Jal-Jhilani Celebration at Gadhada
In V.S. 1952 (1896 CE), Yagnapurushdasji, in consultation with Acharya Maharaj, invited Bhagatji to Gadhada to participate in the Jal Jhilani festival. The devotees were informed accordingly and all of them assembled at Gadhada.
On this occasion, Bhagatji used to give darshan to the devotees at the Lakshmi Vadi mandir and at the seats of Acharya Maharaj and senior sadhus in the mandir. The Kothari had forbidden Bhagatji to discourse so he spoke sparingly.
Once Acharya Maharaj invited him to his seat and asked, “How does one experience God’s bliss?” Bhagatji replied, “God’s bliss is visible to one who adores God. All his ten senses become quiet and his four antahkarans experience eternal peace. One who has experienced God’s bliss will not become attached to anything except the murti of God. Muktanand Swami has said that one who is dedicated to the guru experiences such bliss.” Thus at times Acharya Maharaj sought communion with Bhagatji and experienced fulfilment.
Bhagatji talked openly to his beloved sadhus, “Atmabuddhi with the God-realised Sadhu is the only means to salvation. Shriji Maharaj has entrusted the key to moksha to such a Sadhu and the he is the gateway to moksha. Such a Sadhu should be served by thought, word and deed to attain ekantik dharma. But one should never insult him. Once Naga Bawas threatened Maharaj with their swords and asked Him to pluck spinach. Maharaj refused and replied, ‘We are merciful but if someone looks at our devotee with an evil eye, we won’t hesitate to pierce his eyes. If he causes pain with his hand we will cut it off. Such is our wrath.’ Therefore, understand the principle that if anybody insults a devotee, he will face great troubles in his own life.”
Then the sadhus asked him, “How do you meditate?” Bhagatji replied, “I don’t know how to meditate. By the grace of Gunatitanand Swami I become oblivious of this body and I behold Maharaj the way I am beholding you presently. I withdraw my sense of hearing, the moment I hear something. I know this much, I don’t know anything else. Therefore those who want to realise God should bravely control the senses and antahkaran.”
“When is true knowledge said to have been attained?”
“Just as the sword and sheath remain separate from each other, similarly, when the atma and the body are realised as independent of each other then that is true gnan. No thoughts, except those of God, arise in the antahkaran. Desires are removed.” He added, “How can one sleep quietly if one is chased by bandits in the form of the body, senses and antahkaran? One should not give in to the instincts of lust, anger, etc. One should fight as a tiger against them and pray for Maharaj’s help. One should pray, ‘O Maharaj, please dwell in my heart, forever.’” Thus he spoke tremendously about becoming brahmarup and associating with God.
During this festival, devotees sought Bhagatji’s instructions on the education of Yagnapurushdasji. Bhagatji said, “If arrangements can be made in Rajkot he should continue his studies. But, there is no need for him to go to Kashi. Yagnapurushdasji is a brush which cleans the devotees from within.”
Once, Bhagatji was sitting with Mana Bhagat who advised Bhagatji, “Life is short so you should not become attached to your babula-like disciples, otherwise you will have to take them to Dham.” Bhagatji replied, “How can such devotees be called babula? I see in them the murti of Brahma. If we call them babula our jiva shall perish. If it is Maharaj’s wish, I would like to live with such godly devotees for many lives to come.”
Thus Bhagatji used to inspire the devotees with the glory of God and His devotees, “However much one may talk about atma one cannot become atmarup. One has to offer bhakti with a full understanding of God’s glory. As a girl suffering from tuberculosis dies before attaining youth, similarly, bhakti without understanding of God’s glory never ripens. It is destroyed. The redemptive attributes develop in the heart of a man who has bhakti together with understanding of God’s glory.” Then he returned to Mahuva.