“United we stand, divided we fall.”
Take a step back, and you will see that our family is also inclusive of our satsang family. Once, a group of devotees were traveling to do darshan of Shriji Maharaj. On the way, a child got a thorn in his foot and could not walk. Everyone decided to continue on without him; all except Mava Bhagat, who stayed behind to treat the boy. When the group reached for darshan, Maharaj did not acknowledge them. They were all perplexed as to why Maharaj would not speak to them. Once Mava Bhagat arrived after helping the injured child, Shriji Maharaj finally said, “Now the group has arrived.” In this manner Shriji Maharaj emphasized the importance of fostering unity and compassion among devotees.
In our interactions with fellow haribhaktos, especially when doing seva together, it is easy to find faults in one another. Yogiji Maharaj’s actions teach us how to cultivate affection for others. Once in Gondal, a haribhakta by the name of Gunvantbhai complained to Yogiji Maharaj about another devotee who would always loiter instead of doing seva and who was also addicted to cigarettes. Yogiji Maharaj stopped him mid-way through the conversation and said, “Have you had Shastriji Maharaj’s darshan?” Gunvantbhai stated that he had not. Yogi Bapa explained, “The devotee you are complaining about has seen Shastriji Maharaj. You should understand his greatness.”
Yogiji Maharaj’s life epitomizes the importance of understanding the greatness of our fellow haribhakta. If we understand their greatness, then we will naturally develop selfless affection for them, which will be expressed through our every action. Once after a busy morning in the heat, Yogiji Maharaj sat down to eat lunch with two other sadhus. It so happened that just as they sat to eat their chilled ras and rotlis, three visiting haribhaktos came by and peeked in the kitchen to see if there was anything left to eat. On seeing this, Yogiji Maharaj immediately invited them inside and shared with them his own food.
In fact, there are many devotees today who have imbibed such selfless affection for others. One such incident is of Rajendra Ajmera from Calcutta who came to Houston, Texas to receive treatment for a medical condition. Local devotees took a bus to the hospital to donate blood in his name a man they knew nothing about except that he was a fellow satsangi.
Devotees of Toronto mandir showed the same affection for Jalpaben Prajapati who was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy. Because of the treatment, Jalpaben was physically quite weak and had a compromised immune system. As a result, she had to quit her job. However, devotees showed their selfless support for her and her family by helping with basic chores such as cleaning the house to preparing meals to looking after her sons. In fact, there were more devotees that offered their help then there was assistance needed! Such love and care was shown by Toronto devotees for a fellow Satsangi.
“Love all, follow one.”
– Pramukh Swami Maharaj
In 1995, while Swamishri was addressing devotees and well-wishers who had gathered in Mumbai for Amrut Mahotsav, his voice cracked with intense love. With tears in his eyes, Swamishri stated, “I am sorry I was unable to meet you all…you are all in my heart…God will bless you all for your selfless services.” Swamishri’s love touched many people that day. In fact, Swamishri love is boundless. Whether it is through letters, phone calls, personal meetings, or even appearing in devotees’ dreams, Swamishri has given himself tirelessly to us so that we may progress in satsang. While keeping Swamishri’s selfless affection in mind, let us aim to imbibe suhradpanu for everyone so we can attain Swamishri’s raajipo.