decades Swamishri has been
guiding others towards God.
Inspiring them in times of
hardship; consoling them in
times of sadness, he has been a
constant source of light in their
lives when there has been only
engulfing darkness. But what
has been his source of inspiration
over the years? How has he
managed to remain composed
during incidents of both honour
and insult? What drives him to
push himself night and day in the
service of others? Delving into
the depths of his heart we find
the source of his light...
Source of Light
Narayanswarupdas, Guru Shastriji Maharaj...
Purshottampura. A small village in Gujarat. Everywhere one treads,
there are memories of Shastriji Maharaj. Young Narayanswarupdas often
accompanied his Guru when he used to come here, and returned many
times for work as President of the Sanstha. In 1986, now himself the
Guru, Swamishri once again came to Purshottampura. In the presence
of sadhu disciples he began to relive incidents with his Guru...
Most people describe Shastriji Maharaj as being solemn
and strict. Yet you often describe him as tender and soft-hearted.
Are there any incidents which illustrate this side of his character?
Swamishri : The Satpurush has a huge mission to achieve and so he
appears to be strict and at times he may even behave accordingly.
I remember one incident which I think actually took place right
here. There was one Jivabhai of Bhaili. He used to deal in real
estate. Once he had a huge debt over his head so he came here to
Swami for guidance. Swami scolded him, You dont know
how to do business, etc., etc.. Jivabhai didnt say a
word, he just listened. Then suddenly he sang the kirtan, Suno
chatur Sujan... and he did so with such love that Shastriji
Maharaj forgot his anger, got up, embraced him and then blessed
him. We can see such solemnity in Shriji Maharaj too. But then,
He would also shower compassion on His devotees as if nothing had
happened! In actual fact, they are only displaying such wonderful
acts for our benefit.
How would you describe the relationship between you and
Shastriji Maharaj? As friends, or guru and disciple, as God and
devotee or as mother and child?
Swamishri : Shastriji Maharaj was the actual form of God. So our
relationship was that of God and His devotee. I sought his refuge
realising that he is Shriji Maharajs form. If we keep such
a relationship, we too will attain everlasting happiness. As his
devotee we should not attribute any faults to him or his actions
and we should follow his agna. To have such a God-devotee relationship
is the ideal for us.
Shastriji Maharaj was very pleased with you. How did
you earn his pleasure?
Swamishri : He was pleased with everyone. Because all had given
seva with mind, body and soul. I simply obeyed his agna. However
the main reason why God and His Saint are pleased with us is when
we can keep divyabhav in them and follow their agna under any circumstances.
Shastriji Maharajs nature was such that if one was humble,
he instantly became pleased with him. There was one Vajeshankar
Mistry (a sculptor). Very intelligent. It was his idea to carve
the spires on the ground so that we wouldnt have the awkward
task of carving them when they were placed on top of the temple.
His measurements were so accurate that everything fitted perfectly.
He was so sharp that he would come round during an inspection and
with just one glance he could tell you, the pillar is slightly
out or the boards are uneven. However if Shastriji
Maharaj wanted to make some alterations he would not accept them.
He would say, There can be no meddling in any of my work.
Then there was Liladhar Mistry. Shastriji Maharaj was very pleased
with him because he was humble. He too was intelligent but whenever
Shastriji Maharaj wanted to make alterations in the plans, he would
make the changes immediately.
The greatest quality is to be humble in front of the Satpurush.
If we try to be wise or clever, then it is like hitting him! At
the same time, if we try to be too innocent and think All
are good, all are equal, we risk becoming entangled with bad
company. Thus we should put all our thoughts aside and just do as
he says; then Swami will be pleased with us. Once he gives us an
agna, if we obey it whole-heartedly, he will definitely be pleased
How powerful was Shastriji Maharaj?
Swamishri : The world has seen his capabilities. He is very powerful.
When he left (Vadtal), he had no means, no sadhus, no money and
even no devotees! Still he created a magnificent Sanstha, now thats
power isnt it? It was no small feat to convince thousands
of people of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy. He had the ability
to create something out of nothing. We can realise the greatness
of the creator by his creation. Whatever project Swami undertook,
he was always so determined that the work would be completed! Faith
and fearlessness! Whatever he did, he believed in it; thats
how he was able to build such grand temples. As he looked small,
people would often say, The Shastri is nothing but skin and
bones. What can he possibly do?. But what he did was so great
that even his enemies had to admire him! It was a great accomplishment
and the whole world saw it!
How do you keep a constant link with Shriji Maharaj and
your guru Shastriji Maharaj?
Swamishri : If we cannot keep God at the forefront in our mind,
then all our efforts are meaningless. We have come here to please
Him, so in all our activities we should do as he says. Whether we
are near him or far away from him, we should always be aware of
how we can please him. How can we fix his message into our soul?
Then we should do as he says, but always be cautious that our objectives
do not become distorted. We should ask ourselves, Why have I come
here? Have I come for honour, status or authority? We have
come to please him. Our goal was to please Him and so we were prepared
to do whatever he said and go wherever he sent us. Swamis
mission was such that we felt that we had also come to carry on
his work. We have become a sadhu for him. If we do as he says, we
wont have any kind of problems.
Shriji Maharaj listens to your prayers before ours. You
have accepted us as yours, so what will you pray for to Shriji Maharaj
on our behalf?
Swamishri : God listens to everyones prayers. We pray that
you have all renounced your families and homes at the wish of Jogi
Maharaj, so may you all imbibe the qualities of saintliness, spread
the greatness of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy, that Shastriji
Maharajs and Yogiji Maharajs ambitions are fulfilled
through you, and that you all attain everlasting peace. We always
offer this prayer. Also, that all of you keep unity and remain enthusiastic
and that you may all do bhajan bhakti...
(5 March 1987, Purushottampura)