Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Four types of spiritual liberation.


What a true devotee desire ?

The significance of selfless devotion.

On the eighth day of the first fortnight of the month of Magh of samvat 1876, Shriji Maharaj was seated in the morning facing west under the margosa tree near the temple of Shri Vasudev Narayan in the Durbar of Shri Dada Khachar at Ghadhada. He had wrapped a white side cloth about his neck and had covered his body with white cotton shawl. He had put on a white turban on his head and with one of its loose ends had wrapped his chin around the head. He was garlanded with the garlands of white flowers. A white flower garland was adorning the turban. Munis and Bhaktas from the various places were assembled before him.

Then Shriji Maharaj asked a question, "What are the attributes of deep affection to God that a devotee bears?" Brahmanand Swami tried to reply the question. However, he could not do so perfectly. Shrjji Maharaj then said, you have not been able to define deep affection. Your contention to remain detached from the body as well as from the cosmos does not bring out the attributes of love. It is an approach towards Vairagya. One who has deep affection for God establishes an unbroken mental contact with him. He would not even for a moment, think of anything except God and would feel that any lapse in such contact is a flaw-meaning deficeiency-in his love for God. The flow of overwhelming love from his heart, if hampered by any worldly idea or thought, would poignantly grieve him as if he had been giyen a hot burn or as if deprived of a sumptous meal by polluting it with dirt. Exuberance of such feeling for unbroken contact with God is the true characteristic of love that a devotee has for God. All of you should therefore examine your hearts which will reflect the intensity of love for God that you bear."

Where upon Brahmanand Swami asked, "How can one develop such affection for god?" Shriji Maharaj then said, "The contact of a Brahmic Saint helps to foster such love for God." Where upon Somla Khachar said, We have been in such a cohtact, and intense contact. However, we have not been able to develop such love. What can be the reason for such deficiency?

Replying to this, Shriji Maharaj said, "It is true that you have been in constant contact with me but you also have an equal association with the worldly affairs which hamper the development of such for God. Then the Brahmin devotee Vala Dhruva of the town Vaso asked. How can one get rid the feelings of attachment towards one's body and the bodily relatitions?"

Then Shriji Maharaj said, "It is the perversion of the mind through which one has identified his body with Atma. However, one should realise that this body is an appendage to the Atma almost like a garment over the body. One does not call mother and father to the tailor and his wife who prepared that garment. Similarly the garment in the form of body is giyen to use either from Brahmin parents or from other castes or from various other genuses. Identifying such body with his Atma and calling bodily parents father and mother, is a show of perverted understanding. Such innumberable relations during various birth die with the death of the body. Such mothers or sisterms change relations in each birth. Therefore they can not be said to have observed the rule of moral fidelity. One therefore who obtains such excrescent relations can never get rid of such attachment. Therefore, one should cultivate this understanding of Atmic consciousness without which attachment even to the nativity of land can not be eradicated. So long as one identifies his own Atma with his body, All his knowledge becomes sublated. And so long, as one carries the ego of his caste or stage, he has not attained saintliness. Therefore, one who eschews all attachment to his body or bodily relations, takes himself to ge an Atma, eradicates all worldly desires and with the fullest realisation of his obligation to Dharm offers worship to God, is a Sadhu. One who has attained fully these attributes of the Sadhu has established rapport with God. However, it is very difficult to develop these attributes fully. I am the ideal of the sadhu in as much as I have no ego either of caste or stage." Shriji Maharaj, thus, while urging his disciples to cultivate the elevated state of a Sadhu, called himself a Sadhu, full of all attributes, though he is God himself.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Gadhada First - 44.

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