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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj


Inspiration from the Saints:

Accompanied by the devotees of Gujarat, Swamishri left Sarangpur for a panchtirthi (pilgrimage to the five holy places) of Sorath. When he arrived in Junagadh, the eighty-five year old sadhu Keshavjeevandasji, a disciple of Gopalanand Swami told Swamishri: "Since you are a devoted follower of Gunatitanand Swami and have the blessings of an eminent guru like Pragji Bhakta, please install the idols of Swami and Maharaj together. We wanted to install them in Gondal but could not do so."
On hearing this Swamishri replied: "I shall certainly perform that task provided sadguru Balmukunddasji, the disciple of Gunatitanand Swami, directs me to do so." Balmukunddasji heartily agreed: "I shall be very happy if you install the golden idols of Gunatitanand Swami and Maharaj." These words gave momentum to Swamishri's aspiration.
Earlier Jaga Bhakta had asked Swamishri in Junagadh to install the idols of Maharaj and Swami in pinnacled temples. Swamishri had then replied: "Even when I want a post-card costing a pai, I have to register a demand in the kothar (store). How can I conceive of constructing temples costing lakhs of rupees?"
Jaga Bhakta then said: "It is the wish of Maharaj that the upasana (worship) of Akshar Purushottam should be established. Therefore, you must take up this work. It shall be your shortcoming if you don't take a pledge to accomplish this task, and it shall be my shortcoming if I default in fulfilling it." With this promise from Jaga Bhakta, Swamishri became eager to accomplish this task, but he decided to go about the work at an opportune moment and to keep patience till then.
Now it was his task to propagate the nishtha (faith) of Akshar and Purushottam. For this purpose he frequently toured in Gujarat and Saurashtra. All the people young and old, were attracted to him. He endeavoured to stabilise their faith in the worship of Akshar Purushottam. In this activity, which engaged all his time day and night, he was never impeded by sleep, laziness or fatigue.
As Swamishri frequently travelled to Gujarat from Sarangpur, some spiteful sadhus began to complain against him: "As Yagnapurushdas goes on tours in Gujarat, neglecting his work in Sarangpur, the work of the temple suffers. His activity should, therefore, be controlled." But the administration of Sarangpur had considerably improved and its income enhanced. As great progress was made in the work, nobody saw any truth in this complaint.
At about this time the Acharya of the temple in Ahmedabad passed away. Some sadhus and satsangis installed Vasudevprasadji, who was only three years old then, as his successor to the gadi, instead of Kunjvihariprasadji Maharaj who was the rightful heir to the gadi. Hence Nirmaldasji, Tyagavallabhdasji and other sadhus and also some leadinig haribhaktas supported Kunjvihariprasadji and so they decided to shift to Vadhvan, establish a separate gadi and build a temple there.
But they had no means to accomplish their object. The sadhus were few in number and they had not enough strength to face the opposition. This talk could be accomplished only if a powerful saint joined them. They looked to Shastri Yagnapurushdasji. They thought : "He alone is an unequalled and fearless person in the whole fellowship, and if he joins us, our task will be accomplished. Besides, Yagnapurushdasji's disciples are faithful, eager to sacrifice their lives for his sake and capable of rendering financial service." Accordingly Nirmaldasji met Swamishri in Limbdi and requested him to help them in raising a temple in Vadhvan.
Swamishri was aware that truth was on their side. Moreover, Nirmaldasji was thoroughly convinced about the upasana (worship) of Akshar-Purushottam. He therefore, felt that necessary assistance should be extended to him on this occasion. But Swamishri put a condition : "We will help you if only you install the idols of Akshar-Purushottam." Nirmaldasji agreed to this and requested Swamishri to secure a plot of land for the temple. Swamishri gave a note addressed to the Diwan of Limbdi, who was his disciple, and asked him emphatically to provide a plot of land. Thus a plot of land was acquired for the Vadhvan temple.

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

© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith