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Yogiji Maharaj
Yogiji Maharaj


Head of Akshar Mandir

It was the year 1934 CE (V.S. 1990). Most of the construction work of the Gondal mandir (also called ‘Akshar Mandir’) had been completed. In the same year, on 24 May 1934 (Vaishakh sud 10), Shastriji Maharaj ceremoniously consecrated the murtis of Akshar Purushottam in the mandir in traditional Vedic style. After the function, an assembly of all the devotees was held in the compound of the mandir. Here in the presence of thousands of devotees Shastriji Maharaj appointed Yogiji Maharaj as the Mahant of the Akshar Mandir and garlanded him. The whole congregration greeted the choice with joy and acclaim.
To Yogiji Maharaj the Akshar Mandir and Akshar Deri meant everything in life. The Akshar Deri was dearer to him than his soul. He was never tired of performing pradakshinas of the Deri. He would get up early at 3.30 am and sweep the floor of the Deri. After performing puja of the charnarvind with sandalwood paste and flowers, he would perform arti. Then he gave spiritual discourses to the devotees. He also performed mahapuja in the Deri regularly. During the mahapuja he prayed whole-heartedly, “May the number of sadhus increase and may the Satsang spread.” During his free hours he kept the accounts of the mandir himself, and maintained the ledger. Yogiji Maharaj looked after the maintenance of the mandir and himself attended to the needs and the comforts of the guests. The greater the number of visitors the happier he would be. He never allowed any visitor to leave without eating.
Rana Daji Bapu assisted him in many of his duties. One day, Daji Bapu wanted to consult Yogiji Maharaj about the mandir accounts. He searched for him in the kothar, but did not find him there. Thinking that he might be in the Akshar Deri or upstairs in the mandir, he went there to look for him. But he was not there either. After searching for him everywhere, he finally went to the kitchen where he found him cooking, all by himself.
Seeing the mahant of such a big mandir working like an ordinary cook in the kitchen, he said, “I have been searching for you for a long time. Why are you cooking? Where is the sadhu who cooks daily?”
Yogiji Maharaj quietly replied, “The sadhu who cooks is ill. By Maharaj’s grace, today I have got the chance of this service. For a long time I had wanted to prepare food to serve Thakorji. So, today I have got the opportunity.”
Hearing these noble sentiments, Bapu admired Yogiji Maharaj more than ever before. But when he enquired of the sadhu in charge of the kitchen, Bapu found that he was not ill at all. He and some other sadhus were loitering around and not doing their duty. He scolded them, “Yogiji Maharaj works day and night. Yet you make him serve in the kitchen as well.” He then sent them to the kitchen immediately. Along with Yogiji Maharaj, Bapu went to the mandir office to discuss the accounts.

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

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