Putting Always God First

By Jnanpurushdas Swami
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
On June 13, 1988, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was invited to the Canadian Parliament in recognition of his humanitarian work. Swamishri arrived at the parliament while the session was in progress. The group was ushered to the VIP gallery. John Fraser, the Speaker of the House at that time, introduced Pramukh Swami Maharaj. “We are very honored to have a swami like Pramukh Swami Maharaj present with us today,” motioning towards the VIP gallery. All the members craned their necks to get a look at Swamishri.

However, nobody stood up to receive the welcome! Swamishri was instead busy trying to get the attention of an accompanying swami who was holding the small sacred image of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He always kept God with him, wherever he went. Only after the members of parliament got a proper audience of Bhagwan Swaminarayan did Swamishri himself stand up with folded hands.No matter what the situation, his thoughts were constantly directed towards God.

An optician in Surat, Gujarat, India had examined Swamishri before making a new pair of glasses. He said, “Swamishri, this is a new prescription, so we want to make sure it is right. Can you please try them?” Saying that he handed the new pair of glasses. Swamishri took them but without putting them on, he walked into the next room. The optician was baffled, “Why did Swamishri go to the next room?” After a while, he reappeared with the glasses on. It was then that everyone realized why he had suddenly gone to the next room… the sacred image of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was placed there. Swamishri revealed, “It is good to look at God first before we look at other things.” Saying that he gave his approval for the new glasses.

On September 13, 1998, Ron Patel, a renowned journalist, interviewed Swamishri for more than thirty minutes in Edison, New Jersey. He posed many questions, but Swamishri’s replies echoed just one constant theme: that God is the all-doer and whatever he does is for our good. Such was Swamishri’s conviction, that during the interview, Ron was simply overwhelmed. He declared, “In my entire life, I have never seen such firm faith in a person. As a journalist, I have asked many awkward questions to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, but the overriding message of his answers is that he places God first, before anything else. I have interviewed so many people, but what I have seen in Swamishri, I have never ever seen in others. That is, his pure faith in God.”

Image courtesy of Provided

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