Vipra Narayana was so enamored with Deva-devi that he refused to go away from Deva-devi’s house though she tried to drive him out. He sat at Deva-devi’s door aspiring for her merciful glance like a devotee would aspire for the glance of the Supreme Lord. He ate the leftovers at Deva-devi’s house and continued to stay near the door of her house. Lovelorn Vipra Narayana lost the glow on his face and became emaciated. Yet, he could not overcome his cravings for Deva-devi.  

Once the Lord passed by Deva-devi’s house along with His consort, Mahalakshmi. Mahalakshmi saw Vipra Narayana and asked the Lord about him. The Lord said, “It is our Vipra Narayana, he used to regularly supply garlands for us. He fell in love with the mistress of this house and now he is spending his time aspiring for a merciful glance of his lover, who is a courtesan.”

Universal Mother Lakshmi, who is worshipped as the veritable ocean of compassion, intervened by requesting the Lord to redeem Vipra Narayana, who was once, a very sincere devotee of the Lord. The all merciful Lord agreed to comply with Lakshmi’s bidding. The Lord assumed a human form and knocked at Deva-devi’s door. Deva-devi opened the door thinking that Vipra Narayana, who was sleeping at the door, might be knocking to seek her company and was shocked to see a handsome young man at her door.

The Lord handed over a golden cup and said, “I am Vipra Narayana’s messenger and my master has sent a present for you. He aspires to live with you like before.” Deva-devi became happy to receive such an expensive gift and started to wake Vipra Narayana, who was lying at the door. The messenger disappeared even before Vipra Narayana woke up. Being gratified with the present, Deva-devi spent the night with Vipra Narayana happily.

The following morning when the priests opened the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Ranganatha’s temple they were shocked to see the golden cup, which was normally used to offer water to the Lord at night, missing from the plate. The temple administrators started questioning the watchmen and other workers who had spent the night in the temple. Deva-devi’s maid, who had come to fetch some water from the temple tank, noticed the commotion and went to the temple out of inquisitiveness. As soon as she got to know about the missing cup she told the chief priest that Vipra Narayana had given the cup to her mistress and her mistress had hid it beneath her pillow.

The administrators went to Deva-devi’s house along with some soldiers and started searching the house. They found the cup and arrested Deva-devi and Vipra Narayana and produced them before the Chola King at Nichulapuram. When the king inquired, Deva-devi said, “A young man who claimed to be Vipra Narayana’s messenger handed over the cup to me and I do not know anything about it. My Lord you have been seeing me and I have no dearth of money to commit a sin like stealing the Lord’s cup.”

However, Vipra Narayana, who did not know about the cup or the messenger, denied any crime on his part and expressed his ignorance about the messenger. The king, who was also a devotee of the Lord, became angry and imposed a very hefty fine on Deva-devi for having entertained such a man and imprisoned Vipra Narayana. Thus, Vipra Narayana, who was once admired by the devotees of Sri Rangam, became a prisoner due to his bad company.  

We will reveal how the Lord redeemed Vipra Narayana in the next post.

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