Spiritual Essence

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Spiritual Essence
Spiritual Essence
Divine Words of Sant Bhagwant Sahebji
‘Amrut-Anand Shibir’
Nirupan of Vachanamrut Gadhada Madhya 28
19 August 2015, Freemont, California
~ Bhavisha Tailor
There are so many different paths to attain God, which
are known as religions. Regardless of whichever religion it is, the
sentiment and goal behind each of them is one: and that is to
liberate the soul, attain God and attain God’s prasannata1. When
you came to America, some of you took up jobs, some set up
stores, some bought motels, some went into business, but behind
all of it, the intention was the same, and that was to earn dollars.
The ultimate goal was to earn money, but the ways of reaching
that goal were different. Similarly, whichever religious tradition
we follow, whichever temple, church, mosque, Gurudwara,
synagogue or Derasar we go to; we go for God’s darshan, and to
attain God’s prasannata so that we may liberate our souls. In this
way, everyone’s goal and sentiments are the same, and that is to
attain God’s prasannata and through that to free the soul.
In the same way, people who migrate to America will first
assess, where is there money to be made? Whatever is more
profitable, whatever brings them more money is what they will
then select, because their ultimate goal is to earn money.
Similarly, those who are astute will think, ‘where is the place that
will lift my soul?’ and then they will go there. Where the soul is
liberated, where the inner negativity of ego, jealousy, anger are
dissolved, where our joy remains constant, is the path that we
want to take. To liberate the soul – it is essential to take the
refuge of God, and wherever God is manifest, to cultivate atmabuddhi2 and preeti with such a Satpurush.
1
When God or Guru is so pleased with you that it culminates in
an outpouring of grace – this is called prasannata.
2
Atma-buddhi and preeti means to love the Satpurush as one’s
own soul, and thereby refers to a bond of inseparable loving
association.
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In one’s life, one must have both Ishtadev3 and Guru. Without a
Guru, it becomes extremely difficult to come close to God, or to
attain God’s prasannata; it would also take a very long time, which
we don’t have. A journalist once asked a Guru, ‘If one has taken the
refuge of God, then what is the need for a Guru?’ The Guru was of
a very elevated state and he was a scientific thinker. He replied,
‘When we sit in a car and we want to travel to a new destination, if
we follow the instructions of the GPS (Global Positioning System),
then it leads us to our destination in the shortest possible time.
Similarly, to attain God and earn God’s prasannata – the Guru acts
like a GPS and will take you there in the simplest and most joyful
way.’ That is why you need a Guru. If one finds such a Guru - a
Satpurush who holds God within himself – and if one has taken
absolute refuge in God, coupled with firm faith, then liberation is
in your hands. But even within this, where do you need to be
careful? What you need is to maintain awareness.
When the GPS instructs you to turn right or left, you do not
turn straight away. You look in your rear view mirror, in your side
mirror, and you make sure you see what traffic is coming from
behind you, and in front of you – you are aware of all this before
you take the turn. If you did not keep this type of awareness, you
would have an accident. The reason is, yours is not the only car
on the road, there is so much other movement going on. That is
why you are aware of what the GPS is saying and you are equally
mindful of the road, so that you don’t have an accident.
In this way, one must follow the instruction of the Guru but
must also maintain awareness, so that you do not have an accident.
To maintain this kind of awareness, Bhagwan Swaminarayan
specifically pointed out these five Vachanamruts : Gadhada I.23,
3
One’s chosen deity or form of the Lord
Amdavad 2, Amdavad 3, Gadhada II.28, Gadhada II.46. If one
focuses on these five Vachanamruts and follows the Guru’s aagna4,
then in only a short period of time, one can joyfully attain God’s
prasannata and the soul’s inner fountain of joy will spring open.
The joy that the body finds in external things, is temporary; it
will disappear in a flash and you will not even know it. If you find
joy in eating, it will last while you are eating; once you finish
eating, that joy is gone. There was one thing that Pujya Dada
Pandurang Aathavale of Swadhyaya Parivar used to say, ‘That
human beings have realisations in two particular places, but only
if the wisdom of that realisation stayed with us, would
humankind experience true contentment. One, is when we are
hungry and we sit to eat, we end up stuffing ourselves, but it is
only after we have eaten that we realize, ‘if only I had not eaten
so much, it would have been better. I have eaten all of that, now I
don’t want to eat in the evening, I want to control what I eat.’ It is
only after you have eaten that you have the realization that you
should not eat so much, or that you have eaten too much. But,
come evening, and all that is forgotten – and there you are eating
again. If the wisdom that happens after you have eaten were to
stay with you always, it would bring you contentment.
The second place is the graveyard. When people go to
someone’s cremation, at this place too, people realize, ‘He’s
dead now; what did he do with his life? He did so much for
others, for family, friends and others. He brought this and he
bought that, married his kids off, but ultimately its all up in ashes!
This is what it is like in the world. All the bother, squabbles and
tension are just not worth it. It is better to lead a good life; try to
gain inner peace, and attain God – because in the end we are all
just reduced to ashes. We leave all of these things behind – and
yet we make such a fuss over it?” This is the kind of realization
that happens to people, and if we were to hear them, we would
think this person is going to leave the crematorium and become a
sadhu. But, once the person goes home, all the clamor, the
squabbles, the fuss starts all over again. If the renunciation that
man feels when he goes to the graveyard, or the realization one
has after one has eaten were to stay permanently, then man
would become truly content. Man remembers everything else,
but does not remember the things that he really needs to
remember. That is why one needs the association of Santo.
Santo have written in bhajans, ‘nishdin Sant samagam keeje…’
meaning ‘everyday, associate with Santo’. The soul longs to attain
God, to please God, to live for God, and longs for eternal joy; but
the body does not give its support. That is why one falls back. What
does it mean the body does not give its support? It means that the
mind, intellect and ego want to act out their own desires, whereas
4
Any instruction given by God or Guru, which is always for our
spiritual benefit.
the soul wants to act to please God. If in this struggle, the soul were
to win, then the individual would attain a state of constant and
continuous joy. But for this, one needs to draw on the strength of
God and the force of the Guru’s prayers. That is why a Guru is
needed. Where we fall short or lose our way, the Guru, through his
prayers, his bhajan or by speaking to you will put you back on track.
The Guru has already attained God, so even if he does
nothing, he will live in a state of constant and continuous joy. But
because we have love for him, we follow his aagna and come to
satsang, he prays for us solely through his compassion and grace,
that, ‘O Lord! May all of these devotees come to live in your
bliss!’ In this way we receive strength from his prayer. While we
all do pray individually, when the Guru prays for us, we gain
greater strength, but we still need to be vigilant.
Many of you here earn a great deal of money. The influx from
India to America started in the 1960’s. The majority came as
youths, just to pursue higher education and without any intention
to stay. They had come decisively to study and then go back to
India. But after they came they saw that this was a country of
opportunity. They saw that the scope was so great - if you grab the
opportunity, you can climb to the top – and it is such a democratic
nation that you can earn according to your strength and capacity.
For this reason, they started businesses on the side while they
were studying. Those that were due to return to India in two to
five years, have to date, never gone back. They became so settled
here. In this country they saw that there are so many good,
respectable opportunities and facilities; there is cleanliness and
there are no everyday hassles.
Similarly, to please God, one needs a pure and pleasant
environment, not only externally but internally too. By keeping
the association of God, the Satpurush and Sadhu-Santo, they will
pray for you, and through that our states of ego, jealousy,
obstinacy, and our shortcomings of lust, anger etc. will be
removed. But even within this, we need to be vigilant.
Here too, so many have attained wealth, but were not careful
and so they have taken up vices and bad habits. Some may earn
hundreds of thousands of dollars on one side, then go to Las
Vegas and lose millions in one night, and suddenly find
themselves in debt. They would have to sell all their belongings.
The millionaire would become a beggar overnight. Here people
earn money, but they also spend a lot more. With the credit card
system, if one is not careful, people will do so much shopping and
will have no idea how much they have in the bank. In the end they
will get a huge bill and then realize that all of their money is gone.
Similarly man earns great spiritual merit (punya) too. The
individual will have taken the refuge of God, would be following
the aagna of the Satpurush, but why does he not experience
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joy? Why does all the commotion and discord stay in the mind?
We go the mandir until our shoes are worn out; have been on a
number of pilgrimages, we do pradakshina, pray, chant, and give
donations and yet why are we still lumbered with all of these
difficulties? The reason is that you are earning spiritual merit,
but you are spending a lot more than you are earning. If you
spend less than you earn, then you will be in credit, and you will
be able to see your savings.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has said that this is the awareness
that we must keep. You offer your devotion, and you earn spiritual
merit, but you also do things which eat up your spiritual merit,
and that is why you are always empty. In both the Vachanamruts,
Gadhada Madhye 28 and Gadhada Madhye 46, Bhagwan
Swaminarayan has spoken of ‘Jivan-dori’ and ‘Maran-dori’. What
is ‘death’? It refers to spiritual death. When you slander God and
God’s devotees, perceive them negatively, malign them or badmouth them, then your spiritual merit gets used up. That is why
Gunatitanand Swami too, has said in his Vaato, ‘Do as much seva
as you have faith, but never, ever do aseva.’ ‘Aseva’ means to
gossip, ‘so and so did this, and so and so is like that’. Both of these
things, which Maharaj and Gunatitanand Swami have pointed to,
is where we need to be vigilant, and that is why Bapa really used
to have everyone take special care in this.
Over 215 years ago, Bhagwan Swaminarayan gave the
mahamantra ‘Swaminarayan’ and showed us the path to true
contentment. But man just could not grasp this. People accept
God in their lives, do seva, go to the mandir, associate with Santo,
but remain empty. You will see toddlers coming to the mandir
with their parents. If their parents bow, they will bow too. A fiveyear old child will come to the mandir holding his father’s finger,
he will bow to the deities – and even as an eighty year old, he will
still bow to the deities, but his innate nature, his sva-bhav will not
have changed. Surely the question arises, what has he been doing
all of these years? We do so much bhakti, so much bhajan, and yet
why do we not change? Why does our innate nature not change?
It is because there is a shortfall in our understanding. Which
understanding is that? It is the understanding that Swaminarayan
Bhagwan was trying to give, but could not be grasped. It is only
with the grace of the Guru that this can be grasped.
However much gratitude and respect we pay to Shastriji
Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj, it is not enough. Through the Akshar
Purushottam Upasana, they established an exceptional path, an
exceptional model by which our inner transformation can
happen. They made us understand the pure Upasana – that God
is the all-doer in all things; that whatever has happened, is
happening and will happen in my life, is inspired and controlled
by my Ishta-Dev, Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The Bhagwan
Swaminarayan we speak of is manifest in human form through
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the Gunatit Sadhu. Having understood this, we must yoke our
being to such a Sadhu and follow his aagna. But there are two
things we must keep in mind : One, speak positively, speak of the
virtues and greatness of God and God’s devotees as much as you
can. Two, perform the seva of God and His devotees,
understanding their greatness and glory in your heart. If you do
this, you will attain God’s prasannata.
No matter how many meritorious acts you perform, by giving
or charity, but if you slander God and His devotees; if you fall into
maligning them, then God says, ‘all of your spiritual merit gets
burnt to ashes’. This is the awareness we have to keep. Do not
dwell on what you are like, rather think about what God is like. If
you want to please God, then serve his devotees as if you were
serving God himself; show them respect, this will grant you
God’s prasannata. This is where everyone was falling short.
Devotees will offer so much devotion. If you look today, the
mandirs are overflowing with devotees. To go forward and have
darshan, they will be elbowing each other out of the way. There
would almost be a stampede, and even if a devotee were to fall,
others would walk over him and push forward. Nobody would
even stop to look at who has fallen. Many people even die like
this. Do you think God would be pleased with this?
If we were visiting someone’s home as a guest and we ring
the doorbell, which is opened by his son and we immediately
slap the son twice, and then garland his father whom we are
visiting and give him prashad, do you think he would accept it?
Rather he would be so angry and shout at you for slapping his
son. He would probably say, ‘if you had a problem, you must
speak to me!’ Similarly, all devotees – are the sons and daughters
of God. If you push them aside, hurt them and then try and have
darshan of God, do you think God would like that? This is what
was missing. Devotees were offering their devotion, but they
were doing it without any understanding.
God resides in everyone; that is the sentiment with which
you should interact with devotees. Speak of their virtues,
perform their seva; then you will not have to run here and there.
God says, ‘Wherever you are, I will fulfill you.’ Perform the seva of
God and his devotees with mahima5, sing their praises and
virtues, then your innate nature will be transformed and you will
be freed from ego and all other shortcomings. This whole
spiritual process had previously not been understood. Man has
been in search of this eternal joy for thousands of years, but was
not able to attain it because he had not understood the
technique. He had not understood the core principle. There is no
change at all in devotion or in daily life, but because he slips up
on this principle, he does not experience joy.
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Understanding of greatness and glory.
Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj purified Upasana, and gave
this the focus, that if one has firm refuge in God; has atma-buddhi
and preeti for the Guru and follows his aagna, then you should gain
strength from within; you should grow in stature. The shortcomings
of lust, anger or obstinacy, ego or jealousy will not have the
strength to touch your joy. You must perceive God’s devotees as
being just like God. If there is truth in what they suggest to you,
then accept it. Ignite this harmony. Understand that God is within
all devotees, and follow this through in your interaction with them.
This must begin in the home and if you do this, then it will filter
through to your children, and to your mandal. God says, ‘if you are
able to safeguard this principle, then you will feel joy.’
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has shown this technique in the two
Vachanamruts – ‘Jivan-dori nu’ and ‘Maran-dori nu’ – and said
that by performing the seva of God and God’s devotees with
mahima, one’s inner being gains strength. On the other hand, by
maligning, criticizing and gossiping about devotees, one falls
from the path of liberation. We have all set out to please God,
and we want to live our lives for God. Therefore, if we want this
constant joy, we must keep the awareness that is stipulated in
these two Vachanamruts.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has spoken about this in
Vachanamrut Gadhada Madhye 28, where it says, “… Dave
Pragji said, ‘there is no scripture like the Shrimad Bhagvat.’
Then Shreeji Maharaj replied, ‘The Shrimad Bhagvat is
certainly good, but there is no scripture like the Vasudev
Mahatmya in the Skand Puran.’ “
Shreeji Maharaj has said this in Vachanamrut 1.23 as well,
that the Shri Vasudev Mahatmya is extremely dear to him.
In Vachanamrut Gadhada Madhye 28, Maharaj continues,
“…[there is no scripture like the Vasudev Mahatmya]
‘because, in that scripture great emphasis has been placed on
dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti.’ Having said this, Shreeji
Maharaj continued, ‘The Valmiki Ramayan and Harivansh
have placed great emphasis on violence, and Raghunathji too
acted according to the characteristics of a Kshatriya. While
Raghunathji protected anyone who sought refuge at his lotus
feet, he would also however, abandon one who made the
slightest mistake. For example, even though Sitaji became
subject to only minor criticism, he instantly renounced her, even
though she was very dear to him.”
Shri Ramchandra Bhagwan was a manifestation of God in the
form of a Kshatriya. He therefore took on the dharma of a
Kshatriya, and that is why he destroyed Ravana, as well as many
other demons. He would protect whoever sought his refuge, but
if that person were guilty of any small mistake, he would
abandon them. We all know the story of the Ramayan – where
Shri Ramchandraji upon overhearing the conversation between
an ordinary washerman and his wife, relinquishes Sitaji – and
exiles her back to the forest.
The Vachanamrut continues,
“Hearing this, Muktanand Swami said, ‘Ramananda
Swami’s nature was also like this.’ Then Shreeji Maharaj
replied, ‘My nature is not like that. For the devotees of God, I
have utmost compassion.’
Muktanand Swami said that Ramananda Swami’s nature was
similar, in that if someone was guilty of any fault, he would let go
of them. But Bhagwan Swaminarayan says here that he has
utmost compassion for God’s devotees. That is where we have
all benefitted.
The Vachanamrut continues,
“Of the Pandavas, Arjun was also of a very compassionate
nature. Amongst all men, there has been none like
Ramchandraji and Arjuna, and amongst all women there has
been no woman like Sitaji and Draupadi.’
Of all men, Maharaj has praised two – Shri Ramchandraji and
Arjuna; and of all women, he has also praised two – Sitaji and
Draupadi.
The Vachanamrut continues,
“Now I shall describe my own nature. Even though I have a
compassionate nature, if someone slanders the devotees of
God, then I develop an aversion towards that person…”
Now although Maharaj says, his nature is one of utmost
compassion, if someone slanders the devotee of God, then he
becomes averse to them. This is really important. This is what
was being overlooked. This principle was not being practiced. To
slander, means to speak negatively, or speak ill of one who is a
good, straightforward person. To speak falsely, or negatively of
such a person is to slander such a person.
The Vachanamrut continues,
“And if I hear someone speaking ill of devotees, then even if
I had to speak to that person, I would not feel like speaking to
him at all. Whereas, I feel extremely pleased with the one who
serves the devotees of God. And my nature is such that, I do not
become easily displeased in small matters, nor do I become
easily pleased in small matters. It is only when I have seen over
many days that which is worthy of my pleasure or displeasure,
that I become pleased or displeased. Never do I become
pleased or displeased with a person merely by being told or by
hearing someone else’s opinions of that person. And it is what I
perceive with my own mind, that I appreciate as the extent of
an individual’s virtues.’
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Mota Purush6 do not feel pleasure or displeasure towards
anyone because of something someone has told them or has
done. Mota-Purush have a God-given special ability, to
immediately focus in on each individual that comes to them –
and it is only because such a Satpurush has love for us, that it is
out of his love that he speaks to us. We are so fortunate! It is the
Guru’s immense grace upon us, that he is showing us this. He is
showing us the solution to remove our ego-obstinacy, greed,
jealousy, anger etc., because of which we have suffered for
countless lifetimes. However, instead of taking the solution that
he is showing us, we perceive manushya-bhav7 in him, and that is
why our difficulties arise.
Shreeji Maharaj continues in the Vachanamrut,
“And my inclination is this: if one is the true devotee of God,
then I am the devotee of that devotee, and I offer bhakti to such
devotees of God. That is my greatest virtue. And if one does not
have this virtue, then that person is not worthy of greatness.”
What is the marker of God’s godliness? Miracles, superpowers, doership – non-doership – all-doership; all of these
powers are certainly God’s. God destroyed Ravana, lifted the
Govardhana mountain, overpowered Kali-Naga, or gave the
downtrodden classes of society, the Kathi’s, Koli, Kanbi, Sei,
Suthar, Mochi, Darjee, Luhar, Kumbhar communities darshan of
his swaroop. All of these are a display of his Godliness, however
out of all of these, the best and the supreme quality, is one that
Bhagwan Swaminarayan spoke about, and that is, that He is the
devotee of God’s devotee, and the servant of God’s servant. God
says he is our servant; and that shows his Godliness. If we were to
be his devotee, then in Vachanamrut Gadhada 1.37, Bhagwan
Swaminarayan says, ‘for such a devotee, I would take the dust
from his feet and raise it to my head….; I am afraid of hurting such
a devotee…I long to have darshan of such a bhakt…..and the
darshan of such a great bhakt can redeem countless souls….’
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has credited 11 such honour’s to such a
bhakt, in Vachanamrut Gadhada 1.37. And here in this
Vachanamrut, Maharaj has said, ‘I am the bhakt of such a bhakt,
and that is my Godliness.’ To be the bhakt of the bhakt means
that God fulfills, mine-yours- and everybody’s inner wishes.
In order to live in continuous joy and to have God’s constant
prasannata showered upon us, we need to keep this awareness.
Whatever seva we have the opportunity to perform for God’s
devotees, let us perform joyfully, with the sentiment that we are
6
Mota-Purush, literally means ‘great soul’ and refers to a
spiritually realised being(s).
7
Manushya-bhav means to doubt the divinity of God or the
Satpurush and to think of Him or His actions as human and not
divine.
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serving God (Prabhu na bhav thi). These words – ‘Prabhu na
bhav thi’ are so important, remember this!
Ordinarily in everyday life, in society, or in social affairs, people
demand appreciation. If you do something for someone, the need
to be thanked is always there. There is an expectation; and where
there is expectation, the tendency towards negative attitude
towards the person is just waiting to happen. If our volunteers
serve food to devotees with the sentiment that they are serving
God; or those who are cooking, cook with the feeling that God will
eat this food through the devotees, then even if someone were to
praise the food, you would not become puffed with pride, and even
if someone were to insult the cooking, you would not feel hurt.
To perform seva ‘Prabhu na bhav thi’ means to understand
that you are serving the Lord that resides within each individual,
and if you do this, then no matter if someone praises you, or even
insults you; you will keep the sentiment that you are serving God,
so no matter what reaction we get from the individual, we will
not get disturbed. That is why it is said, ‘Perform seva with the
sentiment that you are serving God himself’. If you do seva in this
way, then no matter what reactions you get, you will never get
disturbed. We need to practice this. All the bhakto that come to
the mandir, to sabha, whom we serve prashad, whom we
welcome; we are offering all of this to the God within them. Later,
it will become a habit to perform seva with this bhav.
For Bhagwan Swaminarayan, we say He is Supreme, the one
from whom all Avatars emanate, the cause of all things, the
controller of all things, the inspirer of our intellect and the
agency behind our actions. If we say this, it means this is not
applicable just to Swaminarayan satsangees, but that He is the
inspirer and controller of every living being.
When I was a child, there were two things, two vaato that
really made a deep impression on me. One was, ‘if someone
comes rushing to attack you, or even if someone comes with a
knife or a revolver to kill you, it is only what my Lord wills, that
will happen. No-one has the strength or force to hurt me’ – that
understanding was absolutely firm. I had such utmost love for
Yogi Bapa that I knew, if he willed it, then no-one had the power
to hurt me, and if he willed for me to have a beating, then no-one
had the power to save me. In our lives, whatever happens only
happens, as our Lord and our Guru will it to happen.
God is the inspirer and controller of all of our thoughts and
actions. If your boss is hounding you in the office, or your
neighbours are hassling you, then you should reflect, and think that
it is God that is working through them. We would think, ‘is God
completely unoccupied that he would work through people like
these? I am good aren’t I? I am your devotee, so why would you
come and work through them, instead of working through me?’
Instead of having all of those thoughts, you should see that God is
working through them to try to remove your ego; He is trying to
show you the arrogance you have of your many talents and skills,
and he is trying to remove that. So at that time, you should chant,
Swaminarayan….Swaminarayan …Swaminarayan, and pray, ‘O Lord!
My boss is innocent. It is you that is acting through my boss.’ Atleast
one day try this experiment, chant Swaminarayan…Swaminarayan
…Swaminarayan and then wait and see. Do it for one day, one week,
ten days, and you will see that after a short time, that person will
automatically change. You have a remote control in your hands.
Pray, do bhajan, chant… Swaminarayan… Swaminarayan…
Swaminarayan… and the change will certainly happen. Try this
experiment. Without having to say anything, you will be able to
make this happen by pressing on a remote.
At home, if your children are really naughty, do not listen to
you and if you shout at them, and then later do bhajan for the rest
of your life, it will not make a difference. However, if you are able
to understand that it is the Lord within them that is trying to show
me my deh-bhav8 and take me forward, then you will be able to
pray, ‘O Lord, thank you for showing me my weakness! Please
remove this weakness and enable me to keep nirdosh-bhav9 for
them. Let me see clearly that it is You that is behind this.’ You
should pray positively like this! We should not offer devotion out
of helplessness; we should offer bhakti with dignity!
God will use the person in front of you, to uproot the ego and
arrogance from within you. He wants us to see that ‘whatever I
have, whatever I am, is what God has given me, and whatever
the other person has is also completely God given,’ but because
we do not have the strength to see this, we will perceive
shortcomings in the other person, and so we have to pray for
God to remove this from within us! If we look only towards our
own shortcomings and pray for them to be dissolved – you will
see change in the other person come automatically. You will see
daily changes, which will astonish you. You will see miracles on a
daily basis. Start practicing this in the home, with the children,
with bhakto in your mandal, in the office – wherever it is you
work, start there. If you go through with this experiment, then
you will experience constant and continuous joy.
We have received the opportunity to perform the seva of
God’s devotees with the sentiment that we are serving God
8
Deh-bhav in a literal sense refers to the attachment we have
with our bodies (and when we have forgotten that the ‘soul’ is
our true self- which is separate from the body) i.e. all our
desires, ego, emotions etc. Because we have deh-bhav we are
prone to anger, infatuation, grief etc
9
Nirdosh-bhav is the inner feeling, conviction and perception
that God and all of God’s devotees are faultless. It means to see
no fault or blemish.
himself. At home, our children or spouse, are all gifts given by
God. If you have to be firm, or if you have to scold them, that is
not a problem, because where there is love, this will happen.
However, you should never feel contempt; you should not have
negative attitudes towards them, and you should not become
fixed in your attitudes about them. Rather you should perceive
them as faultless and divine, and understand that God has put
you together to remove your shortcomings. Then you should call
out to God, ‘O Lord! Whatever my shortcoming, please remove
it! Please ignite harmony between us!’ If you pray with this
feeling, and perform the seva of all of these bhakto without any
expectation, except that of pleasing God, then you will earn
God’s prasannata and that will take you above your deh-bhav,
into the realm of continuous bliss. Good – bad, sin – merit, truth –
untruth; it will take you above all of these dualities. Nothing will
be able to tarnish your joy for even one second; that is the state of
constant bliss that God will take you to. For this, whenever you
have time, you must certainly read, Vachanamrut Gadhada
Madhye 28 and Gadhada Madhye 46, and reflect upon them.
Also in your daily dealings with bhakto, be mindful of interacting
with them, as if you are interacting with the God within them.
Many devotees will have social or business dealings with
each other, and then fall into negativity towards each other when
something doesn’t work out. God says, do not fall into negative
attitudes because of money, land or buildings. Whatever
happens, God is the giver, God is the protector and whatever
happens is by God’s doing; so our goal is simply to please God,
and that becomes our devotion. Whatever you do to maintain
this becomes your bhakti, your surrender, your penance, your
austerities and your yagna. This is the kind of yagna that we need
to carry out on a daily basis, and that is what satsang is for!
Yogi Bapa truly placed the value of devotees so high. If we
listen to the type of seva that devotees did in Shastriji Maharaj’s
time, we would think, even we are not able to do such seva
today. However, these divine beings really showered their grace
upon us by developing our atma-buddhi and preeti towards
Santo such as P.P. Pramukh Swamiji, P. Mahant Swamiji, P.
Pappaji, P. Hariprasad Swamiji, P. Guruji, P. Shantibhai, P.
Ashvinbhai, and made us firm in this. They gave us the strength
to earn the prasannata of these Santo, and brought us firmly
onto the path to fulfillment. So now that we have atma-buddhi
and preeti for these Santo; we have the firm refuge of God and
we have an inner hunger to please God, then let us apply this in
our daily lives, let us keep practicing this, so that we may
naturally come to offer our bhakti ‘Prabhu na bhav thi’, in a spirit
of togetherness. If you do this, the joy you will get from it will be
truly unique. We have got an exceptional opportunity to reach
that state of joy, so let us make the best use of this opportunity.
For this, may God give us all strength, intellect, inspiration and
awareness, that is our prayer! Jai Shri Swaminarayan!
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