A Favour in Return for Persecution
Swami was touring the Sorath region with a group of Sadhus. In some villages,
where the devotees resided, they were honoured and welcomed; whereas in
others the unfriendly folks insulted and persecuted them.
Once, Gunatitanand Swami arrived at the village of Juna Savar. Uga Khuman, the village chief, loathed the Swaminarayan sadhus. On hearing the news of their arrival, Uga Khuman became inflamed with anger. He and his men insulted them, thrashed them and drove them out of the village.
The sadhus unresistingly hobbled their way to the village lake. The extent of their persecution was evident from their bleeding wounds and sore bodies. When the village women came to fill their pots with water they were moved by the wanton cruelty meted out to the sadhus by the village chief. Out of compassion they uttered, “How can God bless the Darbar with a child when he persecutes such innocent sadhus! Such a merciless village chief shall always remain childless.”
When Gunatitanand Swami came to know of this, he and the sadhus prayed to Shriji Maharaj to bless the Darbar with a child and thereafter to have his house graced by sadhus.
And Gunatitanand Swami’s prayers were answered. Even at an old age Uga Khuman fathered a baby boy. Several years later, when Gunatitanand Swami was passing through the outskirts of Juna Savar, Uga Khuman’s eight-year old boy caught hold of Swami’s finger and brought him and the sadhus home. Gunatitanand Swami reminded Uga Khuman, “Darbar! Do you remember that several years ago you had beaten us and expelled us from this village! However, on hearing that you were childless, we prayed to Shriji Maharaj to bless you with a son. And by the grace of Swaminarayan you have been blessed with this boy.”
Uga Khuman repented for his ruthless act and prayed for forgiveness.
One who blesses in return for persecution is a sadhu. Gunatitanand Swami was fearless because he considered no one to be his enemy. He had sowed the seeds of Satsang by tolerating innumerable occasions of insult, pain and persecution. Today, those seeds have grown into giant banyan trees, providing solace to innumerable souls.
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