Professor Jethalal would be overjoyed at seeing this large number of devotees congregating to get a glimpse of Shastriji Maharaj. He wrote an incident in one of his reports: “When revered Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj Yagnapurushdasji started building large, towering mandirs, some people started questioning. Why is it necessary to build such large mandirs? At that time, Shastriji Maharaj used to respond in his firm tone that he was absolutely certain that many devotees would come to these mandirs, that as big as they are, there would not be enough standing room to accommodate them. This has been proven right as predicted.
Divinity Supercedes Intelligence
“It was Sunday, the day of Kartik sud Purnima in Vikram Samvat 1996 (26 November 1939 CE).
“This was a sweet combination, like sugar in milk. It was very convenient for people like us who have to toil to make a living. As per Shastriji Maharaj’s wish, we went to Bochasan mandir from Ahmedabad on that Purnima day. We witnessed that the whole mandir complex was jam packed. Everyone’s gaze was unblinkingly concentrated on Shastriji Maharaj. The large meeting hall proved to be too small to accommodate all the devotees.
“The devotees who had congregated in this festival formed a queue after the announcement for lunch. Twenty-eight maunds (560 kg) of rice were consumed as prasad during lunch and 10 maunds (200 kg) of khichdi were consumed during the evening meal! Thousands of devotees increasingly experienced the divine grace of Shastriji Maharaj, day by day. He is indeed the heart of Shriji Maharaj and the means to attain moksha” (Swaminarayan Prakash, December1939, p. 58).
Professor Jethalal, who at one time always weighed everything only on the scale of intelligence, now experienced that such valuations were utterly trivial in the presence of Shastriji Maharaj. Here is someone who is divine and above everything, who is not fathomable by our senses, and who can only be attained by complete submission to the divine. Jethalal, while writing about his experience of the primacy of divinity over intelligence, noted in one of his letters: “When Shriji Maharaj left his human form to return to his eternal abode, Akshardham, Dada Khachar and other devotees were extremely bereaved and despondent. At that time, Shriji Maharaj appeared in his divine form to his devotees, consoled them and told them not to mourn the departure of his physical form. I will always remain present in Satsang through the Gunatit Sant. These divine words of Shriji Maharaj will remain true forever. We are seeing the proof of these divine words. The same divine power that Shriji Maharaj deployed to establish Satsang during his time, he is expending right now through Shastri Yagnapurushdasji; and we can see it ourselves. People like me who had become atheists under the influence of western education, have now learned the true glory of Shriji Maharaj through Shastriji Maharaj. Only a true sadhu like Shastriji Maharaj can achieve the extremely difficult task to inspire someone to change from atheism to theism.”
Personal Experience of Miracles
“I feel like narrating here a few of the numerous miracles that Shriji Maharaj is currently performing through Shastriji Maharaj; I like to mention here only the miracles that I have witnessed with my own eyes.”
Thus saying, Jethalal started writing about the series of divine episodes that he himself had personally witnessed. While narrating these episodes, Jethalal repeatedly certifies their authenticity: “This I have witnessed with my own eyes. There is no stronger assurance than what is witnessed with one’s own eyes. I only pray that the devotees from Africa definitely come to see him and benefit from his divine blessings. I humbly request anyone presently desiring to realize Shriji Maharaj to certainly meet Shastriji Maharaj and experience his divine presence. This will prove unequivocally that Shriji Maharaj is the avatari of all other avatars. This is undoubtedly realized from all the divine episodes currently transpiring in the presence of Shastriji Maharaj. There is no other path for atyantik kalyan without dedicating to him” (Letter to Africa Satsang Community, Date: 12 July 1937).
Birth of "Swaminarayan Prakash"
The erudite Jethalal was a reformist, a true patriot and an intellectual. Now his aim in life had changed. He started thinking more and more about how to organize and mobilize the satsang activities inspired by Shastriji Maharaj for the spiritual well-being of the average person. The moment he entered the Satsang fraternity, he began realizing that there was an urgent need of a periodic magazine to inform and educate devotees about the faith. Through a periodical, devotees could be reached and informed of Shastriji Maharaj’s news, the unprecedented philosophy of Akshar-Purushottam and the divine experiences of devotees in the presence of Shastriji Maharaj. Therefore, he requested Shastriji Maharaj on many occasions about such a publication. He also enlisted the help of other prominent devotees, such as, Vinayakrao Trivedi, Champakbhai Banker, Nandulal Manchharam, Khengarjibhai Chauhan and others. Shastriji Maharaj eventually consented and gave his blessings and in the month of October 1938 CE the monthly Swaminarayan Prakash was born.
At this time no one could even fathom the scope of this farsighted undertaking. However, each issue of Swaminarayan Prakash has helped to advance the fundamental tenets and values of the Swaminarayan faith. Presently, with its circulation in thousands, the start of this publication was truly miraculous and Jethalal was the driving force behind its inception.
The translator, Dhruvkumar S. Patel, is the grandson-in-law of Prof. Jethalal Swaminarayan.