was observed from his very childhood as if these words of Swamishri
were coming true. His childhood pranks abounded in devotion and
divinity. Many a time he would show strange miracles. He took
ill on the very occasion of his sisters' marriages. Soon his condition
became serious. His breathing stopped, his pulse ceased beating
and he went into a trance in a happy communion with the form of
His parents thought that the child was dead. They covered his
body with a piece of cloth and placed him in the neighbour's house
so as to complete the marriage ceremony unhampered. When they
went to Dhulabhai's house with heavy hearts, after the completion
of the ceremony, everyone was surprised to see that Dungar Bhakta
was lying there playfully kicking and laughing. His body was resplendent
with beams of light around him. All the members of the family
therefore became intensely jubilant.
After some time his mother died, so Dungar Bhakta was under the
exclusive protection of his father. His father also took great
care of him and showered love on him. Dungar Bhakta turned out
to be quite different from the other children. When other children
played all sorts of popular games, Dungar Bhakta would build temples
from clay, install Thakorji's idols in them, place thal (plate
of foodstuffs) at His feet, arrange annakut (a vast variety of
food articles), offer aarti to the deity and play games of devotion.
Everyone who saw this felt that this child would become a great
saint in future.
At the age of six, Dungar Bhakta went to Karamsad on the occasion
of a marriage in the family. When all the rest were engaged in
celebrating the marriage, Dungar Bhakta searched for and found
a temple in the village and engaged himself in the worship of
the deity. Everyone searched for him when it was time for lunch.
At last they found him in the temple. But he refused to eat anything
on that day because it was ekadashi. People were surprised to
see this six-year old boy observing the ekadashi fast, leaving
aside the delicious dishes.
All those present pressed him to eat. Some four hundred people
who had gathered for the wedding persuaded him, but Dungar Bhakta
remained firm and said: "I have heard from the scriptures
that to eat cooked food on ekadashi is like eating meat. I will
not, therefore, take any cooked food today." All had to bow
before his firmness. So sweets like pendas and barfi were brought
from Anand and served to him. The story of the steadfastness of
this child-devotee spread in the whole village and people thronged
to have his darshan.
Dungar Bhakta was as fond of religious stories as of acts of penance.
Everyday he listened to Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagvat from
his father. He also listened to the recitations from the Vachanamrit,
Bhakta-chintamani, Nishkulanand kavya, etc., and went to sleep
at night after duly performing the niyam-cheshta (prayers to be
offered before retiring to bed). Such was his devotion.