Gajanan Maharaj had disappeared without a trace. Bankatlal found himself thinking of the incident with Gajanan Maharaj and earning for his company. He had taken it to heart to find Gajanan Maharaj and invite the saint to his humble abode for a meal. For Bankatlal there was not a moment that passed by without the thought of Gajanan Maharaj. One day Bankatlal told one of his neighbours Ramajipant Deshmukh about his experience with Gajanan Maharaj and how there was this strong longing to be in the saint’s company. Ramajipant was a pious man. He told Bankatlal that the company of saints is only for the people who have done good deeds. Only good karma can ensure such holy company. He wanted Bankatlal to not lose hope and keep searching.
A few days later a very popular kirtankar (one who sings songs in the glory of God), Govindbua Takilkar was visiting the village. The Shiva temple was the venue for the kirtan. All the villagers had come to hear Govindbua. Bankatlal with his friend Pitambar had just approached the temple when lo and behold Bankatlal’s eyes fell on Gajanan Maharaj siting outside the temple. Bankatlal overcome with joy prostrated before Gajanan Maharaj and asked him if he could offer some food. Gajanan Maharaj calmly said that he would take food only from a person of the Mali (gardner) caste. In those days people were orthodox and accepting food from a lower caste was forbidden. Bankatlal immediately accepted the saints wish and bought wholesome food for Gajanan Maharaj. After the saint had eaten and felt fulfilled he handed Pitambar his copper jug and asked him to fetch water from the nearby river. Pitambar knew that the river was dry and that the remaining water was dirty. But he could not deny the saint’s order. So, he went to the river wondering how to fill the jug. At first he wasn’t sure, then he decided to do it anyways. Pitambar dipped the jug in the muddy waters of the river and to his surprise the jug was instantly filled to its brim with clean water. He tried this again with the same outcome. Overjoyed on seeing this miracle Pitambar ran back to Gajanan Maharaj with the jug of water. Gajanan Maharaj calmly drank the water and started listening to the kirtan that had just begun inside the temple. Govidbua’s with his ecstatic voice filled with the devotion for God was singing verses from the Bhagvad Gita. As soon as one verse ended, Gajanan Maharaj completed the next verse. This went on for a few verses after which Govindbua realized that the person completing his verses had to be extraordinary. He immediately ran to Gajanan Maharaj prostrated before him and invited him into the temple. For Govindbua now looked upon Gajanan Maharaj as a symbol of Lord Shiva. He prostrated to Gajanan Maharaj and started singing. The whole village was singing with Govindbua and Gajanan Maharaj. The only verses sung by Gajanan Maharaj were “Gan Ganat Bote” he kept chanting the verse again and again while engrossed in the beautiful kirtan sung by Govindbua. The villagers also started chanting “Gan Ganat Bote” and that’s how Gajan Maharaj is believed to have gotten the name “Shri Gajanan”.
Moral of the story:
The company of a pious person is better than any other form of worship. Satsang is believed to change a persons thinking and fill him or her with higher devoption. Good thoughts lead to a better life and a deeper longing for the higher truths and values. Bankatlal was consumed with the thought of Gajanan Maharaj and that’s how devotion to the Guru should be. One should seek a guru or a pious person and keep associating with good people to move forward in the spiritual journey.