Samvat Year 1857 - 1909 (1800-1852 AD)
Dada Khachar, the King of Gadhada estate comprising of twelve villages, was the most prominent Kathi disciple of the holy fellowship during the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Dada Khachar was born as Uttamsinh to father Abhel Khachar and mother Somadevi. He had four sisters, Jaya, Lalita, Panchali and Nanu.
Before passing away Abhel Khachar requested Bhagwan Swaminarayan to look after Dada Khachar in Samvat Year 1870 at that time he was only 12 years old. Bhagwan Swaminarayan assumed a role as Dada Khachar’s father and trained him in different skills like horsemanship, weaponry and diplomacy.
Dada Khachar’s diplomacy skill was evident from the delicate truce he negotiated in 1929 AD. Jogidas Khuman was a notable outlaw and rebel, who harboured a grievance with Maharaja Vajesinh of Bhavnagar because of his unfair policies. So to avenge, Jogidas often raided, pillaged and looted Vajesinh’s villages between 1820-29 AD. In 1824 AD, even the British Political Agent of Rajkot, Captain Barnwell failed to achieve a truce. As a final resort in 1829 AD, Maharaja Vajesinh requested Dada Khachar to mediate a truce with Jogidas. With blessings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Dada Khachar successfully negotiated a truce and they reached permanent peace settlement. D.A. Blane, then Political Agent in Rajkot, ratified the truce and sent it to the Bombay Presidency, which approved it. Thus only twenty-nine-year-old Dada Khachar diplomatic skills saved many faultless people from the harassment.
Dada Khachar’s absolute trust in Bhagwan Swaminarayan was remarkable. One occasion Bhagwan Swaminarayan instructed Dada Khachar to transfer all his assets to his two sisters which he did without asking any question.
One can find many instances of his dedication in the Satsang’s literature. In Gadhada, once Bhagwan Swaminarayan, along with Dada Khachar and other disciples was passing by the Ghela River in the shivering cold of winter.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan saw a vairagi trying to ignite the fire in wood without any success. Bhagwan Swaminarayan proposed that it would be nice if they constructed one inn so that such vairagis could comfortably take shelter. Dada Khachar immediately remarked that He could use his residence. He would live with saints and his wife would stay with Sankhya Yogi i.e. female ascetics of holy fellowship.
Once, Dada Khachar was being shaved by a barber. Somebody came during the shave and told Dada Khachar that Bhagwan Swaminarayan remembered him. Immediately Dada Khachar washed his face and with his half shaved beard came to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Seeing Dada Khachar in such face, remarked that he should have completed his shave. Dada Khachar replied that the shave could be done later, but he could not miss being present when He needed him.
Many times Bhagwan Swaminarayan tested Dada Khachar’s nature. Once, Muktanand Swami requested to Bhagwan Swaminarayan that He should not test Dada Khachar, as he was the king. Bhagwan Swaminarayan replied him, “Swami, My nature is not to stay any place for a long time. However, I continue to stay here as if it is My own home for more than twenty-five years because of Dada Khachar and his family’s absolute trust and unalloyed devotion towards Me.”
There was never a time when the home of Dada Khachar was void of saints or satsangis. He utilized all of his wealth in favour of service to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the holy fellowship. Dada Khachar and his sisters requested Bhagwan Swaminarayan, to build a temple in Gadhada. They offered their own place of residence for the purpose. A massive temple was constructed in the courtyard of Dada Khachar.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan arranged Dada Khachar’s marriage to Jashuba, daughter of Nagpal Varu, on Samvat Year 1881. Bhagwan Swaminarayan Himself rode the chariot to village Bhatvadar for Dada Khachar’s marriage.
Various saints and disciples had also participated in that unique marriage ceremony.
When Bhagwan Swaminarayan left for Akshardham in Samvat 1886, grief-stricken Dada Khachar could not bear being separated from Him, and rushed to jump on the funeral pyre, but was held back by Gopalanand Swami who told Dada Khachar to go to the mango tree in Laxmiwadi where Bhagwan Swaminarayan frequently held assemblies. Bhagwan Swaminarayan gave divine darshan to Dada Khachar there under the tree and told him that He had not left, and that He would always be present in Satsang.
Dada Khachar had two sons, Bava Khachar and Amara Khachar. Dada Khachar passed away in Gadhada in Samvat Year 1909 at age of 52 years.
Dada Khachar, Gadhada
Samvat Year 1857 - 1909 (1800-1852 AD)
Sura Khachar of Loya
Another prime Kathi disciple was Sura Khachar, the king of Loya. From the beginning, he always accompanied Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was a man with great sense of humour. Through this skill, he kept the holy fellowship vibrant and full of joy. Like Brahmanand Swami, he is widely known as the dear friend of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For whatever reason when Bhagwan Swaminarayan became upset or may not speak with others or become sad, Brahmanand Swami and Sura Khachar were the only two who were able to pacify Him in those situations. They would tell jokes to bring a smile to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s face and even burst into laughter.
His wife Shantibai had even more devotion for Bhagwan Swaminarayan than Sura Khachar. On many occasions, they invited Bhagwan Swaminarayan along with more than five hundred saints and many disciples to their royal court.
The most famous among them was the first ever Shakotsav (festival of food) at Loya for continuous 18 days in Samvat Year 1876.
Once, Sura Khachar for some official reason went to meet Bhan Khachar of a town called Bhadali. Bhan Khachar was inwardly jealous of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He gave one guesthouse available in a solitary place to Sura Khachar. At night, Bhan Khachar sent a prostitute to annul the celibacy of Sura Khachar. She knocked the door and pleaded to open the door for help, as her child was sick. Upon request when Sura Khachar opened the door, she acted to seduce Sura Khachar. However, recognizing her evil intent, Sura Khachar unsheathed a sword and kept at her neck and asked who sent her at that time.
The frightened prostitute mentioned the name. Sura Khachar then instantly left the town. After this incident, Sura Khachar never kept any relation with Bhan Khachar. In the next morning, Sura Khachar came to the assembly. Bhagwan Swaminarayan, knowing everything, told the whole assembly that Sura Khachar was His perfect celibate disciple. Then Bhagwan Swaminarayan narrated the event and wholeheartedly praised Sura Khachar.
Without the help of any political power through love and compassion, Bhagwan Swaminarayan and His saints transformed horrible dacoits like Joban Pagi, Verabhai, Kayabhai Sandhi, Munjo Suru, Valera Varu, Manbha and Nagpal Varu into ardent and ideal disciples.
Joban Pagi of Vadtal
Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s fascinating personality converted many bandits into ardent disciples. One such extraordinary example was Joban Pagi, a notorious bandit who once terrorized Gujarat.
Joban Pagi was Koli by caste and was backed by his three brothers and hundreds of goons. He robbed not only in Gujarat but also in the borders of other states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. A peculiar aspect of Joban Pagi was that he indulged in the robbery of the treasure of Kings, the rich and officers whilst also robbing simple marriage ceremonies. Once, Joban Pagi had robbed the treasury of King Sayajirao Gaikwad of Baroda, then biggest city in Gujarat. People were horrified hearing about Joban Pagi. He was so cruel that killed people as he would cut fruits. Big prizes were offered to one who brings him alive or dead, yet even prevailing powerful political rulers, such as the Britishers and the Government of Baroda miserably failed to capture him.
At that time, Bhagwan Swaminarayan had organized an unprecedented yagna in a place called Dabhan in the year 1810 AD. Someone challenged Joban Pagi to steal Manki, Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s favourite mare. Joban Pagi always enjoyed accepting such challenges. At night, he went to Dabhan and tried to steal her. However, he saw that Bhagwan Swaminarayan was present at each horse. Astonished by this, Joban Pagi made he sure that he was not in the dream by pinching himself. He tried to steal for three nights without any success. Ultimately realizing Bhagwan Swaminarayan as God, he came to His refuge and requested forgiveness. He also confessed that he had committed other countless sins. Bhagwan Swaminarayan forgave him and asked Joban Pagi to promise not to sin again, and Joban Pagi happily agreed.
After his transformation once Joban Pagi went to Petlad. Kasiyabhai asked sarcastically “Is it true that Swaminarayan transforms donkey into a cow?”
Joban Pagi instantly replied, “Yes, He does. Only a few years ago, as soon as you heard that Joban Pagi was coming to your town, you would close the gates.
You would be frightened even if you had locked yourself into a secured room. Now you are fearlessly talking to me. Isn’t it a miracle? In such a way Bhagwan Swaminarayan transforms a donkey into a cow.”
Joban Pagi donated land in Vadtal for the construction of the temple. His contribution was immense in the celebrations organized in Vadtal almost every year! On one another occasion, he carried Bhagwan Swaminarayan over his shoulder to show his donated farm as later was very tired!
Such was his devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan that he collected dust, which had touched the divine feet of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He used to take a pinch of this dust with his daily meals. Many years passed and once he had consumed all the dust he had, he fasted on that day. The next day he left his body for Akshardham. He was 86 at that time.
Abhay Sinh, The King of Mengani
Abhay Sinh was a young son of Jeebhai, King of Mengani. Jeebhai was a staunch disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. However, due to bad company, Abhay Sinh indulged himself in consumption of meat, wine, etc. and his favourite hobby was hunting. Once he was on way to the forest for hunting along with his friends. His father reminded him, “Oh my son! Today is Ekadashi. Please do not kill the innocent animal at least on this pious day.” Devotees of Bhagwan Swaminarayan observes Ekadashi once in every fortnight by fasting. However, Abhay Sinh rudely replied, “Father, today is Ekadashi so eating grains is prohibited. But nothing is said about meat!” Needless to say, devotees of Bhagwan Swaminarayan avoids eating meat at all times.
This same Abhay Sinh came into the contact of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s saint Gopalanand Swami and became one the most prominent and ideal disciples of the holy fellowship, meditating for several hours daily and caring for the subjects of his kingdom like his own family. Once, Abhay Sinh was the guest at the royal court of Vibha Jam Saheb, a King of Jamnagar State. Vibha Jam Saheb arranged a party on this occasion in which liquor was served to everybody. Many opponents of Bhagwan Swaminarayan were also present in that party. They plotted a dangerous conspiracy to malign Abhay Sinh and Bhagwan Swaminarayan. They were well aware that Abhay Sinh would not drink liquor as he was a staunch disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, so they requested Vibha Jam Saheb to serve liquor to him personally. Now, this was a dilemma for Abhay Sinh. On one hand, there was a command of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and on another hand not accepting liquor meant insulting the king and accepting the grave consequences. Nevertheless, he was a man of proactive nature. He was a staunch disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and never succumbed to adverse circumstances. He unsheathed his sword and gave it to Jam Saheb and said, “As a staunch disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan I cannot drink liquor by this mouth. Simultaneously I cannot insult you by not accepting the liquor. So please make a hole in my neck and then poured the wine through so I can neither disobey the command of Bhagwan Swaminarayan nor disrespect you!” Such firmness fascinated Jam Saheb. He then abandoned his offer and wholeheartedly praised Abhay Sinh. This was a fantastic victory of a disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and a shocking defeat to opponents of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Householder male disciples like Govardhanbhai and Parvatbhai had attained the state of Brahman in which they experienced unbroken vision of God.
Parvatbhai of the village Agatrai in Gujarat was a great disciple of Bhagwan Swaminarayan as comparable to King Janak and King Ambarish. He was a disciple of Ramanand Swami. He by caste was Patel and farming was his livelihood. Even as a householder, he was firm in his discipline of renunciation and free from the worldly attachments.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan organized almshouses all over Gujarat. Once, there wasn’t enough grains to feed the poor and hungry people and thus to sustain an almshouse. Bhagwan Swaminarayan was worried. At that time Parvatbhai arrived and asked for the reason of His worry. Once he came to know the reason he instantly went and managed to collect hundred full sacks of rations and filled up ten bullock carts and brought that at the almshouse. Bhagwan Swaminarayan was very happy seeing such dedication but He asked whether Parvatbhai had left anything for his family. Parvatbhai replied, “Maharaj! My family will never die of hunger. We can survive by eating even leftovers. So, don’t worry about us!” On one occasion Bhagwan Swaminarayan along with Kathi disciples went to Parvatbhai’s home in Agatrai. Bhagwan Swaminarayan personally served ghee (clarified butter) to all of the disciples. While stepping from disciple to disciple, Bhagwan Swaminarayan let the ghee fall continually, spilling in between the plates. However, Parvatbhai rejoiced and exclaimed, “I haven’t seen such divine deeds earlier!” Once Parvatbhai’s son namely Meghji was terminally ill. At that time Parvatbhai received a letter from Bhagwan Swaminarayan calling him to Gadhada. Parvatbhai left for Gadhada immediately. As he reached the outskirts of the village, a man from his village came to inform him that his son had died.
Parvatbhai told the man to perform the funeral rites of his son. Parvatbhai continued his journey to Gadhada. On reaching Gadhada, Bhagwan Swaminarayan asked if his son was better. Parvatbhai replied, “My son is now very happy, experiencing complete bliss in Akshardham. He no longer has to toil!” Hearing this, Bhagwan Swaminarayan was very pleased and praised
Once Dada Khachar needed a servant, Bhagwan Swaminarayan first asked all the Kathi disciples if any of them would become Dada Khachar’s servant. But everyone declined as they would be glad to become servants of Bhagwan Swaminarayan but not that of Dada Khachar! When Parvatbhai arrived, Bhagwan Swaminarayan asked him and he immediately replied, “Yes, Maharaj, how fortunate am I to be the servant of a God’s devotee?” Bhagwan Swaminarayan mentioned that to become the devotee of a devotee is very difficult task. Later Bhagwan Swaminarayan released him from that duty.
However Parvatbhai’s real greatness was lay in his ‘Sarvopari Upasana’ of Bhagwan Swaminarayan during very presence of Him only. Even Gunatitanand Swami mentioned the greatness of Parvatbhai saying that Parvatbhai realized the greatness of Bhagwan Swaminarayan way ahead then the rest members of the holy fellowship.
Once Bhagwan Swaminarayan Himself testified during His conversation with Brahmanand Swami that Parvatbhai and Gorvardhanbhai both were real satsangis even better than Brahmanand Swami! Parvatbhai’s state of mind was such a great that Bhagwan Swaminarayan used to send senior saints for his company.
Parvatbhai had such faith in Bhagwan Swaminarayan, that he could visualize His divine murti all times.
Shree Ayodhyaprasadji Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan appointed Acharya Shree Ayodhyaprasadji, the son of His elder brother Rampratapji as the religious head of the Northern Division of India. He served the Holy Fellowship most sincerely for 42 years.
He was born on the eleventh day of the month Jyeshtha in Samvat 1865 and even with closed eyes he was able to see the form of Shree Hari.
His self-control was most amazing. Once at a dinner arranged to honor him, the cook added salt instead of sugar in all edible items offered to God. But Acharya, while dining didn’t show any reaction or express his displeasure at that. But the fact was known only when co-diners ate with him!
Once when he was performing Manasi Puja (mental worship) of Shree Hari, he had a scorpion-bite but he remained totally focussed in that devotional ritual but did not intervened. When he woke up from Manasi Puja those who used to serve him came to know about the severe scorpion bites.
Acharya Ayodhyaprasadji was also a poet, and he has composed many hymns (Kirtanas) in Gujarati. He got prepared the commentary – Tatvartha – Dipika on Satsangi Jivan, constructed the artistic wooden mansion at Ahmedabad, installed Murtis in grand temples at Idar, Jetalpur, Siddhpur, Mandvi and Chhapaiya. He inspired people to construct temples at these places.
As per the command of Shree Hari in Shikshapatri he established a Sanskrit Pathshala at Ahmedabad. He had a great mastery over Sanskrit language, literature and religious books.
Note : About appointment of Acharya please see the earlier article about Acharya Shree Raghuvirprasad.
Most of the women are born for marriage but some women are not, as they have ambition as well as some mission in life. But there is hardly a woman who has a divine mission to serve God in divine human form.
Laduba, a woman of the royal family of Gadhada was born with the divine mission of serving Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan Who was God upon the earth Whose mission was to build the world of Truth, beauty and goodness – in short heaven called Akshardham.
She was born in an age when for a woman to remain unmarried was considered to be a sacrilege, a curse and a blemish on her parents. They also believed that the father and the mother of such woman would go to external hell. In short it was a revolution against the society.
When Laduba was just a child her royal, religious, revolutionary father – Ebhal Khachar brought Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan – God upon the earth to live permanently at his royal residence at Gadhada. There was already religious atmosphere in his family and this new arrival surcharged that atmosphere.
When Laduba came of age, her father got her engaged to a Kathi young man. But before the marriage could take place the youth lost his life in a raid upon his village. The sword sent as a symbol of the bridegroom to the bride returned to the woe of the family.
Ebhal Khachar got Laduba married to Matara Dhadhal, the ruler of Botad State. Here Laduba couldn’t adjust to matrimonial life. At times she would become so much engrossed in meditation upon Shree Hari that she would outwardly remain unconscious, at times for days and weeks and even months! So he thought of sending her back to her father’s home. But in those days it was customary for a woman to live with her husband or to commit suicide.
Matara Dhadhal knew what would happen if he sent her back to her father. Out of anger he may even murder her. So he sent her with a note of divorce for no fault of hers. The father unwillingly accepted Laduba back.
But Shree Hari expressed displeasure at her arrival and asked her to go back to Botad and to live with her husband. So she was sent back to Botad. The husband arranged for her to stay separately and gave her all facilities for devotional practice all the day.
But Shree Hari wouldn’t like his absolute devotee to keep away from him. So she was called back and she stayed forever near Shree Hari in the same royal residence practising devotion.
Through devotion she developed clairvoyance and perform many other yogic miracles. Once Shree Hari was ready to leave for Vadtal but his favourite mare Manaki wouldn’t step forward. It struck to the mind of Shree Hari that he hadn’t informed about his departure to Laduba without whose mental permission Manaki wouldn’t leave. From a distance Shree Hari read the mind of Laduba and realized what had happened. He came to Laduba and sought her permission to go to Vadtal. Shree Hari stayed at Vadtal for a month. The separation was too painful for Laduba to bear. At her request He returned immediately.
Shree Hari had a very impressive Murti (icon) of Shree Vasudev Bhagwan. Once a group of devotees, who had come to Gadhada saw this Murti and thought of getting it, so that it may be installed at a temple. Shree Hari was pleased to present the same to the devotees for this purpose. When Laduba heard about this, the Murti was already placed in a cart bound for Bhuj. Laduba thought that favouring one group of devotees would generate dissatisfaction among other groups.
So she willed that the cart should not move. And it did happen so despite the best efforts by bullocks. When they told about this to Shree Hari, the latter said: “Nothing can move against the will of Laduba.”
The Murti was then installed at a temple in Gadhada.
A garden for flowers and fruits was made on a vast plot of land. This garden at Gadhada is named as Radha-Baug as Ludaba is looked upon as an incarnation of Radhikaji the beloved of Shree Krishna (Her sister Jivuba too donated her land for such a garden. This garden is named Lakshmi Baug as Jivuba is looked upon as an incarnation of Lakshmiji – the goddess of wealth).
Once Laduba came near Shree Hari who was in sound sleep. Laduba who had come with her sisters – Jivuba, Rajuba, Amula and Amara saw Shree Hari in the form of Lord Vishnu sleeping on the bed of Shesh-Naga (the mythological serpent). She saw herself as fanning Shree Hari. She also saw Rajbai as Saraswati playing the lute, Rajbai and Amulabai as maid-servant and Jivuba as Lakshmi gently pressing Vishnu’s feet.
Once Laduba asked : “How is it possible that the sage Durvasa consumed plates and plates of food offered to him by Gopis, as the holy narration describes ?
To dispel her doubt Shree Hari asked her to prepare food for thirty guests. Then Shree Hari asked her to feed Swami Sachhidanand first as he had to look after the garden.
Swami Sachchidanandji ate food meant for six persons and yet he was hungry to the confusion of Laduba. At the suggestion of Shree Hari Laduba offered him water and the water he drank increased his hunger further !
Once when the temple of Gopinathji was under construction, stones had to be lifted up by tying them with ropes first and then they were lifted through the pulley. The rope was found to be short. Laduba asked her maidservant Kalu to bring a strong new rope from the cowshed. As Kalu didn’t want the new rope to be used and lost she concealed it and said: “The rope couldn’t be traced!”
Shree Hari said: The servants are sometimes too careful not to spoil the household items like ropes!”
Laduba understood the implication, and confessing her trick Kalu brought the rope.
Once financial stringency interrupted construction of the Gopinathji temple. Laduba presented her solid golden kadas and solid trinklets to Shree Hari for sale to pay the wages of masons etc. The temple was completed and the Murtis were ceremoniously installed. Laduba gave all her golden ornaments for making new ornaments for Murtis.
Laduba looked after the preparation of food items for dinner to be arranged on days of religious festivals falling on days of the bright half of any month. Jivuba looked after on other days.
For thirty long years she looked after homely comforts of saints and devotees coming for Darshan of Shree Hari at Gadhada.
Such was the life standards of Laduba which inspired so many women to lead the life of an ideal devotee of Shreeji Maharaj.
Kushal Kunvarba had a fascinating history of reincarnation. This devotee was special to Shree Hari.
Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan along with other saints had reached the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Here they rested near the famous step-well of Adalaj.Nishkulanand Swami had gone to fetch water from the step-well and read a stone-inscription there that said:“I am queen Rudi, the daughter of a Kshatriya King. My father got me married to a Muslim King. I don’t quote the amount in figures for construction but one hundred thousand rupees were spent only on digging. I have got this step-well constructed not to reflect my greatness or for fame but for my bliss. I haven’t met such a great person but later on if a great man manifests, I request him to drink this water and bless me.”
According to another legend Rudi was the queen of the ruler of Adalaj. When the emperor of Delhi saw her he expressed his desire to marry her but she went on giving promises and delaying the marriage and in the meantime she got constructed this world famous step-well. When there was no alternative to the marriage with the Muslim emperor, she got inscribed these words in the inscription: “I commit suicide here and I will be redeemed when God will bathe in this step-well.”
In her next birth queen Rudi was born in Dharmaj as the daughter of the ruler Kesarisinh. This princess was named as Kushal – Kunvarba. She was married to prince Somdeva who later on became the ruler of Dharmapur.They had a son named Rupdeva and a grandson named Vijaydev.
Both Somdev and Rupdev had premature death. Vijaydev was made the King and Kushal – Kunvarba served as a regent for the young king. She appointed most efficient and trustworthy officers and spent most of her time in religious practices.
During her administration Dharampur prospered exponentially.
She spent a lot of her time in listening to religious scriptures. Once while listening to the episode of abduction of Rukmini from Smd. Bhagavad-Gita, she asked the priest: “When will God manifest and redeem me by holding my hand?”
To this the priest said: “Well, there is time for everything. Nothing is impossible for a holy woman like you.”
She sought blessings from the saints by serving them food and providing them with the best hospitality.
On one occasion Sadguru Swami Chaitanyanand visited Dharampur. Kushal – Kunvarba tried to touch his holy feet but he said: “Please don’t touch my feet as I am the saint of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.”
She had never heard this name till then. So she asked: “Who is this Bhagwan Swaminarayan?” Param Chaitanyanand Swami said: “He is God – our Lord Shree Purushottam Narayan.”
She then invited Sadguru Param Chaitanyanandji to stay at the royal palace. Here he was provided with separate quarters and good meals. With Vijaykumar, the young king she sent him on an elephant to pay respects to Hanumanji at a temple.
A month passed. He declined to return to Gadhada despite Shree Hari calling him back. So to bring him back Shree Hari sent Swami Muktanand along with other twenty-five saints. They took a voyage from Bhavnagar port to Valsad port and then reached Dharampur. On their way to Dharampur they met Swami Param Chaitanyanandji riding an elephant and going to the Hanuman temple. He got down and bowed down to Swami Mukanand.
When news was sent to Kushal – Kunvarba she made arrangement for all of them to stay at the bungalow near the palace.
Muktanand Swami stayed here for a month enlightening the Queen-Mother all about Swaminarayan way of life.
She prepared a small packet of husked whole rice, also a symbolic form of invitation, and said to Muktanand Swami: “Send this to Shree Hari so that He may visit Dharampur.” Muktanand Swami sent this message through Param Chaitanyanand. Swami Shree Hari understood the symbolic message of husked whole rice and said: “Remove impurity and be pure and dedicate your pure soul to God.”
Shree Hari started His journey along with a group of saints, Kathi devotees and Jivuba and reached Dharampur. On knowing this Kushal Kunvarba rushed from Vansda where she had gone to see her sick niece, Jitabai.
She was formally initiated as a devotee. She was overjoyed and offered to hand over her state to Shree Hari and asked him to rule. To this Shree Hari said: “I am already the ruler of the whole creation. Your state is within this already. It is already mine.”
Shree Hari celebrated here the festival of spring on a grand scale. Shree Hari blessed all Bhils – an aboriginal community by sprinkling colorful water on them.
King Vijaykumar arranged a contest between state musicians and the saints who too were trained musicians. The state musicians failed to play musical instruments in tune with the classical music. However, Shree Hari honored state musicians by presenting them valuable sash.
King Raysimhji of nearby Vansda State also received Shree Hari. King Vijaykumar delighted Shree Hari by his feats of horse riding.
Once after dinner when Shree Hari declined to wipe dry his hands by a very costly piece of cloth offered by Mother-Queen. She at once stretched the corner of her sari and Shree Hari wiped his hands. Then Mother-Queen said: “You have caught the corner of my sari. So you should never turn your face away from me.”
Shree Hari promised to that effect.
Shree Hari stayed there for more than one and a half month.
While leaving Dharampur Shree Hari gave his footprints to her and a boon that she would have His Darshan whenever she meditated.
Shree Hari was given a grand royal farewell.
Kushal Kunvarba could meditate for hours. Shree Hari praised her technique of meditation in one of his sermons (Vachanamrita.S-2) which is‘fix your gaze on the chosen deity, try to see Him in the heart but don’t be unsteady like the tail of a squirrel.’
She has been mentioned in great detail in Bhakta Chintamani by Nishkulanand Swami and by Shatanand Muni in Satsangi-Jivan – Canto – 2. CH –52.
She left for Akshardham in the month of Bhadrapad in Samvat 1920.