RAGHUVIRJI MAHARAJ COMES TO JUNAGADH
May 15, 2002
Waukegan Mandira

In Swami Ni Vato 11/22, Gunatitanand Swami discusses Raghuvirji Maharaj's exemplary devotion. A little while after Swaminarayan Bhagwan's return to Akshardham, it was decided to install a moorti (divine image) of HariKrishna Maharaj at the Gadhada and Junagadh temples. Devotees from both areas began donating their gold pots and utensils to be melted and used in making the moortis. But some who were biased toward the Gadhada temple planned that they would only make one moorti. However, while manufacturing the moorti, during the last phase, the shape would not come out properly. After three unsuccessful tries, Acharya Raghuvirji Maharaj asked Gunatitanand Swami why this was happening. Gunatitanand Swami explained that if two moortis were made as planned, there would be no problem. Upon Raghuvirji Maharaj's insistence, two moortis were made and each came out beautifully. But then came time for the installation ceremony. After HariKrishna Maharaj was installed in Gadhada, those that did not want to see the Junagadh ceremony go successfully tried keeping Raghuvirji Maharaj from leaving Gadhada. They invented a new function, calling it "mahodaya saamaiyo" during the same time, and told Raghuvirji Maharaj that the invitations had already been sent out. They asked all the devotees that may have missed the moorti pratishthaa (installation ceremony) to come during this second function. Thus, Raghuvirji Maharaj was pressured into staying back. The problem with this was that preparations had already been made in Junagadh, and if Raghuvirji Maharaj did not come, many devotees would not come either and all the preparations would be wasted. When Gunatitanand Swami heard about this, He looked to Swaminarayan Bhagwan in prayer.

At that very moment, Swaminarayan Bhagwan appeared in front of Raghuvirji Maharaj and told him to leave for Junagadh. Immediately, without waiting for saints or devotees, Raghuvirji Maharaj started heading straight for Junagadh. When others asked what he was doing, Raghuvirji Maharaj replied that he would surely go to Junagadh, while others could join if they wanted. At Junagadh, the head priest, Hariprasad Shukla of Umreth, needed bricks to set up a yagnya (offering). The mahurata (auspicious time) fell on the following day (after Raghuvirji Maharaj arrived), but the bricks were not yet baked. Gunatitanand Swami thus invoked Suryanarayan (the sun-god) to send heat from above, and Sheshnarayan (the thousand-headed cobra that supports Lord Vishnu) to blow from the bottom. As the bricks were being made, everyone was amazed that the bricks were instantly dried. The ceremony was thus completed without any hurdles.

Gunatitanand Swami was also faced with diminishing resources at Junagadh. After the successful function, Raghuvirji Maharaj wanted to remain in Swami's association. But because several devotees and saints followed Raghuvirji Maharaj, the water, which was always short in Junagadh, had almost run out. Swaminarayan Bhagwan again appeared in front of Raghuvirji Maharaj and rebuked him for not understanding Gunatitanand Swami's situation. Raghuvirji Maharaj left the very next morning.

Before leaving, Raghuvirji Maharaj revealed to Gunatitanand Swami that Swaminarayan Bhagwan had to scold him twice, and thus asked if He would next time directly tell him what he should do. Gunatitanand Swami humbly replied that He is only a saint, and it was His duty per the Shikshapatri not to argue with the aachaarya.

Raghuvirji Maharaj had great devotion toward Gunatitanand Swami. Given in Swami Ni Vato 14/71, Gunatitanand Swami told Raghuvirji Maharaj that if he came to Junagadh as a "teerthavaasee" or "antahvaasee," He would make him gunaateeta (perfectly liberated). The talks that Gunatitanand Swami delivered during this time span of about 3 1/2 months (during chomaaso) are related in chapter 8 of Swami Ni Vato. (In fact, given in Swami Ni Vato 10/155, Raghuvirji Maharaj walked to Junagadh!)

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