|November 07, 2003 |
There was a poor, uneducated man named Sagram Vaghari of Limli, who was employed by the king to catch stray dogs. After meeting Swaminarayan Bhagwan, he underwent a great change. He became an ardent devotee and wished that Swaminarayan Bhagwan would visit his home in the village of Kanetkar. But belonging to society's low-caste, he lived in a very meager hut, so how would Swaminarayan Bhagwan, who was welcomed in even the largest palaces, visit him? But God heard his prayer and once unexpectedly came knocking at Sagram's door. Sagram and his wife were overjoyed. In the early morning, when Swaminarayan Bhagwan could not be found, Brahmanand Swami and Sura Khachar came to Sagram's place looking for Him. To hide from them, Swaminarayan Bhagwan hid in the hut of Sagram's brother (Shardul). There, in order to stay hidden, Swaminarayan Bhagwan dressed up as a woman! Brahmanand Swami however recognized God and sung a devotional song teasing God's divine action, "Vaataladee rahone raataladee, vahaalaa pucchu eka vaataladee."
Sagram's divine change was evident when he and his wife traveled to Surat to escape the famine of 1812-1813. On the way, Sagram saw a silver bracelet on the ground, and thus he covered it with some dirt. Sagram did this because in their poor state, he did not want his wife to be attracted to an ornament that did not belong to them. Later however, Sagram's wife asked him why he had covered "dirt with dirt!" The incident revealed the elevated state that both Sagram and his wife had attained. Sagram's spiritual insight was also revealed in Shiyani when a brahmin (Shivram Bhatt) was unable to answer Sagram's question. The brahmin went to Gadhada, asked Swaminarayan Bhagwan for an answer, and replied to Sagram when he returned. At the time, Sagram noted, "This seems to be Swaminarayan Bhagwan's answer!" (Shivram Bhatt is later initiated by Swaminarayan Bhagwan as Akhandanand Swami.)