Brief Leelas of Ghanshyam Maharaj's childhood including Kalidatta's Death
On Ghanshyam's Birth
Ghanshyam's Mami Laxmibai was preparing 'seero' for Bhaktimata. Ghanshyam sensed that his mother was feeling very hungry because of the long time it was taking to prepare the food. He therefore called upon the sidhis, ladies from heaven, to prepare the food. The sidhis prepared the food quickly and offered it to Bhaktimata. Laxmimami was astonished to see this miracle and felt that Ghanshyam was no ordinary child.
The Sixth Day
On Saturday, the sixth day of Ghanshyam's birth, Dharmdev, Bhaktimata and other family gathered for a religious ceremony, i.e.Chhatti which ran on late into the night. At midnight, demonesses, otherwise known as Krityas, entered Dharmdev's and Bhaktimata's house in an attempt to kill Ghanshyam. On seeing the Krityas at their home, they became very frightened and were unable to prevent the evil kritya's taking Ghanshyam away. The Krityas snatched Ghanshyam and headed for the mountains. Feeling helpless and distressed, Dharmdev and Bhaktimata prayed to their Kuldev, Hanumanji, to help recapture Ghanshyam and return him safely. Their prayers reached Hanumanji who immediately arrived at their home. They informed Hanumanji of the event that had occurred and he then left for the mountains in search of Ghanshyam. Hanunianji beat them with his powerful tail and mace. Brutally beaten, the Krityas left Ghanshyam and ran for their leader Kalidatta's protection who was enraged at the Krityas failure to kill Ghanshyam. Meanwhile, Hanumanji brought Ghanshyam back to Bhaktimata and Dharmdev who were overjoyed to see their son returned safely. They gave thanks and gifts to Hanumanji. Today, we too offer gifts to please Hanumanji (in the form of coconuts and oil) on Saturdays.
Two and a Half Months Old - Ghanshyam Shows His Powers
Ghanshyam was playing in the Paraniya (cradle). Looking around, Ghanshyam saw a colourful toy on the floor. At this age no ordinary child would be able to walk or crawl, but Ghanshyam climbed out of the paraniya, picked up the toy, climbed back into the paraniya and then continued playing as normal. Having seen this event, Dharmdev and his friend Ramdayal were astonished. They looked towards Ghanshyam and saw a warm glow of light surrounding his face. Again Ghanshyam showed His divine powers.
The Hundredth Day - Naam Karan
Whilst on a pilgrimage, and other Rushi's came to Dharmadev and Bhaktimata's house where they were warmly greeted. Dharmadev asked Markandeya Muni to name Ghanshyam. Ghanshyam was a pet name that the family called him. (NB. If a child is not named on the eleventh day then the child must be named on the hundredth day.) Markandeya Muni was delighted to be asked and replied, ""your son is born in Karkraashi therefore he will be named Hari, he has such beautiful features so he will also be called Krishna. If you join those two names together he will be called Harikrishna."" Bhaktimata and Dharmadev were so delighted by the names that were given by Markandeya Muni, so Bhaktimata asked Markandeya Muni about Ghanshyam's future, by hearing this Markandeya Muni's thoughts were dragged towards Ghanshyam and Markandeya Muni started hearing 'Swaminarayan Swaminarayan' in his mind. From that moment Markandeya Muni knew straight away that this is God himself. Markandeya Muni replied to Bhaktimata ""your son has qualities such as Tap, Tyaag, Rog, Dharma, and Nitti so he will be known as Nilkanth and many other names. He is the redeemer of all sins on earth; he will destroy sadness in those minds and will make them happy by praising Bhagwan."" Everyone was overjoyed by this occasion; however tears fell from the eyes of Markandeya Muni. Dharmadev asked ""Why do these tears fall from your eyes?"" Markandeya Muni replied, ""I am thinking how misfortunate I am, as I will be unable to witness the great miracles of your special child son due to my old age."" After the ceremony the Rushi's and Brahmins were given food and clothes as an offering. It must be noted that Markandeya Muni took rebirth as Swami Mahabhuvanandji and was able to have darshan of Ghanshyam.
Five and a Half Months Old
On Pootrada Ekadashi, Ghanshyam's parents began to teach him to sit and walk. After Ghanshyam was able to sit and walk Dharmadev wanted to determine his son's interests. He placed Gold coin, book and also a small sword on a silk cloth in front of Ghanshyam. Some children would be attracted to money as it is shiny, others may pick up a sword, but being no ordinary child, Ghanshyam chose the book. This indicated his willingness to gain knowledge. Seven Months Old - Ear Piercing Ceremony or Karanvedh Sanskar
According to the Vedas and other religious books, there are sixteen (16) religious ceremonies that are performed during a life. The ear piercing ceremony is one of these and is still a custom within the Brahmin caste. Bhaktimata sat down on an otto under a tamarind tree, with Ghanshyam Maharaj on her lap. The person who was going to pierce Ghanshyam Maharaj's ears, arrived with a silver needle. He gently held Ghanshyam Maharaj's ear and slowly attempted to pierce the first ear with his needle. However, a bright light shone from Ghanshyam Maharaj's ear and dazzled the man who could not continue to pierce the ear. He could not see Ghanshyam Maharaj but only the strong light. Ghanshyam Maharaj withdrew the light, disappeared from Bhaktimata's lap and appeared sitting on a tamarind tree. Seeing Ghanshyam Maharaj on the tree, Bhakimata asked Rampratapbhai to climb the tree and bring Ghanshyam Maharaj back down. Rampratapbhai climbed the tree but again saw Ghanshyam Maharaj disappear and reappear on his mother's lap again. Rampratapbhai climbed down but again saw Ghanshyam Maharaj sitting on the tree. Frustratingly, Rampratapbhai said, ""stop playing naughty tricks and come down quickly !"". Ghanshyam Maharaj replied that he would sit quietly if Bhaktimata would give him some mollases. Bhaktimata brought some mollases and Ghanshyam Maharaj came down. Whilst Ghanshyam Maharaj was eating the mollases, his ears were being pierced. Ghanshyam Maharaj showed his divine power by being at one place at one moment and then being in another place in an instant.
The Third Year - First Haircut or Chol Sanskar
This is another of the Sixteen Sanskars to be performed. In Chappaiya there is a lake known as Narayan Lake and it was here that many relatives and Brahmins had gathered for this ceremony. Ghanshyam Maharaj was sitting on Bhaktimata's lap ready to have his hair shaved. A barber called Zamairaat was asked to carry out the ceremony. About to proceed, Ghanshyam Maharaj suddenly disappeared from Zamairaat's sight. However, Ghanshyam Maharaj was still visible to everyone else. He alarmingly said, ""How am I suppose to shave Him if I can't see Him!."" ""You must let Him shave you,"" Bhaktimata whispered to Ghanshyam Maharaj. Ghanshyam Maharaj obeyed His mother's wish and reappeared before Zamairaat's eyes. The ceremony could now begin. Meanwhile, Shiva Bhagwan and Parvati Devi came from Devlok to have darshan and watch the ceremony. When the ceremony concluded, Ghanshyam Maharaj took a bath in Narayan Lake. Relatives, Brahmins and friends then sat down for a meal to conclude the ceremony. Later that afternoon, with permission of Dharmadev and Bhaktimata, Ghanshyam Maharaj's friends took Him to play on the other side of the lake. It is here that the story of Kalidatta begins!!
As Ghanshyam Maharaj and his friends played by the nearby trees, Kalidatta, an evil demon who wanted to kill Ghanshyam Maharaj, took the form of a child in an attempt to capture Ghanshyam Maharaj. Kalidatta however soon realised that Ghanshyam Maharaj had seen through His devious disguise, so he retreated from the group. Kalidatta then brewed up a tremendous storm in a second attempt to capture Ghanshyam Maharaj. The wind raged, rain fell so heavily that one could hardly see a short distance ahead, tree's were ripped out by a fierce whirlwind and thunder and lightning pierced the dark sky. The children became very frightened and ran for shelter. Because of the poor visibility, they could not see where others had ran to. Ghanshyam Maharaj sheltered from the storm under the protection of a tree. Kalidatta appeared on a tree in an attempt to break a branch so that it would fall on Ghanshyam Maharaj. The branch however failed to hit Ghanshyam Maharaj and it landed in such a way that it protected Ghanshyam Maharaj from the vicious storm even more. Kalidatta came even more incensed upon seeing this failure and made another attempt on Ghanshyam Maharaj's life. Face to face, Ghanshyam Maharaj looked at Kalidatta with His divine gaze. Kalidatta became frightened, reacting like a mad dog!, running here, there and everywhere but could not get anywhere. He finally died, crushed by a tree felled by his own doing.
The storm now ceased, and Ghanshyam Maharaj and His friends returned home.
Ghanshyam Maharaj had a number of friends including: