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Swami Sachhidanand was a staunch follower and saint of Shriji Maharaj. He was a great ascetic and YOGI. When he would be in company of Shriji Maharaj, Swami would go down deep in meditation and trance. Sometimes, the whole day would pass by in SAMADHI (trance).Sometimes he would be in trance for more than two-three days. Such was Swami Sachhidananda- a true saint and YOGI !Once Shriji Maharaj said to him “Go to Dwarika for Krishna's Darshan, after having the Darshan of Lord Ram at Ayodhya”.

“As you please”, said the Swami with joined hands.Swami reached Dwarika after seven days on the first day of dark half of the lunar month of Maha - Maha Vad Padwa. The river Gomati flows behind the temple of Dwarika. Devotees take their bath in the river and go to the temple. Swami hurriedly went to the Gomati to take bath. No sooner did he put his foot into the waters the Gugali Brahmins of Dwarika cried out and began to snatch his clothes. “Give us first of all, our `DAKSHINA' and then step in”. “I am only a Sadhu, I don't have wealth”, said the Swami. The Brahmins made fun of him and said, “We very well know the type of Sadhu you are. You have come on pilgrimage free of charge in the disguise of a Sadhu. You are a hypocrite.”

The swami was unhappy on hearing such words from Brahmins' mouth. He said, “You being Brahmins, yet don't trust in Sadhu's words. Very Strange!” On hearing the Swami, the Brahmins considering the Swami like other ordinary Sadhu and began to laugh insolently at him.” Leave your artfulness, you GANJERI (One addicted to Ganja) take out money”. But Swami had no money. He never even touched it. The Brahmins were not pleased by any means. The Swami was deeply hurt.“Shriji Maharaj I have come here because of your command and now take care, “saying thus, he sat down on the ground in trance.

“Whatever excuse you may foreword, you Bawa, but we won't let you go”, said the Brahmins. The Brahmins began to watch over him in the hope of getting money, but he was in great, deep, meditation. The morning turned into noon, and noon into evening, yet the swami was in trance. Several persons lifted him up bodily from the rivers way and put him in a distant solitary place. The next day, the swami got up from the trance.

Once again he went to Gomati river to take bath. Even today he was refused to have bath in the Gomati river by those Brahmins. They only wanted money first and then the bath. The swami tried in vain to persuade them that the Swaminarayan Sadhu never touches money, but none was ready to accept it. On the other hand they tried to harass him. On account of the Brahmins harassment, nobody inquired about his meal. The swami too, did not ask for the meal. Three days passed thus. The Swami has thus three days' fasts, but he had no worry for that. The only worry for him was to bath in the river Gomati and to have the Darshan of Dwarikadhis, and to obey Maharaj's command. But those Gugali Brahmins did not allow him to bath in the river Gomati. He thought people who visit Dwarika for pilgrimage have an imprint of it. I must also have that mark imprinted on my self. At least that would be remembrance of pilgrimage having been performed. He went to a place where this mark was being imprinted. Here people had the marks on conch, disc of Vishnu, mace and lotus on their bodies, imprinted after being heated in the furnace. This is known as a mark of “TAPT MUDRA” (A mark imprinted after having been heated in a furnace). When the Swami reached there, he said that the same conditions existed as were seen on the river Gomati. People had to offer money for the mark.

Because of the want of money, some people were crying and cringing before the officials in charge of marking. There were some `BAWAS' and some householders. They were swearing after their only son that they were robbed on the way, and that they had no single paise or Rupee, that they were without food for days together, and to have mercy on them.

But the officers had only to say, “Money first”.Some of the householders were lying there hungry for more than six days. They believed, “their pilgrimage will fructify only when they have marks imprinted on their self. So they were lying there hungry. Crossing this crowd, the swami reached near the officer in charge of marking and said, “Give me TAPT MUDRA”. On hearing this, one of the officer said, “You appear to be a total cheat”. “Come on, take out money from your bedding,” said the other officer. The swami had a simple, very thin bedding which handed over to the officer. The officer checked the bedding thoroughly stitch by stitch, but in vain he tried to find money. He grew angry and threw away the bed. The swami said, “I am a Swaminarayan Sadhu......” Before the Swami could complete, that officer shouted, “Swaminarayan has millions of rupees. Go and ask for a bag full of money, otherwise go to a place where others are also dying of hunger.”

The Swami decided to go to that place when Khaki Bawa, with a long, yellow matted hair, with red eyes, with a broad chest, with a dreadful form, with an iron chain tied to his waist, with a long hair of tongs, appeared there. He roared, “Jai Dwarikadhis, give me TAPT MUDRA”. “Get out! Get Out,” said the officer neglecting him, but the BAWA did not move. ON the other hand, he rushed towards the office. All the officers were angry and jointly pushed him back, saying, “Come with money,” The Khaki Bawa said “I am a Sadhu and I have no money.”

At this time, one of the officers pulled the Bawa's matted hair. Suddenly there fell a gold coin. Then all the Senior and junior officers circled round the Bawa. They pulled down the Bawa on the ground. They disturbed his matted hair completely. Four more gold coins were found from it.

They collected all gold coins and put the print (mark) on his body. The mark was so over heated that when applied to his body, it went deed down to the flesh.The Bawa had an imprint. He abused the officers and ran away. The officers enjoyed the fun.

Then they looked at Sachhidananda Swami and said, “you will have to undergo this treatment”. The Swami said, “Where is the matted hair on my head ? The only bed that I had is also lost. Now what is left? The Swami had no worry for his trouble, but he was sorry on seeing the people who were suffering from hunger. So he joined the hungry people. He was hungry for three days. More three days passed in hunger.

After six days of hunger, the swami came to the Dwarikadhis temple without the mark of TAPT MUDRA.The door keeper of the temple stopped him, “Hey, why do you enter the temple without giving me a tip. Go away. The swami stood at a distance near a shop and requested earnestly the passers by to arrange for the Dwarkadish's Darshan. The Brahmins told him, “Give us the money hidden into your matted hair and the bed”.

“I am an ascetic, a Sadhu,” said the Swami “Even you die, you won't have the Darshan of Dwarkadish without money,” replied the Brahmins. The Swami's sorrow knew no bounds. He decided to return, but on one hand he had been commanded by Shriji Maharaj to come after the Darshan of Dwarikadhis. How can he, overrule Maharaj's command ? So the Swami leaving aside the water and the food, sat at a solitary place. He determined not to budge an inch from here without the Darshan of Dwarikadhis. Maharaj has commanded me and he will give me sufficient strength to fulfil his command.

The repetition of “Shri Krishna” resounded from his every breath, from every drop his blood. The Swami went into an endless trance. Lord Krishna appeared to him on the eleventh day of the dark part of the lunar month of Maha. (Maha Vad Ekadashi). The Swami was in ecstasy. When he opened his eyes, he saw the same form of Krishna that he saw within - Dwarikadhis Himself with Conch, Chakra, Lotus and mace in hands.

Lord Krishna placed his hand on the Swami's head, shoulder and chest and blessed him, “Bravo, all honour to you! My devotee! I am very much pleased with you today. Ask for anything, anything you want and I will give it to you”. The swami was choked with emotion and said, “O Lord Dwarikadhis, O Protector of saints, O Lord the oppressor of the wicket, oh! after ten fasts. Let there be no such trouble to any Sadhu or a householder you are competent to do so”.

The Lord was pleased. He said, “It will be so, I will give Darshan along with Laxmji at Vadtal as I do in Dwarika. My devotees' wishes will be fulfilled to have pilgrimage of Dwarika will be fulfilled at Vadtal only”. Saying thus, God disappeared. The trouble of ten days' fast also disappeared. Now Shriji Maharaj's command was also fulfilled. He returned to Ghadhada with joy. Shriji Maharaj welcomed him with smile in the presence of saints and followers. He made the swami to narrate all that happened at Dwarika. All cried, “Well done” Well done !” At last Maharaj said, “This time we shall celebrate FAGUN PHOOL- DOL at Vadtal”. That day it was popularly celebrated at Vadtal.

This lesson has been prepared from the episode in the growth chapter of SATSANGI JEEVAN written by Swami Shatanandaji. This lesson will inform you about the decay of deterioration of the places of pilgrimage of Vadtal as a holy place of pilgrimage.