As the cows grazed, Mahaprabhuji would tend to them while sitting under a tree in meditation. However, he was always aware of whatever happened — nothing escaped his attention.
One day while Mahaprabhuji was absorbed in meditation, a robber appeared.
It ought to be mentioned that in those days there were large areas of sparsely populated land in Rajasthan. Mostly they were desolate regions of desert and in the few places of dense bush and forest, wild animals lived. The villagers avoided these places and it was common for outlaws and bandits to occupy such areas.
This robber approached the herd on his camel and drove away some cows. Mahaprabhuji, of course, was completely aware of the situation. However, he allowed the thief to finish his work without interruption and even permitted him to get some distance away. Suddenly Mahaprabhuji appeared from nowhere and stood in the robber's path.
"Release the cows and leave here immediately!" Mahaprabhuji demanded in a loud and penetrating voice.
Surprised, the robber halted in front of the small boy who fearlessly blocked his way.
"Such an attractive and courageous child!" he thought to himself. "What kind of parents would send a young boy like this all alone to the wilderness, taking such risks in tending the cows?"
But to Mahaprabhuji he retorted, "Don't be foolish, little one! No one has ever succeeded in stopping me. You are a mere child and I am twice your size. Stop delaying me and get out of my way!"
Mahaprabhuji was about nine years old at the time but he was unmoved by the robber's words.
"I have already met many who possessed far greater power than you and each of them has surrendered to me in the end. So once again I ask you, release the cows and leave!"
Without a reply, the robber spurred on his camel to continue on his way with the stolen cows, but by means of Divine powers Mahaprabhuji stopped the camel and threw the gruff fellow to the ground.
As the robber lay there unconscious, he had a vision of Mahaprabhuji's Divine form and at once realized the grave weight of his misdeeds. On regaining consciousness he reverently knelt before Mahaprabhuji and with folded hands asked forgiveness.
"Mahavir, forgive my sins. I have just seen my karma and learnt the consequences of my evil deeds. I vow to steal no more and not injure anyone. Lord, please forgive me and grant me your blessing, so that I may lead an honest life henceforth."
He rode away on his camel and was never seen again. Mahaprabhuji lovingly stroked his cows and gently spoke to them as he led them back to the herd.
"Come, my dears. I am sorry you had such a scare, but since you came to no harm the man will be forgiven. He was ignorant but now has realized the Truth. Let us go home."
mahavir = a great hero
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