Nilkanth Varni and Sevakram
As Nilkanth Varni continued His pilgrimage, He was moving from Venkatadri towards Setubandh Rameshvar. On the way there, Varni met up with a very ill sadhu. “Who are you? And why are you in this feeble state?” Varni inquired.
“My name is Sevakram. I have become very ill while travelling through the places of pilgrimage. But, I have no one to care for me”, the sadhu replied through his pains. He was very wealthy, but had no one to look after him.
Nilkantth Varni’s journey from the day He left home was to serve the poor and needy, whilst giving darshan to His firm devotees. “Don’t worry sir. I shall serve and care for you,” Varni said to Sevakram. On hearing Varni’s dulcet toned voice and the soothing words emerging from His lips, Sevakram’s pains almost evaporated. He breathed a heavy sigh of relief. “At last I shall have help”, he said to himself.
Varni and Sevakram had met up in the shadow of a bunion tree, which was haunted by thousands of spirits. Varni thought to move Sevakram to a more peaceful place. Sevakram’s health took a turn for the worse and Nilkantth Varni did not think it appropriate to move him in such a condition.
Seeing that Sevakram was now very poorly, Varni had immense pity on him. “I shall have to care for him where he lies”, Varni thought to Himself. On the outskirts of a nearby village, there was a banana plantation. With the permission of the owner, Varni gathered enough leaves to construct a bed one span high! Because Sevakram suffered an extreme bout of diarrhoea, Varni had to regularly clean the mess and construct a new bed each time.
Every day, Sevakram would give Varni some of his money and send Him off to buy ingredients for sumptuous meals. Nilkantth Varni would bring the raw materials from the merchants and cook Sevakram’s meals daily. But, the selfish sadhu did not care to offer an ounce of the meal to Nilkantth Varni. Varni would then visit the village and beg for alms and prepare his own meal, separately. Sometimes, Varni would not even get time to do that. He would then fast for that day!
Never once, did that Sevakram offer to the merciful Varni, “Come, take this money and get enough food for the two of us. Let us eat together.”
After some two months of caring and serving, Nilkantth Varni steered Sevakram back to health. Both of them resumed their journey towards Rameshvar (Setubandh). Having fully recovered, Sevakram was able to digest very big meals. But he always made Varni carry his load of some 20kgs. This Varni would not even carry a handkerchief, because He considered it an unnecessary burden! Varni saw Sevakram as a sadhu and continued to serve him.
After this continued for an unreasonable period of time, Varni abandoned Sevakram for he did not value the trouble Nilkantth Varni took in nursing him back to full health.
Shreeji Maharaj, while seated in Gadhada one day, referred back to this event. He instructed His followers to disassociate themselves, from those who do not value the good deeds done to them by others.