One day in the morning Shriji Maharaj was seated on the cot in the court of Dada Khacher, at Gadhada. He was holding a meeting of his followers and devotees. Maharaj put a question to them, “Where do these chattering birds live during the night?” “In their nests, Maharaj,” replied the saints. “Why have they come here leaving their nests now ?” asked Maharaj. “To pick and eat grains of corn,” replied the sadhus. “Won't they do without eating and picking grains of corn ?” asked Maharaj wisely. “How can they do?” “They will die of hunger if they don't eat and pick grains of corn,” said the devotees. “Well, and where will they go after that?” asked Maharaj. “Again to their nests.”
“As the day breaks, they will go very far in search of grains and after eating the grains they will return to their nests to sleep,” said the devotees. “Well, won't they forget their way?” asked Maharaj. The devotees answered, “Neither do they forget nor go astray.” “Each one of them knows its nest and will never go to others' nests.” Maharaj with an innocence of a child, told surprisingly, What do you say ?” After a pause, Maharaj inquired, “Do the animals behave in the same way?” “Yes, Maharaj, animals go in the outskirts to graze, and after grazing they will return to their own posts!” replied the devotees. “That is the case of a tame animal, but what if it is an un-tamed (an animal with a wandering habit) animal? asked Maharaj. “The animals with wandering habits will not return to their posts.”
“They will secretly eat the grass of anybody and pass the whole day anywhere.” “They will either be beaten severely or be devoured by tigers,” said Maharaj. Maharaj stopped a while and again said, “Oh my dear saints and followers, are you like wandering animals or tame animals ?” “Like them do you return to your posts or not ?” “Like birds do you return to your nests or go astray ?” All were surprised. They had never expected such a question from Maharaj. They said, “We will understand if you explain it.” Maharaj said, “Grain of corn is the food for birds, grass for animals.”
“Similarly, to listen to the Harikatha and chanting of devotional [Katha - Kirtan] songs is the food for the saints.” “Like birds, the saints should go for katha-kirtan.” “They can't live without the katha-kirtan.” “However, they never forget their original abode.” “that original abode is their God.” “God's idol is their nest, their post.” “Now tell me if you forget your nest or not.” All the devotees, firmly and with one voice said, “No, we don't forget our path.” “We very well know our nest and know our post.” On hearing this reply, Maharaj was pleased.
This lesson is based upon an incident from the Vachnamrit. This lesson illustrates how wisely Shriji Maharaj was shaping his devotees, followers and sadhus.
Education is equally important for children as food and drinks. To educate, to learn, to do business is all right. But we should never forget that we are tied with Shriji Maharaja's post.