A family heirloom that has been safely preserved for nearly 200 years. A Lord Swaminarayan turban that is kept for darshan in Surat on the day of Bhai Dooj festivities to this day and a Parsi family guards this priceless possession since they received it in 1881.
It has been said that Swaminarayan Bhagwan, who came to Surat in 1881, presented his turban and shriphal to the Parsi Kotwal Ardeshar and this turban continues to be a guiding force for the Parsi family for 194 years now.
The family strongly believe that God’s ‘head’ is with them and lovingly shares this gift with everyone on the eve of the Bhai Dooj festival.
Apart from it being a family heirloom, the turban holds religious value. It is believed that when Lord Swaminarayan came to Surat 194 years ago, he presented this turban to Ardesar, who was working as the Kotwal of Surat. It is also said that when Swaminarayan Bhagwan was returning from in Surat, he was so pleased by the service of Ardeshar Kotwal that he presented him with his own turban on the day of Magshar Sud Trij.
The turban that Swaminarayan Bhagwan gave to Ardeshar Kotwal is said to have been handed over to his son Jahangir Shah. After his death, the turban was passed down from his wife Doshibai Kotwal to his Mosal Sorabji Adalji Wadia. Since then, the present third generation Tehemasp and his son Kershasp have been holding on to the turban and guarding it with their life.
Although the family has a Parsi origin, they adopted the Swaminarayan religion along with their own. The Wadia family living in the Syedpura area have constructed a separate room for the Pagh or turban in where it is kept in a wooden box so that the turban does not get damaged. Every year the Pagh is kept for darshan on the day of Bhai Dooj.
Over the years, several people have made various offers to buy this turban, according to Parsi Kershaspji, but for the family, the gift from God is truly priceless and claim that gift can hold no actual financial value.
The significance of the turban goes beyond the family and locals, Saints, Mahants and devotees of Swaminarayan sect travel long distances to get a glimpse of this turban on the day of Bhai Beej.
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