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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj


Idol Installation in Sarangpur Temple:

The work of the temple was going on in full swing. All the sadhus and devotees were working hard regardless of the physical strain. Once Sadguru Shri Balmukund Swami of Junagadh was going to Narayan Kund for ablutions. On the way he went to the temple, and having called for Kothari Shankar Bhagat, he expressed his satisfication at the devoted service being rendered by all the saints: "You have got the privilege of rendering service to Maharaj and Swami, which even the five hundred Paramhansas (saints initiated by Shriji Maharaj) did not enjoy. This is not your strength but that of the muktas (liberated souls) of Akshar who are working through you. Hence, you are every fortunate." Oh hearing this all the workers were greatly enthused and started working with reinforced vigour.
Within a short time the temple was ready. The sixth day of the bright half of Vaishakh of Samvat year 1972 was fixed for the installation of the idols. Swamishri and Nirgundas Swami made excellent congregational arrangements for the occasion. Thousands of devotees were expected to arrive on this occasion. Therefore, Swamishri directed that four hundred maunds of sheero (a sweet) be prepared from soji (coarse wheat flour). The cooks engaged for this work were exhausted after continuously working on it for five days and refused to work any further. Only two hundred and fifty maunds1 of sheera was ready. However, Swamishri said reassuringly : "By the grace of God this will be enough and no shortage will be experienced at all. Therefore do not worry."
On the day of the installation, Swamishri recited from the Harileelamrit and narrated the episode regarding the promise given by Shriji Maharaj to Jeeva Khachar for the construction of a temple in Sarangpur. After the sacrificial rites were performed, the idols were installed at the auspicious hands of Swamishri and the mirror that was held in front of the idols cracked. After the arti was over, people took their seats in rows arranged for the meals. Several unauthorised persons surreptitiously entered the kitchen with the object of depleting the stock of sheero to bring discredit to "the rebels." They removed baskets filled with sheero so that practically half the stock was soon exhausted. When sheero was not served in the rows seated to take lunch and no one knew how a considerable part of it had disappeared, some devotees went to Swamishri and anxiously inquired. "How can we feed all these people with the remaining stock of sheero?"
Swamishri got a small area cleared and fenced with bamboos, and seated the devotees there in rows for their dinner. He also directed that only those devotees on whose backs he impressed the vermillion hand prints should carry the baskets of sheero for service. After having made rigid arrangements in this regard, Swamishri got the sheero closets covered up. He placed the idol of Thakorji (Shriji Maharaj) there and kindled a diva (a ghee lamp). Sheero was continuously served from morning till midnight. About three lakh devotees and the people of the whole village dined, but the stock of sheero was not exhausted. The whole village was served sheero for the following eight days, and still the remaining sheero was fresh and fragrant. Ultimately the left-over was distributed among the gaushalas (centres for maintenance of cows) in the surrounding villages. All were happy to witness this miracle of Swamishri.
Having seen the supernatural powers of Swamishri, the people invited Swamishri to their villages, fixed padharamanis (visits) to their houses and availed of the benefit of his satsang (association). At the insistence of the devotees of Mojidad, Swamishri visited their village. The affectionate devotees of this place had made preparations for a grandiose reception of Swamishri, but Swamishri dissuaded them with the remarks that, "It is not proper for a sadhu to be welcomed by a grand reception," and then turning to a local devotee named Guru Ganesh Bhakta he asked: "Ganesh Bhakta! Is it proper for a sadhu to agree to his reception on a grand scale?" Ganesh Bhakta was surprised to find that Swamishri could identify himself with his own thought process as he was then thinking on the same lines, and so he was convinced that Swamishri was not an ordinary saint, but he was really Shriji Maharaj's choicest and eminently superior saint.

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

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