Extract from the divine scripture, Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. Chapter 25 - Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami.
On one occasion, Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami took on an illness in the form of a severe cough. Multitudes of disciples came for Swamishree’s darshan and remained sitting, even when he was not able to deliver discourses due to his illness. At night, Swamishree would show his human characteristics and, showing the frailty in him, he would allow the cough to develop and annoy him. As a result, he stayed awake all night.
It is said:
Prakrut divya charitra manohar,
mumukshu-ne chhe sadaay sukhakar
Divya divya kahee gaave tamane anant pranaam
The human and divine activities of the Lord and His Muktas
are all divine and fascinating to those who seek salvation.
All their episodes are forever divine.
Shree Harignanamrut Kavya
Shree Parmanand Swami used to sleep alongside where Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami rested. During the day the droves of devotees and during the night, Swamishree’s cough meant that Shree Parmanand Swami was unable to sleep or get any rest. Consequently, he perceived human characteristics in Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami. He started whispering to those who where close to him, “How did I get to sleep alongside Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami? I cannot get even sufficient rest!”
Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami
Shree Parmanand Swami had a truly compassionate nature and was very pious. He had gained the favour of Lord Shree Swaminarayan. Consequently, that night, Lord Shree Swaminarayan granted him His divine lustrous darshan and said, “Sadhuram! If you do not like to have your bed beside him, how will you like residing within My Murti?” Shreejimaharaj then revealed from within Himself, the divine lustrous form of Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami, which was identical to His own form. Shree Parmanand Swami started prostrating in reverence to them and began to pray to both for forgiveness. Shreejimaharaj said, “Sadhuram! Not here to Me. Go in the morning to where Swamishree daily presides and ask for his pardon.” He then merged Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami back into His Murti and withdrew His darshan.
In the morning, Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami was presiding in the assembly. Sants and disciples prostrated in reverence to him and sat amongst the congregation. Shree Parmanand Swami arrived and began to prostrate in reverence to Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami. One of the other sants whispered to Swamishree, “Shree Parmanand Swami is prostrating to you.” Swamishree exclaimed, “Parmanand Swami! Stop! You are known as a Nand-padvi sant and I am merely of a das status. You need not prostrate to me.” Shree Parmanand Swami replied, “Swami! You are the Nand of all Nands. You are an independent Mukta who resides in the Murti of Lord Shree Swaminarayan. You are in the place of Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami and therefore, you are in the place of Lord Shree Swaminarayan. You alone are able to pardon my faults.”
After praying in this way, Shree Parmanand Swami told the congregation about how he had come to regard Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami as a mere mortal and about the darshan that Lord Shree Swaminarayan had given him during the night. He described the divinely lustrous darshan of Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami emerging from the Lord’s Murti. Seeing nobleness in him, Swamishree became pleased with him and forgave him.
After hearing this story from Shree Parmanand Swami, many eminent sants and disciples started to appreciate the glory of Swamishree. Such was the extraordinary prowess of Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami.
Extracted from the scripture, Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, translated by Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj. Chapter 25 - Sadguru Shree Nirgundasji Swami