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The True Qualities of a Devotee | Tales From the Master

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The True Qualities of a Devotee There was once a Guru Maharaj (a Saint) who used to reside at Joshi Math (an Indian Monastery) that was on a hill-top. One would have to climb a thousand steps all the way up the hill to meet Him. Way down near the foothill, the Saint had deployed one of his disciples who had made his own separate ashram there.

If anyone wanted to go up the hill to meet the Saint, this disciple would stop him/her from going uphill and doing so, he would ask them why they wanted to go up there? ‘He’s a useless person. He doesn’t know anything! Why do you want to go up there? He’s a big fool,’ the disciple would say to them. In this way, the disciple would abuse the Saint so awfully to prevent them from going uphill to meet him. Moreover, this disciple would even say to them, ‘I have lived with the Saint for 20 years and I got nothing. That’s why I stay here. Now you have come to me. I will give you all the knowledge you seek.’ So this was the job of this disciple - to mislead and pollute the minds of whoever came there with the intent of going uphill.

Once, a gentleman went up the hill and said to the Saint, ‘Maharaj ji, who is this disciple of yours that resides there down below the hill? You alone have trained him but I wonder what you have taught him? Whoever comes there to meet you, he stops them right there itself, instigates them against you and sends them away!’ Listening to this, Maharaj ji laughed and said, ‘It was I who gave him this job! I alone asked him to be there at the foothill! Only one who is of strong faith and who would be unperturbed by his provocation would come to me. In this way, I am filtering out the best lot before they all reach me. How long can I go on shouldering the burden of filtering out ones of strong faith from the others? I am getting old, so I have delegated him to do this for me! Only one whose faith remains unshaken upon hearing someone else’s words, only he will come to me! I will take such a person under my care. And you know, it takes immense courage to do what he (the disciple) is doing. Such a disciple is truly great, isn’t it? Otherwise, how would he be able to undertake such a responsibility where one has to keep abusing all the time?!’ So shraddha (faith) is very important and it should be so strong.