A Brahman, whose profession was singing the glories of the Lord, was once reciting Srimad Bhagavatham in the house of a patron. A thief broke into the house where the recital was going on and hid himself in the deep corner .
Perforce, he had to listen to Srimad Bhagavatham. The singer was now describing the ornaments worn by little Krishna which was adorned by Yashoda . He described the various ornaments Yasodha decorated on little Krishna before sending Him out with the cows.
The thief was excited and thought that he should meet that lad and rob all the ornaments at one stroke instead of struggling every day with petty stealing. He waited till the entire chapter of Srimadbhagavatam was recited and left the place. The thief wanted to know where this boy was. He, therefore, followed the Brahmin and waylaid him. The Brahmin was frightened and feared that he would lose even the small amount collected as dakshina and told the thief, “I do not have anything with me”.
The thief replied that he was not keen to have any of his belongings but wanted some information about that lad he was claiming to have the best ornaments adorned who used to go out for grazing the cows. He checked him to take him to that place where the lad was grazing those cows . The Brahmin was in a fix now .
He replied the thief, that all particulars of the the cute lad was in a book which is at his old house . He accompanied the the thief to his house, and looked in some book and told, “In Brindavana, on the banks of Yamuna, in a green meadow, two boys come in the morning. One is dark like the cloud with a flute, and the other fair clad in white silk. The dark one will have all the ornaments I had described.” The thief believed the brahmin and set out to Brindavana immediately. He located the beautiful place , climbed up a tree and waited for the boys to arrive.
The sun rose. Faint melody of the flute wafted along the morning breeze. The enchanting music could then be heard closer and the thief spotted two boys coming. He got down from the tree and went near them. The moment he saw the most beautiful appearance of the little Krishna , he forgot himself for a moment, folded his hands and shed tears of joy. The tears were from his heart and it was chilling . He wondered which wretched mother had sent these radiant boys, chiseled to perfection, loaded with ornaments to the riverbank. He couldnt take his eyes off from the divinity .The transformation started .Tears were rolling . Since the thief had carefully listened to the story of Krishna as told by the Brahmin, he noticed that Krishna was not wearing one particular piece of ornament described by the Brahmin. His love to the little lad was so engulfing that he even wanted to adorn Krishna with that missing ornament, which he was prepared to steal from any jeweller and enjoy the sight to his heart’s content. Just as the clouds cover the bright sun, wicked thoughts developed in his mind again.
He approached the boys …..shouting, “Stop,” he held Krishna’s hand. The moment he touched Lord Krishna all his previous karma was wiped like a cotton getting burnt in a fire …. and with all humility he inquired lovingly, “Who are you?”
Krishna looks at him, innocently and tells I am frightened by your looks.Please leave my hands ..” The thief with remorse tells Krishna, “It is my evil mind which is reflected in my face. If you are frightened I shall go away.” Please dont say I must leave you …
The Natkat Krishna reminds the thief, the purpose of his coming before he forgets .He cooly mocks at him .
.Here, take my ornaments.” Confused the thief replies , “Will not your mother scold you, if you gift away all your ornaments to me?” Krishna with a smile says , “Do not worry about that. I have plenty of them. I am a bigger thief than you. But there is a difference between you and me – however much I steal, the owners do not complain. I am lovingly called “Chitha Chora”. Though you are not aware of it, you have a previous ornament in your possession, the “Chitha”. I shall steal it now and take the same with Me.” So saying both the boys vanished.
To his surprise the thief found a bag full of ornaments on his shoulder. He brought it to the Brahmin’s house and told him what had all happened. The Brahmin was now frightened and took the thief inside and opened the bag. To his utter amazement he saw all the ornaments described by him as being worn by Krishna in the Bhagavatha, in the thief’s bag. Shedding tears of joy, the Brahmin asked the thief to take him to the place where he saw the dark boy.
The thief obliged and both of them waited in the same place where the thief accosted the boy the previous day. Suddenly the thief exclaimed, “Look, here they come!” However, the Brahmin could not see any one. Stricken with remorse, he said, “Swami, when You decided to give darasinam to a thief, why not me?
Lord Krishna out of abundant compassion reply was soothing … “You are reading Srimad Bhagavatha just as another story whereas the thief on the other hand, believed what you had told him. I manifest only for those who surrender to Me.”
Glories to the thief who saw LORD ….
Adapted from a discourse by a Sant