A little more than 40 years ago, the earthly pilgrimage of the revered Swami Bhagwandas came to an unexpected end. Swamiji left a lasting imprint on those whose lives he touched, thus the relevance of reflecting on this exemplary life.
Returning to Mauritius in the mid-60s after intensive studies in Benares (under Shree Hanumantdass Saheb) he dedicated himself to the Shri Kabir Mandir of Bonne Terre and gave fresh momentum to the Kabir Panthi movement in the country.
Kabirians believe that the Guru who provides self-knowledge holds the highest place in the world. Being initiated by a Guru and attaining knowledge from him makes one’s life successful. Disciples and sundry folk from all communities and walks of life flocked to the Kabir Mandir, Bonne Terre to benefit from Swamiji’s counsel. Those who met him were impressed by his charisma and soft-spoken demeanour. He would always take the time to listen to whoever came for his guidance and would suggest spiritually based solutions in the most disinterested manner. He neither charged fees nor solicited donations from disciples and visitors. Those close to him still recall how he offered words of consolation with his deep and profound voice to those who were distressed.
Most of his visitors were householders who had jobs and families. In his usual fair-minded way, he would tell such people ‘Carry on with your work, as work is prayer’. He would also constantly guide these householders to reinforce family values. At the time of Swamiji’s untimely departure, many of the disciples and visitors he used to counsel were teenagers. Today many of them are accomplished professionals in various fields and have remained regular attendees at the monthly pooja of Kabir Mandir. Many will recall Swamiji’s teachings and practical advice that have helped them to succeed in their respective fields. However, it is worthwhile mentioning that Swamiji received his visitors be it the labourer or the professional with the same respect and dignity.
A little more than one year prior to his passing, Swamiji who was always inclined on broadening the perspectives of his disciples undertook a spiritual trip to India together with a small group of disciples to meet enlightened spiritual masters like Deoraha Baba, Nagpal Baba and Ram Baba. Those who accompanied him share pleasant memories of that unique trip.
Swamiji left the material world 40 years ago, but he still lives on in the hearts and minds of those whose lives he touched.
Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 25 August 2023
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