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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj


Beginning of Persecution:

Swamishri intended to spread the nishtha (worship) of Akshar and Purushottam from Vadtal itself, and for this purpose, he gave discourses day and night. Even when he went to Gujarat, he moved from village to village and talked to the devotees about the worship of Akshar-Purushottam. Even when Swamishri was due to arrive at a place and halt there for a day or two, the disciples from all the corners of Gujarat would throng there and derive immense pleasure from his discourses.
Swamishri once gave a discourse in Baroda. At night, in the midst of the discourse, Swamishri sang devotional songs and explained the attributes of saints and pseudo-saints. On hearing this, some of the spiteful sadhus thought that the talk was directed to them. So they got angry and roared : "Oh sinners, just let us sleep now." Thus, they started hurling abuses. But Swamishri continued the flow of his discourse uninterruptedly.
The sadhus became all the more angry, and picking up the bricks lying there, they started to throw them on the bungalow where the discourse was going on. All the people around woke up and there was a great commotion. The sadhus thought: "This is a good opportunity. Let us set the bungalow on fire so that Yagnapurushdas gets killed, and can never again harass us." Having thought thus, all of them began to make preparations for setting fire to the bungalow.
On hearing the noise, the mother of Jeshankar living in the neighbourhood woke up and began to shout expecting Jeshankar, who was inside the bungalow, to get out for safety. Swamishri's face was perfectly tranquil. There was not a trace of fear or anxiety on his face. He sat unmoved in his seat with the faith that, the will of Shriji Maharaj shall prevail. The devotees sitting there, however, got excited.
Motibhai came out with Jeshankar. The sadhus allowed them to go out. Motibhai ran up to and awakened Ghanashyam Vaidya who immediately brought a Police Sub-Inspector and constable on the scene. The Sub- Inspector arrived just when they were about to set fire to the bungalow. He shouted: "Open the doors of the temple, otherwise I shall break them open and come in."
The sadhus opened the doors under fright, ran for their lives and hid themselves wherever they could. The Sub-Inspector seeing pieces of bricks, stones and broken glasses scattered over the place, prepared a report of the incident. With due respect to Swamishri, he said "Please give me the names of the sadhus so that I may arrest them." But Swamishri replied: "We do not want to lodge a complaint against anyone, nor do we wish to avenge anyone. Please do not, therefore, take any steps." Seeing the saintliness of Swamishri, the Sub-Inspector bowed in respect to him. Swamishri returned with Motibhai to his hostel, and from there he went to Sarangpur.
The opponents did not succeed; on the other hand they were disgraced. Therefore their wrath multiplied. They thought : "Yagnapurushdas has escaped unhurt. What should we do next? "The opponents of Swamishri in Vadtal and in Gadhada, who came to know about this incident were disappointed. But they began to hatch new plans with new vigour. Those at Gadhada were already very sore because of the loss of their hold on the management of the Sarangpur temple. They began spreading false propaganda that: "Yagnapurushdas Shastri has withdrawn six thousand rupees from the safe in the Sarangpur temple and deposited the amount with Zaverbhai, the Diwan of Limbdi, and it is from this money that the sadhus of Vadhvan are building a temple." Swamishri, who was completely detached from wealth and women, was of course not afraid of such accusations, but his disciples were enraged.
How could there be such spite against this great saint whose time is devoted to giving discourses day and night, who is working only for the propagation of the greatness of Maharaj and Swami, who does not harbour any spite against anyone and who is totally detached from eight-fold contact of wealth and women? How could there be such hatred? How could it be tolerated? By a letter addressed to Kothari Gordhanbhai, the disciples of Gujarat informed him: "There is an increasing amount of spite among the sadhus against Shastri Yagnapurushdasji. Therefore, if you take any decision regarding him without consulting us, the consequences will not be good." Gordhanbhai was amazed to see the nishtha (devotion) which such respectable devotees of Gujarat had for Swamishri.

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

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