After my study on the Raghuvamsh was completed in Bhadran, Hirabhai Chaturbhai wished to have a parayan. Shastriji Maharaj asked, “On what scripture?”
He replied, “On the Satsangijivan.”
Swami (Shastriji Maharaj) informed him, “Two new sadhus have studied it – Narayanswarupdas and Aksharjivandas. Let us have them read it.”
Thus, at his behest it turned out to be my first parayan in Bhadran. I read two chapters of the Satsangijivan. Once I finished reading, Shastriji Maharaj would explain. Thereafter I’d read for one hour. I would prepare and then read. Aksharjivandas would also read one chapter. That was how I started doing katha. I would read the Sanskrit shlokas and explain their meanings. There were no long speeches, only reading of shlokas and explaining them in Gujarati.
(2 January 2007. Sourced from his conversations.)
I got a similar benefit of being with Shastriji Maharaj in Surat. Swami did the parayan. We stayed at the home of Maganbhai (Secretary of BAPS) in Kachhiya Lane. The parayan was accomplished wonderfully. Swami had at that time invited all the members of Satsang. There were a large number of devotees present. The local devotees were eager and enthusiastic.
Swami arrived by train. The welcoming ceremony and felicitation commenced at the railway station. The station premises was teeming with people. A procession was taken out through the main street. Simultaneously, there was opposition, too. Pamphlets (full of slander) were being distributed at the same time. In spite of this, people’s sympathy (towards Swamishri) was aroused all the more.
Swami himself read during the parayan. He created an ambience of divinity. His work was not ordinary, and the ordinary could not understand it. People who thought, “What can Shastriji Maharaj do?” were left behind, whereas his work soared day by day. Shastriji Maharaj seemed ordinary, and many were deluded by this and thus strayed. But his divinity was extraordinary. Swami had confidence and immense faith in Shriji Maharaj.
(23 January 1988. Sourced from his conversations.)