|July 04, 2007 |
Des Plaines Mandir
Gordhanbhai (also known as Govardhanbhai Sheth) of Mangrol was a disciple of Ramanand Swami, Swaminarayan Bhagwan's guru. When Gordhanbhai met Neelkanth Varni in 1799, he immediately became attracted to Him. Neelkanth Varni helped him liberate his aunt Putlibai, whose soul had suffered after her death because she had stolen from Ramanand Swami.
Gordhanbhai became an exemplary householder devotee of Swaminarayan Bhagwan. In Swami Ni Vato 1/113, Gunatitanand Swami mentions that Gordhanbhai had achieved such consciousness of the soul that for him, salt and sugar were the same. In Swami Ni Vato 3/9, Swaminarayan Bhagwan described Parvatbhai and Gordhanbhai as great devotees who were continuously able to see Him in all three states - awakened, dream, and deep sleep. Described in Swami Ni Vato 9/71, Gordhanbhai felt perturbed if he forgot God for even a moment.
Referenced in Swami Ni Vato 5/93, Gordhanbhai was so immersed in devotion to Swaminarayan Bhagwan that when customers took things from his shop, Gordhanbhai would simply write "Haste Swaminarayan (in the name of Swaminarayan)" in the accounting ledger. When Muktanand Swami heard about this, he expressed concern to Swaminarayan Bhagwan that Gordhanbhai had experienced a great loss and would not be able to earn a living in this way. Swaminarayan Bhagwan explained that "gold' and "rocks' had become equal to Gordhanbhai and so it was God's own responsibility to take care of him!
Once in Vadtal, Swaminarayan Bhagwan asked devotees to anoint Gordhanbhai with sandalwood, serve him food, and massage his feet. Swaminarayan Bhagwan then revealed that through his devotee, He had eaten and had been served.
Gordhanbhai could also enter samaadhi by himself and put others into samaadhi. Once, in Mangrol, Gordhanbhai described how Swaminarayan Bhagwan was dressed to a group of devotees. He then called a gardener named Trikam and put him into samaadhi. When Trikam awoke, he described Swaminarayan Bhagwan in exactly the same way as Gordhanbhai had described!