Jeth Vad 14, Friday 23 Jun 2017

Sarjudas receives Diksha from Ramanand Swami

Sarjudas would wake up early each day, perform His pooja and then sit down to watch Ramanand Swami performing his pooja. Whilst Ramanand Swami performed his pooja he would call upon the Lord to be visually present throughout the pooja. Sarjudas could also see that the Lord appeared and one day asked Ramanand Swami why the lord did not appear when He performed His pooja. "I too would like the Lord to appear in my pooja," said Sarjudas. "How can I achieve this?" Ramanand Swami replied, "You must posses two qualities, firstly you must seek and obtain a guru and secondly, you must be initiated i.e. receive diksha." Sarjudas immediately replied, "Then I would like you to be my guru and also for you to give me the diksha that I must obtain." Ramanand Swami was honoured to be Sarjudas' guru and agreed to initiate Sarjudas when Ramanand Swami felt that the time was right. Sarjudas waited for the auspicious day, continuing to serve Ramanand Swami and the other Saddhus of the ashram.

Some months later, Ramanand Swami decided that the time had come for Sarjudas to receive Diksha. Kartik Sudh 11 ST 1857 (28th Oct. 1880 Prabhodni Ekadashi - The first Ekadashi of the year) was set for this great occasion. The day before the initiation, Sarjudas performed upvas (went without food). On the next day Sarjudas awoke early, performed His pooja and awaited the ceremony to begin.

The other saddhus prepared Sarjudas by shaving His head, leaving only a jata. Sarjudas then sat down and Ramanand Swami entered the congregation to perform the ceremony. Ramanand Swami performed the pooja, calling upon all gods to be present for the ceremony. Ramanand Swami then took some of the gopichand that was used in the pooja and did an urdhvapundra tilak on Sarjudas' forehead. He took some kum kum from the pooja offering for Laxmidevi and then did a chandlo on Sarjudas' forehead. Ramanand Swami offered a tulsi ni bevdi kanthi to the pooja and then placed it around Sarjudas' neck. Finally Ramanand Swami gave Sarjudas two pieces of orange coloured cloth, one to be worn over His kopin and the other to be worn around the upper body. To complete the ceremony, Sarjudas was given a different name. Normally only one name would be given but Ramanand Swami gave Sarjudas two names, Sahajanand Swami and Narayan Muni. (The first name has two syllables, Sahaj and Anand. Sahaj means without any effort and Anand means happiness. The name Sahajanand therefore means 'to obtain happiness without effort'.

The ceremony was now complete and the new saint, Sahajanand Swami paid respect first to His guru Ramanand Swami and then to the other Saddhus present. Ramanand Swami then said to Sarjudas, "As your guru I give you a boon." "Ask for what you wish." Sahajanand Swami replied, "All that I want is for the Lord to appear in my pooja as he does in yours." This boon was granted by Ramanand Swami.

Sahajanand Swami was now prepared and ready to achieve his goal of eradicating evil and spreading true Dharma.