Bananas on a Cactus
Once, while talking to Abhesinh Bapu of Ganod, Swami said, “Darbar, you must have seen bananas growing on a banana tree, but here we find bananas growing on a cactus. That boy, who is pounding mortar, is the son of an ordinary tailor but he has attained the yoga which even the yogis find difficult to attain. He remains engrossed in devotion exercising complete control over his mind and senses in all the three states.”
The Darbar was aware of Pragji Bhakta’s devotion for Swami. He said, “You have rewarded his service.”
“He is yet to be rewarded. He is an eternal devotee. Others would not have been able to serve like this,” said Swami, explaining the greatness of Pragji Bhakta to the Darbar.
During the Hutashani (Holi) festival assembly Swami talked to the thousands of sadhus and devotees about the divine teachings of Shriji Maharaj and the need for associating with the holy Sadhu. Then he gave the fagva prasad of grams, popcorn and dates to everyone. Swami did not see Pragji Bhakta there, so he sent for him. When Pragji came, Swami offered him what was left – the unpoped popcorn kernels. Pragji Bhakta became very very happy to receive the prasad. Manji Thakkar, who was present at that time, thought to himself that Swami is ready to bestow everything upon him, but instead of asking for sanctified hair, nails and other items of value, he is pleased with the leftover prasad. In order to make other people realise how precious the prasad received from Gunatitanand Swami’s own hands was, Pragji Bhakta approached Swami and said, “Swami, is this prasad a token of your divine favour?”
“Yes, I am pleased with you,” said Gunatitanand Swami.
While putting one kernel in his mouth Pragji Bhakta asked, “Swami, have I overcome lust?”
Swami said, “Yes, indeed.” Then, one after another, he put the unpopped kernels in his mouth and asked “Swami, am I purged of all flaws?”
Swami smiled and said, “Yes, they have been reduced to ashes.” Then Swami continued, “From half a sesame seed sanctified by Vitthalnathaji, eighty-four Vaishnavs arose, but this is mahaprasad. Pragji is pure at heart and has full knowledge of the glory of those who associate with the great Sadhu.”