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Gunatitanand Swami

Chilhood Years

When Mulji was four-years-old, he once asked for milk from his mother. Sakarba replied, “Dear son, I’ll give it to you after offering it to Thakorji.” On hearing this, Mulji smiled and said, “Mother! Thakorji is always present in my heart. When I eat, Thakorji eats with me. When I sleep, Thakorji sleeps with me. Therefore, when I drink milk, he too drinks with me.”
Sakarba was taken by surprise when she heard her son’s childlike words which were profound and spiritual. Sakarba offered a glass of milk to Mulji in order to fulfil his desire. Looking at his mother, Mulji smiled and drank the milk. Suddenly, at that time, Sakarba looked at Thakorji. She saw a thin white line on the lips of the murti, and she realized the truth behind Mulji’s utterance.
It was 7 March 1789 (Fagan sud 10, Samvat 1845), when suddenly Mulji addressed his mother with zest, “Mother! Mother! The sacred thread ceremony of my Bhagwan Purushottam Narayan is being celebrated in Ayodhya today. So please sing songs of the sacred thread ceremony.” Sakarba was delighted to hear these surprising words from her child.
Very often she used to tell the village women who met her on the riverbank or came to her home, “My Mulji talks as if he is a great scholar! Sometimes I do not even understand what he talks about. Still, I like to listen to his sweet words.” As such, the innocent and pious people of the village always took the opportunity to have the darshan and company of Mulji.
     Soon, Bholanath and Sakarba were blessed with another son. He was named Sundarji. Very often, while playing with Sundarji, Mulji would convey special spiritual talks to him. Once, Mulji was rocking the cradle of Sundarji. Mulji stopped the cradle every now and then and talked with Sundarji. “What are you talking about?” his mother asked. Mulji replied, “Mother! Mother! I am going to become a sadhu and will also make Sundarji a sadhu.”
Sakarba was speechless. She lifted Sundarji from the cradle, embraced him and then said, “No dear! You are not to become a sadhu. Don’t speak such inauspicious words.” On such occasions Sakarba’s affectionate nature surfaced, and she looked upon Mulji from the worldly viewpoint.
      Although he was very young, Mulji was very mature. He had a natural disinclination for worldly pleasures. Thus, he was never attracted towards eating, drinking and other such material enjoyments. He was always engrossed in the devotion and meditation of God. On many occasions he talked about Shriji Maharaj and made forecasts about his arrival. He was always absorbed in divine bliss as a result of his constant union with his Lord, Parabrahma Purna Purushottam Bhagwan Shri Sahajanand Swami. Sometimes people had the darshan of God himself manifest in the form of this child devotee.
Once, Mulji was engrossed in devotion to God. His father saw him and said, “Mulji! such devotion should be practised only when you are old. This is the time for you to eat, play and have fun.”
Mulji did not utter a word when he heard his father say this. Instead, he simply went out of the house. Bholanath was pleased with his obedience. After some time Mulji returned and told his father, “You asked me to worship God in old age, but I just went around the village and found that many old people are sitting in the square busy gossiping. None of them remember God. So if we wait till old age we lose the opportunity of our precious youth. How can we rely on this body?”
Bholanath’s eyes opened when he heard these words from Mulji which were full of deep understanding. He rejoiced in his heart and stopped putting obstacles in the worship of Mulji Bhakta.
Mulji had a liking for kotha, large berries and tamarind fruits. So whenever he ate these fruits Bholanath used to reprimand him. “Mulji! Do we not have wheat, ghee and jaggery in the house that you eat such things.” Mulji never replied to this but through such actions everyone could see his natural inclination for austerity.
      The sacred thread ceremony of Mulji Bhakta was celebrated on the auspicious day of 13 June 1793 (Jeth sud 5, Samvat 1849). The guru advised him to study well. On hearing this, Mulji replied, “I have studied brahmavidya in the form of the divine lila of the supreme God. So where is the need to study other things?”
The guru performed the ceremony of leaving for Kashi for pursuing further studies. In the village square, seven lines – symbolic of the seven seas – were drawn and Mulji was made to cross them. On the other side, his maternal uncle, Vashrambhai, was standing. He lifted Mulji on his shoulders and brought him home. The guru then asked him, “Why have you not gone to Kashi for studies.” Mulji replied, “Purushottam Narayan, at whose lotus feet there are innumerable Kashis, will come here; so where is the need to go to Kashi?” Mulji Bhakta’s statement put everyone into deep thought.
      When Mulji Bhakta entered adolescence his curiosity about other sampradays increased. Although he was himself omniscient he behaved like a layman. He was always very eager to go to preceptors of different religious orders to learn their beliefs. In this way he learnt the principle of Shuddhadvaitfrom Acharya Gosai Narsinhlalji of the Vaishnav Sampraday. But on seeing some malpractices he did not take any further interest. The Pranami sectwas also very popular in those days. So he studied that also. Finally, he was convinced by the pure bhagvat dharma taught by his father’s guru, Ramanand Swami, whom he accepted as his own guru.
After a while Bholanath passed away. At that time the supreme God, in the form of Nilkanth Varni, was travelling on his pilgrimage of India. Mulji Bhakta would have his darshan everyday. Once, while engrossed in darshan he began to sing:
Vanmã vhãlo vichare te ãvshe ãpne gãm,
Mãtã mujne jãnjo te ja Prabhunu Dhãm.
“My Lord is travelling in the forests and will come to our village; Mother, know me as the abode of that Lord.”
In this way he explained to his mother, “Mother, God will come to our house and have food made by you. Tell me, how fortunate you are!” Sakarba simply listened to all this with awe and wonder. But after some time, Mulji would talk in the normal worldly manner and would make his mother forget her awe and respect for him, and then he would leave for the farm.
Once, Mulji was on his way to the farm with his friends. Many times he used to combine knowledge with fun when he was with his friends. On their way to the farm they came across a well. Everyone peeped into the well. Then Mulji threw a stone in it. As a result the moss which covered the water dispersed and everyone could see the clear water. Mulji showed this to all the children and said, “See how clear the water has become. Due to the moss, we could not see the water as it is. Similarly, maya covers the jiva and does not allow the jiva to worship God.” It was then that the children asked Mulji out of curiosity, “Have you seen God?” Mulji replied, “I see God constantly and he will certainly come here.”
Once, Ramanand Swami arrived in Shekhpat. Mulji Bhakta went to Shekhpat to have his darshan. Lalji Suthar, a staunch devotee of Swami, lived here. Subsequently, a strong friendship developed between these two devotees. After some time Swami left, but Lalji Bhakta and Mulji Bhakta continued to meet for satsang. The distance between Bhadra and Shekhpat was about 17 km. Every night both these devotees met half way in a mandir of Lord Shiv. Both of them covered a distance of about 8.5 km. For the whole night they would engage in satsang and talk about the divine incidents of Ramanand Swami. In the morning, they would again walk the same distance back home. In this way they enjoyed each other’s company for a number of years. They never cared for sleep, fatigue or rest. Such was their enthusiasm!

Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan

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