A temple priest saved the offerings of a beggar over many years. And now he is putting them to good use by building a pigeon tower outside the temple.
What would you do if a beggar came to you every morning, you gave him something to eat and he paid for that? A few of you might just ask him not to pay, some might take the money and give it to other beggars, and some others may donate the money to a temple.
But what this temple priest did with the money a beggar gave him will amaze you.
Mauni Baba is a priest in Bihari Lal Mahadev temple in Bhuj, Gujrat. Some 43 years ago, a mentally challenged beggar came to his temple and just sat there for a while. Mauni Baba offered him tea. To his surprise, while leaving, the beggar paid for the tea. Mauni Baba had never experienced something like this before. He did not know what to do with the money. He had seen many wealthy people come to the temple to offer money, sweets and jewellery, but he had always seen beggars asking for money, not giving it.
This was the first time a beggar was offering money to the Almighty.
Pic source: khaskhabar.com
After that day, Popat the beggar came to the temple everyday. Mauni Baba would offer him tea and he would pay for it. Popat could’nt even speak, he did not recognize the coins or notes he gave, as he was mentally challenged. But Mauni Baba never took advantage of him. Instead, he started maintaining a separate account of the money given by Popat.
And now, after 40 years, here is what Mauni Baba said. “Popat has been coming to the temple daily since 1973. After the darshan, we offer him tea. Despite being mentally challenged, he never forgets to pay. But I have been maintaining an account of his contribution and it has swelled to Rs 1.15 lakh,” he told Times of India
Yes! Just like drop after drop can fill up an ocean, Popat’s growing contribution has become a small sea of money now. And this substantial sum will soon give relief to birds from the scorching sun. Mauni Baba has decided to use the money to build a chabutro, that is, a pigeon-tower in the temple.
A chabutro is a structure mostly found in villages in Gujarat. It looks like a tower and has octagonal or pentagonal shaped enclosures at the top. In the upper enclosure are several holes where birds can nest. In Gujarat, these structures are constructed at the entrance to villages, especially for use by pigeons.
Pic source: ahmedabadheritagefestival.blogspot.com
“We decided to immortalize Popat by engraving his name on the chabutro as the donor,” Mauni Baba told Times of India.
Popat, a nondescript man who would have otherwise faded away into oblivion, will now be remembered because of the compassion of a kind-hearted priest.