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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj


The First Akshar-Purushottam Temple in Bochasan:

Bochasan temple under construction
The idols of  Aksharpurushottam in Bochasan  Temple

Despite the continuous harassment of the opponents the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Bochasan temple was performed without any difficulty. Then began the digging of the foundations. Swamishri himself and all the saints and devotees joined in this service with great
enthusiasm. The disciples delayed their farming operations
for over six months and offered the service of their oxen, carts, etc., for the work of the temple.
One day while digging the foundation, they came across a treasure consisting of pots of golden coins. The devotees took the pots to Swamishri. Being utterly free from any lure for wealth, Swamishri at once replied: " We shall install an idol of Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) here. She will bring here the wealth of the entire universe. So let this wealth remain buried." With these remarks he had the pots buried again. The siddhis (wealth) were refused. Swamishri was carrying on the construction work of the Bochasan temple depending on the services of the devotees and the grace of Shriji Maharaj.
The opponents now tried to win over Heerabhai by offering him a bribe of five thousand rupees. But Heerabhai was already won over. He bluntly retorted: "It is a matter of pride that a temple is being built in my village. Since Swamishri has given me a new life and made a true man out of me, I consider him to be my guru. I shall spend this money you are offering me in such work as Swamishri directs. Give it to me if you are agreeable. I am not a cheat who would turn against his guru by accepting a bribe."
They were all stupefied to hear this. Besides, Heerabhai lashed out a threat at them, "Whosoever obstructs the construction of this temple, I shall teach him a lesson. Let the valiant come forward." Hearing this challenge, the opponents lost whatever lingering courage they had.
The day for installing the idols, the tenth day of the bright half of Vaishakh of samvat year 1963, was drawing near. All were extremely jubilant. The idols of Akshar and Purushottam were to be installed in this universe at the hands of such a param-ekantik (God- intoxicated) saint as Swamishri. Preparations for the festival were going ahead on a large scale. As a precautionary measure Heerabhai had posted all around the place about two thousand Dharala (low-caste) volunteers so that no one would venture to create any trouble.
After the sacrificial rites were over, the idol of Shriji Maharaj was lifted and installed in the central shrine of the temple. The people then began to lift the idol of Gunatitanand Svvami. But the idol of Swami would not budge at all. This idol was relatively lighter in weight than that of Shriji Maharaj. How was it then that it could not be moved? Was Swami testing them? All were exhausted. They went to Swamishri and informed him about it. He immediately went to the sacrificial ground and standing before the idol of Gunatitanand Swami, prayed : ''Oh Swami! For your sake we have left Vadtal and suffered insults and scorn. Please therefore have mercy on us and take your rightful seat in the temple."
Having said this, he pushed a chisel under the idol, and the idol at once moved and could soon be lifted. It was then installed in the main wing of the temple beside that of Shriji Maharaj. Consecration of the idols was performed by the auspicious hands of Swamishri amidst resounding slogans of victory of Akshar-Purushottam.
Thus the promise given by Shriji Maharaj to Kashidas to build a temple in Bochasan was fulfilled through Swamishri. The true upasana (worship) of Akshar and Purushottam was idolised!

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

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