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The Bicentennial Anniversary of
Bhagwan Swaminarayan's Advent in Loj, Gujarat.

( A.S.1856-2056, C.E. 1799-1999 )

  Five Eternal Realities
Whenever He met learned ascetics and heads of ashrams, Neelkanth invariably inquired about the nature of the five eternal realities, namely, Jiva, Ishwar, Maya, Brahman and Parabrahman. Though aware of their nature, His motive for inquiring was to seek out those ascetics who answered satisfactorily. This would provide Him a basis on which to found the fellowship for which He incarnated. Nowhere Loj villageduring His sojourns did He receive a satisfactory exegesis. After 7 years, 1 month and 11 days, having trudged more than 12,000 kms. over the vast sub-continent, and graced over 177 places, His footsteps graced Loj, a tiny village tucked away in a remote corner of Gujarat, in the Kathiawad peninsula. He was aware that here, He'd receive satisfactory answers, ending both His 'odyssey' and pilgrimage to redeem.

Ashram In Loj
The cool monsoon wind blowing in the pre-dawn hours dispersed the light cloudsTree under which Neelkanth meditated in Loj hovering over Loj. A plethora of birds chirped and twittered noisily as they fluttered among the trees on the outskirts of the village. As they hopped from branch to branch, water droplets from the overnight downpour cascaded below. A few showered Neelkanth. Unflinching, eyes closed in deep meditation. He sat lotus-postured on a rock slab next to a step well. Despite His emaciated frame, He radiated Step - well, Lojineffable divinity. This divine luster arrested the village's womenfolk arriving to fill their water pots. Wondering who He was and why He had renounced home, they questioned Him.But the young brahmachari remained absorbed in meditation, unaware of their presence. Moments later an aged sadhu named Sukhanand arrived for water. As his eyes fell on the teenaged yogi, his legs halted involuntarily. Awestruck, he stood there mesmerized, bathing in the divinity emanating from Neelkanth. Yearning to question Him, the sadhu prayed to Neelkanth to open His eyes. Moments later, His eyes fluttered open. The sadhu prostrated, humbly inquiring who He was and requested Him to grace his guru Ramanand Swami's ashram, to meet Muktanand Swami, the acting head. At the ashram, Muktanand Swami's answers regarding the five eternal realities satisfied Neelkanth. He decided to stay until Ramanand Swami returned from his preaching tour in Kutch. During this period He humbly served Muktanand Swami and the 60 sadhus in the ashram; cleaning, washing robes, collecting dung and firewood. Yet he also taught them Ashtang Yoga. Gleaning His lofty spirituality and extreme detachment from mundane matters, Muktanand Swami wrote a letter to Ramanand Swami to return as soon as possible, in case the Brahmachari decided to leave Loj. Aware of Neelkanth's identity, Ramanand Swami sent his devotees to Loj for His darshan, informing them that, "I am only the 'drum-beater' heralding the arrival of the 'chief player'. Neelkanth is the 'chief player'." Revealing Neelkanth's glory, he said, 'Neelkanth is greater than me, greater than Dattatreya, Rushabhdeva and greater than Ramchandra. Just as Krishna is greater than all other incarnations, He is even greater than Krishna. He is the cause of all incarnations.'

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© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith