Back in the rolling countryside outside Syracuse, New York, where Maharaj was staying in the lovely home of Ralph Singh and Joginder Kaur, he called me into the sitting room one day. Rani translated as he spoke very movingly on the subject of faithfulness:
Vivekananda asked Ramakrishna why he had cancer, and Ramakrishna said that such people take the burdens of others on themselves. He told Vivekananda to go to America, and that when he went, it would be Ramakrishna speaking through him. The people of Chicago [where he was one of the most striking speakers at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893] were very touched. That’s why Vivekananda always said, ‘Guru Kirpa’ [with the Guru’s blessing] after he spoke.
The marriage relationship is very sacred because God is in that bond. No one should come between the partners. All the prophets have said this. The wife in old times in India worshipped her husband as a god. When men left to serve Guru Gobind Singh, their wives did not complain. When at last they would come back, their wives would take the dust of their feet, and would thus be blessed as well.
Jai Dev’s wife was asked if she would become a sati [a widow who throws herself on her husband’s funeral pyre in order to accompany him into death] if her husband died. She said she would do so even on just hearing of his death. To test her, the queen said that Jai Dev had been killed by a lion. The wife immediately left her body. When the king and Jai Dev came back, they told Jai Dev what had happened. He just laughed. ‘When she gets to heaven, she won’t find me there, so she will come back here for me,’ he said with his dead wife’s head in his lap. It happened just as he said, and she came back to life. Then they both died together.