Although he was a saint, Purandaradāsa would lose his patience and anger very quickly. He had a disciple named Appanna who lived with him. One night, when he was thirsty, he called out to Appanna to get him some water. But Appanna did not respond. Finally after he had been called many times, Appanna showed up with a glass of water. When Purandaradāsa sipped the water, he was furious. First, Appanna took a long time to come and then he brought warm water for his Guru to drink in that really hot night! Out of anger, Purandaradāsa hit the cheek of Appanna with that glass of water.
Poor Appanna wept, and went back to his room. After half an hour, Purandaradāsa felt guilty for having hit Appanna, and went to his student’s room to apologize. To his surprise, Appanna said, “Gurudev, I did not serve water to you, nor did you ever hit me. It must have been someone else who came to give you that glass of water.”
Purandaradāsa was surprised at this, and he went back to sleep. The next morning, he went to the local Kṛṣṇa temple to worship, and a bigger surprise lay in store for him. The Murti of Kṛṣṇa had a swollen cheek! Purandaradāsa was terrified. It was none other than Kṛṣṇa who had come to serve him water in the form of Appanna. Purandaradāsa learned his lesson – Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa took the blow from his devotee Purandaradāsa to make him realize that we should not get angry, because in anger, we can do really bad things without realizing it.
After that incident, Purandaradāsa overcame anger. He was no longer short tempered. From now on, he was always patient with people, and did not get upset or angry with them very easily.