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.