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Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life and work have influenced people all over the world. In memory of His life and divine actions, many of His holy relics, or prasadi ni vastu, have been preserved by followers of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has preserved various ornaments, clothing and attire, and other belongings as a tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s divine avatar on this Earth.  Many of these relics have been preserved at the Prasadi Mandapam in Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar. 
 
  • Pagh: A pagh is a finely woven, light cloth traditionally tied around the head as a turban-like headdress and is worn in Gujarat and other parts of India.  Bhagwan Swaminarayan ordinarily wore a pagh made of white cotton, but on special occasions and at the request of His devotees, He wore more oranate paghs made of rich fabrics.  This pagh is made of purple silk and embroidered with gold thread.  This pagh has been preserved for over 200 years.  It was given by Bhagwan Swaminarayan to Ram Raja and then kept in the mandir at Muli.  In 1953, Yogiji Maharaj helped in the creation of Chappaiya railway station, and out of gratitude, Acharya Devendraprasadji offered this pagh to a devotee of Yogiji Maharaj, Shri Chhaganbhai Patel.  Chhaganbhai Patel’s grandson, Pranav Kiritbhai Patel, donated it to Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1992.
  • Jamo: A jamo is an upper garment that extends from the neck, with no collar, to mid-thigh and has full-length sleeves.  It is tied with strings rather than buttons.  Similar to His paghs, Bhagwan Swaminarayan primarily wore plain jamos made of white cotton.  However, on special occasions and at the request of His devotees, He wore jamos made of colorful and textured materials.  This jamo of purple velvet and gold lining was casually kept in wooden boxes for generations until it was scientifically treated for conservation and put on display at the Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar.
  • Surwal: A surwal is a trouser-like piece of clothing worn from the hips down to the ankles.  It ties at the waist and tapers down towards the ankles.  This red patterned godadiyo surwal belonged to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and is padded with cotton wool for additional comfort and protection from the cold.  Bhagwan Swaminarayan wore this surwal during the winters He spend in Kathiawad, where the weather is brisk and cool in the winter months. 
  • Doriyani Khes: This khes, a piece of cloth worn as an upper garment by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, was hand woven to reflect the typical Doriya style.
  • Moka Khachar’s Khes: This khes, once worn by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, was given to Moka Khachar by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.  When Bhagwan Swaminarayan was traveling to Vankiya, He encountered a flooded river.  Moka Khachar carried Bhagwan Swaminarayan on his back into Vankiya.  To thank him, Bhagwan Swaminarayan gave Moka Khachar His khes.
  • Jariyani Khes: This handwoven khes was given to Pitambar Lavji Thakkar of Budhej by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.  It is woven with threads of real gold.
  • Jagrup & Sajuba Barot’s Khes: Jagrup and Sajuba Barot of Sinjiwada had a son in 1816 CE who suffered from grave physical deformaties of the arms and legs.  When Bhagwan Swaminarayan visited their house, He held the child in His lap and placed this khes over their son, after which their son’s deformities immediately disappeared. 
  • Shawl: One of the most holy articles, this shawl was placed around the shoulders of Bhagwan Swaminarayan when Ramanand Swami named Him the head of the sampraday in Jetalpur on November 16, 1801 CE. 
  • Coarse Shawl: Bhagwan Swaminarayan was given a coarse shawl by a poor devotee.  Despite the uncomfortable texture of the cloth, Bhagwan Swaminarayan refused to part with it.  Realizing that the coarse fabric would cause Bhagwan Swaminarayan discomfort, Gunatitanand asked Him for it as a form of prasadi.  Bhagwan Swaminarayan gave it to him saying, "He is my Jadbharat," meaning that Gunatitanand Swami cares little for the comforts of his own body.  A piece of this historic shawl is on display.
  • Gal Masuriyu: This small, round pillow was used by Bhagwan Swaminarayan when He went to sleep.  It was placed under His chin and cheek.  It is padded with cotton wool.
  • Dhoti: A dhoti, or dhotiyu, is an unstitched, fine textured, long piece of cloth traditionally worn by males as a lower garment wrapped around the waist.  This is a cotton dhoti worn by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.  This style is fairly typical of what Bhagwan Swaminarayan wore on a daily basis.  This dhoti was preserved by Mayaram Bhatt and passed down by his descendents. 
  • Topi of Kutch: When Bhagwan Swaminarayan assisted the people of Kutch during the Famine of 1812, He wore this topi, or cap, to bare the cold, brisk winds of the desert-like environment.  
  • Gaumukhi: Bhagwan Swaminarayan used this gaumukhi, a bag worn around the hand when turning the mala, to turn His mala during the yagna He held in Dabhan on Posh Sud 15, Vikram Samvat Year 1866 (January 20, 1810.CE) to initiate Mulji Sharma into the sadhu fold.
  • Angarkhu: An angarkhu is an upper body garment that covers a majority of the body.  It is long and often has a rouched style to the cloth.  This angarkhu is typical of the simple, white clothing that Bhagwan Swaminarayan often wore.  It is made of white muslin cloth and ties around the waist and chest with knotted strings.  

More about the climate, clothing style, economic landscape, and cultural norms during Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time in Gujarat is given in the Vachanamrut Handbook, available at BAPS centers.

 

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