The supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan is the redeemer of all. He bestows His divine bliss to anyone who genuinely takes resort unto His shelter.
Ongoing biography of Lord Shree Swaminarayan from the April 2006 edition of
Shree Ghanshyam Vijay
By Sadguru Shashtri Shree Sarveshwardasji Swami
'To grant me bliss, my beloved Shreeji came to my home’
The supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan is the redeemer of all. He bestows His divine bliss to anyone who genuinely takes resort unto His shelter. When Lord Shree Swaminarayan held the magnificent festival in Jetalpur, all the people of the village took the opportunity of offering their services in the preparation of function. Amongst these people was a prostitute who pleaded with the Lord to accept her humble offering and in this manner, redeem her from her sins. Shree Hari saw her genuine devotion and had given her 20 kg of grain to grind into flour. She lovingly ground the grain herself and offered the flour to the Lord. Shree Hari became pleased with her. When the festival had concluded, she made another humble request to Shree Hari and asked Him to visit her home. The merciful Lord accepted her wish.
With the news of the Lord coming to her home, she immediately ran home and cleaned the entire house. The entrance to her home was decorated and new cushions and floor coverings were laid down. A new bed was covered with a luxurious quilt and soft cushions for the Lord to sit on. All the articles for performing adoration were collected together in preparation of the Lord’s visit.
When Shree Hari was preparing to visit the lady’s home, He commanded Muktanand Swami, Brahmanand Swami and many other sants to accompany Him. All the other disciples realised that the practising of devotion was not reserved for high class individuals; God accepts everyone. Even if an insignificant, sinful soul were to repent and rectify his ways, the flow of devotion and spiritual love can still pervade through that individual. This was exactly what had happened to this particular lady; and the Lord was preparing to visit her, at her home.
The lady was standing in the high balcony of her home, eagerly waiting for the Lord. As soon as she saw Shree Hari, she could no longer contain her love for the Lord. Streams of loving tears flowed from her eyes because the merciful Lord had accepted her wish and was coming to visit her home. As Shree Hari and the sants were walking, they sang devotional songs. Eventually, Shree Hari’s divine lotus feet touched the entrance of the lady’s home. To perform adoration to Shree Hari on her behalf, the lady had called a pious Brahmin and told him to bath, to become purified and wear new silken clothing. The Brahmin performed adoration to Shree Hari using auspicious articles of worship. He also performed adoration to the sants and then placed sumptuous sweet food at Shree Hari’s lotus feet. Shree Hari accepted a small amount of the sweets and distributed the sanctified food to all the sants. Shree Hari then went through the entire house and sprinkled water to purify the building. The entire episode of Shree Hari’s visit to the home of this lady has been retold through Muktanand Swami’s devotional song, ‘Sajni kode anand gher Shreeji padhaaryaa’ (To grant me bliss, my beloved Shreeji came to my home).
Detest of the followers of the Vam-margi cult
Shree Hari celebrated the magnificent festival in Jetalpur without any manner of trouble or complications and His repute around the region increased considerably amongst the people of all facets of society. However, the followers of the Vam-margi cult could not tolerate seeing the love and devotion of the people towards Shree Hari. Furthermore, those who consumed meat and alcohol were openly classified by the scholars as being like demons. This enraged the followers of that cult even more. Just like a venomous snake prepares to poison its prey, the followers of the Vam-margi cult took a vow to kill Shree Hari, or be killed themselves. They complained to King Vitthalrav of the Peshva empire and told him that Lord Swaminarayan was not a Brahmin, but was still performing ceremonies, and this was totally inappropriate. The King, who was also of the Vam-margi cult, became angry and sent armed troops to capture Shree Hari.
Shree Hari was well aware of this flare-up so in order to avoid further confrontation, He left Jetalpur and went to the village of Gamdi. The armed soldiers reached Jetalpur but could not find Shree Hari anywhere. They returned to the King empty handed.
When the festival concluded, all the Brahmins who had come from outside of Jetalpur started returning to their own villages. They came across a spiteful Brahmin who had heard about the wonderful festival that Shree Hari had held. News, confirming the magnificence of the event enraged him even more. He asked, “How many people were at the festival? Was there any manner of dispute or disquiet amongst all those people?” The Brahmins replied, “Approximately 100,000 people had gathered to take part in the festival, but there was no unrest anywhere. The glory of Lord Swaminarayan was spread far and wide.” Hearing these words made the other Brahmin extremely angry and he started shouting, “You are all imbeciles. None of you are true Brahmins. If you were, you would have fallen into the sacrificial fire. The fact that the festival concluded without any kind of uproar is a dishonour to our Brahmin caste.” Other angry Brahmins also joined in and questioned, “Why did you just sit back and watch the proceedings? Why were you so cowardly? In anticipation of food and monetary gifts, how did you forget causing havoc?” The Brahmins who went to the festival replied, “Actually, we tried to do everything. We threw away the food into the lake and poured away the ghee. However, the prowess of Shree Hari was such that nothing could halt Him. That Swaminarayan made ghee appear in vessels that we had emptied. He then appointed His own Brahmin disciples to be in charge of the kitchens. Furthermore, whilst we were dining, He has armed attendants waiting, to prevent any kind of disturbance from occurring. So what more could anyone do? He even had a gun fired at a huge pot of lentils and warned, ‘if anyone tries to cause trouble, the head of that person will face the same fate as the pot of lentils.’ We could do nothing more than bow our heads and eat our meal.
In this manner, the irreverent Brahmins continued insulting Lord Swaminarayan. However, many others realised the greatness of Lord Swaminarayan, ‘He was able to make preparation to feed thousands of people within a short time and He was able to reveal ghee pouring from empty vessels. Therefore, He must be the true God. So, rather than opposing Him, we must take resort unto Him and consequently, attain His divine bliss.’