It’s really super, thanks for sharing with us
    Br Trilokeshachaitanya
    Chennai, India


  6. My humble pranam to your feet Maharaj!
    What a wonderful story and thank you very much for sharing with all of us.
    Attracted deeply to those small children who, in their very young age, drawn to Master and doing seva! Mainly Sundar – he is definitely a blessed child who is meditating whereas many other children not even know or heard about it.
    I salute his mother for inspiring him into this holy path.
    Your blog is always very inspirational to me Maharaj!
    Chennai, India


  7. Dear Swamiji,
    A very heart lifting story matter how many times I have read and heard this & so much wish and hope that by his grace and his grace alone, I am attracted to him in all my lifetimes to come.
    Warm Regards,
    Shubha Kota


    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Shubha
      Thanks for your appreciation!
      Indeed this story is ever inspiring! What prompted me to place this story here, as I depicted to children and youth in one of my sessions with them in South africa, was the apt example found in the words of Sri Ramakrishna.
      May Sri Krishna-bhakti enliven our hearts!
      Swami Vimokshananda


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