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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj


Command to Redeem the Jivas:

Bhagatji Maharaj went to Gondal from Junagadh. Here he went to Akshar deri (edifice built on the cremation site of Gunatitanand Swami) for darshan and prophesied: "A big temple will be constructed here and thousands of lamps shall be lit in the arti." Later that night when Yagnapurushdasji asked him about his studies, he replied : "You have completed your study of the scriptures, and I, too, have thoroughly taught you Brahmavidya. Henceforth you will teach others to live blissfully as you have learnt to yourself." In this manner Bhagatji Maharaj instructed Yagnapurushdasji to give transcendental happiness to others and to ameliorate the jivas (souls). Then Bhagatji returned from Gondal to Mahuva.
After returning to Mahuva, Bhagatji contracted serious illness. Yagnapurushdasji longed to go for his darshan, but how could he go without his permission? Bhagatji's condition became worse and at last, on the 13th day of the bright half of Kartik of Samvat year 1954, he abandoned his mortal frame and ascended to Akshardham (the final abode).
Swamishri1 got the news at Rajkot. After reading the letter, Swamishri became very sad. He suffered deep agony in his heart: "I could not have Bhagatji's last darshan and I could not even serve him in his last days. My life is now in vain." As he was sitting near a well in such a sorrowful state, Bhagatji Maharaj appeared in person before his very eyes. He was holding a garland of roses and jasmine flowers which he placed around Swamishri's neck and said : "Why are you so sad? Have I left you? I am always with you." Swamishri's sadness disappeared with the darshan of Bhagatji, and joy pervaded his heart.
Thereafter Swamishri went to Junagadh. He met Jaga Bhakta who consoled him by his sermons. Swamishri told him: "Swami! I feel aggrieved that I could not go to Mahuva for rendering service to Bhagatji during his last days." Jaga Bhakta was pleased to see his devotion for his guru and said: "Do not be sorry. I shall call for you to offer your services to me before I go to dham (final abode)." Swamishri was pacified by these words.
Being unable to tolerate the increasing greatness of Swamishri, certain saints repeatedly and spitefully made complaints against him to Acharyashri. Hence Acharya Maharaj called Swamishri back with the result that his studies were interrupted.
In samvat year 1955, Acharya Viharilalji passed away. Thereafter Gordhanbhai thought of entrusting Swamishri with some heavy responsibility and, accordingly, he placed him in charge of the management of Sarangpur temple. He also posted Prabhudas Kothari to assist him. Till then, Kothari Bhimjibhai of Gadhada was managing the Sarangpur temple. As the management of this temple was taken away from his hands and entrusted to Swamishri, Bhimjibhai grumbled and even became indignant. His hatred for Swamishri and those of the group of Bhagatji Maharaj increased manifold.
In Sarangpur Swamishri renovated all the places which were consecrated by Shriji Maharaj. He built a bungalow over the temple of Hanuman. He acquired more land and enlarged the temple and thus enhanced the splendour of Sarangpur temple. Besides, the disciples of Swamishri and Bhagatji Maharaj often visited Sarangpur for association with Swamishri, and donated gifts to the temple. This improved the financial condition of the temple. Thus Swamishri proved himself to be an able administrator. On witnessing his ability, the Kothari of Vadtal was also pleased with Swamishri.
In samvat year 1957 Jaga Bhakta fell ill at Dangra. News of this was conveyed to Swamishri who at once reached Dangra. Jaga Bhakta was awaiting him. He had given instructions that as soon as Yagnapurushdasji arrived, he should be brought to him. When Swamishri went there, Jaga Bhakta exclaimed: "Oh, you have come! You've kept me waiting for long!" With these words he embraced him affectionately. Swamishri, however, became very sad on seeing the serious condition of Jaga Bhakta.
Jaga Bhakta told him: "I had promised you that I would call you to serve me in my last days. Now that I am about to leave this mortal body, I have called you. My work is over, and you shall continue it. Propagate the gospel of Akshar-Purushottam. Shriji Maharaj and Gunatitanand Swami will join you in your mission." Swamishri served Jaga Bhakta devoutly for two days. Jaga Bhakta went to Akshardham (passed away) on the night of the tenth day of the bright half of Maha. Shriji Maharaj, Swami and the Muktas (liberated souls) arrived there with a divine chariot and took away Jaga Bhakta with them. Swamishri completed his funeral rites and returned to Sarangpur.

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

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