Maha Sood 5, Vasant Panchmi, Vikram Samvat 1921
(Tuesday, January 31, 1865 A.D.)
Mahelav village in the present-day Anand District of the Charotar region in Gujarat state in Western India
Dungarbhai, Dungar Bhagat
Mother : Hetba, Father : Dhoribhai
Elder Brothers : Mathurbhai, Laldas
Sisters : Sonaba, Raliatba
Vartman (A basic ritual of adopting the principles and practices of Swaminarayan religion)
The Vartman was offered to Dungar Bhagat by Sadguru Shukanand Swami, a saint initiated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan Himself.
Dungarbhai was initiated into the spiritual order at the age of 18 by Acharya Shri Viharilalji Maharaj and rechristened as Yagnapurushdas on Kartik Vad 5 in Vikram Samvat 1939. He was known as Shastri Yagnapurushdasji or Shastriji Maharaj later as he was conferred with the award of Shastri for his successful higher studies in Sanskrit and Indian Scriptures.
A Unique Enlightenment about the Principles of Akshar Purushottam Philosophy
It was a time when a few saints and devotees had to share their understanding of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy through secret interactive meetings in scattered corners. When Bhagatji Maharaj revealed this philosophy before Shastriji Maharaj, the latter was reluctant to accept the philosophy unless his own guru Vigyananand swami endorsed it. Bhagatji Maharaj promised to let Shastriji Maharaj hear the principles of AksharPurushottam Upasana from the mouth of the latter guru, and so asked Shastriji Maharaj to hide himself under the seat of his guru Vigyananand swami at an appointed time. At the scheduled moment, when Bhagatji Maharaj brought up the topic of the AksharPurushottam Upasana before Vigyananand swamiji, the latter endorsed the understanding of Bhagatji Maharaj about the Upasana, believing that there was none else in the room. Upon hearing his guru endorsing the understanding of Bhagatji Maharaj about the Akshar Purushottam Upasana, Shastriji Maharaj came out from under the seat and prostrated before the two great spiritual personalities. Later Bhagatji Maharaj explained Vigyananand swami about Shastriji Maharaj keen interest in the philosophy of the Akshar Purushottam Upasana; learning about it, Vigyananand swami explained the principles of the Akshar Purushottam Upasana to Shastriji Maharaj in great detail and in deep reverence.
A Historic Divine Ordain for A Great Spiritual Stride
Even after enlightening Shastriji Maharaj with the spiritually vision about the Akshar Purushottam Upasana, Bhagatji Maharaj had abided Shastriji Maharaj, 'never step out of the confine of the Vadtal temple, even if your body is being reduced to immeasurable pieces.' But then, exemplifying the spiritual oneness with Bhagatji Maharaj and the supreme divine power, Krishnaji Ada asked Shastriji Maharaj to take a different course in view of certain extremely wicked circumstances. Ada justified his directive to Shastriji Maharaj, 'Look, Shastriji ! Bhagatji had asked you to remain in the confines - not of physical nature but of a higher spiritual nature. He had asked you to remained confined to your commitment to dedicate your life to Harikrishna Maharaj and not to transgress that confinement. Therefore, today the same Bhagatji is urging you to move on from Vadtal in pursuit of a greater spiritual mission of the establishment and propagation of the pure Upasana and the creation of the temples where the idols of Akshar Purushottam will occupy the centre-place in the sanctum sanatorium. Convinced by the spiritual oneness of Adashri and Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, 41, followed the directive of Adashri and moved on from Vadtal temple on the following day of the Celebration of Kartik Poornima in Vikram Samvat 1962. The dawn of a new spiritual era rose the brilliance of which is illuminating the lives of innumerable souls since then.
At the age of 86, the physical body of Guruhari Shastriji Maharaj bade farewell to this world at 10:50 hrs on Vaishakh Sood 4, Vikram Samvat 2007.
What a Dedication for Akshar Purushottam Upasana !
" I am ready to offer myself as a slave even to the most cruelest of the untouchables for the sake of Akshar Purushottam. If some one offers me even the smallest fraction of a piece of grain for Akshar Purushottam, I will reward the donor with Akshardham - the divine abode of the Lord ! "
Guruhari Shastriji Maharaj