of Shastri Yagnapurushdasji
In the year V.S. 1939 (1873 CE), Bhagatji had gone to Surat to take part in the murti-pratishtha ceremony of Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj. While preparing a decorative cloth-sheet for the mandir elephant, Bhagatji discoursed to the devotees. Many sadhus and devotees gathered around his seat to listen to his inspiring talks.
Here, Yagnapurushdasji was staying with Vignananand Swami, serving him and studying the scriptures. He was drawn by the darshan and discourses of Bhagatji and was surprised to find him discoursing while stitching at the same time. Bhagatji said, “A gnani has innumerable eyes.” Seeing his brahmic state, Yagnapurushdasji mentally accepted Bhagatji as his guru.
Also, from Bhagatji, he learnt for the first time that Gunatitanand Swami is Akshar – the heavenly abode of Shriji Maharaj and he is forever in the service of Shriji Maharaj. Hearing this, his guru Vignananand Swami, who had met Maharaj in person, endorsed Bhagatji’s views. Yagnapurushdasji was convinced that Shriji Maharaj Himself had revealed this knowledge to the people. He realised the greatness of Bhagatji and became his staunch disciple.
Great sadhus readily identify each other. Bhagatji Maharaj used to say, “He is my beloved son.” Such was the affection Bhagatji had for Yagnapurushdas.
Ramratandasji and Yagnapurushdasji were companion sadhus. Once Ramratandasji requested Bhagatji Maharaj to get him the pair of footprints of Shriji Maharaj Yagnapurushdasji had. Yagnapurushdasji acted according to the wishes of Bhagatji and parted with the holy treasure. When Acharya Maharaj came to know about this he became angry and reprimanded Bhagatji. He told Bhagatji that as Yagnapurushdasji was the leader of the group of sadhus, he was required to have the footprints of Shriji Maharaj with him. Bhagatji Maharaj replied instantly, “I will give him the maker of the footprints – Shriji Maharaj!”
Thus, he revealed his power, as well as his love towards Yagnapurushdasji.
Gradually, all the sadhus – Vignandasji, Yagnapurushdasji, Mahapurushdasji and others – started seeking the divine company of Bhagatji boldly and openly. These sadhus, with their flawless character, earned name and fame as the disciples of Bhagatji all over the Satsang. Also, Bhagatji became increasingly respected throughout the entire Satsang because of his brahmic state, and his talks about the supremacy of Shriji Maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami as the manifestation of Akshar and of becoming brahmarup. Acharya Maharaj also loved to listen to his religious discourses. During festivals He especially invited Bhagatji to participate and deliver discourses.
Those sadhus who were deeply attached to Bhagatji spread his glory throughout the Satsang. Certain sadhus could not bear Bhagatji’s increasing popularity. Once, they complained to Bhagatji regarding this. Bhagatji sided with them and made the sadhus attached to him apologise.
Once, Bhagatji was going to the mandir in Nadiad. He was accompanied by a Barot devotee. When they were passing through a narrow lane, a harijan woman approached them. The devotee lost his temper at the sight of the harijan woman and shouted, “Stay away, can’t you see we are passing?” Bhagatji did not like this. He felt sorry and told the devotee, “Isn’t there God in the heart of this woman?” Thus he taught the lesson of respect towards all.