Swami Vivekananda met a great saint and yogi by name Pawahari Baba at Gazipur in Uttar Pradesh. He was deeply impressed by the spiritual eminence of this great saint. He narrated a wonderful incident from his wandering life pertaining to this saint. It seems a thief once entered the humble hut of Pawahari Baba with the intention of stealing.
Of course, the saint had very few personal belongings and the thief managed to bundle most of them. When he was about to leave, one vessel fell from his hands making a big noise.
Fearing that he might be caught, the thief started running with the rest of the booty. By that time Pawahari Baba had woken up. He saw that the thief had left behind one utensil. He took it and ran after the thief saying, “O Lord, why have you left this behind? Please take it.” Pawahari Baba managed to catch up with the thief and literally thrust the utensil into his hands. Years later during his wanderings in the Himalayas Swami Vivekananda came across a serene and saintly monk.
He started conversing with him. At that time the saint confessed that he was the thief who had entered the hut of Pawahari Baba and that the latter came running after him calling him, “O Lord” and wanted to hand over the utensil left behind.
He was so ashamed and was full of repentance. From that day a transformation came over him.
He gave up his wicked pursuits and became a monk and came to the Himalayas to spend his days in austerity and spiritual practices.
That is the power of transformation of the company of the holy or Satsang, as it is called in Hindu tradition.
By the power of the company of the holy even the most wicked sinners will be transformed into extraordinary saints.