DOSA VANIYA

Dosa Vaniya of Bandhiya originally lived in the town of Sardhar and was a devotee of Ramanand Swami [Swaminarayan Bhagwan's guru]. Maharaj had instilled in Dosa the understanding and faith of His true form. Soon after, Maharaj sent him to live at Bandhiya where Mulubhai stayed.

Once, Dosabhai's mother told Maharaj, "I have more love for You than I have for even my own son." Maharaj asked, "Really? You have that kind of love for Me?" and she answered that she did. So Maharaj commanded Dosabhai to go to Kashi. Dosabhai agreed, but Maharaj insisted that he leave that instant - so Dosabhai immediately left. Dosabhai's mother thought that he had left without taking anything for the trip, not even food or a rope and jug [to draw water from wells]. As she thought more about it, she became very worried. So Maharaj asked her, "Should I give him spending money" and she replied, "Yes Maharaj. It would be really nice if you do." Then Maharaj sent the message to call Dosabhai back saying, "Wherever you see him, stop him." They followed Dosabhai and asked him to come back, but he refused. When they told him what Maharaj had said, he stopped and neither moved forward nor backward. When Maharaj heard what happened, He sent Mulji Brahmchari [His personal attendant] to tell Dosabhai that Maharaj was calling him. When Dosabhai heard this, he immediately came back. Maharaj gave him spending money and sent him back on his way.

He had gone about two villages away when he met a group that was going to Kashi as well. He joined that group and rode on a cart all the way. Both going and coming, he ate with them and finally he parted with them in the same place they had originally met. Maharaj had thus taken care of him all the way. When Dosabhai came back, Maharaj asked him, "Did you bathe in the Ganga [Ganges] River?" Dosabhai replied, "You did not give me that command." So Maharaj asked, "Did you do the darshana of the idol of Vishvanath?" Dosabhai again replied, "You did not give me that command. You said to go to Kashi so I went. And when I got there I turned around and came back." Then Maharaj said, "Others cannot act like this. Only if one has true faith in Me can they follow commands in this way."

Once, a group of Jain businessmen visited Gadhada. When Maharaj heard they were from Bandhiya, He asked if Dosabhai was well. The businessmen replied that while they were neck-deep in materialistic activities, Dosabhai was completely submerged! Dosabhai was employed by some jaggery [a type of brown sugar] dealers and spent his whole day weighing jaggery. Maharaj replied, "That cannot be. If I call Dosabhai here tomorrow and make him a saint, will you tie My kanthi [take initiation into the satsanga]?" When they heard this, the businessmen took Maharaj's challenge thinking that it was impossible for Dosabhai to give up all his work and become a saint. They then went back to the village. Meanwhile, Maharaj sent Bhaguji on a camel to see Dosabhai. When Bhaguji reached Bandhiya, Dosabhai was standing among carts of jaggery and weighing it. But the moment he saw Bhaguji, he immediately started prostrating and asked, "What is Maharaj's command for me?" Bhaguji gave him Maharaj's letter in which Maharaj had asked Dosabhai to put on saffron clothes and come to Gadhada. Dosabhai left the jaggery right there in the middle of the road and without even sending a message back home, he left with Bhaguji for Gadhada.

The following day, when the businessmen from Bandhiya came, Maharaj pointed out Dosabhai and said, "Look, here is our Dosabhai. Is he submerged in materialistic activities or is he free?" Seeing Dosabhai covered in saffron clothes, the businessmen were amazed. Maharaj then asked them to wear the kanthi. The businessmen humbly replied, "Maharaj, we will not be able to tie the kanthi but now we realize the greatness of Dosabhai and the ill-feelings we had toward him due to our ignorance are gone. He is really Your true devotee." In this way, they asked for forgiveness from Maharaj and Dosabhai and then took their leave. Then Dosabhai asked to remain in Maharaj's service, but Maharaj replied, "You followed my command instantly. We are very pleased with you and now My command is that you return home. You cannot be touched by materialistic activities." With this command of Maharaj, Dosabhai returned home. [ref. Swami Ni Vato 9/216]

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