A poor Patel in
Gondal earned his living by selling lemons. In the afternoon he
would walk one mile from the town to rest in the serenity of the
riverbank by the Akshar Deri. He was aware of the sanctity of Akshar
Deri. The fact that the old Swaminarayan School had given it on
hire to a person of the Khoja community who grew onions on it worried
him. He wondered when would the divine place be developed. Once,
while he was going towards Akshar Deri he saw a radiant 16-year-old
ascetic. The Patel bowed at his feet and asked, "When will
this place get developed?" The ascetic, who was Shriji Maharaj
himself, replied, "Patel, don't worry. In a few years time
there will be a three-shikhar mandir here. Thakorji will be offered
thal and the mandir will have golden kalashas. This place will become
divine and will inspire miracles." Then the ascetic disappeared.
Patel was amazed and pacified by the incident.
A couple of years later when Shastriji
Maharaj had started building the mandir the Patel narrated the incident
of the divine ascetic.
There was a blacksmith
in Gondal who went every evening for darshan at the Ashapuri Mata
mandir. On returning home he would always see three balls of light
descend upon Akshar Deri. A few years later when the excavation
work for the mandir pillars was going on he told Shastriji Maharaj
about his experience and asked him as to what the three balls of
light were. Shastriji Maharaj replied that Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh
came in the form of light to have darshan of Akshar Deri.
One night, during
the mandir construction project in Gondal, Yogiji Maharaj was sleeping
near Shastriji Maharaj. In the middle of the night a black cobra
bit Yogiji Maharaj on his left index finger. Everybody in the room
got up. Shastriji Maharaj immediately instructed, "Take Jogi
to the Akshar Deri and chant the dhun." Yogiji Maharaj had
become unconscious because of the powerful venom. While the dhun
was being chanted Shastriji Maharaj placed his hand on Yogiji Maharaj's
head. At 4.00 a.m. Gunatitanand Swami appeared to Mohan Bhagat,
who got up from his sleep, and told him that nothing would happen
to Jogi. Mohan Bhagat then went to Shastriji Maharaj and narrated
what Gunatitanand Swami had told him.
When Bhagvatsinhji Maharaj came to know
of this he sent word to Shastriji Maharaj that he was sending a
doctor. Shastriji Maharaj said that there was no need because Jogi
would get well by the power of the Swaminarayan dhun. After 12 hours
Yogiji Maharaj became conscious. Yogiji Maharaj was saved by the
divine power of Akshar Deri and blessings of Shastriji Maharaj.