Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s care, love and seva for his
swamis forged a unique bond of affection and sacrifice…
In 1985, after an evening assembly during the Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami Bicentenary Celebration in Ahmedabad, Swamishri left by car towards his accommodation. The car was moving slowly. Brahmaprakash Swami was engaged in Swamishri’s darshan from far. As the car came near to him he placed his hand onto the closed window to greet Swamishri. Then, Swamishri spontaneously responded by placing his hand from the inside onto the closed window. But, in no time, Swamishri started opening the window till both their hands came together in a clasp. Brahmaprakash Swami was overjoyed!
What was the rapport between Swamishri and his swamis like?
It was of oneness!
Just like the Ganga, which descended from the Himalayas to become accessible to all, Swamishri compassionately came down from Akshardham, the divine abode, to mingle with his swamis and devotees.
Swamishri never showed that he was the guru of his swami-disciples. He always blended with them by shouldering their responsibilities and resolving their problems on the arduous spiritual path.
Swamishri also showered his selfless love on the swamis. Victor Hugo, the French poet and novelist, said, “The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.”
For the swamis, Swamishri was more than just a mother, a father or a noble guru. In fact, Swamishri was everything to the swamis.
Swamishri asked a young sadhu, Shukmuni Swami, “Do you want to see God?”
“Yes,” Shukmuni Swami replied with eagerness.
Swamishri held the young Swami’s head with his hands, gazed into his eyes and said, “Here, see him.” Swamishri’s divine compassion and self-revelation overwhelmed the disciple with joy.
In Vachanamrut Gadhada I 67, Bhagwan Swaminarayan says, “There is a Satpurush who has no affection at all for the pleasures of this world; he harbours desires only for the higher realms, i.e., the abode of God, and for the form of God. He also wishes the same for whoever associates with him. He feels, ‘As this individual has associated with me, it would be of great benefit to the individual if his desires for this world are eradicated and his affection for God is developed.’”
Swamishri desired to elevate everyone who came to him to his divine realm.
Once, after attending the evening satsang assembly in Mumbai mandir, Swamishri returned to his quarters in a lift. When Swamishri stepped out several disciples started moving slowly, mimicking a train, while singing a children’s song, “Mãri Swaminarayan ni gãdi chhuk chhuk karti chãle…” Swamishri immediately joined the front of the ‘train’ as an engine and marched in rhythmic steps with all. Swamishri effortlessly transformed his sober, sincere composure to suit that delightful childlike play. Just like a child learns more through love than commands, Swamishri similarly led his disciples onto the spiritual path.
Once, in the Mumbai mandir, at late night, Swamishri was on his way to his bed to sleep. Near the bedroom door, Dharmasut Swami was leaning with one hand against the wall. Before he could say something, Swamishri came and stood before him, mimicking his posture, and asked, “Tell me what you wish to say.” This friendly approach and conversation of Swamishri brought smiles on the faces of the swamis standing there.
Swamishri’s gentleness, grace and humour enlivened his interactions with the volunteers and swamis and evoked enormous joy. Swamishri was an embodiment of blissful Brahma, a reservoir of joy who continually showered his infinite happiness on all.
Once, Swamishri told his sadhus, “You have renounced everything for Yogi Bapa, so I want to please you and sacrifice my body for you.” Swamishri’s remarkable quality was that he never pro-claimed himself as the guru of all, but behaved as a humble servant and sacrificed everything for all.
The pilgrimage to ‘Chardham’ in 1987 concluded with the darshan of Lord Badrinarayan in Badri-nath. Swamishri was returning to Haridwar by car with a large entourage of sadhus and some devo-tees travelling behind in ten coaches. The night stay was planned in Shrinagar, but a landslide along the way delayed the schedule. So, Swamishri decided to take a halt at Rudra Prayag because the swamis’ coaches, travelling way behind, would not be able to reach their lodging and boarding facilities in Shrinagar. Though Swamishri was tired due to the day-long journey, he made all the arrangements in Rudra Prayag for the swamis’ dinner and stay. When the coaches arrived Swamishri enthusiastically welcomed all the swamis and relieved them of their fatigue and hunger. Even at 68 years of age and frail health, Swamishri’s enthusiasm to greet the swamis was remarkable. Swamishri’s care and con-cern for the swamis resembled God’s care, which sustains the world.