Hours-long problem resolved in a moment

Gajananda Bhai of Sheopur Gaushala, sharing more reminiscences of unforgettable life-incidents of Pujya Bapuji, continues:

Hours-long problem resolved in a moment

This incident dates back to somewhere around 1990 when Pujya Bapuji’s satsang programme was taking place in Ahmedabad Ashram on the occasion of Guru Purnima. One of the resident sadhaka-brothers of the ashram had driven the cows towards the banks of the river for grazing. It was a herd of 10-15 cows. All of a sudden, it started to rain. The land there was quite muddy because of which the cows’ feet were getting stuck in the mud; and in no time, they got badly stuck. The more they tried to get out, the deeper they got stuck in the quagmire. This resulted in a situation where the cows became tired and thus, gave up.

In order to seek help in rescuing the cows, the sadhaka-brother came to the pandal, and started to call sadhakas sitting in the rear of the hall for help. In short time, he managed to gather around 500 people at the banks of the river. All of us made efforts for around 2.5 - 3 hours to pull the cows out and rescue them, but it was all in vain; instead, the more we tried, the deeper the cows got stuck.

The ongoing satsang session finished around the same time; and when Pujyashri heard about the situation, He went there and said, “Everyone, just step aside.”

In order to startle the cows, Bapuji jumped in front of them with an open umbrella, waving it up & down, front & back. Being startled, the cows put in all their effort and just came out of the quagmire.

Everyone witnessing the incident was quite amazed and very happy. Hundreds of people couldn’t rescue the cows stuck in the quagmire even after spending 2.5 to 3 hours, but Brahmanishtha Pujya Bapuji managed to resolve the problem in just a moment. What extraordinary acumen Pujya Bapuji is endowed with!

Despite so many people being there and despite them wanting to assist and co-operate, they weren’t able to rescue the cows and it was none but Gurudev who proved to be their saviour (who awakened their power of self-effort to make the right exertion, thereby extricating themselves from the quagmire). Similarly, the situation of mankind stuck in the quagmire of the world is no different; despite everybody wanting to help one during the last moments of his life, none can actually do so other than Gurudev, who proves to be the only saviour at that time. Not only does He save one from the quagmire of the world during the individual’s lifetime, but He also remains with the individual during the last moments of his life when the individual soul is left all alone.

…then everything becomes easy

This incident dates back to 2001. Initially, when there was no arrangement of gaushala (refuge for cattle), the cows would just live in the woods of Sheopur. Due to lack of rain in that area, over a period of time, a shortage of fodder & water arose. We got to know of a place in the woods, located at around 50 km away, where fodder & water was available in abundance. So, 4-5 of us resident sadhaka-brothers, along with 8-10 labourers set out for that place on foot, driving around 2400 cows along.

We arrived on the 5th day, and thus managed to arrange enough fodder & water for the cows. There was nothing but woods all around; and hence, there was no arrangement for our food & water. However, there was a village located 40-45 km away. So, to arrange our food, we’d walk up to the village, spend the night there and then bring the food-stuff from there the following day. Not only were there ferocious animals in the jungle, but there was a dominance of dacoits too. One day, the dacoits, driven by greed for money, etc., caught one of our sadhaka-brothers, and assaulted him.

We didn’t have anyone other than SatGuru to seek support from. So, we prayed to Gurudev, and then recited Shri Asharamayanji (short life-story of Pujya Asharam Ji Bapu in verse). After that, by virtue of Gurudev’s grace, the dacoits didn’t trouble us at all. A month later, the police laid a siege there and killed the jungle dacoits.

When forest department officials heard that so many cows had come here from somewhere else, they started scolding us. They put me and another sadhaka-brother in their vehicle and drove us 50 km away; they began threatening us saying, “You will have to pay the fine.”

I said, “But we don’t have any money with us.”

So, they released me so that I could bring the money.

When we apprised Gurudev of all this, He said, “Don’t worry, just continue serving the cows with full dedication; nothing will happen.”

When I arrived back, a miracle took place; the forest department officials said, “We don’t want your money. How long are you going to stay in this jungle?”

“At least 2 months.”

“That’s fine, but if ferocious animals do any harm to you, we will not be responsible.”

I said, “Please don’t worry; Almighty Bapuji – the personification of God, is here with us.”

Later, it so happened that the forest department officials, who had come to drive us away, started to provide food-stuff (pulses, flour, vegetables, etc.) to us voluntarily. When Bapuji is by our side, everyone automatically helps us.

The situation was such that we had to live in the dense forest infested with dacoits and wild ferocious animals such as leopards, bears, etc. In case of any problem, there was no resident area (like a village or town) for miles around! However, we managed to live quite safely and fearlessly for two and a half months, along with the cows. This was all due to the grace of Almighty Gurudev, and the strength to carry out the service work allotted by Him. That’s when I realized – ‘Regardless of how tough the seva assigned by Gurudev appears to be; if we strive hard and put in the best of our efforts to execute it earnestly, everything becomes quite easy.’

Earnest execution of Seva is nothing but Sadhana

Two and a half months later, after appropriate fodder & water arrangements were made at the former location of the cows, we drove the cattle back. Due to me being very busy with the Gau-seva (service to cows), a thought arose in my mind – ‘I am doing seva very well but I don’t get time to do sadhana.’ So, I wrote a letter to Pujya Bapuji, saying – ‘Bapuji! I have been able to do seva; but haven’t been able to find enough time for sadhana.’ Gurudev was in Indore at that time.

Pujyashri got my letter and his reply read – “Guru’s beloved Gajananda! Be happy! What other sadhana are you going to do, leaving service to the cows? Service to cows is verily the master of all sadhanas. You must have heard the story of Satyakama Jabala. Sticking to the command of his Guru, he remained engaged in Gau-seva; and attained God-realization by virtue of the same. Service to Mother-cow is nothing but your most supreme sadhana. If you need money, you may unhesitatingly ask for it; and make sure you look after other Gaushalas as well. Your earnest execution of seva is verily sadhana itself.”

When I received this message from Bapuji, my attitude (of treating sadhana to be different from seva) changed altogether; and my heart filled with bliss. And that’s when I realized that despite doing everything earnestly, the very notion of treating seva and sadhana different from each other is something that keeps one deprived of bliss. On realizing Pujya Gurudev’s universal principle of carrying out every single task selflessly, thereby making it a means of Yoga, my heart became ecstatic. After that, my readiness and sense of responsibility progressively increased; I started to get ever-new joy while carrying out seva-works; and with the removal of the hurdle (of my misconception), that was keeping my seva from coming to fruition, I started to have the feeling of self-satisfaction even while doing the seva.

(This implies that whatever is done with the intent of realizing God is nothing but sadhana. The very notion that ‘Only Japa and Dhyana (meditation) fall under the category of sadhana, while Guru-Seva doesn’t’ is something that keeps sadhakas from attaining the ultimate fruit of SevaAtma-Tripti (satisfaction in one’s own Self). Guru-Seva is an independent sadhana in itself.) (To be continued…)