March 17, 1994 – Maharaj sits as a judge


One of the great roles Maharaj Ji is playing on his return to Punjab is sitting as a wise and impartial judge to settle great disputes that have viciously divided villages, sometimes for decades. One of these conflicts has been going on in Sarawan Bodla itself. Kissi tells me that fighting between two opposing factions has impeded development of the village. The government will not give any money because the leaders here cannot agree how to use it. Basically, the sarpanch (elected head of the local village council ) is holding control of land whose income is worth about 3 lakhs rupees per year; other villagers feel it belongs to the village communally. If it were held and farmed collectively, the government would give lakhs per year for development.

What did Maharaj Ji do? He allowed the sarpanch to speak on March 13th as representative of the village, thanking Maharaj. The others were incensed. But the sarpanch felt so honored that he dedicated himself to Maharaj. Then Maharaj invited the two opposing factions to present their grievances before him. Most of the villagers were against the sarpanch, questioning his authority on the basis of matters such as age and certification. At last the sarpanch said to Maharaj, “I will take your hukam, whatever you say. I will sacrifice my post if you say, for the sake of the village.”

Maharaj said to both factions collectively, “There is no benefit in fighting. For seven years there  has been a great loss to the village for this reason. This area is permeated with the sacred sounds and vibrations of Guru Gobind Singh. We should know his teaching, obey his hukam, and set an example of his high ideals. How can you do so if you are just fighting among yourselves? You must tell the truth. There is no benefit in this for me, but I have great loyalty to this village. Spend a little time thinking about this, and then we can meet again tomorrow.”

                Today, the sarpanch came with 1.5 lakhs of the income from the land to be deposited in the bank for the use of the village as a whole.

Every day this scene is re-enacted, with different sets of combatants. Opposing factions come and sit before Maharaj, airing and finally resolving grievances that had been escalating for years. Sometimes Maharaj listens to the same groups for days before pronouncing a judgement. He listens very carefully and then at last offers a solution with which everyone is satisfied. He is a perfect judge, for he is very wise, strategic, patient, and impartial, and has the power to bless both sides as well.