“Sanshayhartã ne kalyãnkartã,
vali Veda Purãnnã vettã;
Komal vãni vãchãl vishesha,
eva Santne nãmu hu shish…”
- Bhaktachintamani 18
“Remover of all doubts and granter of liberation, knower of the Vedas and Purans;
Kind and caring speaker, to such a Sadhu I bow my head…”
Once a group of animals got together to develop a school and create a curriculum that included swimming, flying, running and climbing. They decided that all animals would be required to take and pass every subject with flying colours.
Naturally, the duck was the best swimmer in the school. Unfortunately, he was not so great at running. In order to improve his running, the duck had to spend his time practising sprints. Eventually, he injured his feet and was no longer good at swimming.
The rabbit had the opposite problem. He was a great runner, but could not swim to save his life. His failure caused him to go crazy.
The squirrel was hands down the greatest climber of all the animals. He loved soaring down to the ground from the tree branches, but when he was required to fly from the ground up, he pulled a muscle in his side that prevented him from either climbing or running. His overall grades suffered.
Then there was the eagle, who liked nothing better than soaring through the air. However, he insisted on doing things on his own terms, and so he was expelled for being a nonconformist.
In this way each of the animals excelled in one or two subjects, but none could master all of them.
On the spiritual path we see something similar. There are those who have great qualities, but none who have all the spiritual qualities revealed in the shastras. However, Pramukh Swami Maharaj is different. His greatness lies in the fact that he has all of these spiritual qualities.
In the second chapter of the Bhaktachintamani, Nishkulanand Swami has described many of the qualities of a true Sadhu. Among them, we will look at those described in verse eighteen and see how they can be seen in Swamishri’s life.
SANSHAYHARTÃ – ABOLISHING OUR DOUBTS
Nishkulanand Swami describes a true Sadhu as one who rids us of our doubts. In life there are many problems that cause worry: college admissions, job applications, getting married or having children, are just a few events that cause concern. We worry, “What will happen to me in the future?” However, we have all experienced that blessings from Swamishri can rid us of all our doubts and apprehensions and make us feel at peace.
It is not just our worldly doubts that Swamishri abolishes, but also our spiritual ones. He gifts us with the conviction that we will attain Akshardham.
Upendrabhai Oza faced life’s difficulties with this conviction. Around 1975 Upendrabhai’s kidneys failed, forcing him to undergo dialysis. For over three decades he underwent treatment, and in the later stages of his life he developed diabetes and suffered a heart attack. Despite these setbacks, his seva and bhakti never diminished. He always remained content. When family members questioned, “You do so much satsang, yet why do things like this happen to you?” Upendrabhai proudly replied, “You must understand Pramukh Swami is not a doctor of this body. These illnesses will come and go, but I will attain Akshardham. I know that for a fact.”
It is such faith that enables one to face the difficulties of life with a smile. However, this conviction is not merely imaginative. Swamishri not only frees us of doubt, but also does so in such a way that we can experience the object of conviction. This is why Nishkulanand Swami continues by elaborating that such a Sadhu also takes us to Akshardham, Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s supreme abode.
KALYÃNKARTÃ – HE GIFTS US WITH AKSHARDHAM
On 6 January 1986 Pramukh Swami Maharaj went to the small village of Mojidad. He stayed at the house of a devotee named Rambhai. For many years Rambhai had been suffering from mouth cancer. He had endured several operations, but his condition continued to deteriorate. It was certain that he did not have long to live. Aware of the circumstances, Rambhai wanted to hold a three-day parayan in Swamishri’s presence before he passed away. When Swamishri came to know of Rambhai’s wish, he rearranged his vicharan to go to Mojidad.
On the second day of the parayan, after puja, Swamishri went to see Rambhai. Rambhai held Swami’s hand and mustered the courage to speak, “Why are you not taking me to Dham?” Swami gazed into his eyes and explained, “You have nothing left to do. You have fulfilled all your obligations. You have taken care of your family and also of your soul. Because of this Shriji Maharaj will only do what is good for you. From now on do bhajan, remove your mind from everywhere else, and attach yourself to God. You wished to hold a parayan and that wish will soon be fulfilled. After Uttarayan we will fulfil your last wish. God will come to take you to Dham.”
On 9 January the parayan finished in Swamishri’s presence. Thereafter, Swamishri left Mojidad and continued with his vicharan. Then on 24 January, while Swami was in Sarangpur, news came that Rambhai had gone to Dham at 5:00 a.m. on 22 January, only a few days after Uttarayan.
His grand-daughter later described what she had seen that morning at around 2:00 a.m. She narrated, “I saw Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj enter my grandfather’s house and tell him, ‘Come on, it is time to go.’ My grandfather innocently asked ‘But, where will we leave from?’ They answered, ‘We will leave from above.’ After saying this, they all left by flying up into the sky.”