In 1813 CE (Samvat 1869), there was a severe drought in Kathiawad. In order to lighten the consequent burden, Maharaj sent Muktanand Swami to Surat with a group of two hundred sadhus. Gunatitanand Swami was also included in this group. There, just opposite the lodgings of the sadhus, somebody had tied a mischievous monkey in an empty house. Everybody’s attention was naturally drawn towards the monkey due to its restive movements.
One night, whilst giving a discourse, Muktanand Swami addressed all the sadhus, “See, how restless are our senses! They always deceive us. In the opposite building there is a monkey. There is no need for us to look there, but there is hardly anyone among us who has not seen that monkey. If there is anybody who has not seen it, please stand up.”
Everyone was speechless as they listened to Muktanand Swami. Only Gunatitanand Swami stood up with folded hands from among the two hundred sadhus. Seeing this, Muktanand Swami was also surprised and he said, “Oh! You are the only one among the two hundred sadhus who has controlled his senses. Even I have looked at that monkey.”
Gunatitanand Swami constantly looked inward and there was nothing in his heart, except the murti of Maharaj. Muktanand Swami was all praise for Swami’s brahmic state.
During those days in Surat, all the sadhus took turns in going to the city for collecting alms. But Swami went everyday, as instructed by Muktanand Swami. The reason was that other sadhus had to fast invariably because they mistakenly glanced at women; but Swami had no difficulty in observing this strict rule because he was totally absorbed in the murti of Maharaj. His companion sadhus changed everyday, but he went out unperturbed for this service daily.
Once, while they were collecting alms, Anand Swami also witnessed Swami’s constant focus on the divine form of Shriji Maharaj. Swami was holding the front two ends of the joli containing alms. He was walking with his eyes looking towards the ground, calling out, “Narayan hare, Sachchidanand prabho.” At that time, Maharaj appeared in front of Swami in a divine form, walking backwards to give his darshan. Swami bowed to Maharaj and prayed, “O Maharaj! Please walk in a normal manner because the ground is uneven and you might fall over.”
Maharaj replied, “How can I show my back to a sadhu like you?”
By the grace of Maharaj, Anand Swami saw and heard all this. He realized the tremendous glory of Swami. In this way Swami collected alms for six months in Surat.
Swami had no interest in anything except the murti of Shriji Maharaj. “Yogashchitta vrutti nirodhah.” “Yoga is the control of the natural tendencies of the mind.” This ultimate goal of Yoga was achieved by Swami through his constant focus on the murti of Shriji Maharaj. And yet he constantly craved for the face-to-face darshan of Maharaj.