Festival Of Fuldol In Vadtal
Shriji Maharaja was fond of festivals. He liked to celebrate festivals. When these festivals were celebrated, thousands of devotees had the DARSHAN of Maharaja. They would get the opportunities to see the Leelas of Maharaja. They would also listen to the speeches of Maharaja. Such a congregation of devotees is known as SAMAIYA. Maharaja celebrated such SAMAIYA every year. Such as, especially on Janmashtami, Ram Navmi, Vasant Panchami and Holi. Thousand of devotees from abroad and the country were invited to attend the SAMAIYA through an invitation card known as `Kankotari'. Devotees enthusiastically participated in the SAMAIYA. They were eager for the next Samaiya as soon as the first Samaiya was about to be over. Whenever they received the Kankotari of the Samaiya they would gladly start for the Samaiya, leaving behind all the worries of this world.
Every caste, right from Brahmins and Bani, to Aadivasi and Kathi, Koli, took part in it. Educated and uneducated, kind and his subject, master and his servants, foremen and labourers all would gather together, meet and have Bhajans with joy. Joban Pagi of Vadtal was a decoat devotee of Maharaja. Once he requested Maharaja, “Please arrange this year the Holi Samaiya”. The Holi Samaiya means celebration of FULDOL. Maharaja accepted his request. Invitation (Kankotari) were despatched. Thousands of Saints and devotees would attend the Samaiya. It was not a child's job to arrange for the lodging and boarding for these visitors. Hence, Joban Pagi went to Petlad for help.
Kashibhai was the governor of Petlad. Joban Bagat directly went to his residence. Kashibhai knew Joban Pagi only as a robber. Therefore, on seeing Joban Pagi he was so much frightened that he took it for granted that this Joban Pagi would not allow him to live. But Joban Pagi humbly said, “Kashia bhai don't be afraid of me. I am no more a robber. I am an humble servant of Shriji Maharaja. I do not even kill small insects and bed bugs now. I have Tilak (Vermilion mark) on my forehead and a rosary (Mala- Kanthi) in my neck. Please look at them. I have only come to seek your help for the Samaiya to be held at Vadtala. Kashibhai was surprised, “How surprising it is that the man who used to rob people has come to request! What our armed forces could not do, how did Shriji Maharaja can do? I can say it is merely a magic performed by Maharaja”.
He helped Joban Pagi in all possible ways. The celebration of FULDOL at Vadtal was celebrated very pompously. Kashibhai also went to this Samaiya to have Maharaja's Darshana. He was very much surprised to see rosary in the hands of Kathis who used to put on turbans and twitched their moustaches as a sign of Challenging bravery. Maharaja divided the saints into two groups, he enjoyed the display of sprinkling colour on them and asked to join all his devotees in this Holi celebration. Then, riding his mare (She-Horse) he went to bathe in the river, along with his followers. He (Maharaja) took off his coloured clothes before entering
water and gave them to Joban Pagi. Then began the Hindola celebration. Nishkulananda had especially prepared for this occasion a HINDOLA with twelve doors. Thousands of followers from far and wide came to celebrate. They presented ornaments and dresses to Maharaja and thus adored him. Then Muktananda Swami swung Maharaja in the Hindola with a silver rope. There was joy everywhere.
This occasion has been nicely described in the Hari-Leelamrit volume. Then Nityananda Swami had Maharaja's Aarati. It was not an ordinary Aarati of only five or six lamps but it contained sixty-four lamps. Nishkulananda Swami has also described this incident in the Bhakta-Chintamani volume.