Shri Jalaram Bapa was born on Monday, November 14, 1799 the seventh day of the bright half of the kartik, Vikram era 1856 in Virpur. He had a first meeting with the God at the age of five and since then he was all the time muttering Rama Rama. His father was a grocer and had a small shop in the town. From childhood only Jalaram was inclined towards the Sadhus and Sannyasis. Whenever he saw a sadhu he would take him to his house for meals. In the age of 14 he started working with his father in his shop. At the age of 16, Jalaram was married to Virbai the daughter of Pragji Thakkar of Atkot. As Jalaram continuously indulged in offering the meals to the sadhus his father had separated him from the house and shop. Now he started working in his uncle’s shop.
One day dozen’s of Sadhu came to his uncle’s shop and Jalaram gave them some yards of cloth and sufficient quantity of pulses, rice and flour. He also took the vessel filled with the Ghee . His neighbour merchant made this thing known to his uncle. His uncle stopped in the way and asked him ," what is there in the bundle". Jalaram said nothing but the dung cakes. His uncle asked him to show. Jalaram untied the bundle and there were the dung cake. Now he asked him to show the vessel, Jalaram ram said there is water and when he turned the vessel water flow out of it. Everyone was stunned but Jalaram knew that it is done by God.
He was convinced that to serve the sadhu is to serve the God. At the age of 17 only Jalaram went on the pilgrimage. Soon after returning from there he moved to see God - man "Bhoja Bhagat ". Bhoja Bhagat had composed the hundreds of devotional songs. These songs were popular in Gujarati as the " Bhoja Bhajat na Chabkha". He paid obeisance to him and requested him to be his Guru. So at the very early age of 20 Bhoja Bhagat accepted him as his disciple and gave him the Ram-mantra to utter. Jalaram wished to earn his livelihood and feed others from his own earning without being burden to anyone.
Once a Saint dropped at Jalaram place and Jalaram served him muttering the name of God. Saint was pleased and he was given small Krishna Idol and was told that,” Hanumanji will soon appear himself here at your place.” On the third day an Idol of Hanumanji made its appearance there. Day by day the number of Sadhus and pilgrims visiting house increased, So Virbai had given her gold chain and other ornament to Jalaram for sale.
Once the tailor named Harji had been suffering from some pain in the stomach from long time. He was told to utter the name of Jala Bhagat and he utter his name and within week he was completely recovered. From this event he was called “JALARAM BAPA”. There lived a rich Muslim named Jamal in Virpur.
Once his ten-year-old son was ill. Inspite of the treatment he could not recovered so he took the name of the Jalaram Bapa and his son recovered. From that time he was know as “Jalla so Allah”. At this event he was only 22 years of age.
Once the King of Dhrangadhra was going on a pilgrimage to Somnath and he had to pass through the Virpur. Jalaram stopped him and said, “ you cannot leave this place without taking the prasad”. Bapa started distributing the prasad of sweet with the small baskets on his shoulder. Raja was pleased to see this and ask for anything Jalaram needed. Jalaram asked for the small grinding mill that can grid upto the six to seven mounds of the grain daily. Raja send the best grinding stones to Jala Bapa even today these stones can be seen in the temples.
Once the Gor(Priest) of Lohana Community had been suffering form the paralysis for the last fifteen years. He came to Virpur and paid the obeisance to Jalaram Bapa. Bapa said ,”Gor Bapa it is not you but I am paying obeisance to you”. Jalaram Bapa said just worship the God and feed sadhus there. Gor Bapa did this and soon he was recovered. So he composed the song praising the Jala Bapa. Bapa said,”Please stop this non sense! Sing only the virtues of God, not of mine! If you praise me God would make you again as you were!”. Such a selfless soul was he!.
It was Vikram Era 1886. Once an old Sadhu came to the Ashram muttering the “Narayan, Narayan, Narayan!”. Bapa had offered meals but he said ,“NO”. Bapa asked him what he would take. He said his body is worn out and he wants some body to look after him. Bapa said that he would look after him but told him to send Bapa’s wife. Bapa hesitatingly said to Virbai that an old sadhu has arrived and had asked for her to look after him in his old age. Virbai Maa said that to tell Sadhu that she will go with him. Hearing this bapa was relieved. And she goes with sadhu.
The Sadhu and the Virbai Maa came across a river at a distance two - three miles. There the Sadhu said to mother that , “Look after my Bag and Staff(thick stick) I will just return after attending the natural call”.Saying this Sadhu disappeared behind the bushes. Virbai Maa waited for him till the sunset and now she was anxious about Sadhu and started weeping. Some cowherd boys saw that and call the villagers and now all realized that the Sadhu was no one else but God himself who had come to put the Bhagat to test. Since that day the bag and the thick stick are kept in the temple and are worshipped twice daily. Bapa was thirty when this event took place.
Bapa was doing the work of Ashram himself, he never wait for anybody to do work. Sometime if the streets are not cleaned up Bapa himself clean them and if the pots are not filled for Sadhus he himself went to the step - well and fill the pot. Jalaram Bapa often went to Fatepur near Amreli to see his Guru. Sometimes he went there even twice in the month, walking the distance of 24 miles. The Bhoja Bhagat and Bapa built the walls of the Ashram. Bhoja Bhagat did the masonry work and the Jala Bhagat carried the basket of wet earth or bricks or stones on head. Bhoja Bhagat comes to Virpur and it was in Virpur he had breathed his last.
Once the three Arabs resigned from the job as they were not given increase in wage by four rupees a month. So they started for Junagadh and in the way they hunted a few birds and put them in a bag. They were passing through the Virpur in the evening Jalaram Bapa saw them and asked them to have meal. They hesitate as they were Muslims but Bapa said there’s no distinction of caste or creed in court of god. They took the meal and tried to go away silently but bapa stopped them and halt them for a night. Bapa then touched their bag and said Ah! the poor birds feel suffocated open the bag and make them free. Bapa open the bag and make them free.
The Arabs were amazed and fell at the feet of bapa that will they get the job at junagadh. Bapa said that they will get and as they asked for four rupees more he will give them seven rupees more. It really happens so, A camel-man came to take them back.Once a Daughter-in-law of a farmer in Virpur went to a village named Roopvati in a marriage party and she lost her precious nose-ring with a Red Pearl. She took a vow of offering coconut in Bapa’s temple and after party she went straight to the Bapa’s Ashram with coconut. Seeing her weeping Bapa took the coconut from her hand and broke it before the idol of Rama. A Miracle happened. The nose-ring came out from the broken coconut.
Amarchand Sheth of the Jodia Port was returning from the Basara with a loaded shipment. On the way there was a storm in the sea. The ship developed the hole at the keel and it was being filled with water. Amarchand cried out for help. “Oh! Jaliya Bapa, save me! I will send the entire shipload of rice to you!”. In a mysterious way the water stopped entering the ship through the hole and the storm also was subsided. After reaching at port safely he thought that rice are costly and he need not send it to Ashram. So he send the Inferior quality of rice in carts.
Once a devotee of the Bapa wants to go on Pilgrimage to take the bath in Ganga-Yamuna and purify the body. Bapa asked him to sleep in bed near the gate of the Ashram for that day. The Devotee was peacefully resting there. Suddenly he was awake at mid-night, he saw the two women in white attire with the pots of water in their heads. The women emptied their pots in the big vessel emptied of Ashram. In the morning he talked about this to Bapa. Bapa said ,“ you are fortunate as you saw Ganga and Yamuna with your own eyes! You see they too are eager to server the sadhus who come here. Tell me now,do you still want to go on a pilgrimage?” The devotee said ,“ No all the pilgrimage is here for me.
Once some people of the wandering tribe encamped in front of Ashram. Men, women and children were shivering in the rains. Bapa approached them as asked them what they would prefer flour or loaves Women asked for loaves. Bapa took a heap of loaves from the kitchen and tied it into a bundle. He also took some dung-cakes in a sack, a few shears of dry grass for the donkeys and went to give these things to the tribesmen. Seeing this Lakhmanrao the darbar of Thandevadi exclaimed, “ Blessed are you and your parents Bapa! You are truly an angel.”
A European had a desire to take the photograph of the saint first as an inauguration of his studio. He therefore come to Virpur and asked for Bapa’s photograph. Bapa said that why his photograph and asked him to take the photograph of the cows and birds. European prayed to him. Bapa did not like to make anyone unhappy and so he allowed him to take his photograph. When he was being photographed his one eyes winked. This is the only photograph of Bapa. Bapa used to sing the bhajans in the court of the host’s house and they go on singing the songs one after another and the whole night would pass in the deep divine joy.
Bapa took the rice from the cartmen and when they were returning the cart asked for any message for the sheth. Bapa said “Greet him with the God’s name and tell him that the vow was for the shipped rice, but never mind, my sadhus will eat coarse rice with love.” Then after the pause he hesitatingly said “ Well tell the sheth to return the tooth-pick from the shirt which blocked the hole in his ship.” Hearing this message from the cartmen the sheth at once rushed to the port searched the ship and found a cloth in the hole. He stretched it out and found that it out and found that it was Bapa’s shirt with a toothpick in it. The sheth repented now,“ Fie upon me! I have deceived Bapa.” On the same day he sent to Bapa other sacks full of best quality rice.
Once a peasant family was relaxing under babul tree at noon after hard work in the field. Suddenly there were a whirlwind and the tree was uprooted. In a split of second it would on them and there was no time to escape. All were frightened. Suddenly one member cried out ,“ Oh save us, Jaliya Bapa.” No sooner did he speak this word then the tree stopped falling down as if some one had lifted it above. After few days they went to Virpur and tell Bapa about this incident then Bapa smiled and said ,“ See what has happened to my back and remove if there’s any babul thorn still inside the body. They saw that there were marks of the thorns on Bapa’s back.
Once the Kalo Raiyani of Virpur came with his ten-year-old son Govind and made him fall at the feet of Bapa. Then he said , “Bapa give him initiation.” Bapa said ,“ What to talk of initiation ? I only know feeding sadhus – nothing more.” But Kalo said ,“ No,no you must give him initiation!” A saint sitting there at that time said ,“ Bhagat give him initiation in the name of God.” Bapa never disobey the command of saints, so he initiated the boy and gave him Rama-Mantra. “Rama will protect him. He is the first initiated disciple of mine.” said Bapa. Ten years passed after the incident Govind was now twenty years old. Suddenly one day he developed an acute pain in his stomach and died with in a few hours. Bapa was informed about this and he reached at Kalo Raiyani’s house. The people had prepared the bier.Bapa asked to uncovered his face to see him and said ,“ O Govind! Why are you sleeping like this? Look at me!” Govind opened his eyes and looked at Bapa. Bapa asked Govind to get up. Peoples sorrow turns into joy. Everyone said that the Govind survive because of Bapa but Bapa said that, “ Everything happens due to God will".
Once the Jam Shri Ranamalji the Maharaj of Jamnagar ,the Maharaj of Jamnagar had invited some sadhus and devotees at his place. Jalaram Bapa was also one of them. There was a program of giving the clothes to the poor. It so happened that the number of people expecting clothes had increased beyond calculation, and it was impossible to secure the additional supply of clothes immediately. Jam shaeb requested Jalaram Bapa to distribute the clothes with his hand. For Bapa anybody’s request is the God’s command. He said ,“Let’s God will prevail.” Bapa gave the clothes to the thousands of people continuously for the four days and yet the stock was not exhausted. Bapa took Galol Ben of Devki Galol as his sister.
Once the Bapa reached her house unexpectedly talking about twenty-five sadhus with him. It was a time for lunch. Sister went into kitchen to prepare meal. Bapa understood the difficulty and told her whatever food is ready will be enough. Light the Ghee-lamp covers the food with a piece of cloth and start serving. The guests were seated for meals. The wonder of wonders is that everyone ate to his fill. Sister Galol looked into the vessel and found that there was still some food in it. She was so overwhelmed with emotion that she at the feet of Bapa. Bapa said “If you fall in my feet, I would be sinful.”
Once during the time of the crisis Bapa went to the Jivraj Vadalia of Thana and asked from him for two hundred rupees. Jivraj had only two hundred rupees in all with him. He brought out money and gave it to Bapa. When Jivraj’s wife knew this she lost her temper because there was not enough food for children in the house and her husband had gave money to Bapa. After the fortnight Bapa again came and returned the money saying that I donot not need money now crisis is over. Before leaving Bapa asked him to show his store. Jivraj said that the store is all empty. Bapa touched one vessel with stick and said that there is wheat in it. He touched the other one and said there is jowar in it , and similarly he go on touching and the grains get filled in the vessel.
Virbai Ma and Jalaram Bapa both were now old. Virbai Ma breathed her last on Monday, the ninth day of the dark Kartik in Vikram Era 1935. Bapa repeated God’s name ceaselessly for seven days. Bapa also was suffering from the piles. Hundreds of devotees used to come for his darshan every day. Bapa had a daughter named Jamnabai. Bapa had adopted Jamnabai’s grand son Hariram as his heir. Hariram was still a child so devotees were anxious about him but Bapa said, “Hariram’s Hari is at his side. Hari is powerful. Take it from me that will increase my worth after death. On Wednesday, February 23, 1881 the tenth day of the dark half of Magh, Vikram era 1937 Bapa left the World while praying God, at the age to eighty one.