One should not imitate the external behaviour of saints

Due to lack of knowledge of spiritual science, some seekers, taking the basis of their Guru, or a saint, imitate their external behaviour, but doing so is improper. The minds of saints are one with the God. Thus, their outward appearance does not influence their Sadhana.
In the year 2003, some of us were in proximity of a saint; all of us were sitting in a small room for about an hour and he was casually talking and also giving us perspectives on Sadhana. In the midst of that one hour, he smoked a Beedi thrice. I cannot stand the stench of Beedi at all, but surprisingly, none of us seekers could smell the Beedi that he had smoked and we realised this only after he had left! Why saints do an act, what is the objective behind it, is often very difficult to understand and fathom for an ordinary intellect.
Compared to how saints practised Sadhana through which they became a saint, it is totally improper to imitate their gross acts. In this context, a short story is really inspirational. Once, a disciple was in the habit of imitating the gross acts of his Guru, the Guru tried to remind him of his mistake, but when he did not see any improvement in the disciple’s behaviour, He decided to give him a real lesson. One day, both the Guru and the disciple were taking a bath in Ganga at Haridwar; during the bath, four small fishes got stuck in the palm of the Guru, the disciple saw that his Guru gulped water from the palm and also devoured the four small fishes along with it. When the disciple took water in a folded palm, by Guru’s Lila, four small fishes got stuck in his palm too, following his Guru, he too devoured the small fishes. After 15 days, both the Guru and the disciple were again taking a bath in river Ganga at Varanasi, to show his disciple, the Guru took a burp and out came four fishes, a little larger in size and that too alive. The Guru turning to the disciple said, “Their family members had been waiting for them, hence I will leave them here” and gestured to the disciple, “You too take out the fishes from your stomach.” Hesitatingly, the disciple said, “I will try”. But the fishes did not come out. The disciple said, “Perhaps I have digested them” and the disciple felt really ashamed and took a pledge never to imitate his Guru’s gross actions in the future.-Tanuja Thakur


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