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Bhagatji Maharaj
Bhagatji Maharaj


The Path of Thorns

With the blessings of Swami, Pragji Bhakta’s powers became known to many. Certain senior sadhus did not like the talks about the glory of Akshar. So, they began to oppose. Acharya Maharaj accompanied by Shuk Swami, Pavitranand Swami and many other learned sadhus had come to participate in a festival at Junagadh.
Pragji Bhakta discoursed to thousands of devotees during this festival and satisfied them. The talks and discourses continued till late at night, near where Pavitranand Swami had kept his seat. Pavitranand Swami lost his temper when he heard Pragji Bhakta talking about the glory of Akshar. Pragji Bhakta went to him and whispered, “There is no alternative except to understand Gunatitanand Swami as the manifestation of Akshar.”
“Who are you to teach me? You are unduly overestimating yourself. I will see to it that you are excommunicated from the Satsang,” declared Pavitranand Swami, beating the floor with his stick. Pragji Bhakta replied with a smile, “Swami, now even if Shriji Maharaj wishes He cannot excommunicate me. Iron transformed by a paras into gold cannot be converted back into iron even by a paras.”
While this exchange of words was going on, Gunatitanand Swami came there. He made Pragji Bhakta tender an apology and appeased Pavitranand Swami. Still, the latter was so angry with Pragji Bhakta that he announced that he did not even want to see Pragji’s face. Then, Swami led Pragji Bhakta to his seat.
After the festival was over, Swami set out on a tour of Sorath. He arrived at Upleta. Here the devotees asked him, “Swami, what will happen to us when you will be no more! Who will help us attain ekantik dharma? Who will be our support?” Hearing this, Swami narrated an anecdote, “Once a gardener presented some bitter gourds filled with sweet pomegranate seeds. Everyone laughed at the gardener. The king ordered his servants to break the gourds. On breaking them they saw the sweet pomegranate seeds. Everyone was pleased to eat sweet pomegranate seeds. Everyone was wonder struck to find sweet pomegranate seeds in the gourds. In the same manner, I, too, have prepared a man who will hold the reins of ekantik dharma. He, too, is as sweet as the pomegranate seeds. But only those people who are humble at heart and who have earned merits over many birth will be able to recognise my divine heir.” Thus Swami explained the greatness of Pragji Bhakta.
Once, Swami was on his way to Vanthali from Junagadh. He was travelling by bullock cart. Some devotees were also seated with him. Others were on foot. Swami called a parshad and said, “Go and call Pragji. The poor fellow must be feeling tired. Let him sit in the cart.” When Pragji Bhakta approached the cart, Swami invited him to travel with him. Pragji said, “The mattress on which Swami is seated is radiating the light of innumerable suns, and so I am unable go near!” Through this incident Swami made the devotees realise Pragji Bhakta’s elevated spiritual state.
By associating with Pragji Bhakta the devotees of Mahuva understood the infinite greatness of Swami. Swami gave special bliss to the Mahuva Satsang Mandal. Once, Swami was preparing leaf bowls from khakhra leaves in the company of the devotees. Out of sheer curiosity, Fulchand Sheth of Mahuva asked Swami, “Swami, what must Akshardham be doing at this moment?” Swami replied, “Akshardham is preparing leaf bowls from khakhra leaves in your company.” Thus at times Swami was kind enough to talk about his own form.

Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan

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