GREAT DISCIPLES OF SHRI BHOJABHAGAT (SHRI JALARAM)
Bhojabhagat says: "Lord Shyam [Lord Krishna] himself came to my hermitage to stamp my hand." Such was the Lord's response to Bhojabhagat's devotion.
Shri Jalarambapa, well known in Saurashtra: "Jala So Allah" [Jalaram is God] felt a stirring of his spiritual aspiration of previous lives. One day told his wife Shri Virbai Ma that he had to go to Fattepur to see Shri Bhojalrambapa who was a great Siddha Purush [ a man of great spiritual powers]. Shri Jalarambapa wanted to establish Shri Bhojalrambapa as his Guru [spiritual preceptor] and to pursue his sadhana [spiritual efforts] for self realization. He expressed his determination to be Shri Bhojalrambapa's disciple if Shri Bhojalrambapa accepted him. Otherwise he would remain in Fattepur untiring like a stone. He would not return to Virpur. When a sadhak [spiritual seeker] feels an intense aspiration for finding a Guru, the Guru's grace showers on him. His aspiration is answered with Guru's unceasing grace.
Shri Jalaram reached Fattepur and entered the courtyard of Shri Bhojalram's Ashram. Shri Bhojabhagat welcomed him: "Welcome Jalaram." This warm welcome touched the innermost care of Shri Jalaram and he said: "Gurudev ! you have raised me from Jala to Jalaram." [The addition of God Ram's name to Jala as a suffix to his name glorified the aspiration of Shri Jalarambapa.] "Now accept me as your disciple." Shri Bhojabhagat performed the ritual ceremony of Diksha [initiation into spiritual path] of Shri Jalaram who stayed with Shri Bhojabhagat for a long time and then departed for Virpur where he established his Ashram.
(An example of faith in the words of Guru)
Bhojalrambapa once organized a gathering of people at Fattepur. Thousands of saints, devotees and recluses came to Fattepur which was a small village. The whole village was filled with crowds and crowds of people everywhere. Jalarambapa and Valarambapa made preparations for accommodation and food for the visitors. They got the cooperation of people of near by villages and Bhojabapa's followers of Amreli.
A doubt sometimes entered Jalaram's mind as he was anxious that food stuff and other needed material should last till the end and no death a shortage felt. He expressed his anxiety before his Guru who assured him that everything would be alright. Jalaram trusted his Gurus words when all the needs of the visiting people were satisfied as they had eaten with satisfaction and peaceful lay down to sleep. Jalaram came to his Guru and told him that everything was satisfactorily over. He asked his Guru where he should do and where sleep. The Guru in jest asked him to fall in the river. It was a cold night of winter season, yet trusting his Guru's words Jalaram jumped in to the cold water of Thebi river near the village and remained stand the whole night reciting his Guru's name.
Early in the morning at about four o'clock in the morning Bhojabhagat went towards the river for his morning ablations. He looked for Jalaram and called out his name loudly which Jalaram replied that he had been standing in the river as per his Guru's order. Bhojabhagat asked him affectionately patting him paternally how he remained in cold water and whether he id not feel the coldness of water and cold air. Jalaram replied that he fulfilled the words of his master and the warmth of Guru's words protected him against cold.
On hearing these words of unflinching devotion of his disciple Bhojabhagat was touched to heart and blessed Jalaram and prophesied that with his heartfelt blessings Jalaram would place greater than his Guru and he would became reword all over the world and with the mention of his name wonders would be achieved. The prophesy has come true.
Promise Given to Disciple
Once Bhojabhagat asked Jalarambapa to go to Virpur to start a service centre for sages and saints and free food distribution centre for the poor and needy people of the area. Jalaram was relrectant to leave his Guru. Bhojabhagat explained to him and injected on his going. Jalaram accepted Guru’s order on the condition that Bhojabhagat should visit him pass his last days in Virpur and give up the ghost (die) in Jalaram’s presence. Bhojabhagat accepted his condition and said that God himself would one day visit Jalaram’s place.
In 1888 e.d. God visited Jalaram in the guise of a recluse to try his truth by asking him to handover his wife Virbaima to serve him (realize) in his old age. It was an add and awkward event where a husband was asked to hand over his wife to a stranger. But Jalarambapa and Virbaima were made of spiritual stuff and they know their truth would be vindicated by this trail. Virbaima followed the recluse at the behest of her husband. God in the guise of the recluse gave a staff and a bag to Virbaima and disappeared. It was God’s vindication of Jalarambapa and Virbaima’s truth and devotion. The staff and the bag proclaimed to the world the supreme action of the Lord to glorify the devotion couple. It was a sanction of the supreme Lord to their mission and bhakti. It fulfilled Bhojabhagat’s prophecy of God’s visit to vindicate Jalarambapa’s greatness.
Likewise Bhojabhagat’s promise to Valamram that the future flag hoisting of Bhojabhagat’s Ashram would be done with Gariyadhar flag material. Guru knew the intensity of disciple love and attachment and he accepted the condition of the disciple and perpetuated a tradition suggested by the disciples on Janmashtmi Day every year the tradition is observed.
When felt that he wanted to leave his old body he remembered his promise to Jalarambapa. He gathered his followers and told that he wanted to go Virpur to pass his last days of life and discard his body in Jalarambapa’s presence. He asked his followers to ask for any boon they wanted. They had already achieved everything. A person who has received Akshaydham (abundant wealth given by Mohan (God) needs nothing else. But prophesied that as card Krishna of Dwarka had hallowed the Ashram by his auspicious visit those who in future would die in the Ashram would achieve liberation (Moksha). Thus Fattepur was turned in to Kashi by Bhojabhagat.
As tradition tells us Bhojabhagat took leave of his followers and dipped his feet in red colored powder (Kumkum) and made permanent impression on the floor. He also left his turban and rosary as his relics in the Ashram. He went to Virpur and left his body in Virpur on posh sudha 8 the day of 1850a.d.
A memorial has been built on the place where Bhojabhagat’s dead body was cremated. It stands between Ramji Mandir in Jalaram’s shrine in the place near flower shrine. Thus the light in the form of Bhojabhagat’s life started at Dewkigalol near Jetpur and ended at Virpur. Human light merged in to light of the supreme Lord.