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Transcript

Shastriji Maharaj: Tolerating for the truth!

Discourses in Vadodara

Disturbing sabhas

Click on a prasang to learn more

The Poisoned Khichidi

"Push him into the cooking fire!"

Questions

Reflect on Swamishri’s response in the face of aggression and threats during the discourses in Vadodara. How do you think his calm demeanor and unwavering faith in the wish of Shriji Maharaj influenced the situation? What can we learn from Swamishri’s response about facing challenges in our life? In the second story, we learn that Swamishri fearlessly continued his efforts in Vartal despite plots to stop him. What can we learn from Swamishri’s approach to peacefully continue his activities despite opposition, and how might this apply to situations of disagreement or misunderstanding in our own lives?

Once, Swamishri held discourses in Vadodara. During the evening session, Swamishri sang kirtans and spoke on the differences between a true and a false sadhu. Several such false sadhus were nearby. They already bore a grudge against Swamishri. Convinced that Swamishri was referring to themselves in his discourses, these sadhus were angered. They decided to interrupt the assembly. They yelled, “Scoundrels! Sinners! At least now let us get some sleep!” They began to hurl abuse. Swamishri, however, continued with his discourses. The sadhus were now furious. They picked up bricks and started to throw them at the building adjacent to the mandir where the assembly was being held. The chaos that ensued awoke the neighbours. The sadhus thought to themselves, ‘This is our chance to finish off Yagnapurushdasji. Let us burn down the entire building. He shall never trouble us again.” They prepared to set the building on fire. Next door, the mother of Jay Shankar, a little boy sitting in the assembly, was awakened by the commotion. She began to scream. She pleaded for someone to save her son. Amidst the commotion, not a trace of fear could be seen on Swamishri’s face. He sat unfazed and said, “Whatever happens, does so due to the wish of Shriji Maharaj.”

News of Swamishri’s discourses reached Vartal. Those who disliked Swamishri were further enraged. “Thousands run after Yagnapurushdasji. They sponsor his meals and serve him, whereas not even five devotees gather before us. How can we permit this? Even more, Yagnapurushdasji speaks so openly about Akshar-Purushottam. He sides with Nirmaldas. He requests Jetha Bhagat to make arrangements for Nirmaldas in Vadodara. Even Gordhanbhai Kothari supports Yagnapurushdasji. If this continues, Yagnapurushdasji will control not just Vartal, but the entire Sampraday. He will become its leader. Then, no one will value us.” They started plotting to put a stop to Yagnapurushdasji. Swamishri fearlessly continued his efforts. Gordhanbhai called Swamishri in Vartal. He warned, “The sadhus here are preparing to do away with you. They cannot tolerate your prominence. Wherever you go, there are great celebrations. Thousands are drawn to you. The sadhus cannot bear to see this. Therefore, it is better that you limit your activities.” Swamishri courteously replied, “We gather only for discourses and to worship and remember God. If people are drawn to me, if they see greatness, that is the work of Shriji Maharaj. I do not do anything against the traditions of Satsang. If you wish to see for yourself, we will now only hold discourses in Vartal.”

Cooking fire prasang

Questions

In the prasang, fifteen brave devotees stood by Swamishri despite the sadhu’s threats. What can we learn about the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity? Can you think about any real-life situations where standing up for what is right was difficult, but ultimately achieved a positive outcome?

There was fierce opposition against Swamishri. Those who opposed Swamishri did not want him living in Vartal. Every time they saw him, a fiery anger burned within them. Because of such a hostile environment, it did not make sense to let Swamishri stay any longer. The devotees met and decided that if trouble arose, they should take Swamishri away from Vartal. Staying there was no longer in Swamishri’s best interests. Everyone was sure that the wrathful sadhus would attempt something dreadful. Thus, all of Swamishri’s devotees gathered in Vartal on 12 November 1905 (Kartik Punam, Samvat 1962). They did not leave Swamishri alone for even a second. As a result, those who had plotted to harm him were unable to carry out their plans. They were angered even more. The devotees pleaded to Swamishri, “Please do not go to the kitchen to eat.” “A sadhu must only eat in the common dining area. He cannot eat separately at his own asan.” Swamishri did not heed the devotees’ request. Today, Swamishri was breaking his Ekadashi fast of the day before. He went into the kitchen to have some khichdi. The devotees anxiously waited outside. As Swamishri was served khichdi, he smelled the pungent odour of a deadly poison coming from his food. He immediately understood the situation. Even then, how could he disrespect food that was offered to and sanctified by God? He ate a little and then got up to leave the kitchen. As he was walking out, he stumbled, feeling dizzy. Two devotees grabbed his arms and brought him safely back to his asan. His throat began to burn. The devotees brought ghee for him. After drinking a little, Swamishri assured them, “Nothing will happen to me. Do not worry.”

Questions

Poisoned Khichidi prasang

If the bowl of poisoned khichdi Shastriji Maharaj was given to us, would we take it, let alone eat it? Why did Shastriji Maharaj go into the kitchen to eat? Why do you think he ate the khichdi even when he knew it was poisoned?

Questions

From the two prasangs we have just seen, in what way did the opposition disturb the sabhas? If someone came to the mandir, and started burning chilli powder near our sabha. How would we react? How would we feel if we had to do a presentation at school, and someone came disrupted It by making loud noises or throwing rubbish at us? How would we react if someone repeatedly pours water over us every time we tell the truth? Why did Shastriji Maharaj still do sabhas on Akshar-Purushottam?