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A saint who is compassionate is also naturally forgiving. Kshantihi means forgiveness. The Satpurush only knows how to bless and do good, but not how to curse. Just like a rose emits fragrance to those who crush it, a Satpurush always forgives those who insult, offend, harm or criticize him. He never seeks revenge or punishment.
Swamishri was once visiting Karjisan in 1994. Natubhai Patel, a devotee from America and a native resident of Dangarva village, came to Swamishri, quite upset. “Swami, I want to invite you to my town, but there is a group of people who won’t let me invite you,” an agitated Natubhai said. “They are jealous of your fame and are opposing your visit to my town. I have helped to build their mandir. I have financed most of their projects. But now I am not going to give them a single penny.”
“Do not think like that,” Swamishri said with a smile. “You have done all that service to please God and not for others. So, whether or not they invite us, do not worry about it.” Natubhai had nothing further to say. He was simply touched by Swamishri’s forgiving response.
On another occasion, a prominent writer continued to publish false and unfounded criticism about Swamishri in a daily newspaper for several months. Some of the sadhus and devotees were fed up. They had decided to give a strong response to these negative articles.
“There is no need for that,” Swamishri calmly said. “Did Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj ever respond to such things? I want you to promise me that you will never respond to such articles.” The sadhus tried to convince Swamishri, but he paid no heed to them. Sometime later, Swamishri met the writer at a public event. He requested the antagonistic writer to sit on the stage next to him on a sofa. Everyone was astonished to see this unimaginable sight.
A few sadhus and devotees experienced something similar on 18 June 1988 in Toronto, Canada, at Chandrakantbhai’s house in Markham. During breakfast, the sadhus mentioned that a letter had arrived from Bhadra. It read: “We have been distributing sukhdi (a sweet delicacy made from wheat, gur and ghee) to the families ravaged by the drought. Many people are sarcastically saying that we are probably distributing only a small portion of what we have received.”
“People will always speak,” Swamishri said. “We must perform our duty with God in mind. If you listen to such things, you will not be able to do any work. Many of those people are speaking out of ignorance. God and his holy Sadhu do not look at others’ faults. If God looked at our faults, we would never be liberated. Shriji Maharaj always looked at the good in all. We should do the same.”
The climax of his forgiving nature was reflected by his prayers for the perpetrators who had attacked Swaminarayan Akshardham in Gandhinagar on 24 September 2002. Moreover, Swamishri appealed for peace (now famously known as ‘The Akshardham Response’) to stop the cycle of violence. His forgiveness restored calm.
Swamishri practised forgiveness and instilled it in others with wisdom and understanding. His ability to overlook the mistakes of others, to view the good in all, and to see God in everyone allowed him to view everyone equally.


Samyam is equality, fairness and impartiality. One who sees God equally in the rich and poor, in success and failure, in joy and misery, in the priceless and worthless is described in the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita as a Gunatit Brahmaswarup Sadhu. Swamishri was such a Gunatit Brahmaswarup Sadhu.
During Swamishri’s grand birthday celebration in Mehsana, tens of thousands of people had assembled to honour Swamishri. After the celebration, Swamishri went to Mahendrabhai Sukhadiya’s home. A poor devotee from Mahiyel was waiting outside the house to meet Swamishri as he arrived. Swamishri greeted him and began a conversation. Doctor Swami, watching from a distance, was stunned to see this sight. Someone who had just been praised and honoured by thousands of people was now meeting a poor villager with the same enthusiasm.
Swamishri was felicitated at many prominent public events, such as the Millennium World Peace Summit at the United Nations. Similarly, he also inaugurated and spoke at events in many tribal villages and areas, “God belongs to all,” Swamishri reassured them. “He does not belong just to the wealthy, educated or powerful. God belongs to those who worship him.”
Dalubhai lived in Dedvasan, a small tribal village in southern Gujarat. He was excited because Swamishri was going to visit his hut. Swamishri arrived, but there was no place for Swamishri to sit. Dalubhai’s house and cowshed were practically one. Therefore, Dalubhai cleaned a portion of the stony area in the shed for Swamishri. Swamishri sat down and helped Dalubhai perform Thakorji’s puja.
Swamishri then stood up. When he learned that Dalubhai had given up all his addictions, Swamishri embraced him. The other tribal villagers standing nearby had also given up their addictions. Swamishri was overjoyed and hugged them all. “They may be poor, but even their darshan brings peace,” Swamishri said. “They are pure. These huts are like places of pilgrimage.”
In 1974, Swamishri visited London and was majestically honoured by thousands at the Alexandra Palace. Later, after returning to India, Swamishri was visiting the village of Rohishala in the Saurashtra region. He was staying in a mud house. Subhash, a youth from London, commented, “This is a far cry from Alexandra Palace!”
“Subhash, a hundred Alexandra Palaces do not add up to this little mud house,” Swamishri responded. “Look at the affection of these poor devotees.” Swamishri’s affection for all, regardless of who they were, was amazing.
The key to Swamishri’s compassion, forgiveness, and sense of equality is born from his knowledge and realization of atma and Paramatma. He never judged anyone based on their race, economic status, culture, religion, ethnicity, or other external features. He saw beyond the body. He understood everyone to be pure atmas or souls. He saw God living in every atma. This is the ultimate characteristic of a true, ideal saint. Today, Mahant Swami Maharaj continues this legacy of genuine, ideal saintliness.

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