Running away, however, is not always an option. In certain situations, one must stand up and fight.
Maharaj once took Lalji Suthar as a guide across the desert to Kutch. During their journey by foot, they eventually reached Adhoi village.
“I’m starving,” Maharaj exclaimed. “Bring me food from somewhere.”
“You made me give away all our food and money,” Lalji said in a complaining, but friendly tone. “What can I bring now?”
Maharaj asked him to beg for food in the village. “My in-laws live here,” Lalji objected. “Everyone knows me. How can I beg for food here?”
“What if you’re disguised?” Maharaj humorously suggested.
“Then… then that’s great,” Lalji replied, wondering to himself what Maharaj had in mind.
Maharaj then made Lalji shave off his moustache and tuft of hair. After handing him a special cap and alfi, or long orange tunic, Maharaj initiated and renamed him Nishkulanand Swami, which means ‘one who has renounced his family and experiences God’s bliss’.
To further test his degree of faith and vairagya, Maharaj instructed Nishkulanand Swami to beg for food from his in-laws’ house.
He was cornered. Where would he run to now? He had to follow the agna, otherwise Maharaj would remain hungry. It was time for Nishkulanand Swami to become a lion.
He boldly stood in the front yard of his in-laws’ home and said aloud, “Narayan Hare! Sachidanand Prabho.” His wife, Kanku, stepped out of the house to provide alms to the unknown man dressed in an alfi. She looked at his face and was taken aback to see her husband, transformed!
She scurried back inside and, while gasping for breath, notified her mother about what she had seen. Straightaway, the mother took her two grandsons (Nishkulanand Swami’s sons), Madhavji and Kanji, and brought them before Nishkulanand Swami with the intent of moving his heart.
But he stood there with a determined face, unaffected. They totally underestimated his vairagya. He declared, “Just as fire remains unassailed by termites, your temptations cannot stir me.” Continuing, he said, “Maharaj has graced this village. If you wish to be liberated, then serve Maharaj by feeding him some rotla.”
Without wasting a second, his wife prepared a delicious meal of fresh, hot rotla and pickles. Maharaj was pleased with the offering, and more importantly, with Nishkulanand Swami’s deep-rooted vairagya.
Some time later, his relatives tried hard to persuade him to return to the householder fold, but to no avail. Nishkulanand Swami spoke to them about the never-ending, vicious cycle of births and deaths. He sang, “Me hu ãdi anãdi, ã to sarve upãdhi…” Seeing such wisdom, his relatives stopped trying to convince him and went back home.