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For decades Swamishri has been

guiding others towards God.

Inspiring them in times of

hardship; consoling them in

times of sadness, he has been a

constant source of light in their

lives when there has been only

engulfing darkness. But what

has been his source of inspiration

over the years? How has he

managed to remain composed

during incidents of both honour

and insult? What drives him to

push himself night and day in the

service of others? Delving into

the depths of his heart we find

the source of his light...
    His Source of Light
    Shastri Narayanswarupdas, Guru Shastriji Maharaj...

Purshottampura. A small village in Gujarat. Everywhere one treads, there are memories of Shastriji Maharaj. Young Narayanswarupdas often accompanied his Guru when he used to come here, and returned many times for work as President of the Sanstha. In 1986, now himself the Guru, Swamishri once again came to Purshottampura. In the presence of sadhu disciples he began to relive incidents with his Guru...
    Question 1

Most people describe Shastriji Maharaj as being solemn and strict. Yet you often describe him as tender and soft-hearted. Are there any incidents which illustrate this side of his character?

Swamishri : The Satpurush has a huge mission to achieve and so he appears to be strict and at times he may even behave accordingly. I remember one incident which I think actually took place right here. There was one Jivabhai of Bhaili. He used to deal in real estate. Once he had a huge debt over his head so he came here to Swami for guidance. Swami scolded him, ‘You don’t know how to do business, etc., etc..’ Jivabhai didn’t say a word, he just listened. Then suddenly he sang the kirtan, ‘Suno chatur Sujan...’ and he did so with such love that Shastriji Maharaj forgot his anger, got up, embraced him and then blessed him. We can see such solemnity in Shriji Maharaj too. But then, He would also shower compassion on His devotees as if nothing had happened! In actual fact, they are only displaying such wonderful acts for our benefit.

How would you describe the relationship between you and Shastriji Maharaj? As friends, or guru and disciple, as God and devotee or as mother and child?

Swamishri : Shastriji Maharaj was the actual form of God. So our relationship was that of God and His devotee. I sought his refuge realising that he is Shriji Maharaj’s form. If we keep such a relationship, we too will attain everlasting happiness. As his devotee we should not attribute any faults to him or his actions and we should follow his agna. To have such a God-devotee relationship is the ideal for us.

Shastriji Maharaj was very pleased with you. How did you earn his pleasure?

Swamishri : He was pleased with everyone. Because all had given seva with mind, body and soul. I simply obeyed his agna. However the main reason why God and His Saint are pleased with us is when we can keep divyabhav in them and follow their agna under any circumstances. Shastriji Maharaj’s nature was such that if one was humble, he instantly became pleased with him. There was one Vajeshankar Mistry (a sculptor). Very intelligent. It was his idea to carve the spires on the ground so that we wouldn’t have the awkward task of carving them when they were placed on top of the temple. His measurements were so accurate that everything fitted perfectly. He was so sharp that he would come round during an inspection and with just one glance he could tell you, ‘the pillar is slightly out’ or ‘the boards are uneven’. However if Shastriji Maharaj wanted to make some alterations he would not accept them. He would say, ‘There can be no meddling in any of my work.’
Then there was Liladhar Mistry. Shastriji Maharaj was very pleased with him because he was humble. He too was intelligent but whenever Shastriji Maharaj wanted to make alterations in the plans, he would make the changes immediately.
The greatest quality is to be humble in front of the Satpurush. If we try to be wise or clever, then it is like hitting him! At the same time, if we try to be too innocent and think ‘All are good, all are equal’, we risk becoming entangled with bad company. Thus we should put all our thoughts aside and just do as he says; then Swami will be pleased with us. Once he gives us an agna, if we obey it whole-heartedly, he will definitely be pleased with us.

How powerful was Shastriji Maharaj?

Swamishri : The world has seen his capabilities. He is very powerful. When he left (Vadtal), he had no means, no sadhus, no money and even no devotees! Still he created a magnificent Sanstha, now that’s power isn’t it? It was no small feat to convince thousands of people of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy. He had the ability to create something out of nothing. We can realise the greatness of the creator by his creation. Whatever project Swami undertook, he was always so determined that the work would be completed! Faith and fearlessness! Whatever he did, he believed in it; that’s how he was able to build such grand temples. As he looked small, people would often say, ‘The Shastri is nothing but skin and bones. What can he possibly do?’. But what he did was so great that even his enemies had to admire him! It was a great accomplishment and the whole world saw it!

How do you keep a constant link with Shriji Maharaj and your guru Shastriji Maharaj?

Swamishri : If we cannot keep God at the forefront in our mind, then all our efforts are meaningless. We have come here to please Him, so in all our activities we should do as he says. Whether we are near him or far away from him, we should always be aware of how we can please him. How can we fix his message into our soul? Then we should do as he says, but always be cautious that our objectives do not become distorted. We should ask ourselves, Why have I come here? Have I come for honour, status or authority?’ We have come to please him. Our goal was to please Him and so we were prepared to do whatever he said and go wherever he sent us. Swami’s mission was such that we felt that we had also come to carry on his work. We have become a sadhu for him. If we do as he says, we won’t have any kind of problems.

Shriji Maharaj listens to your prayers before ours. You have accepted us as yours, so what will you pray for to Shriji Maharaj on our behalf?

Swamishri : God listens to everyone’s prayers. We pray that you have all renounced your families and homes at the wish of Jogi Maharaj, so may you all imbibe the qualities of saintliness, spread the greatness of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy, that Shastriji Maharaj’s and Yogiji Maharaj’s ambitions are fulfilled through you, and that you all attain everlasting peace. We always offer this prayer. Also, that all of you keep unity and remain enthusiastic and that you may all do bhajan bhakti...

(5 March 1987, Purushottampura)

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