|April 27, 2003 |
Des Plaines Mandira
Given in Swami Ni Vato 9/198, is the exemplary story of Kushalkunverbai, the widowed Rajput queen of Dharmapur. Once, hearing the story of Rukshmani [or Rukmani] being 'kidnapped' by Krishna Bhagwan [ref. Bhagavat 10/53], Kushalkunverbai told the brahmin, "Although I have been listening to your reading for so many years, as with Rukshmani, until the day manifest God holds my wrist, neither me or you will be liberated." Some time after this, Paramchaitanyanand Swami had traveled to Dharmapur and took rest at a dharmashaalaa (almshouse). Kushalkunverbai would religiously touch the feet of all pilgrims who stopped at the almshouse. When she was about to touch Paramchaitanyanand's feet, he moved away saying, "We are saints of manifest Swaminarayan Bhagwan, and thus stay away from women." Impressed by Paramchaitanyanand Swami's discipline, Kushalkunverbai arranged to listen to Paramchaitanyananad Swami while allowing him to adhere to his religious vows. As Paramchaitanyanand Swami talked about Swaminarayan Bhagwan's glory, Kushalkunverbai felt at peace. Paramchaitanyanand Swami would also accompany Kushalkunverbai's grandson on an elephant for the darshana of Hanuman Gadhi. When Swaminarayan Bhagwan got news of this, He sent Muktanand Swami to Dharmapur [ref. Swami Ni Vato 5/242]. Paramchaitanyanand Swami looked up to Muktanand Swami as his guru, and so arranged an even higher seat for Muktanand Swami to sit and give discourses on the glory of Swaminarayan Bhagwan. Filled with faith, Kushalkunverbai prayed that Swaminarayan Bhagwan come to Dharmapur, and so God visited along with saints. When she kneeled down at Swaminarayan Bhagwan's feet, God held her wrist and said, "Please do not." She thus felt great peace. While Swaminarayan Bhagwan stayed at Dharmapur, she performed His aaratee 22 times and internalized the image of God. Swaminarayan Bhagwan kept her with women devotees for the benefit of discourses and finally asked to return to Gadhada. As soon as everyone reached Gadhada, the news reached that on the 15th day, Kushalkunverbai had passed away.