The ongoing biography of Lord Shree Swaminarayan from the September 2005 edition of Shree Ghanshyam Vijay.
The Love of the Devotees of Gadhpur
After showering His divine bliss to the devotees of Sarangpur, the almighty Lord Shree Swaminarayan visited the village of Kariyani. The two wells in the village, Ramkund and Bhimkund, did not supply sufficient water for the entire village. Therefore, Shree Hari had the wells dug deeper. The wells filled up to the brim with fresh drinking water. In celebration, a grand festival was held during which thousands of Brahmins were offered food for 40 days. They were also given donations of money. Shree Hari then travelled to Kundal, Zinzavadar and eventually reached Gadhpur. He remained in Gadhpur for many days. When He prepared to leave the village and resume His travels, Jeevuba, Laduba and the other devotees of Gadhpur naturally became saddened and prayed, “Lord! You will go to far away lands where Your devotees will keep You due to their abounding love. Your days will pass away happily, but each of our days will be filled with sadness. How will our days pass without You?” Shree Hari consoled the devotees of Gadhpur, “It does not matter where I am, I will still remain here; I will remain with you. I will personally accept all your devotion through the murti of Vasudevnarayan that I have given to you. I have much to do in Gujarat so I will definitely have to go there. If there is a need, I will call you to Me.” In this manner, Shree Hari comforted the devotees and left Gadhpur. He visited Zinzavadar, Kariyani, Botad, Barvara, Dhandhuka and then reached Vadhvan, where the devotees of the village held a grand welcoming ceremony for Shree Hari.The Cunning Greed of Tulsi Dave
Shree Hari held an assembly in Vadhvan. At the front of the assembly sat Tulsi Dave. Shree Hari asked him, “Do you still want to hold a grand festival here? I only ask because you told Me about your desire to hold such a celebration some time ago. I have come to this village today to fulfil your wish.” Shree Hari’s question made Tulsi Dave feel uneasy. He thought, ‘If Shree Hari holds a festival, He will invite thousands of Brahmins and devotees. A lot of money would need to be spent.’ So Tulsi Dave gave a tactical answer in order to say no to Shree Hari. He replied, “Maharaj! At present the sants are facing a very bad period. They have to experience suffering and abuse. Our opponents are causing a lot of trouble. Therefore, it would be better if we waited until the situation becomes more favourable; and then we will hold a grand festival.” Shree Hari understood the pretence of Tulsi Dave’s answer. This made Him laugh. Shree Hari said, “In whose hands is it to keep the current situation good or bad?” Dave replied, “Maharaj! It is all in Your hands, but still, it will be better to wait for a short while.” There are devotees to who consider Lord Shree Swaminarayan to be the supreme Lord, but when He comes to them to grant them an opportunity to serve the Satsang, they refuse on account of their immense greed. Consequently, they do not take the opportunity of pleasing the Lord.The Priest Pushkardas is Granted the Gift of Vision
Shree Hari toured through Gujarat and eventually reached Ahmedabad where He stayed at the mansion of Baraktram. Devotees and many others of the city prayed to Shree Hari to visit their homes. Behind the fort where Shree Hari lived, in the southern direction, there was a temple dedicated to the deity Shwetkrishna. The priest and devotees of the temple invited Shree Hari to visit the temple.
The priest of the temple, Pushkardas, had been blind for many years and was a sincere gentleman. The Lord embraced Pushkardas. Immediately, the priest experienced a flash of divinity rush through him. Shree Hari asked, “Can you not see at all?” With deep sadness, the priest replied, “Many years have passed since I was able to see. The light has gone from my eyes. Consequently, I have to endure a lot of difficulties.” Shree Hari felt saddened by the priest. He gazed into the priest’s eyes and gently caressed his eyelids with His lotus hands. Like a flash of lightening, the priest regained his vision. The priest could not contain his delight. He was overjoyed. He prayed to Shree Hari, “You have granted me the gift of vision. From now till the end of my days, I will continue to do Your darshan.” The devotees of the temple also became overwhelmed by Shree Hari’s extraordinary prowess. Everyone lovingly performed adoration to Shree Hari. Whenever Shree Hari subsequently visited Ahmedabad, the priest would make sure to come for Shree Hari’s darshan.The Chief of the Pirana Sect Becomes Convinced about Shree Hari’s Supremacy
After leaving Ahmedabad, Shree Hari went to Jetalpur, Dabhan, Pij, Nadiad and then reached the village of Rohnya. This village has a very interesting history. Approximately 600 years earlier, Imamshah Baba from the Arab region visited the village. At the time, he forecasted that the supreme God would come to the village and sit upon a particular cot that he had placed in one of the temple rooms. When Shree Hari reached the village, He immediately went into that room and sat down on the special cot. The spiritual leader of the sect immediately remembered Imamshah Baba’s forecast. However, the devotees of the temple became angry and started to tell off Shree Hari. The sect’s elder, whom they referred to as Kaka (uncle) calmed them down. Shree Hari made the Kaka fall into a trance in which he experienced enlightenment. In the trance, he witnessed Shree Hari presiding upon a divine throne. When he awoke, he was overcome with joy, and immediately fell at Shree Hari’s lotus feet. He prayed, “Oh Lord! You are the supreme God. Now make me one of Yours.” Shree Hari clarified, “In which manner do you want Me to keep you with Me?” Kaka replied, “I want to remain in the same manner as the sants who accompany You.” According to his request, Shree Hari gave him a simple, long, sleeveless gown to wear and he prepared to depart from the village with Shree Hari. However, the devotees of the sect caused uproar to Kaka actions so consequently, Shree Hari commanded the sect’s elder to remain in the village and worship Him, from within.