I Dwell in you Eternally"
Even in his final years on earth, Maharaj showed everybody how he was in union with this supreme Sadhu who was his abode. During his illness, Maharaj kept Brahmanand Swami with him for two months and blessed him with divine bliss. When Maharaj decided to return to his divine abode, he instructed Brahmanand Swami, “Go to Junagadh and send Gunatitanand Swami from there.” Maharaj did so because he had promised Swami that he would certainly send for him before leaving for his abode.
Brahmanand Swami found it very difficult to part from Maharaj under such distressing conditions, but he had to obey the orders and go.
When Brahmanand Swami reached Junagadh, Swami was already awaiting for Maharaj’s order. On getting the message, he immediately left for Gadhada. He reached Gadhada on 28 May 1830 (Jeth sud 6, Samvat 1886). Nobody was allowed to go near Maharaj as he was seriously ill. But Maharaj had instructed Sura Khachar to allow Gunatitanand Swami to come to him. When Swami arrived he was taken to Maharaj. While having the darshan of Maharaj, tears flowed from Swami’s eyes. He prostrated to Maharaj and then sat on the floor near Maharaj’s bed. Maharaj and Swami looked into each other’s eyes. Maharaj addressed Swami and said:
Mithã vhãlã kem visaro mãru tamthi bãndhel tan ho,
Tarsyãne jem pãnidu vhãlu, bhukhyãne bhojan ho...
“O my dearest, how can I forget you? I am bound by you, I pine for you just as a thirsty man yearns for water and a hungry man for food.”
Swami also responded with similar sentiments. Thereafter, Maharaj enquired about things in Junagadh.
Maharaj had resolved to go to his divine abode. But before that he called Gopalanand Swami and recommended to him, “I have appointed you as a senior of both the regions. But please pay special attention to my Akshardham Gunatitanand Swami and Raghuvirji who are intensely attached to me.”
He also instructed Gunatitanand Swami, “I do not want to stay in this world any longer. But you should spread my full glory and grant divine bliss to all our devotees.”
Thus, on 1 June 1830 (Jeth sud 10, Samvat 1886), Maharaj departed to his abode of his own will by using his yogic powers. There was mourning all around. Gopalanand Swami and Gunatitanand Swami consoled everyone. The funeral rites of Maharaj were performed at Lakshmi Vadi.
Thereafter, Gunatitanand Swami went to answer a call of nature and on returning, he saw green grass swaying near a stream. On seeing this Swami thought, “Oh! Water is the life of this grass. See how green it is. Similarly, Maharaj was our life, but now he has gone.” While these thoughts were running through his mind, Swami became unconscious and fell down.
Suddenly, Maharaj appeared in a divine form, brought Swami back to consciousness, and said, “Swami! Have I gone away? I dwell in you eternally.” Having said this Maharaj disappeared.
Gunatitanand Swami, who was feeling unhappy by the departure of Maharaj, felt overjoyed by the darshan of Maharaj. And thereafter he engaged himself in spreading ekantik dharma according to the orders of Maharaj.