Vinzat Keshwala

Bhagat Vinzat Keshwala
Bhagat Vinzat Keshwala

This is the oldest available story of a famous Mer leader called Vinzat Bhagat who lived in the coastal village Visavada during 1206. His house was always open to welcome saints and religious devotees who used to take deep interest in the epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and discourses of Bhagawad Gita and Puranas. This was due highly religious climate which created decisive impact on the mind of Vinzat. He had decided to take his evening meals only after having saluted to the flag of Dwarkadish temple located far away on the coastal tip of the peninsula. It was easy to take the vow of this kind but quite difficult to maintain it throughout life. His devotion was so great that in spite of lot of handicaps, he smilingly went out to a considerable distance to be able to take vision, darshan of the flag of the temple. The Sadhus insisted Vinzat Bhagat to sing devotional songs every evening in the praise of god.
Once upon a time, when the sun was about to set, he climbed his smart and speedy horse in order to set out for the view of the flag of the Dwarika temple from a distance. He told his wife, “If I happen to come late, you see that all the guests and Sadhus are served with their meals on time. ”Once on the way to see the flag, he met with a Brahmin on foot who held the reins of his horse and told him not to go further because of the danger of being attacked by the dacoits on the way.
Vinzat firmly told the Brahmin than it would not be right for him to return before saluting the flag of Dwarika temple. The Brahmin told that it will indeed be a pity if as a Kshtriya, he will be looted by the robbers. Bhagat looked closely at the Brahmin and found that he was nothing but a source of powerful light from which the voice was coming. He was further told that self-righteous and devoted person like him should ask god for any favour of fulfilling the desire that may be in his mind. When he bent down a saluted the godly figure, Bhagat was told that he can fulfil his vow by building a temple in the name of Dwarikadish at his village of Visavada. This meant that god himself decided to save daily trouble of the devotee like Vinzat Bhagat who has to travel long distance to salute the flag of the famous temple. This is one of the reasons why the village of Visavada is identified as Mur or original Dwarika where the lord Krishna is said to have decided to shift his seat for the sake of his Mer devotee.
Jagad Mandir - Dwarka
Jagad Mandir – Dwarka

While Bhagat was returning, he found that two travellers were approaching when he was sitting under a big tree. He found that one of them was a person of warrior caste while the other one was a Bania, a businessman or trader. The Bhagat gave his identity as a devotee. One of them asked him, “What us the necessity for you to carry a rifle in your hand”. Bhagat replied that replied that if gods and goddesses are armed, as can be seen from their idols, why not a Kshastria like me. After this brief discussion, one person left the place. Now only the trader and Vinzat Bhagat were left alone. The trader opened his tiffin box and invited Vinzat to partake meals with him. But he declined because he had taken a vow to take last meals at his home after saluting the flag of the temple.
Vinzat decided to bid farewell to the trader and climbed his horse. But the Vania requested him to walk along with him for some distance in order to give him company.
Dwarkadhish Temple in Visavada
Dwarkadhish Temple in Visavada

After some distance they were surprised by four dacoits who were hiding behind wild bushes. They shouted at them and told them not to move any further without surrendering their valuables. It was at this point that the Baniya revealed to Vinzat that he had the box of silver and gold ornaments of his daughter-in-law. He handed over the valuable ornaments to Vinzat and ran away from the spot. At this time the dacoits decided to snatch away the box from Bhagat and attacked him. But the bullet from the rifle of Bhagat killed one of the dacoits. The others surrounded and wounded him with their weapon. But ultimately they lost courage and ran away in panic. When Vinzat returned to his village along with the Baniya, he invited him to take rest in the village in the night. On next morning the Baniya offered two gold coins to Bhagat, which he returned and advised him to give it to Sadhus and Brahmin. This is the immortal story of the valiant Mer who was able to save the live and property of the Baniya during his venture towards the Dwarika temple. Today one can find a temple of the god Dwarikadish in the village Visavada itself, as directed by the divine Brahmin who himself represented the god worshipped by Vinzat Bhagat.
Article supplied by Kishan V Sisodia