Shastriji Maharaj gave me diksha in Gondal. Yogiji Maharaj was performing the mahapuja in the Akshar Deri. Shastriji Maharaj sat opposite me and gave diksha in the Akshar Deri.
After diksha, I ended up staying in Gondal. There, I and another sadhu, Aksharjivandas, studied Sanskrit under a shastri, as instructed by Shastriji Maharaj. Having stayed for studies, I naturally went with Kothari Aksharswarupdas to help in doing Thakorji’s seva and puja. I prepared the arti and [filled the] shankh (conch shell) [with water], as well as washed the utensils. I did not know how to dress the murtis. I learnt it and daily served Ghanshyam Maharaj.
After about a month, rumours started that Shastriji Maharaj was coming. I was newly initiated and was naturally drawn towards Shastriji Maharaj, wishing for Swami’s darshan and company.
I used to go to serve Ghanshyam Maharaj and perform mangala arti. So I would wake up early, bathe, do my puja and go. Sometimes I would bathe and go, and do puja later. One day, I woke up and bathed, and someone said that Shastriji Maharaj had come. So, to have his darshan I ran towards his room. When I got there, nobody was around. So, I thought that Swami may have gone up to the mandir for darshan. Hence, I went there for darshan.
In the mandir, I saw Ghanshyam Maharaj lying on a bed! He was awake and instantly sat upon the bed. I spontaneously asked, “Shastriji Maharaj has come here. Where is he?” He replied, “He’s gone downstairs.” So, I went down, but I did not see Swami anywhere. I thought that since it is time for mangala arti he may have gone up. So, again I went upstairs. There, Ghanshyam Maharaj was sitting on the edge of the bed with his legs dangling. I also had darshan of Shastriji Maharaj there. I touched his feet. Ghanshyam Maharaj placed his hand on my head and blessed me. Shastriji Maharaj blessed me and then suddenly he merged into the murti of Ghanshyam Maharaj. The two forms became one.
I wondered, “Where has Swami gone?” Because Swami had disappeared I went downstairs again. I asked everyone, “Shastriji Maharaj has come, but where is he?”
Everyone said, “Shastriji Maharaj has not come here. Who says he has come here?”
I said, “I had his darshan. He has come. I met him upstairs with Ghanshyam Maharaj.”
Everyone said, “He certainly has not come.” So, I had had Ghanshyam Maharaj’s darshan.
The sadhus said to me, “Because you have such affection for Swami, you had darshan of both Swami and Ghanshyam Maharaj.”
Question: When you had darshan of Ghanshyam Maharaj in Gondal, why did you not stay to talk to him longer?
Pramukh Swami Maharaj: At the root, I had affection for Shastriji Maharaj and a keen desire to meet him since he had come. I wanted to speak to him and was focused on that so I wanted to know where he was. I had great feelings for Swami so I was drawn to him. Just as Gunatitanand Swami had said to Bhagatji Maharaj. “You’ve seen the sadhu form, so you’ll see God.”
Essentially, everything resides in the guru. And it is natural to have joy and affection for him. Hearing of his arrival, it is natural to rush to see him. There was no reason to talk more. So, I just asked about Swami and left.