The Goldsmith’s Tale
A goldsmith living near the Dera during the 1960s recounted the following anecdote about his early days as a disciple of Maharaj Sawan Singh. The story first appeared in the Spiritual Link magazine (published by the UK) of that time.
A year after my initiation, I began forging coins. After being caught by the police, I was sentenced to five years of hard labour in one of India’s strictest prisons.
While in jail, I hand-milled flour with grindstones as part of my punishment, and it was only then that I remembered my Master. So I prayed to him as hard as I could to release me from jail so I could grind flour at the Dera. To my surprise, I was released five months later, and I immediately walked to Dera to see Maharaj Ji.
At the time, Maharaj Ji was giving satsang, so I waited. When it ended, I went over to him and explained: “Master, I was initiated by you, but after a year, I was jailed for a dishonest act. There, as I ground flour by hand, I prayed to you to release me from jail and, in return, I promised I’d gladly undertake this hard labour at the Dera. Master, now that I am free, please give me the flour-grinding seva.”
“My son,” replied the Master, “you see that God is remembered more in jail. Dera has electricity now and a mill that grinds most of the flour it needs. But whenever you sit for bhajan for half an hour, increase it to one hour; if you sit for one hour, then increase it to two hours; if you sit for two hours, increase it to four hours. This is the grinding seva you can do for me.”