Jalaram donates his wife to a monk
One-day saint Jalaram was feeding the sadhus-sants with love. A very old sant arrived at that time. At once he shouted, "where is Jala Bhagat?" One hearing his name Jalabapa came out and fell at the feet of the aged sadhu. He said, "welcome sir! I am Jalo! Kindly come in. dinner is ready. Please come to eat it." With great feelings, Jalabapa invited him in the house and himself went to fetch water to wash the sadhu's feet. When he brought the water, the sadhu was still standing and coughing. He seemed to be sick and very week. But the divine luster was on his face. Jalabapa again made a request, "Maharaj, please come! Let me wash your feet. Please come and have your dinner." But the sadhu went on coughing and looking at Jalaram. He surmised that the sadhu could not walk. So he tried to hold the sadhu's hand but the sadhu did not let him succeed. "Jala! I do not want to eat." "Maharaj! I shall fulfill whatever you desire. But kindly have dinner prior to that. You appear tired. You seem to come from a distance. Maharaj! Where do you come from? And where are you going to? I shall make facility for your reaching there. But please sanctify my ashram. Come in." The sadhu smiled a little, "Jala! I am from Gokul-Mathura. My destination is not sure. Will you give me what I ask for?" "Yes Mahashay! I shall give you my head if you want definitely. I shall give you whatever you want. But please come in." "See Jala! I have become old. There is no strength in my body. I am tired and lonely. So give me your better half to serve me." Calmly Bhakta Jalaram replied, "yes Maharaj! I shall give you my wife. Now please be in." Slowly the sadhu came in. Jalarambapa washed his feet. Then made him sit for dinner. He then called his wife, "Bhandari! Will you come out for a while?" Immediately Virbai came out. She questioningly glanced at Jalaram. "Bhandari! This Maharaj wants you to serve him." Virbai understood all. She folded hands at her husband and requested "you order. Don't ask me. I shall do what Virbai understood all. She folded hands at her husband and requested "you order. Don't ask me. I shall do whatever you say because that is my foremost duty." Jalabapa said, "Bhandari! You have upheld my reputation. To serve sadhu, sants and especially the aged is equal to serving our parents. You accompany this maharaj and serve him as you would serve my parents." So saying Jalarambapa bowed to the maharaj. She then left kitchen managements to others and came out. Until then rumor had spread in Virpur that Jalaram had given away his wife to a monk. Great commotion arose in the village. It is right to donate, feed sadhus, and serve them in your home. But you can't give your wife to a monk. The Thakor also heard this in his palace and was amazed. The Bhagat has gone beyond limits. He has donated his wife also? This is not good. He should be persuaded. So thinking the Thakor saheb came to Jalaram's ashram. But a crowd had gathered. Immediately Thakor saheb was allowed to go in with ease. Jalaram folded his hands when he saw Thakor saheb. The later saw that the old sadhu was having food. Jalaram and his wife stood nearby. The sadhu appeared very old yet highly lustrous. But a wife cannot be asked for. The Thakor saheb told Jalaram, "Bhagat! What have I heard? You have donated Virbai to this sadhu? He has demanded improperly. But how can you leave your wife? You have married her. I do not think this is good." The Thakor saheb told Jalarambapa. "Your majesty! The Maharaj is highly aged. Like our parents, serving him is like serving the lord. How can I refuse? What is better if Bhandari serves him! Does not a daughter go to her parents if required? Serving the old sadhu is equal to serving God. I have given my word. Please forgive me/ we shall have to fulfill the Maharaj's wishes." Thakor saheb understood that Jalaram would not budge. So he saluted the sadhu, Jalarambapa and his wife Virbai and went away. The sadhu had finished his dinner and was ready to leave.
Virbai held Jalaram's feet and saluted him and said. "Bhagat, if I have ever made a mistake please forgive me." Then she bowed before the idol of Ramji and Hanumanji. Then she saluted all present with folded hands. The sadhu was ready to go. So Jalaram bowed to him. The sadhu exclaimed, "son! God will bless you! Narayan! Narayan!" He began to go, behind him went Virbai with a small bundle of her clothes. All saw Virbai following the sadhu. There was no sadness on the face of Jalarambapa. He came in his house and began to feed the sadhus-sants. All began to salute the service crusade of the couple.
The old monk and Virbai went in the north direction from the village. They reached the dense forest on the banks of Simravati river two three miles away from Virpur. The old sadhu stopped there and said, "Sati! I have to go to latrine. You sit below this tree and hold my stick and zoli." Virbai replied, "you please take your time. I am sitting here waiting for you. I shall properly guard your stick and zoli. The sati took the stick and zoli and sat below the tree. The old sadhu went away in the woods. Long time passed. The sun began to set. Virbai began to search for the sadhu. But he was not anywhere. She began crying. From the sky came a voice, "O Sati! Glory to you and your husband! I had come to test you. Now you go home and place this stick and zoli in your temple. All good may happen to you. Virbai heard this and was taken aback. A Virpur bullock-cart was passing at that time. The driver asked, "Why are you sitting here, mother?" Virbai told him everything and said "Brother, how can I enter the village without my husband's permission?" The driver immediately went to Jalabapa ashram and informed them of all that had happened. Tears came in Jalarambapa's eyes when he heard this, "Excellent! My Lord! Your doing are limitless." Then he requested, "please bring Bhandari! She had received company and gifts from the lord. She is more fortunate than I am." All brought Virbai back to Virpur with great respect. Jalabapa placed the stick-zoli in the temple. These stick-zoli are still today in the temple.
JAY JALARAM BAPA*********************************************************************************