in Honour and Humiliation
Swami had arrived at Vartal on 31 March 1866 CE for the Chaitra Punam festival in Samvat 1922. According to the wishes of Swami, Pragji Bhakta had started revealing that Swami was the incarnation of Aksharbrahma. Some people resented this. So they decided to reprimand Swami on the occasion of this festival.
In the morning session of the Punam festival Karunanand Brahmachari of Gadhada, who was instigated by Shuk Muni’s disciple, Hariswarupdasji, said, “This Gunatitanand Swami has become God. He is worshipped like a God. Why does anyone not take him to task about that?”
Shuk Muni supported him and said, “Nobody should call me Shukji, and all those who address Gunatitanand Swami as Akshar should stop doing so.”
Swami was sitting unperturbed all the while. Then he said in a grave tone, “Only Shriji Maharaj is God. Nobody else can become God. I am a sadhu. But, just as where there is the rule of a king, there is also the rule of a queen. So, where the king’s order prevails, there too, the queen’s order prevails. Similarly, just as where there is the glory of God there is the glory of his Sadhu as well.”
On hearing this nobody could utter a word. Then Prabhudas of Sinjiwada got up in the assembly and challenged, “Does anybody have the authority to speak to Swami like this?” Meanwhile someone called Acharya Bhagvatprasadji Maharaj. It was precisely at this moment that the bell for the shangar arti rang and so the assembly dispersed for the arti.
Swami accompanied Acharya Maharaj for darshan. After darshan, when Swami was descending the steps, a gardener came with a rose garland in his hands. As instructed by Acharya Maharaj the gardener garlanded Swami. Acharya Maharaj then retired to his residence. And when Swami was on his way to the sadhu’s residence he met Sadhu Hariswarupdasji, the disciple of Shuk Muni. Swami took off the garland from his own neck, garlanded Hariswarupdasji and said,
Haldi jardi nav taje, khatras taje na ãm,
Gunijan gunko nav taje, avgun na taje gulãm.
“Just as turmeric does not abandon its yellow colour, raw mango does not give up its sour taste, similarly, a virtuous man does not abandon his virtues, and a slave does not give up his faults.”
Saying this, Swami went ahead. Adbhutanand Swami, Shuk Muni and Pavitranand Swami then invited Swami to their seats and performed his puja, presented dhotis and gave him a packet of sugar and said, “Swami, please forgive our utterances.”
Seeing Swami’s equanimity on the occasion of honour and insult, the sadgurus were indeed convinced that Swami was Gunatit.
From Vartal, Swami went to Mahelav. Here he blessed little Dungar Bhagat (Swami Yagnapurushdasji – Shastriji Maharaj). Thereafter, Swami went to Junagadh and then toured in the Sorath region.