In Vachanamrit (Gadhada M14) Shreeji Maharaj says, “Firm faith in the image of God makes a devotee nirguna (free of the evolutes of eternal entity). A devotee is most intelligent, despite his poor intelligence in worldly life, if he had realised with faith the image of God. The devotees though highly intelligent in the worldly life, shall be adjudged poor in intelligence if lacked faith and it firmness in the image of God. God helps invariably those who are firm and faithful to Him-faithful to His blissful form.
Whilst Shriji Maharaj was on the earth in His physical form, there was a firm and faithful devotee called Rupram Thakar, who lived in Visnagar. He was enlightened to such a level that he had Darshan of Lord Shreeji Maharaj in all three states –waking, sleeping and dream state.
Rupram Thakar was a professional Vaidya (medicine man) and he once went to Godhara. There he treated a patient, who was terminally ill, but with the grace of Shri Hari, the medicine and treatment had a positive effect on the patient and he recovered with a new lease of long life. This patient belonged to a wealthy family, who were very grateful to Rupram, and paid him generously for his work.
Thereafter Rupram Thakar made his way back to his hometown. However, the roads and transport facilities were not so good in those days and the way from Ghodra to Visnagar was a long journey across the forest. There was fear of carnivorous animals. Rupram Thakar lost his path in the darkness of the dense forest and was really scared of animals, thugs and robbers. His life and wealth both were at risk.
He prayed to Shriji Maharaj, “Oh Maharaj, Oh My God, you are my saviour. I am lost in this dense forest. The scaring roars of tigers, bears, wolves and other animals are threatening my life. There is fear of theft, stealing and robbing. You have protected your devotees in the past. Protect me and save my life. Who else shall I call to my help except you? Oh My God, Oh Lord Shri Hari please help me.”
Omniscient Lord Shri Hari came to the forest to help Rupram Thakar – his faithful devotee. Disguised as a policeman and holding a cane in his hand, Shri Hari appeared in the forest to guide and guard his devotee. Walking on the forest pathways waiving his cane and alerting the travellers by his repeated calls, “Be alert. Walk carefully. Don’t be scared of unknown people. Call for help if needed.”
Lord Shri Hari came to Rupram Thakar with this call and asked in a confident tone, “Who are you?” “I am subject of the state,” Rupram said in a subdued tone. Maharaj in guise of a policeman consoled him with due authority and took him to a nearby hut, gave him magaj and sukhadi (sweet dishes suitable for a durable tiffin) to eat and offered fresh water to drink. Rupram had the meal and quenched his thirst.
They both slept there in the hut. He guided Rupram on the next morning for his onward journey. Rupram Thakar desired to convey his heart felt thanks for the care and hospitality he received from that unknown policeman. But as he looked back to thank him, he found nothing: no hut, no policeman. Being a true devotee he realized that Shri Hari himself was there to take care of his humble devotee.
Tears of devotional affection rolled from the eyes of Rupram. He felt sorry for receiving personal service from Shriji Maharaj. He felt it like an insult of God. How can he receive service from God, instead of serving him? It was a sin. He repented repeatedly throughout his journey and diverted to Gadhada for a pardon from his God.
Rupram Thakar came to Gadhada dham and went to Akshar Ordi to pray personally to Shri Hari. He saluted God in a subdued posture of dandvat pranam (in this most humble way of saluting, a devotee submits his body mind and soul like a stick on the ground and touches the ground by all his organs right from head to toe including his chest), without stopping his repeated dandvat.
Tears rolled from his eyes, soaking his whole body. Shriji Maharaj rose and embraced Rupram with devotional love. Rupram prayed humbly, “Maharaj, I am at fault. You had come to me in disguise of a policeman to protect and guide me. You took me into your protective fold and served to me sumptuous meals and personal service. You had protected me and saved my life in that forest. I am your humble devotee. I was suppose to serve you, but I took your service instead and committed a major sin.”
“Rupram, the relation between us is like master-servant or preceptor-disciple, therefore we both are required to serve each other in need of time. Feel free and don’t be shy of it. Be happy.” Shriji Maharaj asked his celibate to arrange a meal for Rupram. Shriji Maharaj reassured his devotee by dining with him.
Lord Shriji Maharaj comes from Akshardham and helps His faithful devotees. Therefore be firm in niyam, nischya and paksha to earn the eternal pleasure of Shriji Maharaj. Dear devotees, act right now by your available means to receive pleasure of Shriji Maharaj for ultimate benediction in this world – in present life.