|The faith of a true devotee is realised in testing times.
Galuji shows how to please the Lord in such difficult situations.
Having passed the outskirts of vadtal, Dharamsinh spurred his horse. The rider was in a tremendous hurry. He was carrying a message from Maharaj for Galuji - and it had to be delivered today.
Despite having travelled all day, even as dusk approached, neither rider nor horse showed any signs of fatigue. Finally, at sunset, Dharamsinh spotted the burning candles of Dadusar village. He made his way directly to Galuji's house. Pulling up outside Galuji's doorstep, he called out, "Is Galuji here?"
"Yes he is. Come in. Where have you come from?" asked Galuji's mother. Galuji had returned from his farm only a short while before. He had washed and was eating dinner when Dharamsinh entered the house.
Dharamsinh didn't waste any time and said, "I've come from Vadtal and Maharaj has told me to pass on this message."
Dharamsinh took out a letter just as Galuji arrived on the verandah. Galuji read the letter and touched it to his eyes. The letter read, "On reading this letter, pack all your belongings into a cart and come here to Vadtal immediately to meet me. Leave your mother at home. Don't delay."
Galuji informed his mother of the letter's content and within an hour, he had packed and left to make his way to Vadtal.
Later that night, Galuji's mother was sitting alone, with a rosary in her hand chanting the Swaminarayan mantra. Slowly she fell asleep. In fact, the whole village was sleeping. There was complete silence everywhere. Then suddenly, around 3.00 a.m. Galuji's mother was startled awake by the noise of her house door-chain. Somebody was trying to get in. She held her breath and could do nothing but wait. Within seconds, a man jumped into the house. He was quickly followed by several others. She asked, rather calmly, "Who are you?" Seeing her awake, one of the men withdrew his sword from its sheath and demanded, "Where's Galuji?"
Galuji's mother recognised the intruders. She realised they had come to settle an old dispute. So she boldly declared, "Well, Lord Swaminarayan called him, so he has taken all his belongings and gone to Vadtal."
"That's amazing," the intruders said. "Galuji is under the care of God. Otherwise, who else but the all-knowing Lord would know of our intentions." The intruders were lost for words. After a few moments of silence, the group leader apologised, "Please forgive us. Your God is true and Galuji's devotion is pure. If Galuji had not been called today, then we would have looted him and killed him. But who can touch those protected by God Himself?"
Galuji's mother stood up, saying, "Oh Maharaj! So it was only to protect my Galuji that you called him to Vadtal. But if you want protection, why don't you forget these old grudges?"
"Yes, what you say is true," the leader declared. "From today, all our differences are ended. From today, Galuji's God is our God also. Now there is no enmity between us. Please arrange for us to receive the Lord's blessings also."
With these words, each of the intruders bowed to Galuji's mother and left.
A few days later, when Galuji heard the story, tears of joy and gratitude streamed from his eyes. Thus, protected by the Lord, Galuji and his mother passed their time in sincere devotion to Maharaj.
One morning, several years later, Galuji awoke to find that his mother had passed away peacefully during the night. With the help of relatives and neighbours, Galuji was making preparations for the cremation ceremony when he received news that Shriji Maharaj was on His way to Dadusar.
"What should we do now?" Galuji's brothers asked, seeking guidance from Galuji.
"If we start the funeral rites, then Maharaj will not stay and we will lose this opportunity of Maharaj's company," reasoned Galuji. Then continuing, he said, "So, let's cover the body and place it in the loft."
The brothers agreed and without any sign of bereavement, they waited with other villagers for Maharaj's arrival. Shortly, Maharaj arrived with a large retinue of sadhus and devotees. Galuji called the village drum-beater and accorded a joyous welcome to Maharaj and His group. Singing the dhun and devotional songs to the accompaniment of the shanai, the procession arrived at the Sheth's house. While Brahmins prepared food for Maharaj and His group, an assembly was convened. Everyone gathered to hear Maharaj's discourse. Maharaj looked with approval and pleasure at Galuji and said, "Galuji, today we're in a hurry to reach Vadtal. So we'll come again to spend more time here."
"Whatever you wish Maharaj," said Galuji. After Maharaj and His companions had eaten, they left for Vadtal. Galuji accompanied them for several kilometres and as he bid goodbye and prepared to return, Maharaj told everyone to stop and said, "Galuji, now return home and finish off your incomplete duty."
Galuji was speechless. He had not told Maharaj about his mother's demise, yet the all-knowing Lord knew.
After Galuji had left, Muktanand Swami asked, "Maharaj, what duty does Galuji have to complete?"
Before Maharaj answered, He said, "What I tell you won't create doubts in your mind, will it?" Then He continued, "Galuji's mother passed away this morning so he placed the body in his loft and received us. Only Galuji could do this. For others, this would be difficult."
Muktanand Swami listened with amazement. If one has staunch faith in God, only then is it possible not to succumb to social pressures.
And so at a time when society rigidly enforced traditions, Galuji's course of action revealed his absolute faith in and love for Shriji Maharaj.