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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj



The fearless Dungar Bhakta
Reading the discarded pages of scriptures in Vadtal

His memory was sharp and his intelligence was high





Dungar Bhakta was fearless from his very child hood. Once his father went to the farm leaving him asleep. After a while, he woke up and found his father's bed empty. It was midnight. He thought of going to the farm. He took a stick in his hand and went alone to the farm at midnight, chanting the name of Swaminarayan. Having seen him arrive alone on such a dark night, his father asked him : "Weren't you afraid of coming here alone at such a late hour, my dear?" There was a common belief that the road to the farm was haunted by ghosts

Dungar Bhakta replied in his simple and innocent language: "Haven't you told me, father, that Maharaj accompanies him who walks chanting the name "Swaminarayan,
Swaminarayan," and protects him? I have thus brought Maharaj with
me. If the ghost had accosted me I would have
driven him away with this stick." Dhoribhai was greatly pleased to hear such brave words from his son.
By now Dungar Bhakta had cultivated a habit of listening to religious stories. He could not find himself at ease without listening to them. When his father would ask him to prepare bundles of tobacco leaves in the field, he would make a precondition : "I shall make the bundles if you tell me the story of the Lord." Thus, he found pleasure in nothing but the Lord.

When he was seven, he made it a point to go to Vadtal on every full-moon day. There he would approach the sadhus individually on their asanas (seats), listen to their discourses and enhance his jnana (knowledge) and vairagya (sense of detachment). He had to be searched for to be taken home. He did not like to returnhome. He would pick up the pages of the scriptures discarded as waste by the scribes in Vadtal, sit down on the verandah of the temple in the posture of some learned shastri and read out from them. He had not even started his schooling as yet, but such conduct on his part predicted that he would be an erudite scholar in future.

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

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