1) Verabhai’s Valour:
Verabhai was formerly a looter. A great one at that! When he decided to raid someone’s property, he never returned empty-handed. Such was his expertise, in this notorious field.
In the fullness of time, Verabhai became a satsangi and regularly visited Shreeji Maharaj for darshan.
One day travelling to Gadhada for darshan of Shreeji Maharaj, Verabhai was walking past a pile of daatan (sticks used for brushing the teeth). He picked one and walked off with it, without a second thought. A few paces further he thought to himself, “I have just taken this stick without the owner’s permission. That is theft!” Verabhai retreated and called upon the owner of the pile of daatan. Without saying a word, Verabhai lay prostrate, face down in front of the landlord, and touched his feet.
“What are you doing, Bhagat?” questioned the landlord. “ I have stolen from you and beg your forgiveness!” exclaimed Verabhai. “ I took one of your daatan sticks without your permission. Shreeji Maharaj has taught me, that it is called stealing. As a devotee of Swaminarayan Bhagwan’s I can no longer do such things. I have taken a vow against it. I beg your forgiveness.”
Having been forgiven by the landlord, Verabhai continued his journey to Gadhada. Arriving there, Verabhai stayed there for a while. On leaving Gadhada, Verabhai said to Shreeji Maharaj, “Maharaj, if you please, all my bonds would be broken. Then I could stay longer and serve you.”
Listening to Verabhai’s words, by Shreeji Maharaj’s grace, within a year Verabhai was free from all worldly responsibilities. 22 of his relatives passed away due to one reason or another. So Verabhai came to Shreeji Maharaj and became a saint. However, he could not shun the warrior instincts within him. When a battle broke in Khokhara-Mehmadabad, Verabhai took a sword and cushion for a shield and joined in the fight. He was not able to slay anyone. To the contrary, he had his ear cut off by another soldier! So Shreeji Maharaj instructed him to remove the saffron robes and adorn the white clothes. Maharaj kept Verabhai in his personal service.
One late night, Verabhai was meditating upon Shreeji Maharaj’s murti. From his body, he could see spirits leaving. Verabhai asked, “Who are you?” Each of the spirits would identify themselves. “I am your lust”, “I am your anger”, “I am your greed”, I am your jealousy” and so on. “You are too strong for us. We can no longer stay inside your body. So we are all leaving you now”, they all answered.
The next morning, Verabhai described the previous night’s experience. Shreeji Maharaj clarified, “These inappropriate qualities will no longer enter your heart and mind. You are free of them from today.”
Verabhai enjoyed many years of spiritual bliss serving Shreeji Maharaj and dedicating his life to that eternal cause.
2) Infants Killed by Kansa visit Shreeji Maharaj:
One day, Shreeji Maharaj was travelling from Gadhada to Vadtal with numerous devotees and parshads. On the way, they arrived at a lake near the village of Gaanf. They stopped by the lake to take lunch.
Mulji Brahmachari prepared the lunch for Shreeji Maharaj, while the others opened their own. Having enjoyed the meal, Shreeji Maharaj decided to rest. He covered himself with a cloth and laid down in the shadow of one of the trees. Naajaa Jogiya sat beside Shreeji Maharaj, fanning him.
All of a sudden, some 2000-3000 children appeared from no-where. Naajaa Jogiya asked Shreeji Maharaj, “Prabhu, where have all these children come from?”
Shreeji Maharaj removed the cloth from his face and replied, “They are the ones who King Kansa mistook for me, when I was on this earth as Krishna, and ordered their deaths.”
Shreeji Maharaj looked at the children, who transformed into demi-gods and climbed into divine airplanes and disappeared into the heavens.
3) Muljibhai’s Son Passes Away:
For some years, one Muljibhai of Limbdi village lived in Gadhada, working for Dada Khachar.
One day, Muljibhai’s son fell ill in Limbdi. The family members sent a messenger with a letter explaining the situation, asking Muljibhai to return home to his ailing son.
Muljibhai approached Shreeji Maharaj and reported, “Maharaj, my son is ill and my family has sent this letter with a messenger to take me home. What should I do?”
Shreeji Maharaj sympathised with Muljibhai, “Your son is ill. You cannot do without going home. Go to your son and send me good news about him.”
Muljibhai bowed at Shreeji Maharaj’s lotus feet and took leave. As Muljibhai was about to step away, Shreeji Maharaj stopped him. “Mulji come back. If your son was to leave his body, would you be distressed?”
Muljibhai replied, “O Maharaj! If you take him to Akshar Dham, how can I be distressed?”
Shreeji Maharaj explained to Muljibhai, “In his last life, your son was a sadhu. He had some unaccomplished desires and was born in your home to fulfil them. I have taken him to Akshar Dham. So, go bathe in the river and wash away your sutak.”
Muljibhai did as Maharaj instructed. He returned from the river Ghelo and bowed at Maharaj’s lotus feet and felt no sorrow for his son’s death. Such was Muljibhai’s steadfast faith in Shreeji Maharaj.
4) Cause of all causes, gives light:
One evening in Gadhada, Shreeji Maharaj was lying on his bed, under an insect net, in Akshar Oradi (the room that is Akshar Dham). An oil lamp lit the room. Shreeji Maharaj was dictating a letter to Shuk Muni. Shuk Muni was seated next to the lamp, using its light to see what he was writing.
All of a sudden, the light went out. Shuk Muni exclaimed, “the light has gone out, and the letter is incomplete! How can I finish this letter for you, Lord?”
Shreeji Maharaj comforted Muni, “don’t worry Swami, you shall have as much light as you need.” He extended his leg through the net, and an immense light, much more luminous than the oil lamp, emerged from His toe and flooded the room.
“How’s that Shukji?” Shreeji Maharaj asked.
“Thank you Prabhu”, Swami continued writing and Maharaj resumed dictating to him. The light remained present as long as it took to the two of them to complete the letter.
When the letter was complete, Shreeji Maharaj retracted His leg and the light vanished, leaving the room in complete darkness.
5) You shall now see forever:
Shreeji Maharaj was dictating a letter to Muljibhai. Muljibhai was writing the dictation, with his spectacles positioned carefully on the bridge of his nose.
In a fit of fun, Shreeji Maharaj extended his arm and pulled Muljibhai’s spectacles away. Muljibhai immediately stopped writing the letter. Shreeji Maharaj questioned him, “Come on Mulji write the letter.”
“How can I write this letter? Now that you have removed my spectacles, I can’t see a thing” Muljibhai complained.
Shreeji Maharaj replaced the spectacles on Muljibhai’s nose. “I still can’t see anything, Maharaj! I am blind!” exclaimed Muljibhai.
Shreeji Maharaj removed the spectacles from Muljibhai again. “Wow!! I can see! Even without the spectacles, I can see everything! Shouted Muljibhai with ecstatic joy.
“Mulji, you shall now see forever. Until your last breath”, Shreeji Maharaj blessed Muljibhai.
So it was that Muljibhai’s sight returned and stayed with him for the rest of his life.
6) Shreeji Maharaj comes to the aid of His devotees:
On this occasion, Shreeji Maharaj was residing in the village of Kariyani. Devotees Sagraamji & Muljibhai were on their way, from their respective villages, to have darshan of Shreeji Maharaj.
On the way to Kariyani, the two companions arrived at Mount Saalemaar. Travelling through the hilly terrain, they lost their way and headed towards the direction of the hideout belonging to the Parmar dacoits of Muli.
Omnipresent Shreeji Maharaj realised the two devotees were lost. He assumed the image of a cow herdsman, and approached the lost travellers.
“Where do you want to go?” Shreeji Maharaj inquired of the travellers.
“We want to go to Kariyani”, replied Muljibhai.
“You have left Kariyani behind you”, informed the herdsman-Shreeji Maharaj, “you are clearly lost! You are heading for the territory of the Parmar looters. You will surely be robbed!” exclaimed Shreeji Maharaj. “Come with me. Let me show you the correct way. My cows have gone to graze in your direction.”
The herdsman shouldered his stick and led the two devotees towards Kariyani. On the way, Shreeji Maharaj led the two to drinking water and quenched their thirst and he removed thorns from Muljibhai’s feet. He led them on to Kariyani.
Upon arriving at the village outskirts, the herdsman said, “This is Kariyani. Go on in. My cows have gone in the other direction, so I shall go after them.” Moving closer to Kariyani, Muljibhai & Sagraamji turned to have one last look at the herdsman who saved their skin. To their amazement, the herdsman had vanished! They searched to see what had happened to him. But, their search was in vain.
Having given up the search for the herdsman, Muljibhai & Sagraamji entered Kariyani and had darshan of Shreeji Maharaj in the durbar of the Kaatthi ruler. Then they began to tell Maharaj of their journey and about the herdsman.
Shreeji Maharaj interrupted the story telling, “If we had not taken the dress of the cow herdsman and shown you the correct route, you would have been robbed and taken away!”
Thus Shreeji Maharaj came to the aid of his choice devotees Muljibhai and Sagraamji.