Reward of faith
Akkalkot Mahārāj was a great Saint, who was given the Name 'Akkalkot' after the small Indian town that he lived in. He was always there for seekers who came to Him with faith.
In a nearby town of Junnar lived a lady called Sakhu. Her landlord had cunningly taken away the only land that she owned. Thus, with no other way to earn a living, she had to resort to begging on the streets. Soon, Sakhu fell ill with a skin disease. The little money she had with her was used on treatment, but no cure was in sight.
Despite her suffering, Sakhu's faith in The Lord was strong and she would spend her days chanting (repeating) the Name of The Lord. She felt that all the suffering that came her way was due to her destiny and did not blame anyone. She prayed to God for nothing but the strength to face the problems of her life.
One day, Sakhu met Gopalrao, a devotee of Akkalkot Mahārāj . He asked her to meet Mahārāj and even arranged for her travel to Akkalkot. When she reached Akkalkot, Mahārāj lovingly made all arrangements for her stay at the Āshram (hermitage).
Sakhu did not ask for anything from the great Saint and was content with the good fortune of visiting Him. However, Mahārāj at once knew Sakhu's suffering. He gave her a soft white stone and asked her to apply its paste to her skin everyday after bathing. Sakhu followed the instructions without any doubt or delay. In a few days she was totally cured of her incurable disease! Grateful for the Saint's blessings, Sakhu paid obeisance to Him and returned home happily.
On her return to Junnar, surprisingly, the landlord willingly gave back her piece of land! Sakhu at once realized that all the good that was happening to her was by the grace of Akkalkot Mahārāj and felt very grateful.
Moral: Our worldly situations are due to either our destiny or our willful actions. Spiritual practice is the best way to improve both. Hence it is important to continue spiritual practice at all times, especially in times of distress. Like Sakhu, we too should chant regardless of our worldly situation and develop the total faith needed, to have no expectations of worldly benefits from our spiritual practice. Such nishkām-sādhanā (spiritual practice without expectation) will ensure a Guru's blessings and He will surely take care of the seeker on all fronts.
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