Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grace abounding

During His holy tour Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan visited the town of Botad in order to redeem the fallen and to please the holy ones. The enthusiasm of the residents of this relatively small town was so great that His visit electrified the whole town. Wearing the best of their clothes and ornaments the residents formed a long serpentine queue to pay their respects personally. The ruler too, with his royal family stepped out of the palace. Following the custom each and every person in the queue had brought with him presents and offerings consisting of flowers, garlands, dresses, ornaments, crystal-sugar, coconuts, coins and many such presents as they could offer according to their financial condition. Shree Hari evaluated all these gifts with the faith and affection behind them and not by their financial worth.

The grocer of the town, a Bania by caste unwillingly closed his grocery shop as he was sorry to lose a day’s income but he was afraid about his absence in the queue as he feared the wrath of the townsmen. Before locking the shop he had picked up an internally rotten coconut to present it to Shree Hari. He thought none would know the inner content of the coconut and he would certainly secure the blessings of Shree Hari. What a profitable transaction!

Click on the image to get full view.

With the rotten coconut he joined the queue and when it was his turn he offered the coconut at the holy feet of the Omniscient Lord! Shree Hari cast a meaningful smile at him who shivered as if he had malaria!

Shreeji Maharaj remarked: “Have you brought a good water full coconut or a worthless rotten one?"

The grocer who had falsehood always flowing in his blood was unable to hide the fact. Telling the truth for the first time in his life he said, “My coconut is as rotten as my mind but the divine light of the moon falls equally on a palace, a cottage or a dung hill! I have no doubt about Your capacity to raise even the greatest sinner. I pray You to carry my soul to Akshardham when I cease to breathe!"

Such sincere confession by a professional, sophisticated liar, a Bania – tradesman moved the heart of our Lord Who promised to fulfill his greatest ambition of life.

That day brought a turning point in the life of that grocer, who became a great devotee while carrying on his trade of grocer in a fair manner.

Years rolled on and the time was up for the grocer to say goodbye to the world. His bedroom was suddenly brightened up with divine light as Shree Hari personally arrived. He had that rotten coconut in His hand. He said: “Look Shethji. Here is the rotten coconut offered by you but your confession about it earned My grace to change your life for the better. So I have come to fulfill My promise to take you to My divine abode – Akshardham."

The grocer together with Shree Hari flew away to Akshardham, leaving behind, the rotten coconut as a proof of this inspiring episode. We have reproduced the photograph of that coconut here.

Design & Concept : Jnan Baug, Vadtal

1 comment:

  1. This is a clear example to never doubt God. He sees everything, hears everything, and knows everything. The tradesman did the right thing by telling the truth. Telling the truth allows for yourself to have a pure soul. With this pure soul you can have a clear conscious and clear mind for mediation and devotion of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.