During the time when Lord Shri Hari graced the Earth with His Divine presence crime was at an all time high and safety of righteous people was constantly under threat. One of the greatest protaganists was a bandit named Joban Pagi. This bandit had reached such a level of fame that people trembled in fear at the sound of his name. However, Joban Pagi gave up his wicked ways and begame a good satsangi when He was confronted by the glory and magesty of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan. The picture shown above tells that story of how this great change in behaviour and attitude came about.
Joban Pagi was in need of a new horse and he had received news that a sadhu by the name Sahajanad Swami had a grand horse (Manki Gori) that was faster and stronger than anything seen by his scouts. Whatsmore Sahajanand Swami was currently in the nearby village of Dabhaan and the horse was in the stables there. Hence Joban decided to steal this horse and he scouted the stables to formulate a plan to steal the horse. He came up with the idea of stealing the horse when everyone was fast asleep at night so he waited until Sahajanand Swami retired to His room before making his way to the stables.
However when Joban peered into the stables, He saw Sahajanand Swami grooming Manki Gori. Perplexed by this sight, Pagi went back to Sahajanand Swami’s room to ensure that he wasn’t being decieved, and through the window there he saw Maharaj fast asleep in His bed.
Pagi made his way back to the stables and again, he found Sahajanand Swami in the stables, feeding Manki Gori. Pagi was truly confused by the state of affairs and went back to the room where he had previously seen Maharaj sleeping, and there nonetheless again, he found Shri Hari fast asleep, but when we went back to the stables, Maharaj was with Manki Gori.
Joban Pagi spent most of the night running back and forth between the stables and Sahajanand Swami’s sleeping quarters and finally gave up.
The following day, Joban Pagi went into the village in disguise and sat at the back of a congregation that was hosted by Swaminarayan Bhagwan. At this moment Sahajananad Swami recognised His guest, paused His sermon and called Joban Pagi to the front of the gathering. Upon coming into contact with Maharaj, Joban Pagi entered the state of samadhi and decided to give up his evil ways. From that day onwards, the sword and dagger was replaced with rosary beads and Joban Pagi became a prominent devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
The land for the Swaminarayan Temple in Vadtal was donated by this Devotee.