Vachanamrut GI 19 Ãtmã-Nishthã, Bhakti, Vairãgya, And Svadharma


19.1 In the Samvat year 1876, on the evening of Posh sud 1 [18th December, 1819], Shreeji Mahãrãj was sitting in Dãdã Khãchar’s darbãr in Gadhadã. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. A sabhã of paramhans, as well as and haribhaktas from various places, had gathered before Him.

19.2 Then, Shreeji Mahãrãj said, “In this satsang, those bhaktas who seek their own ãtyantik kalyãn cannot fulfil that aim by ãtmãnishthã alone; nor can they fulfil that aim by lovingly offering the nine types of bhakti alone; nor can they fulfil that aim by vairãgya alone; nor can they fulfil that aim by svadharma alone. Therefore, all four qualities – ãtmãnishthã, bhakti, vairãgya, and svadharma – should be perfected since all are dependent upon each other. Now, please listen as I describe how these four qualities are interdependent.

Atyantik Kalyan is also known as the ultimate redemption. Atma nishtha means a constant awareness of oneself as being a soul distinct from the body. Vairagya is detachment. Bhakti is love for God. Svadharma means the good conduct (Varna and Ashram dharmas-  four divisions of society and the four stages of life; social organization based on the four divisions of society and the four stages of life; social organization based on these)  Now, the ultimate redemption can only be achieved when one is completely expert in all the four aspects-Dharma,bhakti, Gnan(atma-nishtha) and Vairgya. One of these cannot give us the ultimate redemption.

Some people believe that realizing oneself as the soul is the ultimate redemption, but there is a further stage where there is dissolving of ourselves into God. That is the ultimate redemption. And the realisation of soul just makes it easier to love God.

19.3 “If a person has ãtmãnishthã, but does not have love towards Bhagvãn, then he does not attain the compassion of Bhagvãn, which can only be attained by love. Such compassion results in the achievement of the desirable and great divine power of not being overpowered by the gun of Mãyã. On the other hand, if a person does have love for Bhagvãn, but has not attained ãtmãnishthã, then due to the belief that he is the body, that love cannot be perfected. Also, a person may have both ãtmãnishthã and love for Bhagvãn, but if he lacks firm vairãgya, then the desires for worldly five vishays will prevent the perfection of ãtmãnishthã and love for Bhagvãn.

The ultimate goal is to develop love for God, just realising oneself as the soul does not reward us with the compassion of God, which is attained by love for God. ANd when we receive this grace of God, we are never overpowered by Maya.

Now, when one believes oneself as the body, then ups and downs associated with one’s body does not allow one to perfect Bhakti, as one will be constantly disturbed by bodily distractions.

If  one has both atma nishtha and Bhakti, but if he is not detached from the world, then the desires for taste, touch, smell, hearing and seeing worldly objects will waver one from the path of devotion, Hence bhakti and atma nishtha will not perfected. Hence detachment is necessary for perfecting atma nishtha and bhakti.

19.4 “Then again, a person may have vairãgya, but if he lacks ãtmãnishthã and love for Bhagvãn, he does not experience the profound bliss associated with the svarup of Bhagvãn. Also, a person may have svadharma, but if love for Bhagvãn, ãtmãnishthã and vairãgya are absent, then he will not be able to rise above Bhur-Lok, Bhuvar-Lok, and all the other loks up to Brahmã’s Svarg-Lok. That is to say, he will not be able to rise above the brahmãnds and attain Bhagvãn’s Akshardhãm, which is greater than the darkness of Mãyã. On the other hand, a person may have the three qualities of ãtmãnishthã, love for Bhagvãn, and vairãgya; but if svadharma is lacking, the three cannot be perfected.

Now if one is detached, but does not love God then what is the use of such detachment? Because that kind of detachment is dry and lacks the bliss that can be attained by love of God.

Let us talk about svadharma now, svadharma can be generalised as charitable and noble deeds (similar to humanitarian services/socially uplifting deeds), this may seem a little weird but, being nice and charitable is not enough for attaining God. Svadharma just gives us materialistic happiness. For example, we will have a nice life with less of ups and downs and people will respect us and think good of us, also our family etc will be happy. And after death, due to the punya of the good deeds one will get Svarga lok (heaven), which means he will stay in the same universe and not go beyond the darkness of Maya. Therefore, after the punya  is over, one will have to go back into the cycle of birth and death.

But that does not mean svadharma is completely useless, it is equally essential to have svadharma(sva= one’s own/oneself dharma= ethical conduct/responsible duty), as it is required for saving and perfecting the other three qualities, as without dharma, one will lose all the qualities, as it allows Maya and vices to creep in.  Dharma is like a fencing, which protect bhakti, vairãgya and gyan and atma nishtha.

19.5 “In this way, ãtmãnishthã and other three qualities are dependent upon each other. A bhakta, who has extremely firmly established these four qualities within himself through the profound association with Bhagvãn’s ekãntik bhaktas, has completed all spiritual activities.

Only he should be known as an ekãntik bhakta. Therefore, a bhakti having any deficiency in these four qualities should overcome that deficiency by serving and profoundly associating with the ekãntik bhakta of Bhagvãn.”

Now what is the method for perfecting all these qualities? It is association of someone who has already firmly established all these qualities. Such a bhakta is called ekantik bhakta.

It is popular that in satsang, one who fasts more, one who does not even drink water from outside, one who does more Mala is ekantik, but not according to Lord Swaminarayan. According to Lord Swaminaryan, only the one with Bhakti coupled with vairãgya, atma nishtha and svadharma is called an ekantik bhakta.

|| End of Vachanãmrut Gadhadã I || 19 || 19 ||

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