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Gunatitanand Swami
Gunatitanand Swami

Subtle Austerity

Swami was totally indifferent to his body. He had trained his body to tolerate hardships. He would himself go to the villages for collecting alms for the group with which he was touring. From whatever he got, he would first feed the senior sadguru and other sadhus of the group and then he would eat whatever was left. Sometimes he had to go without food; but he would not let others know this. As such he used to half-starve his body. He used to tie a string round his waist in order to measure his waistline. If he felt that his waistline was increasing, he would observe a fast.
Once, on request from Mota Ramdas Swami, Maharaj sent Swami with him for touring. When they reached a village some of the sadhus came down with a fever, so they had to extend their stay in that village. The ailing sadhus could not take any food, so one of the devotees brought roasted pulses. Ramdas Swami gave them to all the ailing sadhus. But even after that, plenty were left. So, all the sadhus of the group ate them, but still one pound of pulses remained. All the sadhus had eaten to their capacity and could not eat anymore. So Ramdas Swami was worried about what to do with the left over pulses. Moreover, Maharaj had given instructions to not store anything and, therefore, the pulses could not be kept for later use. So Ramdas Swami again requested the sadhus, “It would be good if someone ate these pulses.”
At this juncture, Swami, who always half-starved himself, intervened and said, “If you wish I shall eat them.” And Swami finished them all.
Seeing this Ramdas Swami said, “Oh sadhuram! Do you starve yourself to this extent daily?” Swami used to remain hungry to that extent everyday.
Once, Maharaj arrived at Umreth after celebrating the Hari Navmi festival at Vartal. Here, at Nandram Thakar’s place, Maharaj served mango juice and chapattis in abundance to all the sadhus. After the meal, Maharaj held an assembly under the cool shade of a mango tree.
It was the month of Chaitra and so it was very hot. All the sadhus were feeling rather uncomfortable in the heat after having eaten such a heavy meal. To add to this Maharaj ordered, “Today you have had the food of a miser so stand up and sing bhajans together, so that you can easily digest the food.”
It was difficult even to sit. Who would stand up to sing kirtans? But Swami, who was indifferent to his body, stood up. Seeing this Tadrupanand Swami also stood up. Swami had memorized about five hundred bhajans. He sung them one by one and everyone else repeated after him. In this way the singing of bhajans continued for about a couple of hours. By the grace of Maharaj the sky remained overcast, and soon after the assembly was over, it rained. Maharaj was pleased by Swami’s singing and said, “It has rained because of your devotion.”

Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan

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