Art of Saintliness
Once on his way to the meadows of Sankhdavadar, Swami stopped at Maliya village. He stopped for rest in a mango grove of the mandir. He saw the mango trees and remarked, “They will wither away for want of water.” As soon as Pragji Bhakta heard Swami’s remark, he collected two pots and started fetching water from the nearby river to water the trees. There were some three hundred mango trees and Pragji gave each tree four pots of water. He was drenched to the skin with water and sweat. Then he went to Swami with water dripping from his clothes.
Swami was nearing the end of his discourse. He wanted to make everybody understand that he could be pleased by devout service. Pleased with Pragji’s devout service Swami said, “Pragji! Ask a question.”
Innocently Pragji Bhakta asked Swami, “I know all the worldly crafts but please teach me the path to saintliness.”
The congregation was stunned by the deep scholarly question which contained the essence of all the scriptures, coming from a simple, ordinary-looking man.
Swami, who was pleased by Pragji’s question, replied, “The craft of saintliness is very tough. To look upon insults and honours with equanimity, to bear no ill-will towards anyone, to overcome the pleasures of the five senses, to realise the atma and remain constantly in communion with the murti of Shriji Maharaj is the craft of sainthood. One who has attained this is never separated from God. Such a devotee becomes capable of helping countless people to overcome their shortcomings and leading them to God.”
The entire assembly of devotees was completely absorbed in the divine speech of Swami. Manji Thakkar and Nathu Patel told Swami, “Swami, you have quenched our spiritual thirst.”
“Why should I not be pleased with Pragji who has intuitively obeyed me without caring for his own self?” said Swami. From then on, with the blessings of Swami, Pragji always remained engrossed in devotion in all three states of mind – waking, deep sleep and dream.