Swami Sevak Das Ji Maharaj - The way I see Him
First of all let me pray the “Holi Maa Geeta”to shower the blessings upon me, to enable me to write about a great great soul (PARMATMA) who did not disclosed his name rather appeared physically in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh (INDIA), in early months of year 1964 and came to be known as ‘SEWAK DASS’ by the notion that he always made "Baba to Sewak hai".
By the grace of Maa Geeta who is presently adhyaksha of SHARDA MAA SEWA SANGH functioning in SHRI MAHA DEVI TIRTH (VAISHNO MATA MANDIR ) KULLU ,established by Shri Shri Swami Sewak Dass ji Maharaj, in 1965. The Sharda Maa Sewa Sangh, had also been establised in 1970, by Shri Shri Maharaj ji, treating Shri Geeta as Maa and Chairperson of the sangha with few devotee members.
I am a resident of Akhara Bazar, Kullu, and have been serving the H.P. Govt. in the remote area of Lahaul &Spiti (Pin Valley) till 1964, co-incidently I returned to Kullu on the job (I had been transferred from Pin valley), when SWAMI JI MAHARAJ had also been worshipping to the diety under the Piple Tree in the old Shiv shakti and Laxmi Narrain temple situated in Akhara Bazar. Every devotee of the locality used to visit the temple and bow to the Param Pujya Swami ji Maharaj. I too ,had an opportunity to bow before him for the very first time when I returned to my home.
After some time SHRI MAHADEVI TIRTH (VAISHNO MATA MANDIR) was established in the uphill of the mountain in the Jungle just one kilometer from Akhara Bazar, where the GREAT SAINT had DARSHAN of MAHADEVI - MAA PARVATI in the hidden cave covered under thick forest. All the devotee started visiting the shrine which had a very hazardous slope with a little water pouring in the cave. On knowing that swamiji has found the worship place of Vaishno Mata, I had have been visiting the shrine since 1968 - it is the blessings of Swamiji that I have been in the services of Mahadevi Tirth since then.
Every religious functions were celebrated with huge pomp and show by the public of the area on special occasion like birthdays of great saints, Maha shiv ratri, Ram Navmi, Janam Ashtami, Dussehra, Budh Jayanti, Mahabir Jayanti, under the guidance of Swami ji Maharaj. Maharaj Ji used to give his blessing and love to all the pilgrims and devotees. He himself stayed in a very small Kutiya and always like to have some gossips with his devotees. he never treated someone as his devotee - for him all were the servants of God.
Whenever any one visited the shrine, Shri Maharaj Ji used to tell him to have Darshan of Nirakaar Maa inside the cave and have Darshan of Saakaar Maa, Geeta Maa who gave prashad to every visitor. In one of the occasion I saw the Holy Saint touching the feet of every women as he used to see the GODESS MOTHER in every women. He only worked for the betterment of the man kind. His sole motto was Selfless Service - serving humanity in anyform.
Once I had seen that tea was being served to the devotees sitting before him with a small tea kettle. In the meantime some more devotees came, but to my surprise tea was served to every one which numbered to be more than fifteen devotees, while the capacity of the Kettle looked for not more than five to six cups.
Once, I remember - it is the time when the temple was being created - while sitting in the open Maharaj Ji quoted as saying that only hard work can bring development which is done by the labourers. He was very kind to such class - the people who work very hard to earn for life. In the bitter cold during winter season he used to give off from work to the labourers in the afternoon with full day wages without expecting anything from them. The labourers in return on the next day came as early as possible even before the sun rise to compensate the lost hours. While talking he always used to forecast the future - and we being ignorrant used to take the same as a Joke. One day he said that there will be huge Daharamsala YATRI NIWAS in the temple and then had a heartiest laugh and we too laughed with him. But now we see that this has been achieved - there is a huge Dharamshala in the temple.
There has been a logo written on the wall “YEH MANDIR RASHTRA KI SAMPATTI HAI IS KEE RAKSHA KARNA PRATYEK NAGRIK KAA KARTAVYA HAI”. Which means this temple is the property of the Nation and thus it is the duty of every Citizen to protect it.
I started visiting the temple atleast once in a week. To my surprise the Holy Maharaj Ji never asked us to do anything instead he blessed us with so many Ashirwads, removing so many miseries, difficulties - even giving life to my ailing wife who suffered from cardiac desease.
He always blessed us with prashad prepared by himself. He loved everybody and believed in doing work for him working was joy - he proved "WORK IS WORSHIP", "LOVE TO GOD & DO THE RIGHT", "SAYATMAVE JAYATAY” . The karma (work) is always rewarded, but the motto of Swamiji had always been and now of every member of Mahadevi Tirth is “NISHKAM KARAM SEVA” i.e. selfless work.
SHRI MAHARAJ JI also started free dispensary, free langar (meals) for all the pilgrims / visitors, so that the poorest of the poor should be served and cured with the best of the things we have without any discremination.
A dispensary has now been established with allopathic doctors serving the shrine honorarily. Shri MAHARAJ JI never preached aything but has always blessed us all with his love and deeds. He had only two disciples SHRI NARENDER SINGH AND SHRI THAKUR DAS, who were given the holy names as SWAMI VIVEK AND SWAMI KAMAL DASS respectively. SHRI MAHARAJ JI took ‘Samadhi‘ in 1987 and Swami VIVEK took Samadhi in 2002 as they both felt that they have accomplished the task that they were here for.
Shri Shri Maa GEETA JI and Shri KAMAL DASS JI are presently looking after the activities of SHRI MAHADEVI TIRTH TEMPLE and YATRI NIWAS including Adhayatam Sammelans.
अपने सवामी जी माहाराज के चरणों में क्षत क्षत नमन करता हुआ विराम देता हुँ।।