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    The Sanctuary

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    The day of the ceremony to mark the beginning of chaturmas was approaching. There was a consensus in the congregation that Maharaj should stay on in Nainagiri for the duration of the rainy season. Though the area around Nainagiri was infested with brigands, the congregation was confident that by the grace of Maharaj, all the observances would proceed without a hitch. The prayers of the congregation were answered. The ritual to mark the commencement of chaturmas was performed at Nainagiri.


    One day, as Maharaj was proceeding towards the hill after his ahar, four highwaymen came out of the wood and started following him. Their faces were masked and they were all carrying guns. The shravaks accompanying Maharaj had a fright, but he continued on his way normally. The party reached the temple. After the darshan, everyone sat down around Maharaj. The smile illumining the face Acharya Maharaj and the cordiality and fearlessness manifested by the congregation had a tremendous impact on the gang of dacoits. They put aside their guns and prostrated themselves before the peaceful figure of Maharaj.


    Acharya Maharaj blessed them, “ Have no fear and do not frighten any one. We are going to stay here for four months. You may tread the path of rectitude, if you wish.” They heard him in rapt attention, bowed low and then quietly retraced their steps.


    Thereafter, people lost their fear of going to Nainagiri. No one ever came to harm. Maharaj had provided a sanctuary to everyone.

    Nainagiri ( 1978 )


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