DwarkaMai - Sai Baba Forum

Main Section => Little Flowers of DwarkaMai => Topic started by: SS91 on August 20, 2009, 08:11:46 AM

Title: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 20, 2009, 08:11:46 AM
Above the Attachment of Family     

  Lalji Suthar of Shekhpat was a devotee of Shriji Maharaj. Maharaj once visited the house of this well-to-do devotee and expressed his wish to cross the Rann of Kutch to reach Bhuj. Lalji volunteered as His guide. In the harsh conditions of the desert, Maharaj tested Lalji. Maharaj made him give away the food he had brought to a beggar, the water he carried to a thirsty passer-by, and the money he had to a thief!

After a long journey, the tired, thirsty and hungry Lalji arrived with Maharaj at the outskirts of the village of Adhoi. Here, Maharaj instructed, “Lalji, go into the village and beg for some food for us to eat.”

Lalji thought for a while and replied, “Maharaj! My in-laws live in this village. Everyone here knows me. So, how can I beg here?”

Maharaj smiled and offered, “Lalji! What if I give you a disguise so that you are not recognised?”

Lalji understood Maharaj’s line of thought. Immediately, he agreed to renounce and became a sadhu. Maharaj initiated him.

In his new saffron robes, he went directly to the house of his in-laws to beg alms. His wife saw him and tried her utmost to persuade him to return. However, Lalji boldly replied, “Now my spirit of vairagya will not be dampened.”

Maharaj, too, was pleased by Lalji Suthar’s staunch vairagya and said, “You have truly renounced your kul (family) and become nishkul (above family attachment). Therefore, your name from now onwards is Nishkulanand Swami.”

Sadguru Nishkulanand Swami was the embodiment of vairagya. No worldly attractions ever tempted him to slacken in his observance of vairagya.

We bow with great respect to Nishkulanand Swami, the embodiment of vairagya.|
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 21, 2009, 06:39:34 AM
Using Babul Sticks   

  Once, Verabhai was en route to attend a festival in Gadhada. During his journey, he felt exhausted and so decided to take a night halt at someone’s farm. The next morning Verabhai woke up early. He brushed his teeth with a babul stick, took a bath and performed his puja. He then began his journey for Gadhada again.

After traveling some distance, a thought jolted his mind. His conscience began to bite at him, ‘I am a devotee of the great Shriji Maharaj, who strongly opposes stealing. And as a devotee, I have let Him down.’ His heart began to melt at the mere thought of not abiding by Shriji Maharaj’s command.

Immediately he retraced his footsteps to the farm where he had spent the night. On arriving, he saw the owner of the farm drawing water from the well. At once Verabhai began to offer him dandvats (prostrations). The owner was shocked to see the devotee doing dandvats before him. He yelled, “My friend, what are you doing?” Verabhai explained, “My Lord, Shriji Maharaj, has asked His devotees never to use any item without asking its owner. This morning, without your permission, I used a babul stick. Therefore, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 21, 2009, 06:08:01 PM
Jivram Joshi of Jetpur   

  Jivram Joshi was a staunch follower of Shriji Maharaj in Jetpur village. He was so strict about his religious observances, like not eating garlic, that even the most pious would bow their head before him. But it was not to the liking of hostile Brahmins in the village. They once asked the village head to provide a feast for the entire Brahmin community of the village.
Imagine, who the cook was! He belonged to the hostile party and he put garlic into every item of food prepared by him. The Brahmins went to the village head and said that every Brahmin would come to the feast but not Jivram Joshi. He was very annoyed and told Jivram Joshi that he should either attend the feast or leave the village with his entire family carrying nothing.

Jivram Joshi was so strict about his religious observances that he preferred to leave the village rather than eat the food which contained garlic. Shriji Maharaj was very happy to know that Joshi preferred to leave the village rather than give up his principles. Maharaj was then at Junagadh. He gave all the valuable clothes presented by his devotees to Jivraj Joshi and told one of his followers in Pithvada village, who was a Patel, “Jivram Joshi of Jetpur village is a front-rank devotee of ours. He has left his village with his family carrying nothing with him. So you prepare a comfortable house for his stay in your village.” It was arranged accordingly. Shri Hari wrote a letter to Jivram Joshi. On receiving the letter, he left for Pithvada village and stayed in his new house comfortably.

Bhagwan takes care of his devotees at all times.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 22, 2009, 06:48:49 AM
Ideal Disciple   

  Once Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami was in Sarangpur. He called Pragji Bhakta close to him and told him, "Pragji, I am overflowing with knowledge, but I have yet to find a worthy person to give it to." Seeing the mood and love of Gunatitanand Swami, Pragji Bhakta asked, "Swami, can't you give that knowledge to me?"

Swami replied with a smile, "It can only be given to a person who has control over all his senses and is prepared to surrender himself completely to me." Hearing this, Pragji Bhakta was determined to be worthy of Swami's blessings. He did nothing but Gunatitanand Swami's seva. Pragji Bhakta was eager to earn his Guru's raajipo (blessings).

Once Gunatitanand Swami gave Pragji Bhakta the difficult job of preparing the lime for the mandir. Everyone was afraid of the blisters and the risk of blindness that the lime could cause. Pragji Bhakta, however, willingly accepted this seva. He poured water on the limestone powder and pounded it smoothly with his bare feet in a pit. He felt great pleasure in this seva. Others warned him, "Pragji, you will become blind because of the heat from the lime!" But he simply replied, "I want to please Swami. I have dedicated my life in the service of Swami." Although Pragji Bhakta's faith and dedication were unshakable, Gunatitanand Swami told him, "You are working with your physical power. You need to perform tapa (austerity) to decrease this power. Start your tapa by observing nirjala fast for two days straight and eating only once on the third day." Pragji Bhakta started this very difficult niyam right away. Despite these hardships, he continued his seva. Whenever he was free, he sat near Gunatitanand Swami and listened to his divine katha.  

In this way Pragji Bhakta obeyed Swami’s every command. Gunatitanand Swami was greatly pleased with the deep devotion and service of his ideal disciple. Pragji Bhakta had one aim, one desire and one mission; and that was to act according to the wishes of Gunatitanand Swami and obey all his commands. Through his constant seva and understanding, he earned Gunatitanand Swami's raajipo and spiritual knowledge.   
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 24, 2009, 10:17:19 AM
A Single Virtue from Everyone     

  Once Shriji Maharaj came to serve food to the sadhus. He served lovingly and filled their bowls to the brim. The sadhus hailed the name of Maharaj for being blessed with food served by His own hands. As they were about to commence their meals, two sadhus arrived. They had not eaten either.

Maharaj was aware that there were no food items left to serve. How would He fill their bowls now?

So Shriji Maharaj told them, “Go to all the sadhus with your eating bowls and ask for a little food from everyone.”

The two sadhus held their bowls before every sadhu, and each one in turn gave them the best item they had. Within no time their bowls were full and the sadhus joined the group.

On seeing this, Shriji Maharaj told a moral to the sadhus, “Listen everyone! The bowls of these two sadhus were initially empty. But when they bent low to accept what you gave, their bowls became full with the best food items. Similarly, in Satsang, if you humbly accept a single virtue from everyone then your life will become full of virtues.”

By accepting the good qualities of others, one’s life becomes virtuous and divine. A little pledge to see and accept the virtues of others will enrich one’s heart with the joys of goodness and divinity.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 25, 2009, 06:26:53 AM
Bhaktaraj Gordhanbhai     

  Once Gordhanbhai was on his way to a pond to wash his clothes. He always kept his mind focused on Maharaj. He was not aware of anything else. So instead of taking his clothes, he lifted his little sleeping son and started walking to the pond. On the way to the pond, he was constantly chanting, “Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan”. When he was passing through the market, the boy started crying. But Gordhanbhai was lost in his own spiritual world so he did not hear him.

Then someone said, “Gordhan! Have you gone mad? You are holding your child on your shoulder with his head upside down. Can’t you hear him crying? Put him down on the ground.”

Gordhanbhai realised his mistake. He put his son on the ground and said, “I thought I was carrying my clothes.” So strong and deep was Gordhanbhai’s devotion that he was not aware of anything except Shriji Maharaj.

Once Shriji Maharaj was speaking to a holy assembly in Gordhanbhai’s house. Then a devotee came and fell at Maharaj’s feet and gave Him a plate of pendãs. Shriji Maharaj looked at Gordhanbhai and said, “Serve Me.” Instead of giving the pendãs to Maharaj, the Sheth began eating the sweets himself. He finished all the pendãs very quickly. One of the devotees thought: ‘It is strange. The pendãs were given to Maharaj. Why did
Gordhanbhai eat them?’
Shriji Maharaj then said, “Gordhanbhai was thinking only of Me while eating. So, it is as if I have eaten the sweets. Durvãsã Rishi had eaten sixteen thousand, one hundred and eight dishes of the gopis while thinking only about God. That is why he was said to be constantly fasting. In the same way, this Sheth understands his ãtmã as being brahmarup and worships Me in all three states.

To him both sugar and salt are the same.” That is why Shriji Maharaj has said that his true devotees were Gordhanbhai and Parvatbhai.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 25, 2009, 01:42:24 PM
Turning Point in Life   

  Bilkha is a village near Gondal in the Saurashtra region.
Munja Suru was a Charan and a terror in the region. He had all the vices. He would drink, eat meat, and take opium. If he got an opportunity he would not hesitate to kill someone. People tried to avoid him like poison.

Once Gunatitanand Swami visited the village and asked Munja to come and meet him. He, no doubt, came, but he was very arrogant. Gunatitanand Swami was a pious sadhu. Munja did not have the courage to look at him in the face. But Gunatitanand Swami was like a light in to others. He tried to explain things to Munja, “Munja! Do you know the punishment for all your bad habits? Those who take opium have to spend one year in hell and those who take bhang have to spend three years and those who take meat and drink have to spend thousands of years.”

Munja replied, “Tell these things to Banias and Brahmins and not to me. How can I manage without these things? We hang the shastras on a peg.” He said this with his usual arrogance, but he could not look Gunatitanand Swami in the face. When Swami looked at him he experienced samadhi. His whole body began to shake. He lost his consciousness and fell down at Swami’s feet. Suddenly, he was assaulted by the servants of Yam. Munja was greatly frightened and started shouting, “Save me. Please someone save me.” But the servants of Yam beat him to pulp. Munja said, “I shall never commit any sin. Please leave me alone.” The servants of Yamraj realized that he was ripe to be reformed by Swami. They left the place in a short time. Munja bowed at Swami’s feet and said, “Please save me from these sins. Swami! Protect me. I seek refuge in you.” Swami said with a smile, “Munja! Those who seek Maharaj’s refuge, will be rid of all sorrows.”

From that moment, Munja began to wear a kanthi. He gave up all his bad habits and violence. A sinner had turned into a pious man. Swami changed his life.  

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 26, 2009, 11:00:20 AM
Himraj Sheth of Sundariyana     

  Himraj Sheth and his sons, residents of Sundariyana, near Botad, were attracted into Satsang through Gopalanand Swami. Himraj Sheth and his sons had an unshakeable faith that Shriji Maharaj was the supreme God.
Due to their change of allegiance from the Vaishnav Sampraday to the Swaminarayan Sampraday, many people of their community caused them much trouble. However, they were determined to adhere to their new-found faith, whatever the consequences.
After some time, Himraj Sheth passed away. So, people attempted to convince his sons, Vanasha and Pujasha, to forsake Satsang and throw away their kanthi. The community leaders decided that they would attend Himraj Sheth’s final rites only if the sons gave up Satsang.
Despite this threat, the sons were resolute that they would never give up Satsang and their firm faith towards Maharaj. As a final measure, the community leaders excommunicated Himraj Sheth’s sons from their community.
When Shriji Maharaj learnt of this, He immediately arrived in Sundariyana with a large entourage of sadhus and devotees to attend Himraj Sheth’s final rites. Vanasha and Pujasha were overjoyed.
Maharaj, too, gave everyone immense spiritual bliss through His discourses, darshan and prasad.
A devotee with true faith remains unshaken even in the face of stiffest opposition. God always protects those who have such firm faith.   
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 27, 2009, 08:06:12 AM
Samadhi to Shitaldas   

  Shitaldas, a Brahmin, was a spiritual aspirant who was desperate to find God. Having heard the glory of Ramanand Swami, he arrived in Faneni. However, there, he learnt that Ramanand Swami had passed away only a few days before.

Disappointed, he was preparing to return when Shriji Maharaj called him. Instantly, by the grace of Maharaj, Shitaldas entered into samadhi. He saw that all the avatars and Ramanand Swami were paying homage to Shriji Maharaj. During the samadhi, Shitaldas had a wish to perform pujan of Shriji Maharaj and the countless akshar muktas.

Maharaj realised his thoughts and said, “To create countless forms of yourself take the name of each avatar in turn and wish that if they are the supreme God that you multiply into countless forms so that you may offer pujan to all simultaneously.” Shitaldas did as Shriji Maharaj suggested, but nothing happened.

Then Shriji Maharaj said, “Wish that if Ramanand Swami is the supreme God then you multiply into countless forms.” Again, nothing happened.

Finally, Maharaj said, “Wish that if Shriji Maharaj is the supreme God then you multiply into countless forms.” He did as advised, and instantly, he multiplied into innumerable forms and offered pujan to the akshar muktas.

Maharaj convinced many that He was the supreme God by blessing them with samadhi. Shitaldas, too, was convinced that Shriji Maharaj is the supreme God. So, he accepted the bhagvati diksha from Maharaj and was named Vyapkanand Swami.  
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 28, 2009, 07:11:04 PM
Four Devotees of Memka   

  Mulji Sheth, a disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, resided in the village of Memka. Once he requested Shriji Maharaj to come and bless his village.
Shriji Maharaj was pleased by Mulji Sheth’s love and affection and consented to his wish and asked him to make preparations for His visit.
Mulji Sheth happily returned to Memka and made the necessary preparations for Maharaj’s reception. Shriji Maharaj arrived with a large following of sadhus and devotees.
The other satsangi residents of the village were Hansraj Suthar, Shamo Aagolo and Shamo Kansagaro. They all served Maharaj and the entire group for three days.
On the day of departure, Shriji Maharaj called the four devotees and instructed, “Within twenty days leave this village and settle elsewhere.” The four devotees were surprised at Maharaj’s words. But since it was His command, they left Memka with their belongings.
On the twenty-first day, the Gaekwad’s army, led by Babaji, looted the entire village. The four devotees who had obeyed the command of Maharaj were safe and sound.
God protects those who obey His commands.   

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 30, 2009, 01:43:01 PM
Dosabhai of Bandhiya     

  Dosabhai, who lived in Bandhiya, was a very staunch devotee of Shriji Maharaj. Many Jain Vanias also lived in the village. Once, a group of them had to go to another town to attend a marriage ceremony. On the way they arrived at Gadhada. So, they went to the darbar of Dada Khachar to have the darshan of Shriji Maharaj.
Maharaj welcomed them all and enquired about Dosabhai. One of the Vanias replied, “Maharaj, we are upto our neck in our business and worldly duties. But your Dosabhai is totally submerged. He’s always busy selling gor from his cart. In fact, he finds time to brush his teeth only after mid-morning.”
Maharaj laughed and replied, “What if we make Dosabhai into a sadhu?” The Vanias chatted among themselves and said, “If Dosabhai becomes a sadhu, we will become satsangis.” Then they left, promising to return on their way home.
Meanwhile, Maharaj sent a letter to Dosabhai instructing him to renounce all his responsibilities and come to Gadhada immediately. When he arrived, Maharaj initiated him into the sadhu-fold.
A few days later, the Vanias returned. They couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Dosabhai in the garb of a sadhu. Convinced, they said, “Maharaj, indeed Dosabhai is a true devotee of Yours. He truly possesses vairagya. Only then is such renunciation possible.”
The devotees of Shriji Maharaj were aloof from worldly attachments. They possessed vairagya and offered
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on August 31, 2009, 09:59:17 AM
Divine Nilkanth   

  “But mother, why are you making me go?"
"Because that is the way. If you keep on working you won't realise anything. See Bhagwandas, the purpose of life is to achieve God." Today she had kept his bundle of clothes and food ready for him.
"But where will I find God?"
"Go and search in mandirs and holy places near mountains and rivers. There will be God somewhere there."
"But mother, how will I know that I have found God if I meet Him?" Bhagwandas asked.
"It's easy. There are signs …"
"Remember that God has divine signs on His feet. There are seven on His left foot and nine on His right." And then his mother described all sixteen marks. "When you see someone with those marks then know Him to be God."
"Are there any other signs mother?"
"Yes. God's body is divine. Rays of light pass through His body. He does not cast a shadow."
"If I find such a person..."
"Just bring Him home!" Mother was eager. "Pray to Him, beg Him, please Him - do anything to bring Him to our home!"
So Bhagwandas left home. With every step his heart throbbed happiness – that he would soon meet God. He came to a river in the evening. He crossed it by boat and continued. He was thinking to himself when he heard a voice ...
"Bhagwandas, come here!" He was surprised. Nobody knew him here! Curious, he noticed a youth sitting under a tree. He was a brahmachari wearing a loincloth. His smile was radiant.
"Bhagwandas, can you please help me?" the celibate asked. Bhagwandas wondered, 'How does he know my name?'
"I have a thorn in my foot. It will be kind of you to remove it. It will reduce my pain." The ascetic spoke softly.
Bhagwandas sat down to help. "Okay. Let's see your foot. What's your name?"
"Neelkanth" the ascetic replied. "See, walking through the jungle, a thorn pierced my right foot."
Bhagwandas gently took Neelkanth’s right foot and started checking for a thorn. But there was none. He instead saw some marks on it! Amazed, he looked up at "Neelkanth"! Bhagwandas saw the nine marks that his mother had described!
"I do not see a thorn…"
"Maybe it's in my left foot."
Bhagwandas started looking at the left foot. He found the seven marks! Excited he looked up at "Neelkanth" and Bhagwandas saw the sunlight coming through the body of Neelkanth. He had no shadow!
"Neelkanth"! You are God almighty!" Bhagwandas bowed at Neelkanth’s feet. "Please, come with me! My family awaits you! Please come and bless us all!"
And Neelkanth went with Bhagwandas. He stayed with his family for a few days and fulfilled their devotional wishes and blessed them with moksh.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 01, 2009, 07:02:19 AM
Dada Khachar Passes the Test   
  Once Shriji Maharaj was seated under a neem tree, and devotees from various places had gathered around Shriji Maharaj to listen to His divine talks. Before sitting down Dada Khachar requested Maharaj, “My Lord! May you always be pleased upon me.” Maharaj did not say a word and continued His talks. Dada Khachar sat in the assembly and became engrossed in the divine image of the Lord.

In the presence of Maharaj time flew by, and before anyone realized it, it was 12 o’clock. All of a sudden Maharaj called Dada Khachar. You have been saying for sometime, “My lord! May you be always being pleased upon me.” In order to please me, you should leave Gadhada with your family and hand over your entire estate to me at once.”

Dada Khachar desired to please Shriji Maharaj. So he immediately signed over his estate. Then he called his wife Jasuba to the courtyard. As she entered the courtyard, Dada Khachar explained Maharaj’s wish. She also had the same desire to please Maharaj in her heart. Right away she agreed with her husband.

Before leaving, Jasuba thought to herself that Bawa Khachar, their two-year-old son, was hungry. At once she went to the kitchen to get some food for their child. As she was preparing to take a snack for their journey Shriji Maharaj walked in. Maharaj said, “Who have you asked to take this food? Do you not realize that this is my estate now? Without my permission you cannot take anything. So leave Gadhada right now.”

It was the middle of summer. The scorching sun was boiling down on everyone. The assembly looked stunned to see Dada Khachar, the king of Gadhada, ready to leave everything; he did not even take a single grain of food, to please Shriji Maharaj. As soon as Dada Khachar reached the outskirts of the village, Maharaj started to cry out, “Why didn’t anyone stop me; how could you let me insult such a staunch devotee! Call Dada back immediately.” The devotees ran and brought Dada Khachar back. As soon as Dada entered the courtyard Maharaj stood up and ran towards him. Maharaj embraced him tightly and showered His praise upon him.   


Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 02, 2009, 06:18:58 AM
God Came to Bhakta’s Rescue     

Rajput Galuji, a farmer of Dadusar, near Mahemdavad, had returned from his field and was about to take his meal. His mother had lit a lamp and his plate was ready. Then a devotee named Dharmasinh of the village Vartal arrived with a letter from Shriji Maharaj. The letter read, “As soon as you receive this letter, load all of your belongings into a bullock-cart and come alone to Vartal, leaving your mother at home.” Following Maharaj’s command, Galuji collected all his belongings, loaded them into a bullock-cart and reached Vartãl that same night to meet Shriji Maharaj.

That night, to take revenge on Galuji, some garasiyas surrounded Galuji’s house and entered it through the roof. They saw a lamp burning in the house and Galuji’s mother on a cot, with a rosary in her hand uttering “Swaminarayan,” “Swaminarayan.” She was surprised to see men jumping inside from the roof. She said, “Who is that?”

The garasiyas were surprised. They came near the old woman and said, “Mother! Your God is indeed very great. And your son, Galuji, is also a great devotee of that God. We had decided to rob your house and kill your son. But God came to his rescue.” The old woman was listening to all this without even the slightest fear. She had firm faith in Bhagwan Swaminarayan. She replied, “Look here, my sons, Maharaj called him to Vartal to protect him. So, give up your life of robbing and killing. Maharaj will protect you too.”

The garasiyas accepted the old woman’s advice. They said to her, “Mother, you are right. From today Galuji’s God is our God too, and now we have no hatred towards Galuji. Please tell Maharaj to bless us too.” After saying these words, they fell at the feet of the old woman.

The very day Maharaj was to visit Dadusar, Galuji’s mother died. Everyone in the family was worried: “What should we do now?” Galuji told them, “If we become busy in performing the last rites, I am sure Maharaj will not stay here. So, let us cover the body and put it in the attic while Maharaj is here with us.”

They did so and forgot about the old woman’s death. Early in the morning, Maharaj arrived in Dadusar with a group of saints. Galuji had put on plain clothes. He received Maharaj with the beating of drums. He bowed to Maharaj and took Him and the saints to the mansion of a rich man in the village. There, food had been prepared by a brahmin. Galuji served Maharaj and the saints.

Then Shriji Maharaj said, ‘We are in a hurry because we want to reach Vartal. Next time, we will stay here longer.” Galuji and other devotees stayed with Maharaj and the saints for one mile and gave them a grand farewell.

Before leaving, Shriji Maharaj stopped Galuji and said, “Galuji return home and finish your work.” After saying these words Maharaj started walking ahead. But then Muktanand Swami asked, “Maharaj, what work does Galuji have to finish?”

Shriji Maharaj replied, “Even you will be surprised to hear this. Galuji’s old mother is dead and has gone to Akshardham. He had kept the body in the attic so that he could serve us. Only a brave devotee like Galuji can do this. No one else can do this.”

When the saints and devotees heard this, they said, “Yes Maharaj, you are right. Galuji is really a brave and great devotee.”

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 06, 2009, 01:28:47 PM
Yogiji Maharaj’s Devotion

Once, Yogiji Maharaj and Nirgundas Swami were travelling by bullock-cart from Sarangpur to Gadhada. In the scorching afternoon sun, they made their way through barren land. It was about 4 p.m. and time to offer water to the murti of Harikrishna Maharaj that Yogiji Maharaj served with great affection. But no river, lake or well came nearby from which he could obtain water. Yogiji Maharaj’s face revealed concern and pain at not being able to offer water to his beloved Harikrishna Maharaj.

After some time, they eventually came to a small river. Yogiji Maharaj’s face lit up. He told the driver to stop. First, he bathed Thakorji and then offered some filtered water. Yogiji Maharaj then began performing prostrations to Harikrishna Maharaj, asking forgiveness for the delay in offering the water.

Nirgundas Swami was touched by Yogiji Maharaj’s heartfelt devotion.

Yogiji Maharaj’s life was an ideal of exemplary devotion to God. He passed his entire life in the service and devotion of God. Indeed, devotion to God was his life.   


Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 10, 2009, 08:46:17 AM
In a Flash of Lightning  

It was the monsoon season. Shriji Maharaj, together with Gunatitanand Swami, Muktanand Swami, other sadhus and devotees were in Gadhada. Daily, the sadhus listened attentively to Maharaj’s discourses.
One day, after the discourses, Maharaj went to deliver a discourse to the women devotees.
It was a dark rainy night, with the occasional bolt of lightning illuminating and deafening the sky. In the middle of the night Muktanand Swami woke up and came out of the sadhus’ residence. As he looked into the night, he saw a lone dark figure standing under the roof. He called out, “Who’s standing there?”
“It’s me, Gunatitanand,” came the reply.
“Why are you standing here late at night in such weather?” asked Muktanand Swami.
Gunatitanand Swami replied, “Maharaj has gone to the darbar for discourses. I’m standing here so that when He returns, I can get His darshan.”

Muktanand Swami was surprised by the answer. He asked, “You have Maharaj’s darshan all day. Isn’t that enough?”
Gunatitanand Swami answered, “No, how can one ever have enough of Maharaj’s darshan?”
Again Muktanand Swami asked, “Don’t you feel sleepy? You’ve been soaked by the rain.” Then he left, but Gunatitanand Swami stayed.

Late that night, when Maharaj was returning to His room after the discourses it was still raining. Just at that time, a flash of lightning streaked across the sky and lit the dark night. In this flash of lightning, Gunatitanand Swami’s patience was rewarded by the darshan of Maharaj. Only then did Swami retire.

Gunatitanand Swami spent all his time engrossed in the darshan, company and worship of Maharaj. His devotion and love for Shriji Maharaj was supreme.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 14, 2009, 08:48:30 AM
Abhaysinh’s Steadfastness   
  Abhaysinh Darbar of Lodhika was a bona fide devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He strictly adhered to the five cardinal moral vows prescribed for householders.
Once, he went to the Jamsaheb of Jamnagar for some administrative work. The palace of Jamsaheb was a venue for evening bouts in binging. When Abhaysinh entered, the guests were intoxicated with liquor and ego. The Jamsaheb, too, was drunk and entertaining himself with jokes with his men.

Abhaysinh Darbar sat quietly, showing the least interest in the drunken revelry. Then the darbars offered a glass of liquor to Abhaysinh. But Abhaysinh refused, saying, “I am a devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. I do not drink liquor, or eat meat.”

Some of the darbars loathed Swaminarayan, so they decided to force Abhaysinh to break his pledge. They then instigated the Jamsaheb, “Abhaysinh refuses to drink liquor. Even if you offer him yourself, he will still refuse to touch it.”

The Jamsaheb got up and went up to Abhaysinh with a glass of liquor. He insisted that he accept the glass, but Abhaysinh remained unflagging in his resolve. After undue pressure, Abhaysinh pulled out his own sword and gave it to the Jamsaheb. “Bapu, take this sword and behead me. Then you can pour as much liquor as you wish in my throat. But as long as I am alive and I have the kanthi of Bhagwan Swaminarayan around my neck, I shall never drink liquor.”

The lion-like resolve of Abhaysinh jolted the Jamsaheb from his intoxication. He embraced Abhaysinh for his steadfastness.

A true devotee remains morally resolute even in the face enticements or peer pressure.

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 15, 2009, 07:39:18 AM
Liberation in Refuge   

  Shriji Maharaj and the paramhansas were present in Gadhada. Once, Maharaj instructed the paramhansas, “From today onwards you shall all wear an arm’s length of jute cloth only.” Then Maharaj started giving the jute cloth to the paramhansas. Everyone present accepted the new injunction.
Then Brahmanand Swami came. Since he was very fat, an arm’s length of jute cloth did not suffice for him.
“Maharaj, give me more than an arm’s length,” Brahmanand Swami requested.
“A rule is a rule. You’ll not get more,” Maharaj replied.
“But Maharaj, how can I cover myself with only an arm’s length!” Brahmanand Swami argued.
“Then reduce your weight. I will not give you an inch more.”

On hearing this, Brahmanand Swami started looking in the four directions. Shriji Maharaj asked him what he was doing.

“I am looking around to see whether there is any God besides You residing anywhere. But I cannot find anyone other than You. Without refuge in You there is no liberation,” Brahmanand Swami spoke with deep conviction and reverence for Maharaj.
The words of Brahmanand Swami pleased Maharaj. The supreme Maharaj embraced and showered His blessings on Brahmanand Swami and gave him the extra jute cloth. Everyone was impressed by the resolute faith of Brahmanand Swami.

A devotee’s firm refuge in God makes him a recipient of liberation and God’s abundant grace.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 17, 2009, 08:47:57 AM
A Favour in Return for Persecution   
  Gunatitanand Swami was touring the Sorath region with a group of Sadhus. In some villages, where the devotees resided, they were honoured and welcomed; whereas in others the unfriendly folks insulted and persecuted them.
Once, Gunatitanand Swami arrived at the village of Juna Savar. Uga Khuman, the village chief, loathed the Swaminarayan sadhus. On hearing the news of their arrival, Uga Khuman became inflamed with anger. He and his men insulted them, thrashed them and drove them out of the village.

The sadhus unresistingly hobbled their way to the village lake. The extent of their persecution was evident from their bleeding wounds and sore bodies. When the village women came to fill their pots with water they were moved by the wanton cruelty meted out to the sadhus by the village chief. Out of compassion they uttered, “How can God bless the Darbar with a child when he persecutes such innocent sadhus! Such a merciless village chief shall always remain childless.”

When Gunatitanand Swami came to know of this, he and the sadhus prayed to Shriji Maharaj to bless the Darbar with a child and thereafter to have his house graced by sadhus.

And Gunatitanand Swami’s prayers were answered. Even at an old age Uga Khuman fathered a baby boy. Several years later, when Gunatitanand Swami was passing through the outskirts of Juna Savar, Uga Khuman’s eight-year old boy caught hold of Swami’s finger and brought him and the sadhus home. Gunatitanand Swami reminded Uga Khuman, “Darbar! Do you remember that several years ago you had beaten us and expelled us from this village! However, on hearing that you were childless, we prayed to Shriji Maharaj to bless you with a son. And by the grace of Swaminarayan you have been blessed with this boy.”

Uga Khuman repented for his ruthless act and prayed for forgiveness.

One who blesses in return for persecution is a sadhu. Gunatitanand Swami was fearless because he considered no one to be his enemy. He had sowed the seeds of Satsang by tolerating innumerable occasions of insult, pain and persecution. Today, those seeds have grown into giant banyan trees, providing solace to innumerable souls.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 22, 2009, 09:01:30 AM
Insult in Anand   
  Once Shriji Maharaj visited the town of Anand. The local devotees had enthusiastically made preparations for a welcome procession. Maharaj had arrived with a group of paramhansas and armed Kathi devotees. Before the procession commenced, Maharaj sought a pledge from the Kathi devotees, “Do not use your swords or weapons, even if anyone insults us, throws bricks or flings mud at us. Instead, forgive them.”

Shriji Maharaj’s foreboding words sparked off a flurry of thoughts in everyone’s mind. And Maharaj’s words came true. Many of the hostile people of Anand insulted Maharaj and his company of sadhus and devotees. They bitterly hurled mud, bricks, stones, dung and rubbish as the procession passed through the town centre.

The Kathi devotees suppressed their anger and ferocity and tamely tolerated the affront. Though their hearts boiled and itched with a desire to retaliate, they abided by their pledge to Maharaj. Shriji Maharaj left Anand and arrived in Vartal. Here, Maharaj assembled the congregation by the banks of Gomti lake. Everyone looked crestfallen and moodless. Maharaj then addressed the assembly, “Today we have won the citadel of Idar. Through tolerance we have enhanced our pride and reputation.” Maharaj’s words calmed their agitated minds.

God is compassionate and merciful. He tolerates everyone. Shriji Maharaj had emphasised tolerance as a great virtue. He imbibed the virtue in His life and prescribed tolerance for all His devotees!  
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 23, 2009, 12:36:46 PM
Swaminarayan – The Guardian and Protector   

  Barpatoli is a small village in Saurashtra. Khima Dobariya, a native of the village, was a dedicated devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was happy socially and financially. He had a respectable name in the region. His wife, too, was a staunch devotee.
One afternoon, an astrologer came to Khima Dobariya’s house. Though by appearance he donned a pair of odd clothes and sported a heavy beard, Khima Dobariya’s wife welcomed him thinking that he was a Brahmin. After a while he turned the pages of a voluminous book and uttered, “Lady, I am warning you with reference to the scriptures of astrology that your husband’s stars have now become unfavourable.”

“What do you mean by unfavourable?” Khima’s wife enquired. And the Brahmin took the opportunity to prey upon the woman’s apparent gullibility. He uttered a chain of references and stories and added, “It means that he will have to beg for alms from village to village and will go hungry for days on end.”

At this, Khima’s wife responded emphatically, “There are no unfavourable stars shining on my husband’s fate. He has happily had his lunch and is now peacefully taking an afternoon nap on his farm. So it seems that it is not his stars but yours that are unfavourable. Otherwise why would you have to come roaming all the way from Gujarat to Kathiawad to earn your living!”

The Brahmin was simply astonished at the unexpected answer. Then Khima Dobariya’s wife added, “Listen, O stranger! We have Swaminarayan as our guardian and protector. Through His powers no amount of mumbo-jumbo or black magic can affect us.”

The Brahmin left in shame, never to return to that village.

A true devotee has unswerving faith in God. He does not believe in black magic nor can evil elements exercise their influence over him or her.

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on September 24, 2009, 10:28:47 AM
Vajiba of Vijapur  
  Vajiba, one of Maharaj’s foremost female devotees, was of the Sathvara community. She lived in Vijapur and readily and devoutly served food and provided clothes for all sadhus. Once, she had understood the qualities of a true sadhu and the principles of Satsang, she became a very staunch devotee. She realised the futility of feeding and clothing wayward bawas and thus stopped entertaining them.
Once, Shriji Maharaj arrived with Mulji Brahmachari to Vajiba’s house. As she had never seen Shriji Maharaj, she did not recognise Him. Maharaj tested the extent of her faith by showing several miracles. Through His powers of omniscience, He asked for rotlas, a bed and a mattress. Even when He extended His feet to touch a pipal tree, she did not waver in her faith towards Maharaj. In fact, her firmness increased, even though she did not know that Maharaj Himself was her visitor.

A few days after Maharaj had left, she decided to go to Gadhada for His darshan. There, Maharaj asked her, “Do you recognise these charnarvind?
Vajiba replied, “Maharaj! This is the first time I am having your darshan.”

Maharaj said, “These are the feet that stretched out to touch your pipal tree.”

Surprised, Vajiba responded, “Oh Maharaj! Was it You who came that day? I didn’t even recognise You. And I treated You very harshly.”

Maharaj smiled as He listened and then comforting Vajiba, said, “I had come to test you. Your faith did not waver in the slightest. Even if devotees like you treat Me harshly, I find it very soothing!”

Devotees who have firm faith are not deflected from their conviction, even if tested by God Himself. God showers His love on such staunch devotees.

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 05, 2009, 11:20:20 AM
Shining Character   

Sagram Vaghri of Limli village was a genuine devotee of Shriji Maharaj. Though he was low-born, by character he was noble and towering. The severe famine of VS 1869 (1813 CE) had spread its tentacles of suffering and death on the land of Kathiawad. Many migrated to southern Gujarat to survive and eke out a livelihood.

Sagram Vaghri and his wife, too, were heading optimistically towards the town of Surat. On the way Sagram’s eyes fell on a shiny ornament. It was an expensive silver anklet that someone had lost. Despite his poverty, Sagram had no desire to take it. But he thought of his wife who was a few furlongs behind him. Being a woman she would be enticed to take it, and it would amount to a transgression of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s words. So thinking, Sagram covered the anklet with mud.

After a while when his wife caught up with him, she asked, “What were you doing sitting down a little while back?” Sagram revealed to her about the silver anklet and added, “To prevent you from seeing it, I covered it with mud.”

“Why did you cover mud upon mud? I see another’s possession as mud!” Sagram’s wife nobly responded. Sagram was surprised and fascinated by his wife’s resolve.

Even in spite of hard times, Sagram remained steadfast to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s instruction of not taking a thing lying on the wayside. And his wife perceived another’s belonging as mud!

The strength of one’s character is reflected in hard times.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 06, 2009, 08:41:28 AM
The Glory of Gunatitanand Swami     

  In 1812, Shriji Maharaj celebrated the Pushpadolotsav festival in Sarangpur at the house of Rathod Dhadhal. All the paramhansas were present on this divine occasion.
Shriji Maharaj played ras with them, and while dancing, He recited some verses composed by Kabir:
‘Koti Krishna jode hãth, koti Vishnu name mãth,
Koti Shankar dhare dhyãn, koti Brahma kathe gnãn.

Sadguru khele vasant...
(The verses describe the glory of a sadguru.)

Then, Maharaj asked the sadhus, “Who is such a sadguru?” Previously, in Loj and Mangrol, Maharaj had asked this question and had replied that He Himself was such a sadguru. With this in mind, the sadhus replied, “Maharaj! You are such a sadguru!”

Then, Maharaj touched His stick to the chest of Gunatitanand Swami and said, “I am supreme Purushottam Narayan and the sadguru whose glory is described in these verses is Gunatitanand Swami.

This eternal sadguru, Gunatitanand Swami, in the form of Akshardham beholds Me and the infinite akshar muktas. There, in Akshardham, and here, he is always with Me in My service and has manifested to spread the true upasana of My supreme form.”

Everyone was spellbound to hear the true glory of Gunatitanand Swami from the lips of Maharaj Himself.

This incident was witnessed and narrated by Rathod Dhadhal to Jasa Gor and Nagji Sheth. They in turn narrated this incident to Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 07, 2009, 09:32:47 AM
Sparrows in a Trance

Ghanshyam’s father, Dharmadev, had a farm on the outskirts of a village called Targaam. He had sown rice in it. The rice was almost ripe, but birds were a big nuisance – they would repeatedly eat the grains and ruin the crop. Dharmadev looked after the crop very well, and made sure that nothing happened.
Once, Dharmadev had to go to another village, and so he decided to entrust Ghanshyam with the job of looking after the farm until he returned later in the day. He explained to Ghanshyam, “I’m going out on business. Have your meal now, and then go to look after our rice.” He sat Ghanshyam down to eat, he also gave Him a stick to scare away the birds away.

Ghanshyam put on His shoes and went merrily on His way, wielding the stick as He walked. When He reached the farm, He saw hundreds of birds completely destroying the crop. They were all eating to their hearts content. Ghanshyam felt pity on them and thought, “I couldn’t bear to scare these poor innocent birds away? But if I don’t, my father and elder brother will get very angry.” He pondered for a while and came up with an idea: “I know what I’ll do!” He instantly used His divine powers and sent all the birds into a trance. He then went to play elsewhere with His friends.

Dharmadev’s work in the other village took longer than expected. He became worried about Ghanshyam and sent Rampratapbhai to check if everything was alright.

Rampratapbhai came to the farm but couldn’t see Ghanshyam anywhere. He searched around and ultimately found Him playing at Madhavram’s place. Rampratapbhai got very angry. “You were sent to look after the farm!” he said furiously.

“Don’t’ worry,” said Ghanshyam. “Everything is under control.”

Ghanshyam took His elder brother to the farm. Seeing all the birds frozen still, Rampratapbhai went for a closer look – to see if they were dead or alive. Just then, Ghanshyam used His divine powers again and released all the birds from their trance. They immediately flew away.

Rampratapbhai was astonished. He did not know what had happened. Nevertheless, young Ghanshyam smirked to Himself. He had managed to look after the farm without harassing the birds. Such was His compassion for even the smallest creatures.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 08, 2009, 08:32:00 AM
The Age to Worship God

As a child, Mulji Bhakta was always steeped in devotion, prayer and service.

Once, while he was absorbed in meditation and chanting the holy name of God, his father told him. “Son, since you are young you should play. This is not the age to sing bhajans.” Young Mulji asked, “Father, at what age should one begin worshipping God?” His father replied, “In old age.” Without saying anything Mulji went outside.

On returning, Mulji told his father what he had seen. “All the old men at the village square are gossiping. There’s not one who is chanting God’s holy name. If I were to postpone all my religious practices till old age, then I would be wasting my precious childhood. And besides, how can you guarantee that I will live to see old age? Father, God should be worshipped from childhood!”

Though Mulji was a child of around seven-years-old, his words of wisdom convinced his father.

The call of Mulji, who later became revered as Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami (1785-1867 CE), to worship God from childhood has awakened countless souls from the slumber of laziness and ignorance.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 14, 2009, 01:13:15 PM
The Importance of Ekadashi     

As per His normal routine, Ghanshyam came to the Hanuman Gadhi mandir after bathing in the Saryu river. A bawa named Mohandas was reading the Ramayan aloud for katha. The chapter on the importance of Ekadashi was read: ‘The merit gained by performing a hundred Rajsuya yagnas or a thousand Ashwamedh yagnas don’t come into comparison with even a 16th of the merit gained by performing the Ekadashi vrat.’
Hearing this, Ghanshyam was very pleased and asked Mohandas, “If Ekadashi is so important, why don’t people follow it?”

Hearing the question, Mohandas felt slightly offended because he himself didn’t follow the Ekadashi vrat and didn’t encourage others to follow it either. He immediately tried to defend himself, arguing, “There is no need to go hungry unnecessarily. It is our duty to preserve and nourish our bodies, so we should eat and drink to our heart’s content. And anyway, Ekadashi has been bound in the mandir at Jaganathpuri.”

Hearing these completely absurd arguments that contradicted the scriptures, Ghanshyam left and sat in the parikrama of the mandir.

Seeing Ghanshyam get up, the rest of the audience got angry at Mohandas’s reply. They told him strongly, “How dare you sit on the throne of righteousness and yet speak against niyams and penance.”

Hearing this attack, Mohandas reconsidered his actions. He realized his mistake. Tears came to his eyes as he thought to himself, ‘Such a young boy cares so much for righteousness and penance, whereas I am obsessed in indulgence at the end of my life; and due to that, I make others do wrong also.” He came out and fell at Ghanshyam’s feet, repenting for his mistake. He then promised to preach righteousness and the importance of Ekadashi from then on.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 15, 2009, 06:41:46 AM
Ghanshyam Eats all the Food   
Shortly after Dharmadev and his family had moved to Ayodhya, the festival of Ramnavmi arrived. Dharmadev wanted to celebrate the festival lavishly and even invitation cards. Many family members from the surrounding villages came on the day before Ramnavmi. On the next day they celebrated Ramnavmi fast on that day.

On the next day, Bhaktimata and Suvasinibhabhi woke up early to cook the food for everyone to break their fast. Ghanshyam also woke up early and got ready. Once the meal was ready, Bhaktimata prepared the ‘thaal’ to offer to God, and put it in front of the murtis.

Ghanshyam pulled His mother’s hand and said, “Mother, I’m hungry.” Bhaktimata prepared a dish of food for Him, and gave it to Him. Ghanshyam finished it in no time at all. He then began eating from the thaal that had been placed in front of the murtis. But He finished that too instantly. He then started eating from the vessels in the kitchen. He had soon finished all the food that had been cooked. He washed His hands and mouth and came out of the kitchen.

Bhaktimata came to check that everything was set, but to her horror, all the vessles were empty. She quickly told Dharmadev, “Rush to the market and get the necessary rice, grains, flour, ghee, etc. again.

Ghanshyam has eaten the food made for all the guests by Himself. He has emptied everything! We’ll have to make everything from scratch. Be as quick as yoy can, otherwise what will we feed the guests?”

Hearing this, Ghanshyam intervened, “The food is just as it has been from the start. I haven’t even take the slightest bit from them, let alone emptied them. Come, I’ll show you.”

“Suvasinibhabhi and I have just come from the kitchen. You’ve emptied everything!” said Bhaktimata in a frenzy.

“No, no, I haven’t ! At least come and see,” said Ghanshyam, pulling Bhaktimata’s hand. He led her to the kitchen.

It was a miracle! All the vessels were filled to the brim as before. Seeing this miracle, Bhaktimata was relieved. She hugged Him and smothered Him with kisses. Dharmadev was also pleased. They fed all the guests to their heart’s content and saw them off happily.

Ghanshyam had revealed His godly powers one more time.   
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 22, 2009, 01:20:50 PM
Four Wishes     

  Kathiawad, 200 years ago. The Maharajas of Bhavnagar, Nawanagar (today’s Jamnagar), Junagadh and Dhrangadhra were hailing the “Jai” of a ‘phenomenon.’ This ‘phenomenon’ was the poet Ladudan Barot. He was only 28 years old. The Royals showered him with gold coins, gems, pearls, gold ornaments, and gifted him horses and camels. They also honoured him with the degree of “Royal Bard”, “Pingal Acharya”, etc. Why? Because Ladudan really was the greatest, the most intelligent and most versatile poet they had ever met!
Now all this fame and wealth filled Ladudan with pride. After his astonishing display of poetics in the Bhavnagar Palace, he heard that, “Bhagwan Swaminarayan has incarnated and is now in Gadhada.” His pride of learning, of his intellectual greatness, made him think, “What ? Does he really think he is God? I will only believe him after he passes my tests.” He then thought of 4 wishes:
(1) “He (Shriji Maharaj) should be wearing a rose garland. (2) There should be a katha of the Shrimad Bhagvat going on with the Bhagvat on a black woollen cloth. (3) He should have the 16 signs on the soles of his feet. (4) And he should call me by my name...Only then shall I believe him to be God,” thought Ladudan.

With these thoughts churning his mind, he galloped off to Gadhada. Along the way, his mind started getting calmer and calmer. For a few moments this made Ladudan shudder, “Could this be because he is God? No, no.”

In Gadhada, he trotted into Abhal Khachar’s darbar. On his left he saw a large neem tree. People were sitting underneath its shade. There were saffron robed sadhus as well. He suddenly felt drawn towards the tree. As he came closer, his eyes fell on a person dressed in white, seated on a high seat.

He felt a wave of soothing peace roll over him. He did not understand what was happening to him. He did not know that he had got off his horse and was walking towards the magnificent figure in white, with a rose garland around his neck ! He saw the Bhagvat on a black woollen cloth ! Just then he heard a voice. A friendly voice.

“Welcome Ladudanji! Welcome!”

Ladudan nearly fainted. Three wishes fulfilled! “Who is he? Is Swaminarayan really God?” His heart thumped wildly against his chest.

By now Ladudan had reached Shriji Maharaj. Instantly he knelt down at Maharaj’s lotus-feet. As his head touched the feet, he saw the 16 signs on the tender soles of Maharaj! His fourth wish was fulfilled! That did it! His ego of being the best poet crambled. His heart was humbled.

“O Bhagwan! Please forgive me. My ego prevented me from believing you as God. Please forgive me...” Tears filled Ladudan’s eyes.

Shriji Maharaj placed His hands on Ladudan’s head and blessed him. This divine touch transformed Ladudan. His heart was now completely drenched with bhakti for Shriji Maharaj. Being an extempore poet, he instantly composed the famous kirtan.

“Ajni ghadi re, dhanya ajni ghadi,
Mein nirakhya Sahajanand, dhanya ajni ghadi.”

Shriji Maharaj then gave Ladudan

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 26, 2009, 09:02:02 AM
Bhagatji Maharaj's Seva   
Bhagatji Maharaj was the second spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was born on Fagun Sud Punam (Holi) in 1829 in Mahuva.
He served Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami in Junagadh in many ways. An ideal disciple quickly learns about his guru’s wishes. The guru does not have to tell the disciple which seva needs to be done. Bhagatji Maharaj always managed to learn about Swami’s wishes and instantly performed them.

Once Swami was seated in a mango grove in Malia. He looked at the trees and casually said, “These mango trees are drying up.”

Bhagatji instantly got up. He realized that Swami wished the trees to be watered. He then fetched water from a nearby well. There were 300 trees. He poured 4 potfuls of water to each tree. That means he fetched 1200 potfuls of water from the well! An astonishing feat! Supreme seva!

On another occasion, the work of building the haveli in Junagadh stopped. This was because a dead dog lay on the heap of stone slabs. Nobody wished to touch it. Swami came to know of this and casually asked, “Why has the supply of stones stopped ?”

Bhagatji got up instantly. He changed his clothes and removed the dead dog. The supply of stones started. Then he had a bath and returned to Swami in the assembly hall.

By performing difficult seva instantly, without being told, Bhagatji Maharaj earned Gunatitanand Swami’s grace and blessings.

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 27, 2009, 08:22:31 AM
A New set of Teeth   

  (Ghanshyam’s elder brother was Rampratap. Rampratap’s wife was named Suvasini. So to Ghanshyam, His brother’s wife was ‘bhabhi’.)
One day Ghanshyam went to Suvasinibhabhi and complained, “Bhabhi, one of my molar teeth hurts a lot. I can’t even chew chapattis. Please make me some shiro.” Suvasinibhabhi willingly agreed.

The shiro was ready in no time. Suvasinibhabhi called everyone to eat. She gave Dharmadev, Rampratapbhai and young Iccharam chapattis and gave Ghanshyam the shiro that she had specially perpared for Him. Ghanshyam shared some of His shiro with His younger brother Iccharam. Having barely eaten even two morsels of shiro, Ghanshyam got up, washed His hands and went outside. Seeing this, Suvasinibhabhi came out after Him.

“What’s wrong? Is your tooth paining you a lot?” she enquired.

“Yes, it hurts a lot. It is loose and wobbling a lot too. Please pull it out,” said Ghanshyam, opening His mouth for His bhabhi. Suvasinibhabhi checked the tooth. It was very loose; she had it out within no time.

Just then, Ghanshyam pointed out a second tooth, “This one hurts too. It’s a bit loose as well; please pull it out.” Suvasinibhabhi complied. But then Ghanshyam pointed to a third, then a fourth....With His godly powers, Ghanshyam made all of His teeth loose and in turn had them pulled out one by one. Before she knew it, Suvasinibhabhi had pulled put all of Ghanshyam’s teeth.

Seeing Ghanshyam’s toothless mouth, Suvasinibhabhi became worried and frightened. She shouted to Bhaktimata, who then came quickly. Suvasinibhabhi explained, “Ghanshyam was complaining that His tooth was paining and loose, but in doing so He has had all His teeth pulled out. He won’t be able to eat anything now!”

Seeing the collection of teeth that had been pulled out, Bhaktimata became worried too. Fearing the worst, she requested Ghanshyam to open His mouth. Ghanshyam opened His mouth, but to Bhaktimata’s and Suvasinibhabhi’s astonishment, Ghanshyam had a completely new set of 32 teeth! They were amazed beyond belief.

Ghanshyam immediately picked up all the teeth that had been pulled out, and held them in His fist. Suvasinibhabhi asked Him to let her see them. Ghanshyam opened His fist, and to everyone’s astonishment, there were pearls instead of teeth! Ghanshyam lifted His hand high, and divine swans from Maansarovar came flying to Ghanshyam, and, one by one, took a pearl each in their beaks from Ghanshyam’s hand and flew off.

Bewildered beyond belief, Bhaktimata and Suvasinibhabhi bowed to Ghanshyam, recognizing Him to be Bhagwan Himself.  
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on October 29, 2009, 05:51:44 AM
A Visit from Devas     

  Once Dharmadev was perparing to perform his ritual puja. Ghanshyam got all the necessary things ready for His father’s puja and went to play in the front yard. Shortly, Dharmadev called from inside, “Ghanshyam!”

“Yes, father,” said Ghanshyam, as He went back inside.

“Son, quickly get me a tulsi leaf.”

Ghanshyam went to get one, and to His father’s astonishment was back with the leaf in no time at all.
“How did you go all the way to Narayan Sarovar and get back so quickly?”

Hearing this Ghanshyam laughed, “But father,” He said, “There are tulsi leaves in our own front yard!”

“We only have tamarind trees in our front garden. Tulsi leaves grow at Narayan Sarovar,” Dharmadev said confidently.

“If you don’t believe me, come and see for yourself,” said Ghanshyam.

Dharmadev came out on the porch and to his amazement, he saw tulsi shrubs instead of tamarind trees! There was also chandan, gulal, kumkum and flower petals sprinkled all over the yard. His eyes were still.

Just then, Bhaktimata and Suvasinibhabhi arrived. Puzzled by this scene, they asked Dhamadev, “Who spilled all this kumkum in the front yard?” And where did all these tulsi shrubs come from?” Dharmadev, still confused, pointed to Ghanshyam who was smiling.

What really happened was that when Ghanshyam came out to play, Devas had come from heaven to perform Ghanshyam’s puja.  
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on November 04, 2009, 07:16:42 AM
Walking on Water  
It was a typical day in Chhapaiya. In the afternoon, Ghanshyam, His younger brother Iccharam and His friends went to the outskirts of the village to play. They started swimming in the Meen Sarovar (Lake) and began to play a game of 'Chase and Catch.' The game continued till evening. Just then it began to rain. Everyone took shelter under a banyan tree and thought that the rain would stop in a little while. Then they would make their way home. But, the rain got heavier and heavier. It got darker and darker as the heavier clouds came in. The sound of thunder filled the skies. Iccharam and a few of the other younger boys started crying. The water-level in the Sarovar was increasing. Within a short time the water rose higher and flooded the surrounding area. They all quickly climbed onto the tree. Water was everywhere. Even Veni, Madhav and Prag started to worry about how they would get home.
Iccharam asked Ghanshyam, "What will happen now? How will we get home through all this water? If I tried to walk through this water, I'd drown."

Ghanshyam consoled everyone with words of encouragement and said, "There's no need for anyone to be scared. Come on, let's get down from this tree. I'll lead the way. Iccharam, you hold on to my clothes and walk behind me, and everyone else hold on to the clothes of the boy in front of you. We'll walk over the water. The rain won't even wet us." Saying this Ghanshyam got down first. He kept Iccharam behind Him, then Veni, then Prag and so on. They all held on to each others' clothes.

As soon as they climbed down the tree, they were all lifted with Ghanshyam above the water. In this manner they all walked in line to the village. The rain poured on either side of Ghanshyam and His friends.

They soon crossed the Meen Sarovar. Dharmadev, Bhaktimata and all the other parents had come looking for their children. They all saw this spectacle from a distance and were amazed. They saw a divine radiance shining from Ghanshyam's body. From a distance, they all bowed to Ghanshyam, recognizing Him to be God. Everyone was relieved to have their children home safely. They all bowed to Ghanshyam and returned happily to their homes.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on November 30, 2009, 07:20:57 AM
Ghanshyam and the Barber   
  In the Sanatan Dharma there is the tradition of 16 sanskars. Sanskar here means sacrament, a type of ritual. From before birth till death, a total of 16 sacraments are performed on a person. The eighth is known as Chaul Sanskar. This is the first shaving of a boy's hair, at the age of one, two, three or five. It varies in different communities. After shaving, the boy has a bath, His parents arrange a special dinner for relatives and friends.
When Ghanshyam was three years old, Dharmadev arranged the Chaul Sanskar. After deciding an auspicious day and time, he invited a barber named Amai. Little Ghanshyam sat obediently in Bhaktimata's lap. After wetting the hair, Amai, began shaving with a razor. Ghanshyam did not cry. Bhaktimata's relatives sat nearby, humbly doing darshan of the divine child.

When the hair was half shaved, Amai suddenly stopped. He just stared blankly, with his mouth half open.

"What's the matter Amai!" asked Bhaktimata. "Finish the shaving."

"Um..." he mumbled with fright. "Mother, I... I can't see your little prince. How can I finish shaving? I am afraid." His face looked a little horrified. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. Poor Amai !

Bhaktimata smiled and realized that Ghanshyam had made Himself invisible to Amai. One of His miracles again. She then whispered in His ears, "Ghanshyam, please let Amai finish shaving. A half-shaven head will not look good, will it?"

Ghanshyam looked up at her innocently with a slight grin on His face. "Go on, make yourself visible," pleaded Bhaktimata.

Instantly, Amai could see Him. He let out a sigh of relief and then carefully finished shaving. Thereafter Amai gently massaged a fragrant oil on Ghanshyam's head. Then he prostrated to Ghanshyam, realizing that the little child was God Himself. Who else could perform such a miracle? Dharmadev then offered him dakshina, but he refused. He was fortunate enough to have received the seva of such a divine child.

Bhaktimata and the other women lovingly stroked Ghanshyam's gleaming head. Now, He seemed to radiate even a greater divine aura. He then went off with his friends to bathe in Narayan Sarovar. Dharmadev offered dakshina to the Brahmins. Bhaktimata and the other women began preparing food for everyone.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 01, 2009, 08:41:41 AM
Bal Ghanshyam's Future   
  Around the time when Bhagwan Swaminarayan incarnated, life in 18th century India was difficult. People earned money by whatever means they could. Most lived by farming. The poor lived by working as labourers for farmers and merchants. Brahmins usually lived by performing puja rituals for people. Bhagwan Swaminarayan's parents, Dharmadev and Bhaktimata, were Brahmins. Dharmadev was a famous pandit in Sanskrit. Rampratap, His eldest brother, was a soldier in the king's army.

Dharmadev and Bhaktimata often wondered about Ghanshyam's future. Would he become a great scholar, a business merchant or a soldier? How could they find this out? There is a saying that a child's virtues can be known when he is in the cradle. So, one day, Dharmadev thought of a brilliant plan. He placed a shastra , (a Holy Scripture) a shining gold coin and a small gleaming sword on a low stool near Ghanshyam's cradle. Little Ghanshyam was watching his father with curiosity. He stared at the three objects on the stool. Then He climbed out of the cradle and toddled forward on his knees. His face beamed, mouth open.

In a corner of the room stood Dharmadev and Bhaktimata, watching eagerly. As Ghanshyam reached the stool, He put His hand straight on the shastra . He tried to pick it up with His little hands. He did not even glance at the shining gold coin or sword.

Dharmadev and Bhaktimata rushed forward in joy to hug Him ! Now they knew that He would become a scholar.  

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 02, 2009, 02:45:58 PM
The Age to Worship God

In the village of Bhadra, Bholanath once told his son, Mulji, “My dear son! You are young. This is the age to play, not to worship God.”
Mulji asked, “Then what is the proper age to worship God.”
Bholanath replied, “Old age is the proper age to worship God.”
Without saying a word, Mulji left the house. Bholanath was pleased. He thought that Mulji had gone to play with his friends. Mulji, however, went to see what the old men were really doing.

He saw the old men sitting in the village square gossipping. None of them were worshipping God.
In the evening, Mulji returned home and reported, “Father! None of the old men in the village are worshipping God. They spend their time gossipping. Therefore, God should be worshipped from a young age.”

This Mulji was none other than our Gunatitanand Swami.
Mulji explained to everyone: Without any strength left in my old legs, how can I walk to the mandir?
My old eyes are unable to do the darshan of God. There is no strength in my hands to do anything. How can I do mala? How can I perform seva?


 Even though we are young, we should not be lazy in doing puja, dandvats, pradakshina, mala, etc.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 03, 2009, 09:29:52 AM
Supreme Bhagwan Swaminarayan
  There was a Brahmin named Shitaldas who was a true devotee of God. Hearing of the greatness of Ramanand Swami, Shitaldas travelled to Loj for his darshan. However, he was saddened to hear the news of Ramanand Swami’s recent demise.

Just when he was thinking of returning home, Shriji Maharaj put him in samadhi (divine trance). In samadhi, Shitaldas had darshan of the 24 avatars of God and Ramanand Swami humbly praying to Shriji Maharaj. He performed the puja of Shriji Maharaj. Then he wished to perform the puja of the infinite muktas (released souls). Reading his mind, Shriji Maharaj commanded him to wish: “If each of the avatars and Ramanand Swami are God, then may I assume infinite forms.” Shitaldas wished accordingly, yet he did not assume infinite forms. Shriji Maharaj then commanded him to wish: “If Shriji Maharaj is the supreme God, then may I assume infinite forms.” Shitaldas wished accordingly, and instantl, he assumed infinite forms. Happily, he performed the worship of all the muktas.
Through samadhi, Shitaldas experienced that Shriji Maharaj was greater than the other avatars.

To master just one aspect of ashtang-yoga takes a lifetime. But Shriji Maharaj was sarvopari Bhagwan (supreme God). Just as he was sarvopari, his method of instilling true conviction in the hearts of all was sarvopari too. Thousands of people experienced samadhi by having his darshan, by hearing his spiritual discourses, and even by just reciting his name. No other avatar has previously shown such greatness.

INSPIRATION: One must develop firm conviction that Shriji Maharaj is sarvopari.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 07, 2009, 10:59:43 AM
Battle with the Mind
  There was a young boy named Shulak Pagi. His father had planted melons on his farm. The boy decided, “As soon as the melons are ripe, I want to take the first melon and offer it to Shriji Maharaj.” In a short time, the melons ripened. The boy took one melon and left his home to offer it to Shriji Maharaj.

On the way, he was tempted by the melon’s sweet smell. He thought, “Let me eat this melon.” But then, he remembered his decision to offer it to Maharaj. So, he fought his mind and started to walk again. He walked a bit further and again thought, “Many people offer very expensive gifts to Maharaj. How can my melon compare? Let me eat this melon.” But he told his mind, “No, No. This melon is for Shriji Maharaj! I want to offer it to him!”

He fought with his mind throughout the journey. The all-knowing Shriji Maharaj knew of the intense battle that the boy had courageously fought with his mind. When the boy reached Vartal, Shriji Maharaj lovingly called him and asked for the melon. He ate a piece and offered the rest as prasad (sanctified food) to everyone in the sabha.
Shriji Maharaj was extremely pleased with the boy and gave him five kilograms of sakar (sugar pieces) as a gift.  

Do you know why?
Shriji Maharaj knew that only he who battles with his mind can save himself from bad company. Only he can do satsang.

INSPIRATION: We must conquer our mind to please God
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 08, 2009, 12:08:05 PM
Fearless from Childhood   

  In the village of Mahelav lived a satsangi named Dhoribhai. Dhoribhai had a six-year-old son named Dungar. Every night, Dhoribhai would tuck Dungar into bed and tell him stories from the Bhagvat and Ramayan.

One night after dinner, Dhoribhai told Dungar stories about God. After Dungar fell asleep, Dhoribhai left for the farm.

Dungar woke up at midnight and looked around for his father. Not seeing his father next to him, Dungar guessed that his father had gone to the farm. He decided to go to the farm too.

He grabbed a small stick and left for the farm. After crossing the outskirts of the town, Dungar Bhakta took a road winding through the dark jungle. Strange voices echoed, birds noisily fluttered their wings, foxes cried, and little rabbits scrambled from here to there - anyone would be frightened. But not Dungar. Chanting “Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan,” Dungar fearlessly reached the farm. Dhoribhai was surprised to see Dungar. He asked, “Dungar! Were you not afraid to come alone at night?”
“Why be fearful? You have taught me that chanting ‘Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan’ chases fear away!”
Dungar Bhakta is none other than Shastriji Maharaj.

He was fearless from childhood.
He had unflinching faith in the Swaminarayan mantra.

INSPIRATION: Whenever you are put in a frightful situation, chant the ‘Swaminarayan’ mantra.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 09, 2009, 08:05:38 AM
Absorbing the 24 Avatars

Parvatbhai, of the village Agatrai, was a staunch devotee of Shriji Maharaj. Though a householder, he was unaffected by the activities of the household. Once while at his farm, he suddenly thought, “God had incarnated as Varah (the boar). What must that have been like?” Instantly, he saw the Varah incarnation of God. After some time, he saw the Kurma avatar of God. One after another, he saw the Vaman avatar, Ram avatar, Krishna avatar, Buddha avatar... All of the 24 avatars were before him.

He thought to himself, “What is happening?” Shriji Maharaj knew his wish to see the Varah avatar through his antaryami (all-knowing) powers.
Shreeji Maharaj reasoned, “Today, he wants to see Varaha avatar and tomorrow someone else. So let me show him all the avatars. With that thought, Shriji Maharaj fulfilled Parvatbhai’s wish.

While still engrossed in the 24 avatars, Parvatbhai remembered Shriji Maharaj and thought to himself, “Who is the cause of these 24 avatars?” Instantly, one by one each of the 24 avatars were absorbed into Shriji Maharaj. He saw all of this happening right in front of his eyes. Parvatbhai’s joy knew no bounds.

“Amazing! Look at Maharaj’s power,” said an overjoyed Parvatbhai.

Parvtbhai understood that only he who is supreme can merge the 24 avatars in himself. Shriji Maharaj is truly sarvopari Bhagwan.

INSPIRATION: Shriji Maharaj is the cause of Ram, Krishna, and all the avatars. He is supreme.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 10, 2009, 02:10:27 PM
Steadfast Dungar

“Ah, it doesn't matter if I don't do ghar sabha today!”
“I'm too tired to go to the mandir!”
Sometimes we convince ourselves that it's ok to break a niyam once in a while.  However, Dungar Bhakta (Shastriji Maharaj's name as a child) did not care what the occasion was or whom he was with. Following his niyams came first. 
Ever since Dungar Bhakta was young, he always stood out amongst a crowd of kids.  His behaviour and his talks were so unique; it even amazed many adults!
Other children would call Dungar Bhakta to play hide and seek with them. However, Dungar Bhakta would be busy building mandirs out of sand.  He even used to make murtis out of mud and offered thal to these murtis.

When he was six years old, Dungar Bhakta traveled to Karamsad with his family to attend a wedding.  On reaching Karamsad, everyone, including his father was busy enjoying the wedding.  Can you guess what Dungar Bhakta did? He found the village mandir and started his daily routine of seva and bhajan. He was gone for a long while, however, because of the festivities of the wedding, nobody realised he was not around.   It was at lunchtime when everyone started looking for him.   His father was sure that they would find Dungar Bhakta at the village mandir!  And he was right! They all invited him to have lunch with the rest of the family.  Dungar Bhakta flatly refused to eat, since it was Ekadashi. 

Over 400 people attended the wedding. They all pleaded with Dungar Bhakta to come and join them for lunch.  Finally, Dungar Bhakta explained, " From all the discourses I have heard, I understand that to eat regular food on Ekadashi is like eating meat"! Everybody was stunned to hear such a young boy talk about Ekadashi.  They realised how right he was and then immediately arranged for farali food (foods which can be eaten on Ekadashi).

It is easy to see why adults and youngsters alike were impressed with Dungar Bhakta's faithfulness in following Shriji Maharaj's agna.  

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 15, 2009, 01:36:25 PM
The Choicest Devotee

    It was Samvat year 1867 (1811)  in the month of Falgun. Shriji Maharaj arrived in Sarangpur at the house of the joyous Rathod Dhadhal. He had planned on celebrating the festival of flowers and colour - Fuldol. All the preparations of gathering colour and flowers were ready when  the paramhansas and  devotees  arrived from far off regions. But before the celebration started, Maharaj began to sing a verse composed by the famous poet, Kabir while playing ras:
Koti Krishna
jode hath,
koti Vishnu
name math,
Koti Shankar dhare dhyan,
koti Brahma
kathe gnan
 Sadguru khele Vasant.

Millions of Krishnas join their hands, millions of Vishnus bow their heads, Millions of Shivas meditate, millions of Brahmas deliver knowledge where the Sadguru (sadhu  of highest-level) celebrates the festival of Spring.

He then stopped playing ras (dance) and touched Gunatitanand Swami's chest by pointing the stick towards him. He asked Muktanand Swami and Anand Swami, "Who is that Sadguru?" The sadhus humbly folded their hands and replied with one voice, "You, Maharaj! You are that Sadguru. Who else could it be?" Maharaj made everyone silent and said, "I was praising the Sadguru, not Myself. I am the Supreme God. The Sadguru is none other than Gunatitanand Swami. He has accompanied Me to help spread My true identity.” Everyone was stunned and astonished on hearing the glory of Gunatitanand Swami from Maharaj's own mouth.

From their first encounter, Maharaj had revealed the glory of His choicest devotee and living abode, Gunatitanand Swami. At that time Maharaj, known as Nilkanth Varni, addressed all the devotees and stated, "This Mulji is in constant union with Me and in future he will spread My glory. He is My very abode - Akshardham." Thus, Maharaj revealed Gunatitanand Swami's true greatness for the first time.
On numerous instances Maharaj Himself had explained the glory of Gunatitanand Swami. As a result, the importance of Gunatitanand Swami became known. After Shriji Maharaj left this earth, Gunatitanand Swami became His successor and continued His work. He spread the true message that Maharaj is the Supreme God.   
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 17, 2009, 02:02:42 PM
The Queen of Udaipur

   Zamkuba was the Queen of Udaipur. Once she heard someone speaking about the greatness of Shriji Maharaj. After that, devotion to Shriji Maharaj had grown in her heart. However, although she was spiritually inclined, her husband, the king, was demonic. He would not let Zamkuba worship God.

Eventually, Zamkuba decided to leave her kingdom to worship God. One night, she made a rope by tying her saris together and climbed down from her palace window. After escaping, she walked towards Gadhada where Shriji Maharaj was staying. In the morning, the king sent soldiers mounted on horses in all four directions to search for the queen. To avoid detection, Zamkuba spent three full days and nights hiding inside the rotting corpse of a dead camel!

On the fourth day, she joined a group of satsangis who were going to Vadnagar. When they reached Gadhada and had darshan of Shriji Maharaj, she felt an indescribable peace in her heart. At that moment, she decided to stay in Gadhada.

She was a great queen, yet she did even the smallest chores in Dada Khachar’s darbar with great enthusiasm. Once, Shriji Maharaj saw her collecting cow dung and cleaning up. He told Laduba, “In her palace, she had countless servants like you. This Zamkuba has renounced her kingdom to come here and worship God. You should not ask her to do such menial chores.”

After some time, Shriji Maharaj renamed her as Mataji and sent her to Bhuj to stay with Ladhiba. At the end of her life, Shriji Maharaj came to take her to Akshardham.

INSPIRATION: We should develop such zeal to worship God.


Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 19, 2009, 04:41:06 PM
Unshakeable Faith
     Many times we hear news that a volcano erupted or an earthquake hit a certain part of the world, causing death, grief and sorrow.  On the other hand, we also hear that many people survive great disasters and overcome hardships in their lives. Who controls all of this? We should understand that not even a blade of grass moves without Shriji Maharaj's wish.   Knowing Maharaj to be the controller of all, we can face or accept anything in our lives. A brave boy's story will help us realise what type of understanding we should have about Maharaj. In the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, His sadhus  travelled from village to village talking to people about His greatness.  A young boy of Jagamedi came across these sadhus and decided to become a Swaminarayan disciple.


Daily he would do his puja, tilak-chandlo, go to the mandir and pray to God.  The boy's father was against the Swaminarayan faith.  The father scolded and threatened his son everyday.  Despite this, the boy did not give up his faith in Maharaj.  One day the father angrily shouted, "If you do not stop saying the Swaminarayan mantra, I will kill you."

In a brave tone, the boy said, "No matter what comes my way, I will not stop worshipping Bhagwan Swaminarayan."                        This made the father so mad that he tied his son to the front part of a cart. He stood behind the cart and said, "If you do not give up the worship of Swaminarayan, I will raise the cart and you will die." In the end, the father raised the cart because his son did not budge from his belief. The boy of Jagamedi went to Akshardham, blissfully chanting the Swaminarayan mantra.

When Maharaj heard this news, He was very sad and said that the boy was a true devotee. In our daily lives we too, should develop a firm belief like that of the boy. Come what may, with Shriji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj by our side, we can overcome anything. Sometimes things may not go our way but we have to remember that it is all Maharaj's wish.  Everything He does is for our own good.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 22, 2009, 11:02:14 AM
Would a Lion Eat Jalebi?  

   Gunatitanand Swami arrived in the village of Maliya. Ramo Hati sat under a neem tree in the village square. He was eating meat and drinking alcohol. As Swami passed by the neem tree, he saw what Ramo Hati was doing.
Swami asked,” Ramo, would a lion eat jalebi?”
Ramo said,” No!”
Swami said, “Why wouldn’t he eat it?”
“It is not his food. That’s the food of humans,” replied Ramo.
Then Swami remarked, “Animals don’t eat food meant for men, but men eat the food meant for animals… what do you think about that?”
Ramo Hati understood Swami’s point and said, “Swami, from today I will give up alcohol and meat.”
This was the power of Swami’s words.
His spiritual talks made evil people become good .
Once Swami commented,” We should keep only one goal  that we want to go to Akshardham.” He also preached, “Even by spoiling ten million worldly tasks improve your moksha.”
People who listened to his spiritual talks become pure. Swami changed their lives.
Sinners became pure souls.
Meat-eaters became vegetarians.

INSPIRATION: Eating meat or eggs is a form of violence. Eating meat or eggs ruins our health. Eating meat or eggs is a sin. 
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 24, 2009, 04:37:06 PM
Maharaj Saves the day


Ever wonder why bad things happen to good people?  Many times we think long and hard to understand the things that happen and realise that it just does not make sense.  We can take comfort in knowing that Shriji Maharaj is sarva karta. This means that everything happens only when and as Shriji Maharaj wills.  Let us look at one example of how we can begin to understand this term.
 All the paramhansas travelled to many places to spread the message of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. People often threw stones and showered foul language at them. To please Shriji Maharaj the paramhansas tolerated these problems with a smile.  They always wished everyone well and always guided people to become good human beings. 
On one such occasion, when Brahmanand Swami and Muktanand Swami were travelling through Gujarat, they came across a jealous bawa, who tied them up to a pillar. The bawa told both of them, "I am going to cut off your ears and nose." While he sharpened his knife, Brahmanand Swami said, "If he cuts off our ears and nose, people will think that we have done        something wrong."
Muktanand Swami explained, "Everything happens only by Maharaj’s wish."  With this thought, they awaited their fate.  In the meantime, a devotee by the name of Raghav Jat was passing by.  He saw the worried look on the faces of the two sadhus  and asked the bawa, "What are you doing?"  The bawa told Raghav about his plan.  Raghav Jat was a strong man, who demanded that the paramhansas be released immediately.  The bawa was terrified. Since he did not want any trouble, he freed them.
Muktanand Swami and Brahmanand Swami remained firm in their belief that everything happens according to Maharaj's will.               

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on January 06, 2010, 11:11:44 AM
Serving Sevakram

   There was a sadhu named Sevakram. He was a Sanskrit scholar. One day he fell ill with dysentery. He had a thousand gold coins, but no one to take care of him. So, he started to weep. Nilkanth, who was travelling on the road between Venkatadri and Setubandh Rameshwar, saw Sevakram’s predicament. He comforted Sevakram, “Don’t worry, I will serve you.”
            Everyday, Nilkanth made a bed of banana leaves for Sevakram. He washed Sevakram’s spoiled clothes and prepared his meals. Nilkanth, however, would beg for food and eat what he got. Often, he didn’t get anything, so he would fast. Yet, Sevakram never offered Nilkanth any money, nor he invite Nilkanth to eat with him.
            Thus, Nilkanth nursed Sevakram back to health. Sevakram could now drink 750 grams of ghee. Yet, he made Nilkanth carry his belongings weighing 20 kg. He never took care of Nilkanth. His name was Sevakram, but he made others serve him like servants. Nilkanth realized that Sevakram was a krutaghni, who did not appreciete the services done by others for him. So, Nilkanth left him.
            This was Nilkanth Varni! He selflessly served others. He never cared for his bodily needs and lovingly served others. He showed us the ideal way of doing service by doing service himself. We are

INSPIRATION: One should selflessly serve the needy; be grateful to God and worship him for all that he has given us.


Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on January 09, 2010, 04:01:11 PM

A Master of Ashtang-Yoga

In October 1794, in the forests of Nepal, a young boy walked in seclusion. His eyes were set in the direction he was traveling, his determination carrying him forward. As he traversed his path, his eyes fell upon an old sage fixed in meditation. The young boy, captivated by the wisdom emanating from the rishi’s concentration, was inspired to stop. As he stood in silence the wise Rishi, still fixed in deep meditation, felt a presence. But this was not an ordinary sensation. It was powerful. Every fiber of the sage’s being screamed with an impulse to open his eyes. As the wise old man lifted his eyelids, his gaze met that of the young boy’s. The two looked at each other in silence. They felt a connection. It was comfortable. The silence lifted as the young boy spoke, “O Rishi, what is your name? You appear to be very well versed in the science of yoga. This is a tradition I deeply desire to learn. Please teach me.” The wise sage answered in a deep and sonorous voice, “Yes I am a master of ashtang-yoga. My name is Gopal Yogi. What is your name?” The young boy answered…   

Perhaps you know this story?  That’s right.  The young boy was indeed Nilkanth Varni.  He stayed with Gopal Yogi for an entire year as his disciple to learn the art and science of yoga.  In that time, Nilkanth was able to become a full fledged master of ashtang-yoga, a level that many aspire to reach, even after a lifetime of strict practice. 

Why do you think Nilkanth put so much importance on yoga? The answer is because the ancient Hindu practice of yoga helps one to gain control over the mind and body. With this control, a practitioner of yoga – a yogi – is able to concentrate his/her vrutti on God with more clarity and connection. The Bhagvad Gita, the Vedas, the Upanishads and many other Hindu shastras proclaim the greatness and importance of yoga. In Sanskrit the term yoga has many meanings. It is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning, ‘to control’ or ‘to unite’.  


Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on January 11, 2010, 07:52:18 PM
Liberation in Refuge

Shriji Maharaj and the paramhansas were present in Gadhada. Once, Maharaj instructed the paramhansas, “From today onwards you shall all wear an arm’s length of jute cloth only.” Then Maharaj started giving the jute cloth to the paramhansas. Everyone present accepted the new injunction.
Then Brahmanand Swami came. Since he was very fat, an arm’s length of jute cloth did not suffice for him.
“Maharaj, give me more than an arm’s length,” Brahmanand Swami requested.
“A rule is a rule. You’ll not get more,” Maharaj replied.
“But Maharaj, how can I cover myself with only an arm’s length!” Brahmanand Swami argued.
“Then reduce your weight. I will not give you an inch more.”
On hearing this, Brahmanand Swami started looking in the four directions. Shriji Maharaj asked him what he was doing.
“I am looking around to see whether there is any God besides you residing anywhere. But I cannot find anyone other than you. Without refuge in you there is no liberation,” Brahmanand Swami spoke with deep conviction and reverence for Maharaj.
The words of Brahmanand Swami pleased Maharaj. The supreme Maharaj embraced and showered His blessings on Brahmanand Swami and gave him the extra jute cloth. Everyone was impressed by the resolute faith of Brahmanand Swami.
A devotee’s firm refuge in God makes him a recipient of liberation and God’s abundant grace.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on February 10, 2010, 09:24:38 AM
To Gadhada...in an instant!

In 1887 (Samvat 1943), Bhagatji Maharaj and a group of devotees, were coming from Mahuva to Gadhada. There were heavy rains on the way and it was extremely dark. They couldn’t see the road. The devotees became fed up with rocks hurting their feet. They had covered 50 km and had about 80 km more to go. No one had the strength to go further. They didn’t know whether they could really make it.

There was a well at edge of the village of Sukhpur. Everyone was exhausted and sat down. Everyone decided to quit and go back. One of the devotees, Dosa Maharaj, thought that the only way they could reach Gadhada would be for Bhagatji Maharaj to perform a miracle.

And so, he went to Bhagatji Maharaj and requested, “Bhagatji, our legs have become as stiff as pillars. We don’t have the strength to take another step. You will have to perform a miracle for us to reach Gadhada. Either, bring Gadhada here or relieve us of this fatigue.”

Bhagatji had everyone sit in a circle and hold the thumb of their neighbour. They closed their eyes and began doing bhajan.

After some time they awoke. They were astonished to find themselves on the banks of the River Ghela in Gadhada. In an instant, they had reached Gadhada.
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on April 30, 2010, 10:21:38 AM
Shaluk's Victory

   On the rich fertile banks of the river Meshwo in Mahudia, Gujarat, a poor farmer named Jivanbhai grew a specie of melons known as chibhada. His wife, Kesarbai, and son, Shaluk, also helped him.
Once Shaluk said to his mother, Kesarbai, "Ma, I wish that Shriji Maharaj tastes one of our juicy chibhadas. Can I take one to him?" "It would be our great merit if Maharaj eats our chibhadas."
So the next day, Shaluk plucked the most beautiful and ripe chibhadu from the river bed. He walked holding the fruit. Then he began to have thoughts about eating the chibhadu. His mouth started watering. He wondered, "Will Maharaj really accept such a cheap fruit, compared to the rich foods offered by wealthy devotees? Might as well eat it myself."
Soon his thoughts became so strong, he sat down under a tree. He took out a knife from his bag. Just as he was about to slice the fruit, he had another thought.
This thought seemed to come from his heart. "Shaluk, you are a weakling. How can you eat something that you wished Maharaj to have? What happened to your great devotion for Maharaj?"
Shaluk's intense devotion for Maharaj rattled him. It hit his mind. So he said to his mind, "Now listen, this chibhadu is for Maharaj."
Relieved that he had convinced his mind, he started walking again.
Soon, the walking made him thirsty and hungry. His mind started spinning again, "Fool, just eat up the chibhadu. Maharaj will not be interested in such a cheap little thing. The rich devotees will offer better foods. Gobble up and return home."
Little Shaluk was now really overcome by temptation. Just as he put his hand in the bag for the knife, he stopped dead in his track. Again he heard a voice from his heart.
"No Shaluk! You are a true child devotee of Maharaj. Don't listen to your mind."
"That's final now," said Shaluk firmly to himself. "I am not going to eat the chibhadu. It's for Maharaj. Swaminarayan! Swaminarayan!" As he chanted the divine mantra, he thought of Maharaj's divine murti. He started running fast and continued chanting, "Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan."
Soon he reached the place where Maharaj was seated in an assembly. The paramhansas were singing kirtans. Shaluk was attracted by Maharaj's divine murti. The all-knowing Maharaj picked up Shaluk's thoughts. With a wave of His hand, Maharaj gestured to Shaluk to come to Him. Shaluk's heart pounded with excitement.
Shaluk rushed to Maharaj and fell at His feet. He than stood up and placed the chibhabu on Maharaj's lap. Maharaj then said, "Shaluk, give me that knife from your bag. I wish to have this chibhadu now."
One slice after another, Maharaj started eating the chibhadu and then finished it all. Everyone present was astonished by this and wondered about Shaluk's sentiments. Before Maharaj revealed this to the assembly He gifted a small pot of barfi to Shaluk and then embraced him!
The whole assembly erupted in applauding this sight! Now they all eagerly and anxiously wanted to know why Maharaj was showering such grace and joy on this little boy.
Finally, Maharaj spoke, "This balak fought with his mind to bring the chibhadu here. He battled bravely and was'wounded' a few times. But he did notaccept defeat and achieved victory.Bhagwan and His Sadhu always helpthose who fight with their minds."

Everybody present realised that Maharaj ate the whole chibhadu not because of its taste, but only to fulfil Shaluk's intense and heartfelt devotion. They all then praised him, "Well done Shaluk! By conquering your mind, you have achieved victory over the whole world."
Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on May 06, 2010, 02:49:17 PM
Ghanshyam's Birth
     Hari. Yes! Call Him Hari, not only because He is born under the sign of Cancer in the zodiac; but because He will lessen evil from society. His skin is slightly dark so you can name Him Krishna. People will combine both the names and call Him Harikrishna.” Markendey Muni beamed while staring at the baby. Markendey Muni was a noble sage and a renowned astrologer. He was at Dharmadev’s home answering his question, “What should we name our son?” Bhaktimata looked adoringly at her son, while she eagerly listened to Markendey singing the boy’s glory.
“Everyone will lovingly call Him Ghanshyam, because He is so affectionate. And like the bright afternoon sun, He will surely brighten all our lives with happiness. Your son possesses noble virtues like austerity, purity, morality and honesty, so He will also be known as Nilkanth. He has all the signs of a great personality, who will lessen the miseries of the people and restore religious values on earth.
  He will establish a unique path of devotion, one that this world has never seen before. He is the supreme God incarnate.” As he spoke, Dharmadev and Bhaktimata remembered the night and the moment Ghanshyam was born….
That night it looked like the divine abodes had descended to the village of Chhapaiya. The moon shone brightly and the stars sparkled their best. The wind blew a cool and gentle breeze. The rivers and lakes rippled as if smiling. The trees swayed lightly and shed flowers to decorate the earth. Even the earth radiated with warmth and fragrance. Not to be left out, the parrots, nightingales and peacocks filled the atmosphere with their melodious music.
It was an event worthy for everyone’s heart to express joy. The Brahmin priests recited mantras and hymns from the Vedas. Small children danced in the streets and sprinkled coloured powder on everyone. Some boys played music with bansuris, pipes and drums; while others lit fireworks. Some girls decorated houses with flowers and lighted rows of divas; while others created colourful rangoli patterns on porches. Some women sang folk songs, while others sprinkled rice grains and popcorn for the birds. Men distributed sweets and praised the family of Dharmadev and Bhaktimata. It was an atmosphere filled with joy, peace and divinity.
As the father of the radiant baby boy, Dharmadev’s heart leaped in bliss. He sat on the porch and welcomed the continuous flow of visitors. He distributed ornaments, sweets, clothes and coins to the people. He also donated cows to the Brahmins. He sent sweets, milk and fruits to be offered in all the mandirs. Inside the house, Bhaktimata was so content with Ghanshyam, that she just gazed constantly at His beautiful form! All the ladies that came admired the newborn: “He is so peaceful!” “He has an enchanting smile!” “He looks blissful!” “He is so divine!” “What divine lustre!” They were short of words to describe Him. They were just wonderstruck! Their eyes remained glued to the baby and each one of them had to be literally moved away, to make room for others to come in. The darshan of God as a baby was mesmerising for all who were present.

It was also the same for the many devas, such as, Indra, Brahma and Shiv, who had come to witness the most historical moment in human history – The birth of Bhagwan Parabrahma Purushottam Narayan Himself on this earth for the very first time! The auspicious date was V.S. 1837 Chaitra sud 9 (3 April, 1781) and the time was 10.10 p.m. Bhagwan Swaminarayan had incarnated.  

Title: Re: Satsang Stories
Post by: SS91 on December 05, 2011, 09:35:52 AM

  Dhruv was the son of King Uttanpad. The king had two wives: Suruchi and Suniti. Suruchi had a son named Uttam and Suniti had two sons. Dhruv was Suniti's eldest son. Suruchi was the king's favourite queen. Whilst the king loved her and her son Uttam, he ignored Suniti and her son. Once Uttam sat in his father's lap. Dhruv too tried to sit beside his stepbrother. At this Suruchi shouted to him, " You cannot sit there. If you want to sit in the king's lap you shall have to prove your worthiness and undergo serious penance."
Dhruv could not bear the insult and he resolved to go to the forest and please Bhagwan Vishnu by praying to Him. On the way he met Naradji, who tried to stop him. "You are just a small child. The forest is full of dangerous animals. How will you bear the winter's cold and the summer heat. Go back home," he said. Dhruv replied, "O learned sage! Even at the cost of my life and all the rigours of the forest, I will prove myself worthy to sit in the lap of the king, my father, by undergoing great Penance and pleasing God." Penance means to fast, to meditate and to live a very simple life. Naradji was pleased with Dhruv's dedication and fearlessness and he showed him the place and the method to practice penance. Then Dhruv reached a place in the forest called Madhuvan. He stood on one leg and started praying to God. Dhruv was so absorbed in his penance that the difficulties of forest life did not affect him at all. He had only one goal - to please and to meet God. He prayed for more than five months, standing on one leg. One day Bhagwan Vishnu was pleased with his devotion and He appered before Dhruv. "I am pleased with your devotion, my child. Tell me, what do you wish?" Bhagwan Vishnu asked Dhruv.

"O God, I wish your blessings and love from my parents," Dhruv replied.

"All your wishes shall be fulfilled my child." Saying this he vanished.

Dhruv had achieved his goal. He had pleased God and had met him. Now he returned to the kingdom. The king welcomed Dhruv with full honor and respect. Suruchi, too, hugged Dhruv and he became everybody's favorite.

Later, Dhruv was made the king and he served people with love and dedication.

Dhruv is remembered by all for his strong determination. God graced him with an eternal status in the heavens. Even today we know him as the Dhruv star, the northern (pole) star.