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Once in Sarangpur, Yogiji Maharaj received a telegram from the king of Bhavnagar, His Royal Highness Krishnakumarsinhji.  The king expressed his wish to have Yogiji Maharaj bless his son on his upcoming wedding.  The king and the young prince would be travelling in a royal procession by train passing through Botad, a town nearby Sarangpur, and they requested Yogiji Maharaj’s presence there.  Respecting the king’s wish, Yogiji Maharaj and several other sadhus and devotees arrived at the Botad station.  Many had gathered there to witness the royal and spiritual meeting between Yogiji Maharaj and the king.  Yogiji Maharaj blessed the king and his son and soon the royal party had boarded the train to continue on their journey. 
Among the bystanders on the train platform was a railway lineman.  As the royal family departed, he rushed towards Yogiji Maharaj and fell at his feet.  He exclaimed, “Swamiji, please come to my residence and bless my hut as well.”   Many of the bystanders shrugged and felt it inappropriate that this low ranking railway employee was allowed to approach Yogiji Maharaj especially after being in the company of the royal family only moments earlier.  One of the devotees emphatically denied the request and asserted that Yogiji Maharaj had to leave immediately to reach Sarangpur and would not have any time to go to his hut. 
However, Yogiji Maharaj said compassionately, “But look at his love, we cannot turn him away.  Come, we must fulfill his wish.”  
Without waiting for the others, Yogiji Maharaj began the one mile walk to the lineman’s house.  At his residence, the lineman lovingly performed arti and thal and bowed down to Yogiji Maharaj with tears in his eyes. Yogiji Maharaj touched the lineman’s heart and respected his wishes with the same regard as he had valued the king’s request, without any concern for their difference in status. By looking at the purity of the lineman’s intentions rather than his social status,Yogiji Maharaj truly embodied the traits of sweetness and humility.
In another instance in Calcutta, Yogiji Maharaj, together with several sadhus and devotees, went to the old Swaminarayan mandir for darshan.  Here, just as Yogiji Maharaj was about to sit down on a seat cushion, a sadhu from the Vartal diocese snatched it away.  Unperturbed by this rude behavior, Yogiji Maharaj sat elsewhere and kindly asked the sadhu if he was from Junagadh.  However, the sadhu refused to answer Yogiji Maharaj’s question and turned away.  Then, one of the haribhaktos asked the same question to the sadhu and he answered that he indeed was from Junagadh and that his guru was Balmukund Swami.  Later, after  leaving the mandir, many devotees angrily began to criticize the rude sadhu’s conduct.  However, Yogiji Maharaj quickly quieted the haribhaktas and exclaimed, “No, don’t say such things about him.  Just look what a good person he is that he allowed all of us to have darshan!”  Despite being insulted at the mandir, Yogiji Maharaj refused to find fault in the sadhu; he only saw the sadhu’s redeeming qualities and inspired others around him to do the same.
Yogiji Maharaj has said, “In my fifty years in Satsang, not once have I seen a fault or thought ill of a Satsangi, be he the lowest of the low, be he a simpleton with little sense, who knows nothing at all - never have I had an ill thought for anyone even if he considers himself my enemy.  I have cared for everyone.  I have served everyone…”  Through his humility and consideration, he motivates all of us to act with generosity in our interactions with others.

Humility Through Reverence

Our guru, Pramukh Swami Maharaj is in constant communion with God. His continuous reverence and devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and to his gurus is a key source of his humility.  As the head of an international socio-spiritual organization dedicated to helping individuals, families and communities, Swamishri has received many accolades. Yet, he remains unaffected by the praise. Instead, he continues to shower his unconditional love on devotees and work for the betterment of society. He responds to all praise with the singular thought that all is due to the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his gurus. 
Deepak Jhaveri, a reporter for the India Post, once asked Swamishri, “Don’t you ever tire from the constant travel and your organization’s growth?” 
Swamishri replied, “It is God’s work…It is all due to the guru’s blessings and God’s inspiration…You should always pray to God saying, ‘Through me, it is really you who is doing everything.’  He will guide us through success and failure.  You can work in a way that pleases him and produces results that please everyone.” 
Deepak Jhaveri responded, “Humility is the foundation of your organization, this I can see first-hand.” 
Swamishri is able to lead BAPS with humility despite such tremendous achievement because he truly believes Bhagwan Swaminarayan to be the doer of everything, whereas he sees himself as only an instrument. It is his absolute humility that inspires others to share credit for successes, see others as greater than oneself, and let go of any negative feelings such as jealousy or egotism.  Regardless of who we interact with, we must always understand that it is not we who are powerful, but rather it is God who is the creator of our success.  By remembering our Guru and God, we can learn to make the right choice of treating everyone with respect and humility.


Swamishri has said, “Where there is God, there is humility. All happens due to God’s grace.”  True growth and happiness comes when we realize that we have a lot to learn and give during our lifetime, and that every relationship presents an opportunity for us to progress. And by treating others inside and outside of satsang with sweetness and compassion, instead of snootiness and apathy, we have the chance to achieve personal and spiritual progress.


Here is a questionnaire to help us assess what kind of choices we are making in our interactions with others and how our words and actions are affecting our life:
Have I ever said or done anything to make someone feel as if they are less than me due to their status or seva? 
Have I ever said or done anything to make someone feel as if they are less than me due to being new in satsang or for not following niyam-dharma? 
How did I feel immediately afterwards? How did I feel after a little while?
Have I ever acted or said something nice about my peers/other satsangis to make them feel welcome, to make them feel better?
How did I feel immediately afterwards?  How did I feel after a little while?
Have I ever made a choice to treat someone in a less than humble manner? 
Did my action or words benefit me in the short term?  Long term?
Did it affect my relationship with that person going forward?
Would my actions/words and treatment of others make my parents, mentors, and guru proud of me? 
Would my treatment of others live up to the expectations that I have for myself and the self-dignity of upholding my character?


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