MOTA RAMBAI

Rambai, originally named Kadvibai, was a woman from Jetpur of the Brahmin caste. She often used to sing the devotional song, "Tedee Jaao To Amaaraa Mana Thare." Once when Kadvibai was on the outskirts of Jetpur village gathering grass, Swaminarayan Bhagwan saw her while He was coming from Dhoraajee (Dhoraji). When He heard her song, He yelled out, "If one wants to worship God, there should be no marriage bracelet and no hair on the head" (during that time, women who renounced the world to worship God commonly shaved their heads). When Kadvibai, heard this, she immediately threw away her bracelets. Swaminarayan Bhagwan took these and gave them to Motibai (Jeevubai). Based on this incident, Premanand Swami composed the devotional song, "Mero Kangana Nikaaree Gayo Re." Swaminarayan Bhagwan heard the song and scolded Premanand Swami that, "When did I do that?" Then Motibai brought the bracelet, dropped it near Maharaj, and said, "So whose work is this?" Then Maharaj laughed. Kadvibai returned to the village and even though her husband was still alive, she went to the barber and had her head shaved. As a result, her husband abused her greatly - when he slept, he would place one of his bedposts on her chest. When Swaminarayan Bhagwan heard of this, he sent two devotees with a cart to get her. After leaving the cart at a designated place, the devotees entered the village and met Kadvibai. They told her that Swaminarayan Bhagwan had sent a cart for her and they would wait for her at the designated place. Then Kadvibai told her mother to make poodlaa for her while she went to wash up. Her mother had compassion for her due to her suffering and so she prepared the food but long after it was ready, Kadvibai still had not returned. So her mother went to the river to look for her but seeing that the tide had come in, she saw a khatree (a profession involving weaving and dyeing cloth) nearby and asked if he had seen any lady come this way. He replied that he had seen a lady enter the river, but then the tide had come and he was not sure what happened. Kadvibai's mother determined that she must have drowned in the river, but she had actually sat in the cart and arrived in Gadhada to meet Swaminarayan Bhagwan. Back in the village, Kadvibai's mother spread the news that she had drowned in the river, but Kadvibai's in-laws did not believe this and lodged a complaint with the village chieftain that Jeevo Joshi (Kadvibai's father), Putalee (Kadvibai's mother), and Gordhan and Sheevo (Kadvibai's brothers, whose yagnopavit or sacred thread ceremony Swaminarayan Bhagwan supported during His visit to Jetpur) had together convinced and helped Kadvibai to run away. So the chieftain called all four of them and proclaimed that they had helped her run away so if she were to turn up anywhere in the Satsang, then their heads would be cut off. The four devotees had to submit to this, but when Maharaj heard the news, He said to send Kadvibai away since he could not give four devotees' heads for her. Then her name was changed to Rambai and wearing white clothes, she went to live near Kathlal and worshiped God. Based on this, Premanand Swami composed the devotional song: "Kara Dinee Kara Dinee Kara Dinee Re, Baalaapan Me Veraagana Kara Dinee." The Brahmins of Jetpur were upset with Jeeva Joshi and harassed him because they thought he had helped Rambai run away. (Eventually, Jeeva Joshi and his family had to move to the Junagadh area. In Ashadh sud 7, Samvat 1876, Maharaj wrote a letter to devotees in the Valak region asking them to support the pious family.) [ref. Swami Ni Vato 9/204]

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