March 08, 2003
Des Plaines Mandira

Kalyanbhai (of Vanthadi), a great devotee during Swaminarayan Bhagwan's time, once saw a thief stealing from his farm. When the thief became embarrassed, Kalyanbhai responded by telling him that he should treat the farm as his own, and take whatever he wanted from it anytime! The thief became touched by the gesture and soon became a satsangee (devotee). Kalyanbhai was so devout, that people were afraid to listen to him, lest they too become a satsangee of Swaminarayan Bhagwan. The owner of a neighboring farm had heard about this, and thus would not communicate with Kalyanbhai. Kalyanbhai however had decided to make him a satsangee. So Kalyanbhai cultivated a fertile area in the field that the two shared, and then told him that he could have half of it, since he could not manage it on his own. The neighbor at first declined, but was persuaded by his wife to take it on the condition that he would not do any work on his half either. Though the proposal was completely one-sided, Kalyanbhai still agreed. This changed the neighbor's view and soon he felt positively and began talking to Kalyanbhai. Kalyanbhai shared the ideas of satsanga and began teaching the neighbor to meditate on Swaminarayan Bhagwan by giving a detailed description of God's form. In this description, Kalyanbhai accidentally left out one chinnha (birthmark) of Swaminarayan Bhagwan. The neighbor practiced this meditation but some days later, Swaminarayan Bhagwan came into his dream and asked why he was not meditating on that particular mark. The neighbor replied that Kalyanbhai had not told him about that chinnha! Thus, through Kalyanbhai's association, the neighboring farmer had the vision of God too. In Swami Ni Vato 11/171, Gunatitanand Swami gives this example, likening him to Parvatbhai, and explains that an ekaantika devotee tells others about Swaminarayan Bhagwan because it is God's desire to liberate many.



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