Once, Muktanand Swami was addressing an assembly of devotees and sadhus in Surat. One devotee enquired regarding the whereabouts of Maharaj because he wanted to send pickles made from fresh, soft bamboo, ginger and pepper to Maharaj.
Muktanand Swami replied, “Of late, I have no news from Maharaj, but he is likely to be at Gadhada. I, too, want to send my book, Sati Gita, which I have recently finished writing, to be sanctified. Let us send some willing sadhu.”
Honouring the wish of Muktanand Swami, Gunatitanand Swami immediately showed his willingness to go. Another sadhu, named Shantanand, insisted on going and said, “Whether you tell me or not, I’ll also go.”
Swami was ready with three jars of pickles, the Sati Gita scripture, a very fine mat, a pot of barfi, and other things. The affectionate devotees of Surat requested Swami to embrace Maharaj on their behalf. Thereafter, walking day and night, and remembering Maharaj, Swami reached Gadhada on the fourth day. Here, because of the famine Maharaj was living undercover and did not meet anyone. Swami stayed by the banks of the river Ghela. He enquired regarding the whereabouts of Maharaj from whoever came from the darbar, but could not get reliable information. At last, Naja Jogia brought the news, “Maharaj is going to Kariyani. So you reach there.”
Swami reached Kariyani with great enthusiasm and sent a message to Maharaj. On hearing the name of Gunatitanand Swami, Maharaj affectionately called him. Swami met Maharaj in the darbar of Vasta Khachar. Shriji Maharaj was about to begin his dinner. Swami offered the pickles and sweets. Maharaj took them with great affection and gave prasad to Swami. Swami was engrossed in the divine pleasure of Maharaj’s murti, without blinking. The fatigue due to the journey was soon forgotten. As soon as Swami conveyed the message of the devotees of Surat, Maharaj stood up from his seat and embraced Gunatitanand Swami. As Swami recalled the name of each devotee one by one, Maharaj embraced Swami each time. Thus, Maharaj embraced him twenty-two times. Thereafter, Swami stopped taking names of the devotees to avoid straining Maharaj. Then Shantanand Swami came forward to embrace Maharaj. Shriji Maharaj said, “You have come wilfully, so I’ll not embrace you.”
Swami intervened and requested, “Maharaj, he has carried the jars on the way and offered his services, so please embrace him.”
So Maharaj honoured the wish of Swami, but said, “I did not find it hard to embrace Swami twenty-two times, but I found it hard to embrace you even once, because you have come without orders.”
In this way he described the importance of obedience.