Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Who is a superior devotee? And Why?


God within. Freedom from ego.

Why does a devotee suffer ? The impact of word 'Swaminarayan'

On the twelfth day evening of the second fortnight of the month of Magh of Samvat 1876, Shriji Maharaj was seated on a cot in the Verandah facing west near the temple of Shri Vasudev Narayan in the Durbar of Shri Dada Khachar at Gadhada. He had wrapped a cotton side doth round his neck and had covered his head with a rich garment of saffron colour. Muni's and the Bhaktas from the various places were assembled before him. They were chanting Narayan Mantra with instrumental music.

Then Shriji Maharaj said, "Stop Kirtans, let us begin with question answers." saying so, Shriji Maharaj added further, "Take this question from me. Shri Krishna, in the Bhagwad Geeta cites the characteritics of four types of devotees and hails amongst them the Gyani as the best. However, all the four types of devotees bear equal knwoledge of the manifestation of God in human form on earth, Therefore, how can a Gyani be hailed as the best ?"

The saints tried to answer the question but could not quitely satisfy Maharaj. Whereupon, Shriji Maharaj said, "The Gyani is he, who is Brahmnised, who behaves accordingly and who hails God, even though in human form, with all divinity. The knowledge with which he has realised divinity in the human form of God has Brahmanised him. He therefore, is devoid of all worldly desires and has only one desire and that is to enjoy the bliss emanating from the human but divine form of God. Whereas the other three types of devotees have, because of their cherishing mundane desires, not known God thoroughly since their deficiency in the knowledge of the glory of God inclines them to covet wordly happiness. Therefore, they can not be rated equally with the Gyani who fully possesses the divine knwoledge of God. As such a devotee who indulges in wordly desires can be said to be suffering from a great deficiency. If however, a devotee has been able to discard all wordly desires due to profound detachment, and yet if the ego of such profound detachment persists in him, he would spell his spiritual regress. Again, if he has the ego of the knowledge of his self, or of his intense devotion and due to this instinct of ego, if he develops nonchalance towards other devotees, his spiritual progress would be retarded. It is like a layer of stones which comes across while digging a well, and if it sounds soft when hit would indicate the availability of sample quantity of water, and if sounds hard and generates fire sparks on being hit, it would indicate the paucity of water. Similarly, even if one is endowed with the attributes of Gyan, Vairagya and Bhakti and yet does not show humility towards other devotees or does not talk to them in modest tone, his greatness even though impragnated with virtues becomes negatory. His virtues will not develop as they do in a devotee who is devoid of any ego. Therefore, one who desires to earn the grace of God should discard even the ego of virtuosity. A devotee possessing such crystalline purity earns the grace of God, who maniferts within his heart."

Then Muktanand Swami asked, "Oh Maharaj ! How should one try to get rid of such ego of the benign virtues of Gyan, Vairagya and Bhakti which tends to persist - impertinently." Replying to the Question, Shriji Maharaj said, "One who realises the significance of the divine greatness of a devotee attached to God accepts with all humility his subservience, and if the notion of his own greatness persists within him by an awakened thought consciousness, tries to expel such notions. He can then get rid of the ego. Again, even if single pointed devotion has earned for him God's fullest grace, but the exuberance of such grace generates in him the ego of such devotion, he is sure, to fall from this high place. And the ego of the knowledge of his self or of his attachment towards God is sure to develop in him a sense of his wordly greatness. Therefore, a true devotee should always he devoid of any ego. This is the only means to propitiate God. One who has developed to see within by the process of introspective meditation would behold God's frown, even if a tinge of ego persists in him. If ego has completely vanished from within his heart, he would behold God's graceful eyes bestowing all benedictions on him. Therefore, a true devotee should always develop thought consciousness and with such an awakening, should examine heart, lest a tinge of ego creep in him. If such consciousness is not developed, the virtues within him will gradually depreciate in spirtiual value because of the sense of ego of his virtues, in the way in which a piece of gold depriciates in value when mixed with an alloy, whereas the virues within him would become higher and higher in value as they become devoid of the sense of ego. Otherwise, even if he invested with worldly greatness because of his apparent virtues, the ego of such greatness reduces the poteney of the spiritual vigour within him.

"To be mote specifiC, I would illustrate The earth though very wide in circumference holds human beings, animals, insects, mountains, trees, oceans etc, and as such its potency seems to be inconceivable. However, water is subtler than earth and ten times greater, within which the' earth appears to float like a dung cake. Again, light is subtler and ten times greater than water and again the wind is subtler and ten times greater than wind, and inspite of being the support of wind, light, water and earth, the great potency of space is not felt. Similarly the potency of greatness of a devotee devoid of the ego of virtues, his like the potential greatness of space, which may not apparently be felt and yet is invincible. Therefote,such a devotee possesses greatness beyond any visible perception. Again, just as a child does not have any notion of honour and insult, similarly a sadhu even though respected should shed the greatness of such honour."

Then Mukundanand Swami asked, "It is known from the spiritual discoursess ..... <Pending proof reading> - Please check back soon.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Gadhada First - 56.

Redistribution, retransmission, republication or commercial exploitation of the contents of this website are expressly prohibited without the written consent of Shree Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple, Ahmedabad. All rights reserved.