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Shastriji Maharaj
Shastriji Maharaj



When Swamishri returned to Sarangpur, Haribhai Amin of Veersad came to have his darshan. Earlier he had met the ruler of Gondal and had transacted the purchase of the land, on which stood the Akshar deri, for twenty-five thousand rupees as against its market price of nearly two lakh rupees. The ruler had made two conditions in agreeing to the deal, namely, that the original edifice be kept intact and a temple should be built there within a period not exceeding three years, and that the total expenditure to be incurred in this regard should be not less than a million rupees.
Thinking that this task could be accomplished only by Shastriji Maharaj, Haribhai went to Sarangpur to see Swamishri and said to him: "Swamiji! I have transacted for a piece of land in Gondal for two lakh rupees." Swamishri read his mind and replied : "That piece of land has not been purchased for two lakh rupees but for a price of twenty-five thousand rupees. And the ruler has laid down two conditions to the deal. But Haribhai, don't you worry. This place will be developed at an expenditure of two million rupees." On hearing, this, Haribhai felt easy and left for Broach for collecting the money required for the purchase of the land.
After the Jalajhilani festival, a programme of dhun (chanting of 'Swaminarayan' mantra) for twenty-four hours was arranged. Swamishri went to the meeting and played the violin. Moved by the sweet note played by Swamishri, four or five devotees and two saints sitting there went into a trance with the grace of Shriji Maharaj, and had the darshan of Shriji Maharaj.
Although Sadhu Nandkishoredas had a bulky body, he performed yogic asanas (postures) by twisting his limbs, for Gopalanand Swami was guiding him to perform these exercises during the trance.
On the morning of the full-moon day, Swamishri sent all the devotees to harvest bajra (a coarse cereal) in the farm. Swamishri personally went to the farm with a pot of water and quenched the thirst of fatigued and thirsty devotees. With the divine darshan of Swamishri some of the devotees went into a trance on the farm itself.
After a few days Haribhai Amin requested Swamishri to accompany him to finalise the procurement of the land for the temple of Gondal, for the required amount of money had been collected. After the instrument of conveyance was executed, Haribhai handed over the possession of the land to Swamishri. All the disciples of the Gunatit-fold were extremely happy to hear that the possession of the land of Akshar deri was obtained. Swamishri fixed the tenth day of the bright half of Posh of Samvat year 1988 as the auspicious day for laying the foundation stone of the temple. Thousands of disciples attended the function. The State, too, lent its generous support. After seeing the enthusiasm of the devotees the ruler also realised the eminence of Swamishri. The occasion was celebrated with due pomp and grandeur.
Thereafter, Swamishri went to Rajkot in connection with a parayan (a session of recitals of and discourses on a given scripture). Harmanbhai had come from Africa for Swamishri's darshan. After meeting Swamishri, he decided not to return to Africa, as such divine benefit was available in this country. But Swamishri gave him his blessings and directed: "You should go back to Africa and try to promote the satsang there. It is a boon from Maharaj that the satsang will develop there." With these blessings Harmanbhai returned to Africa.
The ruler of Gondal had laid down the time-limit of three years for the completion of the building of the temple, but Swamishri, with the help of the faithful saints and haribhaktas working arduously day and night completed the construction of the temple in only two and a quarter years. The tenth day of the bright half of Vaishakh of Samvat year 1990 was fixed as the auspicious day for installing the idols. Swamishri then sent invitations to all the devotees to participate in this samaiya (festival) and added therein : "I shall take to Akshardham all those who attend this festival. None should, therefore, miss this invaluable opportunity."
Yogi Swami pleased all by rendering immense service in this congregation. The state also extended its co-operation. The idols were duly installed at the hands of Swamishri. The mirror held in front of the idols cracked. Slogans of victory resounded all around. At night in the Akshar deri, saint Dharamswarupdas and three devotees went into a trance and had the darshan of Maharaj and Swami along with the innumerable muktas (liberated soul) of Akshardham.
On this occasion, Swamishri described the great importance of Akshar deri thus: "At this place a thal (plate of sumptuous food) worth seven hundred rupees will be offered to the deities daily, as is being done at Shrinathji. It will be the biggest temple in the whole universe and the desires of the people will be fulfilled here." On this very occasion Swamishri appointed Yogi Swami as the mahant (pontifical or spiritual head) of this great temple. Everyone was happy that such a Gunatit (transcending the three qualities) person was choosen to be the mahant of this Gunatit (associated with Gunatitanand Swami) temple.

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

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