Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Accounting of spiritual progress


Induction and the next birth

Ekadashi fast

The true nature of the Self

On the first day of the first fortnight of the month of Magh in Samvat 1876, Shriji Maharaj was seated in the verandah of the stable on a mattress in the Durbar of Shri Dada Khachar at Gadhada. He had put on all white dress. He had put on a white turban with a red border. A white cotton shawl was wrapped above white kurta. Munis and the devotees from the different places were seated before him.

Shriji Maharaj then looking at the audience and thinking deeply for a while, said "Listen. A Satsangi should try to introvert and examine his mind that in the first year after his induction in Satsang his mind was full of desires of the world and then in the second year had besides worldly desire cultivated some affection for God. Likewise he goes on examining his mind year after year to assess the affection that he has cultivated for God and also the deep rootea desires for woridly objects that have possessed his mind, he would gradually get rid of worldly desires. If he does not thus examine his mind and does not eradicate worldly desires from his mind, they would multiply and become ultimately irredeemable, like the one who is having an account with a grocer reduces his liabilities by paying regularly every month and increases his liabelities by accumulating the debt for whole year. Similarly the mind by a regular introspection should slowly be conditioned. Human mind has become occupied by the desires of the worldly things in the manner in which the sesame flower has the lnherent oil in it. The humanmind therefore should be so imbibed with the divine flagrance which imanates from the divine person of God. The mind should be fully engaged in the divine episodes of God's Leela on earth". Then Shriji Maharaj narrated the parable about a ghost in detail. He further said, "If one goes on remembering the episodes of God's Leela on the earth ever since one's initiation in this Satsang, such innumberable divine incidents would engage ones mind fully. He should refresh his membry by rembering that in a certain village Maharaj was seated on the assembly of the Paramhamsas and he had delivered such a spiritual talk. Likewise he should by such reminiscences of the past incidents engage his mind in such divine episodes. One who is deficient in subtle understanding should adopt this method to engage his mind. I do not advise you to take very little food or to observe fast for this. One should hold fast to the rules prescribed for him and at the same time should adopt this method to transform his mind into a state of no-mind. If the state of no-mind is attained, involvement in worldly activities would not hinder his spiritLial progress even though people with a worldly vision devalue him for such involvement of his in such activities.

Again a person who has renounced worldly activities but has his mind full of worldly desires, even though esteemed to be spiritually advance by worldly people, will spell his own spiritual regress in as much as the worldly desires will profusely surge out in his heart at the time of death and consign him to the vicious cycle of birth and deaths. Bharatji whose father was Bhagwan Rishabhdev, had abdicated his kingdom with a poignant desire for absolute detachment, but in spite of his greatness he was drawn towards the young one of a deer and got deeply attached to it. Ultimately this profound attachment to the baby deer transformed him into the shape of a deer in his next-birth. Therefore, I say that mind should be cleared of all worldly desires and attachment.

Fasting does not help to eradicate such desires since it reduces the vigour of the body and consequently that of the mind, but they are again replanished when fasting is given up. Therefore when the body has been denied its food, the mind should equally be denied of its food. One who has so conditioned his mind with devine thoughts and has no mundane urge is spiritually great. One who has not cultivated his mind is considered deficient in spiritual vigour. I hold that the householders should carry on their worldly duties without of desires but simultaneously in the manner of the renounced ones, should focus their mind an God. They should engage in worldly activities only to the extent of the divine mandate that they receive from God. The detached mind is the best and the hightest spiritual state. King Janak, even though he ruled the nation, was fully non-attached, and because of this detached state of-mind, was spoken of as a great - Yogeshwar. Therefore, renunciation of worldly desires confers a great spiritual status.

Again, a Sadhak should make a confession of the malicious thougts that have taken possession of his mind. However the confession should be made before a realized saint who can eradicate such malicious desires from the mind of the Sadhak. but not before a commoner who, himself, is ppssessed of such malicious desires. In short, should it not become like a dog licking the face of the another dog or a snake with the venom becoming a guest to another cobra and a married woman visiting a widow lady and getting the blessings in return of loosing husband and becoming like her. When such malicious desires are eradicated, he should confine his mind to divine thoughts of God.

We should confess before those who are strong enough to help us withstand our temptations of worldly thoughts. We should confers before those who have no worldly desires, who would listen to them and would talk to us about removing them at all times during sitting-getting up, eating, drinking - till such thoughts of worldly desires are removed. Our mentor's enthusiasm to remove our worldly desires would be the same as his own to remove his worldly desires. But if we confess before such a person who is an idler, what good would it do? So, all the thoughts of worldly affairs should be removed from the mind and one should go on thinking about God and should have no desire for worldly happiness.

Fasting on Ekadashi day carries significance. Ten Indriyas and mind should be withdrawn from their respective worldly foods, and should be focused on God only. The significance of the Ekadashi Vrata is in starving the Indriyas and mind of their food. Therefore this Vrata should be observed constantly by the devotee of God. If the mind is not fully detached from worldy desires then mere denying food to the body does not lead to spiritual development. Therefore, a devotee should strive to cultivate the condition of detachment in mind, should fully observe his Dharma and should possess the knowledge of the glory of God. Again Shriji Maharaj said, "Who can be said to have renounced the world? One who has renounced the world does not at entertain worldly thoughts. Just as one discharges excreta and has no second thought about it, similarly worldly objects once renounces should not create further obsession in ones mind. Narada has said to Shukadevji, <Sanskrit Sloka> - Which explains that one should discard everything except his Atma, and should with that Atmik Bhav worship God. This behaviour confirms the tenets of a true Yogi. As for the housefolders, who have been elevated to the status of a renounced one, they should like King Jamak remain completely non-attached. When Mithila, the capital city of King Janak was burning, Janak remained unperturbed and said, <Sanskrit Sloka> - The city of Mithihi burns but nothings which belongs to me burns. Such a state of non attachment, elevates the householders to the rank of Tyagi. even though he is in the robes of a householder. One who does not confirm to this state of non attachment and even if he is a Tyagi or a householder, he lacks the discipline of a true devotee and therefore can not be called an Ekantik Bhakta. Then senior Atmanand Swami asked, "Please explain to us the intrinsic form of Jiva who is said to be separate from the body, the Indriyas and Antahkaran. Shriji Maharaj said in explanation, "I shall explain to you in short. One who defines the body, the Indriyas etc. and explains their characteristics separately, is Jiva, since he defines body as separate from Jiva. And one who heats that body, Indriyas are separate from Jiva, is Jiva. Therefore, the Jiva should be so known as separate from the body, Indriyas etc." He explained it so.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Gadhada First - 38.

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