MANCHA BHAKTA

Mancha Bhakta or Mancha Khachar was the chief of Kariyani village. (Mancha's sister, Raibai, was also devoted to Swaminarayan Bhagwan. Raibai's daughter, Sitabai, was married to Vasta Khachar. The Vachanamruts in Kariyani took place at Vasta Khachar's darbaara.) Mancha was on the list of 18 devotees to whom Swaminarayan Bhagwan wrote a letter to become saints. Mancha was eventually initiated by Swaminarayan Bhagwan and named Achintyanand Swami, and traveled in Svaroopanand Swami's group. He passed away during Swaminarayan Bhagwan's time - in Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 38, Swaminarayan Bhagwan says that Mancha Bhakta was an ekaantika bhakta.

Before joining satsanga, Mancha Bhakta was part of the Margi sect, but he still remained celibate and did not violate his vow of non-lust. He once forcefully drove black magic practitioners from his village [see Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 38]. Mancha Bhakta and Bhoja Charan both left to find God. They made a pact that whoever found God first would call the other one. First, Mancha Bhakta met Ramanand Swami and then when he met Swaminarayan Bhagwan, he called Bhojo and the two came together again and planned to see Swaminarayan Bhagwan. Before they left, Mancha Bhakta noticed that the cotton crop on his 50-vighaa farm was ready to be harvested, and it had to be done before leaving. He called the cattle herders and told them to allow the cattle to graze on the crop. When the herders refused, he insisted and told them, "I am the one telling you, what difference does it make to you?" After having the crop destroyed, he asked Bhojo if they should leave now. Bhojo replied that now no one is saying no, even our minds are saying yes. Then they went to see Maharaj. That year, due to great frost, others' crops were ruined but on his farm they blossomed and there was a great yield. [ref. Swami Ni Vato 9/207]

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