Likings of Yogiji Maharaj
Yogiji Maharaj used to wear only coarse clothes throughout his life. He was very simple and liked to spend his time in service. He always ate simple food which he mixed in a wooden bowl and ate only after adding water to it. Whenever there was any special dish or if there were any sweet delicacies, he would fast on that day. He always had a smile on his face. He was at home with young and old alike, inquired about their welfare and blessed them all. He prayed to Shriji Maharaj that everyone be relieved of their miseries. He chanted the Swaminarayan Mahamantra constantly with a mala in his hand.
Yogiji Maharaj had a special bond with children. He affectionately called them to him and taught them to sing, “Swami ane Narayan, Akshar ane Purushottam, Atma ane Paramatma, Brahma ane Parabrahma.”
He often gathered the children around him and taught them to sing bhajans, and to recite Swamini Vatus. He narrated stories from the life of Shriji Maharaj and Gunatitanand Swami to point out a moral or teach truths to the children. He also narrated incidents from the lives of Shastriji Maharaj and Bhagatji Maharaj as illustrations of correct thought and conduct. He taught everyone how to perform puja and arti and gave them prasad.
Yogiji Maharaj instructed youths to rise early in the morning. After getting up he told them to first remember Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Then, after bathing, one should perform puja, offer prostrations, and read five verses from the Shikshapatri. After puja, one should do one’s school work. School children should regularly study for four hours a day and college students for eight hours. Elders must always be shown due respect. Children should daily bow to their parents.
Before going to school or college, one must apply tilak-chandlo to one’s forehead. Everybody should visit the mandir daily. They should attend the weekly assemblies without fail. They should commit to memory Swamini Vatu, Vachanamruts and kirtans. Milk and water should be filtered before drinking. One should fast on ekadashi. One should not steal, nor use another’s materials without permission. One should not touch another’s lost property. One should not smoke or tell lies. One should neither see films nor attend plays. One should not eat in hotels or in the bazaar.