PP Dinkar Uncle
DINKAR UNCLE'S LIFE IN BRIEF
Savaali, which is a part of today's Vadodara district, was the hometown of Govindbhai Patel's wife. Lord Swaminarayan came to the village and blessed Govindbhai and his wife. The couple had a daughter named Harkhaba, and two sons, Madhavbhai and Gangadasbhai (who were named by Lord Swaminarayan). Harkhaba's son, Becharbhai, married Diwaliben, who gave birth to Dinkarbhai Patel (Dinkar Uncle) on October 1, 1944 or Aso suda 15 (Sharad Poornima), 2000 VS. Dinkar Uncle and his 5 siblings had a happy childhood in Uttarsanda. Both parents regularly went to the nearby Vadtal temple, and Becharbhai would regularly get Thakorji’s daily darshan in his meditations!
Dinkar Uncle was exceptionally bright throughout his studies, but his inclination remained toward spiritual endeavors. Mahalaxmiben recalls that from a very young age, he unselfishly looked after his brothers and spent his time reading scriptures such as the Ramayan. As a child, he would visit the nearby Swaminarayan temple in Uttarsanda and recite the Vachanamrut in the company of saints.
After receiving his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering, Dinkar Uncle considered continuing his education in America. Dinkar Uncle scored the highest in his final exams and gained admission to The Georgia Institute of Technology. After taking the TOEFL exam in Mumbai, Dinkar Uncle was the third person from the town of Uttarsanda to go to America.
Dinkar Uncle arrived in America on September 16, 1966 to pursue a Master's in Engineering. He completed this degree in just four quarters and then landed a job in Indianapolis, Indiana.
MARRIAGE TO SUDDHABEN AND MEETING KAKAJI
In 1969, Dinkar Uncle went back to India and married Sudhaben Patel of Naar. Due to visa problems, Dinkar Uncle had some difficulty in procuring authorization to return to America. Some time earlier, Dinkar Uncle had anonymously sent his first paycheck from America to Gnanjivandasji Swami, who had now permanently settled in Virsad. When Dinkar Uncle visited, Gnyanjivandas Swami asked what he had studied. Dinkar Uncle replied that he had completed his Master's in Engineering from America. Swami smiled and asked if he could repair the temple clock. Pleased with Dinkar Uncle's sincerity, Swami blessed Dinkar Uncle to return to the US despite the immigration issues.
Back in India, Sudhaben wished to join Dinkar Uncle in America. Her guru was the divine Dadukaka, also known as Kakaji. Her family lived in the same Tardeo building complex as Kakaji and Sonabaa’s families, and had supported the Gunatit Samaj from its early days. Kakaji said she should complete 18,000 rosaries. Sudhaben was determined to accomplish this as soon as possible, and completed the rosaries in less than half a month (approximately 15 hours of chanting a day!). Kakaji was pleased with her sincerity and she traveled to America via Canada. While in England, she even met Yogi Bapa.
In September 1971, after working in Indianapolis for four years, Dinkar Uncle moved to Elkhart, Indiana to accept the position of a Project Engineer for an architectural firm. In 1973, Kakaji visited America. This was his first trip to America and Sudhaben was ecstatic that Kakaji was present to give blessings to their newborn son, Roopit. The family went to Chicago to meet Kakaji. During their first meeting on Saturday, July 7, 1973, Dinkar Uncle recalls that from first sight, he had experienced an unparalleled attraction and devotion towards Kakaji. The following year, Dinkar Uncle visited Kakaji in India for the first time.
In 1976 Dinkar Uncle moved to Waukegan, Illinois and started working for Abbott Laboratories. The following year, Kakaji visited Chicago along with Mahendra Shah (Bapu) and Rajubhai Thakkar. From their first meeting, Dinkar Uncle created a special friendship with Bapu. On August 23, 1977, Dinkar Uncle moved into a house in Waukegan. In 1978, Dinkar Uncle's parents visited America. In 1979, Kakaji visited America for the third time, this time accompanied by Rameshbhai Soni. Later that year, Dinkar Uncle visited India on a business trip to Indonesia. In March 1980, Sudhaben passed away due to Hodgkin’s disease (a lymphomas cancer). Due to Sudhaben's sickness, Kusumben (Sudhaben's older sister and also a devotee of Kakaji) had come to America 4 years earlier to help take care of Roopit and his younger sister, Amy. From the beginning, Dinkar Uncle had always been interested in celibate disciplines, and inspired by Adbhutanand Swami Ni Vato (from the time of Lord Swaminarayn), Dinkar Uncle took the vow to not touch women. If he accidentally came in contact with any woman, he would observe a fast. Although this proved to be very challenging due to travels for work, he persevered and Kakaji greatly praised his saintliness.
ESTABLISHMENT OF WAUKEGAN MANDIR AND CHICAGO MANDAL
In 1981 (when Kakaji visited along with Bapu and Rajubhai Bhatt), on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Swaminarayan Bhagwan, Kakaji enshrined the moorti of Swaminarayan Bhagwan (June 21) and converted Dinkar Uncle's home into a mandira. At that time, he gave the blessings that every prayer performed with a pure heart at this mandira will be answered and whomever comes in contact with Dinkar Uncle will find peace. Kakaji returned in 1983 (with Bapu) and established Yogi Divine Society, Chicago-USA with Dinkar Uncle as its President. In 1984, Dinkar Uncle visited India to take part in Kakaji's saakshaatkaardina celebrations in Mumbai, Sokhada, and Delhi. Later that year, Kakaji visited America for the sixth time (this time accompanied by Bapu and Rajubhai Bhatt), and was pleased that Dinkar Uncle had established a dedicated group of devotees in America.
In 1985, Kakaji helped set up Hariprasad Swamiji's first trip to America with Bapu. Kakaji (who came in August that year) instilled the glory of Hariprasad Swamiji, Jashbhai Saheb, and gunaateeta saints to devotees abroad.
During Kakaji's seventh and final visit in 1985, on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Gunatitanand Swami, Kakaji enshrined the moorti of Gunatitanand Swami in the Waukegan mandira (October 20).
Before Kakaji passed away in 1986, Dinkar Uncle returned to India for Gunatitanand Swami's Bicentennial Celebration. After returning to America, he, along with Saheb, Bapu, and Ben conducted the first Gunatit Gnyan Shibir in St. Louis in the summer of 1986.
Since then, Dinkar Uncle has been explaining the glory of Swaminarayan Bhagwan, Gunatitanand Swami, and gunaateeta saints. His spiritual discourses blend timeless lessons from Hindu scriptures and practical experiences from the modern world. He regularly reads and explains the Shikshapatri, Vachanamrut, Swami Ni Vato, and other Swaminarayan scriptures and spends all of his time in the humble service of devotees. Since his retirement from Abbott Laboratories, Dinkar Uncle has increased his time abroad, meeting with devotees all over the world to help them spiritually progress.