During Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan visits to the towns around North India He visited the town of Botad in order to redeem the fallen and to please His devotees. The enthusiasm of the residents of this relatively small town was so great that His visit uplifted the mood of whole town. Wearing their best clothes and ornaments the residents formed a long queue to pay their respects personally. The ruler too, with his royal family stepped out of the palace. Following the custom each and every person in the queue had brought with Him presents and offerings consisting of flowers, garlands, dresses, ornaments, crystal-sugar, coconuts, coins and many such presents as they could offer according to their financial condition. Shree Hari evaluated all these gifts with the faith and affection behind them and not by their financial worth.
The grocer of the town, a Bania by caste unwillingly closed his grocery shop as he would miss out on a day’s income whilst being afraid about his absence in the queue as he feared the wrath of the townsmen. Before locking the shop he had picked up an internally rotten coconut to gift Shree Hari. He thought no one would know the inner content of the coconut and he would certainly secure the blessings of Shree Hari. What a profitable transaction!
With the rotten coconut he joined the queue and when it was his turn he offered the coconut at the holy feet of the Omniscient Lord! Shree Hari cast a meaningful smile at him who shivered from the thought of getting caught out!
Shreeji Maharaj remarked: “Have you brought a good coconut full of water or a worthless rotten one?"
The grocer who had a habit of being deceitful unable to hide the truth about the coconut. Telling the truth for the first time in his life he said, “My coconut is as rotten as my mind but the divine light of the moon falls equally on a palace, a cottage or a dung hill! I have no doubt about Your capacity to liberate even the greatest sinner. I pray to You to carry my soul to Akshardham when I stop to breathe!"
Such sincere confession by a professional, sophisticated liar, a Bania – tradesman moved the heart of our Lord Who promised to fulfill his greatest ambition of life.
That day brought a turning point in the life of that grocer, who became a great devotee while carrying on his trade of a grocer in a fair manner.
Years rolled on and the time was up for the grocer to say goodbye to the world. His bedroom suddenly lit up with bright divine light as Shree Hari personally arrived to collect him with the rotten coconut in His hand. He said: “Look Shethji. Here is the rotten coconut offered by you but your confession about it earned My grace to change your life for the better. So I have come to fulfill My promise to take you to My divine abode – Akshardham."
The grocer together with Shree Hari flew away to Akshardham, leaving behind, the rotten coconut as a proof of this inspiring episode.