Once, a businessman named Bhaga Sheth wanted to feed Maharaj (Swaminarayan Bhagwan) and the saints. Since there were workers who needed to be paid, Maharaj requested that the businessman give the same amount in cash rather than host a lavish dinner. But Bhaga Sheth refused and so Maharaj asked Muktanand Swami to convince him. Muktanand Swami tried but the businessman did not change his mind. Maharaj replied, "If you really want to feed the saints then right now the saints are eating khoree jaara (a low-quality grain) so give 200 rupees worth of wheat flour. The saints will mix the jaara and the wheat and cook bread and it will count as food on your behalf for a much longer time." Still, Bhaga Sheth did not agree and reiterated his request to host a dinner. Maharaj replied that in that case, he would not come to serve the food, but Muktanand Swami interjected that, "We have to give in to requests of materialistic people and if You do not come to serve, it will reflect badly." Then Maharaj replied, "If I serve, then that miser's food will run out and that would not be proper either." Hearing this, Bhaga Sheth cooked three times the amount of food, but when the day came and Maharaj served, it still did not suffice. Thus, dropping our own thoughts and doing as God says is the best [way].

On that same day, when [a devotee named] Samat Patel came, Maharaj asked him, "We need some money so can you make arrangements?" Samat Patel immediately said yes. Then he went home, sold his land, his bullock cart, his bullocks, and his buffaloes and piled 4,500 rupees in front of Maharaj. When Maharaj asked him from where he had gotten the money, he replied that it was from his savings. But Maharaj persisted and commanded him to tell the truth. When he explained what he had actually done, Maharaj said, "I will keep 1000 rupees and you take back the rest. Without grains [food], your children will die [i.e. suffer]." But Samat Patel replied, "No Maharaj, chickens and farmers do not die." Then Maharaj asked what he would do, and he said, "I will go to a different town. There I will work on contract (borrowing the seeds for farming) and return the amount by next year's harvest." Hearing this courageous reply, Maharaj became pleased. [ref. Swami Ni Vato 9/212]



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