Essay Archives

PUJA FIRST

Dhaval Patel, a satsangi youth, had studied hotel management and got a job at a five-star hotel. Once, due to torrential rains, the streets were flooded. Dhaval was left with no choice but to spend the night in the hotel. He did not take dinner because of his niyam. The following day, he did not drink water because he did not have his puja with him. The hotel manager insisted that he have something to drink and eat. But Dhaval refused and replied, “My puja is at home and when the water subsides I’ll go home, do my puja and then drink water.” After two-and-a-half days the water level receded and Dhaval waded through the waterlogged streets to reach home. After completing his puja, he took water and food.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj showered his blessings on Dhaval for his resoluteness.

ARMY TRAINING

Harivadan Prakashbhai Mehta, a satsangi youth of New York, enrolled himself for the US army training programme. One part of his rigorous training required him to go through a three-day stint in the jungles. Harivadan refrained from eating any food on the first day because there was no vegetarian food available. The second day, since there was no water for his routine morning bath, Harivadan was unable to do his puja. So, he fasted the whole day. He was unable to do puja for three days, and so Harivadan observed fasts. In spite of the punishing jungle training, Harivadan did not drink a drop of water! When he reached home on the fourth day he bathed, did his puja and drank water.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj expressed his rajipo on Harivadan for his firmness in observing the niyams.

TILAK-CHANDLO

Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj have inspired countless devotees to apply tilak-chandlo on their foreheads. They have remained unremitting in doing tilak-chandlo in spite of difficulties or lost opportunities in their jobs. A few stories of these heroes are as follows.

TILAK-CHANDLO FIRST

Ganesh Chalodiya of Surat was selected in an interview for a lucrative job. But the company boss expressed his discontent about Ganesh’s tilak-chandlo. He told him to abstain from doing the tilak-chandlo if he wished to work for him. In response, Ganesh replied boldly, “I don’t want even five paisas if you’ll not allow me to do the tilak-chandlo!” Then Ganesh walked out.
Later, the boss contacted Ganesh and made a better offer, “If you stop doing the tilak-chandlo, I’ll pay you more than the proposed salary.” Again, Ganesh refused outrightly. Then a week later, the boss called Ganesh and told him that he was hired regardless of his tilak-chandlo. Ganesh worked in that company for many years with a tilak-chandlo shining on his forehead.

UNCOMPROMISING FAITH

Rameshbhai Roy lived in Texas. Through his association with Pramukh Swami Maharaj Rameshbhai’s life changed for the better. When he started applying the tilak-chandlo daily in his puja, his company head did not approve of it.
The latter warned him, “I will sack you if you continue doing the tilak-chandlo.” Rameshbhai replied categorically, “I don’t mind being sacked, but I shall not stop doing the tilak-chandlo.” The boss tried ways to pressurize Rameshbhai, but to no avail. He even tried to search for another person to replace Rameshbhai, but no one could match his abilities and sacrifice. So the boss had to retain him in the company.
Later, when Rameshbhai was scheduled to take an oath for his American citizenship, many of his friends advised him to rub off the tilak-chandlo. Rameshbhai replied spiritedly, “It is okay if I don’t get the citizenship, but I will not stop doing the tilak-chandlo.” Subsequently, he got his citizenship without any hassle.
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