About 45 years ago in Mathura, Shree Maharaj Ji was staying in the house of a retired judge, who was very devoted to Shree Krishna. Whenever he was in Mathura, he used to stay with him. The judge had a younger brother who was a collector. On one occasion when he was there, the collector came to visit his elder brother. There was a big difference between the two in that the younger one was very much against Godly people. He would get annoyed at the mere mention of Saints and sadhus. He would curse them and declare them all to be hypocrites and rascals.
One day the collector paid his elder brother an unexpected visit and seeing Maharaj Ji already there, he was filled with rage, but he could do nothing. As for Maharaj Ji, he was very young at the time and did not even dress like a ‘babaji‘. He was not a Jagadguru yet. He used to keep his hair short and live like everyone else. There was no such thing as discipline in his life. Some of you may have an idea of what his life was like in those days; you may have heard stories.
At times Maharaj Ji would eat 50 rotis in one sitting, at times he would eat nothing for 10 days. In those days people would feed him with their hands, and he would eat as much or as little as someone would put into his mouth. He never carried any clothes with him when he traveled. He would wear whatever clothing his host had in his house. It could be dhoti, pair of pants or ladies sari! This is how he was then.
That day he was giving a private talk in front of 25-30 people, nothing formal, just explaining something to a few people. The collector, consumed with anger, was pacing up and down the verandah outside. He could not help but hear what he was saying. The more he heard, the more his anger subsided. He started thinking to himself, “He is very young, but speaks very intelligently.” He then stood on the verandah, listening to hin. It just so happened that he kept talking for two and a half hours. In those days, Shree Maharaj Ji followed no discipline in giving lectures either. One day he started speaking at 8.00 pm and finished at 4.00 am the next morning. Everyone fell asleep! He used to speak with eyes closed. It was only in 1955 that he started speaking with eyes open. After the talk, there was some chanting. At about midnight everyone started to leave. Before leaving, they came to touch his feet, like devotees usually do.
All this while, Maharaj Ji was paying special attention to the collector because the judge had already told him about his brother. He used to call his younger brother a ‘rakshas’ (demon). When everyone else was touching his feet, the collector also came towards him. When he was about to touch Maharaj Ji’s feet, Maharaj Ji jokingly touched his.
He was shocked, “Swamiji! Why are you touching my feet? You are a renunciate.”
Maharaj Ji said to him, “You call me a renunciate, but tell me something. What have I renounced? Only the world, which everyone has to one day renounce anyway? Was there ever a person born who refused to renounce the world? If you do not renounce it willingly, Yamraj (god of death) will force renunciation upon you. Everyone has to leave the world one day. But I marvel at you, who even renounced God. I have renounced the world to seek the shelter in God. Which power are you depending on that you have renounced even God?”
Hearing the words that Maharaj Ji jokingly spoke, the man was so affected that he fell on him as if someone had pushed him. Then he sobbed bitterly. From that day onwards, he became even a better devotee than his elder brother.
Now, the man is the same, but the teachings affected his mind so very deeply. The main thing is how much value we place on someone’s words at any given time. This is why you must listen to Divine teachings again and again.