Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

What helps at the time of death


The Role of miracles.

Why God put us to tests ?

On the third day of the second fortnight of the month of Falgun of samvant 1876, Shriji Maharaj was seated under the margosa tree near the temple of Shri Vasudev Narayan in the Darbar of Shri Dada Khachar at Gadhada. A white cloth with rich fabric border was wrapped on his head like turban and had covered his body with a white cloth. White flower nosegays were suspended from his turban. He was profusely garlanded with white flower garlands. Saints and the devotees from the different places were assembled before him.

Then Muktanand swami asked, "How can we maintain patience when confronted by the vices like passion, anger, greed and fear?" Shriji Maharaj replied, "When one stongly feels and realizes that one is Atma and is quite separate from the body and is omniscient, one can acquire patience against the persistence of such vices. Cultivation of such awareness of one's own self as Atma is therefore the only remedy."

Then Brhmanand swami asked, "How far the Atmanishtha is helpful at the time ofdeath ? Shriji Maharaj said, "If one has to cross the river, by swimming through it, but one who does not know swimming would stay standing on the bank. but when one has to cross the ocean, both the one who knows swimming and the one who does not, require the help of a ship. Cold, heat, hunger, thirst, honour, insult, happiness, misery - these can be overcome by the force of Atmanistha, as those are like crossing a river. But when it is death, which is like an ocean, is to be over-come it requires the help of unflinching devotion and dedication to God even for a devotee who may have developed Atmanishtha. One therefore, should profoundly learn and tread the path of Upasana.

Then Muktanand swami asked, "It is said that a devotee is some times lured by the enticing objects of the higher Lokas. Do such objects lure a devotee who is firmly attached to God or do they lure only ordinary devotees?

Shriji Maharaj then said in reply, "The enchantments are offered only to the true devotees, Where as to others they are most rare. They are inspired by God as a feeler to test whether the devotee is attached to him or to mundane things. If however, the devotee is attached to God and has no other desire the intensity of his devotion binds God to him. So redeem the pledge given to the Devas, Bhagwan Vamanji approched king Bali as a mendicant and asked for land to step on. Bhagvan Vaman covered the whole universe consiting of fourteen lokas in two steps then for the third step Bali gave his own body. King Bali offered his all to him with the deepest devotion and ardour. However, Lord Vaman, still imposed upon him further regours and put him in bondage by putting his third step upon his body and pushing into deepest deep - Patal lokas. Bali still did not deviate from the path of devotion in full faith. Such unflinching devotion of king Bali enlivened by absolute surrender brought God into a graceful retreat to accept subservience to king Bali for ever, a magnanimous reward for an ungruding acceptance of a momentary bondage to God. So much so that God incessantly stands at the gate of Bali. Again God does not go far from the sight of Bali even for a moment.

If we, like king Bali, forsake all our wordly attachments and dedicate everything of ours at the lotus feet of God, and God if still inflicts greater tests and trial on us for testing our devotion and if we bear these willingly and patiently, God will compensate our singular devotion - and will held us for ever into his embrace with the great warmth. He has deepert love and benevotence for such devotees who offer singular devotion to him. The ties of such divine love bind him totally and for ever and he never seeks release from such willing bondage. The true devotee, should therefore, willingly accept the rigours that are imposed by God which are for testing his ardour. The greater the forebearance of the devotee, the easier his progress towards him. The miseries of the world should be willingly borne but in no way should a devotee retreat from the path of devotion in spite of such miseries or for the sake of material happiness.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Gadhada First - 61.

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