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Siddharaj Jaisinh is considered to be the greatest king of Gujarat. Patan was his capital. There were many learned men in his court. Acharya Hemchandra Suri was the greatest of all those learned men. He was a Jain Yati. He was so learned a man that he was regarded as a person knowing all in the KALIYUG. He was famous in the whole of Bharat Khanda. Once King Siddharaj Said to Acharya, “Maharaja, write such a volume as would make you and me famous all over the world”. Acharya wrote, on the king's request, a great volume of grammar. Its name is SIDDHA-HEM. The book was named after the names of Siddharaj and Hemchandra both. The king was pleased.

The king put that volume on an elephant's back, and took it out in the form of pompous procession. The king himself and Acharya Hemchandra himself led the procession by walking in front of the elephant as staff-bearers of the volume King Siddharaj of Gujarat Honoured the knowledge so much. Such illustration can also be cited of Shriji Maharaja Vishudatta, a son of Brahmin of Mithila, left his house at a very early age of childhood. He had a craze for God's Darshan. After roaming in the mountains of the Himalayas, he started his pilgrimage and went all over India. Thus roaming, he came to a village in Gujarat called Dabhan. Here he had the Darshan of Shriji Maharaja.

No sooner had he the Darshan of Maharaja, he went into the trance. He ran to Maharaja, fell to his feet and said, “I found him to Whom I have been searching for years. Maharaja, accept me as your attendant.” After many years, Maharaja initiated him as a TYAGI, gave his the name of Shatanand. He is also known by another name of Santdasa. Then Maharaja commanded him, “Go to the every corner of the country, popularise SATSANG. I am with you.” SHATANAND Swami obeyed Maharaja's command and started for the spreading of Satsang. He continuously had the image of Maharaja in his heart and his name on the lips. Thus SHATANAND, like a carefree Mahayogi, went in all directions. He would fearlessly pass through the dense wild forests. He never bothered about clothes and beds. Neither would he care for the night or the day. He would sit for hours together in the meditation of Maharaja. If he walked, he would go on walking for hours together. People recognised him a carefree Mahayogi.

Roaming thus, he re-entered Gujarat. Maharaja was in Bhuj-Kutch. So SHATANAND came to Bhuj. Here he fell at the feet of Maharaja. Maharaja very carefully looked after him. Maharaja himself looked after his feeding, rising up, sitting - SHATANAND very much wanted to stay with Maharaja, but Maharaja commanded him again: “Go to Badrikashram”. This was sufficient. and without waiting for a moment, Shatanadaji started. He stayed at Badrikashram for several months. Then again he started his pilgrimage. He went from the North to the South. He would stay a short while if he found the Ashram of Bhaktimarg.

From the South, he came to Madhya Pradesh, and from there to Gujarat.

While he was on the way to Gujarat, he met some thieves. Anarchy and plundering were common in those days. Innumerable people were struggling hard for food and clothes. Hence, a piece of cloth became the cause of robbery. The thieves knew that they would not get anything from a sage, yet they were satisfied with a piece of covering on the sage's body. They snatched away that covering of SHATANAND. SHATANAND was thus turned into Digamber (naked Swami). But, why, he was a carefree Mahayogi! In nakedness, he continued his onward march. He came to a monastery of a certain Bawa. The Bawa gave him food. Shatananda's hair was so dirty and matter that the Bawa called for a barber to cut Shatananda's hair. SHATANAND did not utter a single word. Why should a carefree Mahayogi bother about even to speak a word? The barber knew that Digamber Bawa was a Sanyasi. So he cut off his hair from his head and not a single hair remained on his head. The Swami said, “O dear barber, you should have at least kept a tuft of hair on my head. I am not a Sanyasi but a Vaishnavite Sadhu.”

“It's my mistake. Now wait till the next growth of hair” said the barber. Shatanandji came to Jetalpur with bald head and naked. There, on seeing his robust naked body, some said, “Bawaji, no welfare is possible by going quite naked. Surrender yourself to God Swaminarayan if you at all want welfare.” Shatanandji replied, Where's Swaminarayan? Where's Muktananda Swami? Where's Anandanand Swami?” Everyone was surprised on hearing the names of leading saints of Swaminarayan Sampraday. One of the people recognised him. He said, “Oh, this is our Santdasji!” At once they fell at his feet. They asked his pardon. Then the people sent Shatanandji to Ghadhada with some Haribhaktas. But Maharaja was somewhere else. Swamiji went there. There he came to know that Maharaja had left for the next village. Thus Shatanandji went from village to village. Yet he could not meet Maharaja.

Once it so happened that as soon as Shatanandji had left a village, Maharaj arrived there. The people said to Maharaj, “ Maharaj Shatanandji left a minute before. May we call him back ?” “No,” said Maharaj, “let him wander”. Thus went Shatanandji's race after Maharaj, but soon it ended. Maharaja was once at Kariyani where Shatanandji reached. On seeing the Swami, Maharaja rose from his seat to receive him. He embraced Shatanandji very affectionately. Then Maharaja brought him to Ghadhada.

Now Shatanandji was stable at Ghadhada. Swami was a great scholar of Sanskrit language. More even he was a poet too. Maharaja once commanded him. “O great Rishi, write a volume which becomes the life of SATSANG”. Shatanandji began writing the volume. Maharaja's whole life was before Shatananda's mind's eye. He was writing as if he was being dictated. When there was any problem while writing, he would remember Maharaj and asked him, “Maharaja, what is the solution for such and such a thing ?”

The answer would come to him automatically from his mind. There would be no problem. Everything will run smoothly then. He would go on writing unceasingly the Sanskrit Sloka (verse) one after another. At last the volume was completely written. Its name is “Satsangi Jeevan”. Swami dedicated the volume to Maharaja. Maharaja himself had the Pooja of that volume. He had an Aarati of the volume. Then Maharaja had the Pooja of the writer of the volume. He presented it to Swami. Then Maharaja gave a lecture before audience, “This is not an ordinary volume. It is the life of Satsangi. Saying this, Maharaja put the volume on his head. It was carried in the procession with banners, musical instruments, drums and cymbals. Gopalananda Swami and other saints and devotees followed Maharaja in the procession. The procession reached Laxmi Baug. There also Maharaja had the volume's Pooja and Aarati. Joy spread in all directions. This was the honour to the scholar and scholastic publication.

Siddharaj was a king. He put the volume on an elephant's back, but not on his own head. That was the way of the king to honour a scholar and his scholastic achievement. Shriji Maharaja's method is quite different from it. Which method / way would you prefer as a better method of honouring a Scholar and his achievement ?

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