Places of Pilgrimage:
went to Ashi from Sarangpur. He was accompanied by Yogi Swami2.
Regularly Yogi Swami used to get up daily at 3 a.m. in the early
morning and sing the morning prayers in a sonorous voice. One
such morning he was singing a kirtan of Narsinh Mehta, "Dearer
than life to me are the Vaishnavs3" in a sweet, lilting tune.
As a part of this poem, the following couplet was sung :
"At the feet of my saint
Lie the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage.
A crore of the Ganges, and
A crore of Kashis"4
On hearing this, old Ranchhod Patel, who was resting in the temple
was upset. He said: " Maharaj ! Please don't sing such a
song. There are no such saints in this Kali (dark) age. Hence
do not bluff." Yogi Swami replied: "All right. I shall
sing another devotional song," and he started to sing another
That same night Swamishri went to bed after completing his discourse.
Ranchhod Bhagat had his bed on the ground floor in the same hall.
As he was old and sick, he did not get enough sleep. After all
the others retired to bed, he closed the entrance gate of the
temple and started counting the beads of his rosary. Exactly after
an hour, the entrance door opened automatically. An exceedingly
white and apparently divine cow stepped inside. She went near
the place where Swamishri was sleeping and bowed to him thrice,
by bending her head at the feet of Swamishri.
Ranchhod Bhagat saw all this with his naked eyes. Then the cow
went out of the temple. The Bhagat also went out to see where
the cow was going. The cow was visible in the moonlight for some
distance and then she disappeared. The Bhagat looked all around,
but the cow was nowhere to be seen. He was convinced that the
sixty-eight places of pilgrimage must have taken the form of the
cow and come to be sanctified at the feet of Swamishri.
When Yogi Swami woke up at 3 a.m., Ranchhod Bhagat requested him:
"Maharaj, please sing that devotional song about the sixty-eight
holy centres of pilgrimage." Swami quizzed : "How is
that, Bhagat. Yesterday you were forbidding me to sing it!"
The Bhagat explained : "I had the darshan of the Ganges in
the from of a cow and that has dispelled my illusion." Then
he related the whole story and added that Swamishri was really
a very powerful person. Having thus convinced him of his glory,
Swamishri returned to Sarangpur.
Here, Swamishri said on one occasion: "Acharya Laxmiprasadji
has highly obliged us. It was because of him that we left Vadtal
and have now been able to build temples for the upasana of Akshar-Purushottam,
and explain the tenets to numerous people." Thus Swamishri
had no ill-will for anyone. He was always inclined to see good