23.1 In the Samvat year 1876, on Posh sud 5 [21st December, 1819], Shreeji Mahãrãj was sitting on a decorated bedstead on the veranda outside the east-facing rooms of Dãdã Khãchar’s darbãr in Gadhadã. He had tied a white feto around His head and was wearing a white angarkhu and white survãl. He had also tied a deep orange shelu around His waist. A sabhã of paramhans, as well as satsangis from various places, had gathered before Him.
23.2 Out of compassion, Shreeji Mahãrãj then began to speak to the paramhans, “The Vãsudev Mahãtmya shãstra is extremely dear to me, as it describes all the methods of how bhaktas of Bhagvãn should worship Him.”
Vasudev Mahatmya is a part of Skand Purana. It is one of the eight Sat-Shastras sanctioned by Lord Swaminarayan. These eight Sat-Shastras are:
- The Vedas
- Vasudev Mahatmya
- Shree Vishnu Sahastranaam
- Bhagwata Puran
- Vyas Sutras
- Vidur Niti
- Bhagwad Gita
- Yagnavalkya Smriti
23.3 Shreeji Mahãrãj then continued, “There are two types of bhaktas of Bhagvãn: One bhakta has complete nishchay in Bhagvãn, yet worships Bhagvãn identifying himself with the body. The other, believes his own svarup to be chaitanya, and beyond the influence of the three mental states (jãgrat, svapna, sushupti) and the three bodies (sthul, sukshma, and kãran). This bhakta worships Bhagvãn while seeing Bhagvãn’s murti within his own svarup. As a result, he sees his own svarup, which is beyond the three mental states and the three bodies, as being extremely full of divine light. Within that light, he sees the murti of Bhagvãn, just as it is in its pratyaksha svarup, as being extremely luminous. Such is the sthiti of this bhakta.
Stithi means spiritual state of a person. One person does not identify oneself with the body, and one does identify oneself as the body. Hence, one person may still want bodily pleasures as he is associated with bodily consciousness, while the other does not want bodily pleasures and is not disturbed by bodily pains and pleasures.
Such a person who experiences soul consciousness, sees God’s murti full of luminescence(divine light).
23.4 “As long as a person has not attained this sthiti, he is subject to obstacles, even if he is a bhakta of Bhagvãn. For example, Shivji did not have this sthiti and was therefore enticed by the beauty of Mohini. Brahmã also did not have this sthiti, and therefore became attracted to the svarup of Sarasvati. Nãradji also did not have such sthiti, and consequently had a desire to marry. Others like Indra and Chandra, who were not behaving with this sthiti, also had their reputations blemished due to their mistakes.
Unless one realizes oneself as the soul, there will be obstacles in devotion. Shivji was enticed by the beauty of Mohini Swarup. The story goes like this, Shivji is a yogi, and therefore he kept his semen upwards with the help of his yogic powers. But even after Lord Vishnu refusing him, not see the Mohini Avatar, He insisted and after witnessing the Mohini avatar, he fell from his yogic status, and he lost control over his lust and therefore some secretion tool place from his private organ.
Brahma, the devta of intelligence, was attracted to his daughter, Naradji; being a tyagi(saint) developed a desire to get married. All these stories are written in Purans, one can refer to it later. Other devtas like Indra and Chandra(moon) also lost their control over their desires. And therefore are blemished in the Purans for their acts.
The reason for such befalling from an elevated spiritual state was because they all associated with the bodily consciousness, at least for that brief moment when they lost control.
23.5 “Furthermore, if a person has not developed this sthiti, he will identify worldly characteristics even in Bhagvãn, even if he himself is a bhakta of Bhagvãn. Parikshit Rãjã was not such a bhakta who had this sthiti, and so he raised doubts about the divinity of Shree Krishna Bhagvãn after hearing of the rãs–leelã. On the other hand, because Shukji was such an elevated bhakta, he had no doubts whatsoever. Such a bhakta firmly realises ‘If no flaws can affect me or bind me in any way, how can there possibly be any mãyik flaws in Bhagvãn, by whose worship I have become like this?’ A bhakta with this sthiti firmly realises this.
Another problem of not having such a spiritual state is that, one sees fault in whatever God does, which that devotee cannot contemplate. Such a devotee will think of God as normal person. For example, King Parikshit doubted Lord Krishna when he heard the Ras leela, but Shukdevji, who was at an elevated state of spirituality, did not have slightest of doubt when he was describing the Ras leela.
The reason why a devotee with an elevated spiritual status has no doubts in God is because, he realizes that, if I have become liberated just by worshipping God, then how can that God have flaws, by whose worship I have become liberated?
23.6 “When such a bhakta of Bhagvãn focuses his vrutti on the svarup of Bhagvãn, that vrutti is divided into two. Of these, one vrutti focuses on the svarup of Bhagvãn, while the other focuses within the worshipper himself. The vrutti that is fixed on Bhagvãn’s svarup is applied lovingly, whereas the vrutti that is fixed on the worshipper himself is full of thoughts. This vrutti that is full of thoughts neutralises all other thoughts and desires – except those of worshipping Bhagvãn – that may arise in the worshipper himself. In this way, the vrutti of such a bhakta constantly remains on Bhagvãn.
When a person is at an elevated spiritual state, one’s focus is divided into two, one focuses on God and one focuses on neutralising all the other thoughts, which are not of worshipping God. This focus is full of thoughts; these thoughts are full of knowledge. Knowledge of the soul and knowledge of the greatness of God.
23.7 “A person who at times worships Bhagvãn with a concentrated mind, and at other times indulges in worldly thoughts, does not develop this sthiti. For example, consider a pot that is filled with water and emptied somewhere. If another pot of water is subsequently emptied at the same place on the following day or the day after that, a pool of water will not collect there. This is because the water poured on the first day dried up on that very day, and water poured after also dries up on that same day. On the other hand, if a trickle of water were to flow continuously, a large pool of water will soon be formed. Therefore, while eating, drinking, walking, and engaging in any activity whatsoever – whether it is pure or impure – in fact, at all times, a person should constantly keep his vrutti of Bhagvãn. While maintaining his vrutti constantly on Bhagvãn in this way, he attains strong sthiti.”
How to know whether we have such an elevated spiritual status or not? We can know this by introspecting and analysing ourselves. Do we always have our mind concentrated on God while we are worshipping God? Do we have a constant connection with God?
If we do not have such a spiritual state, God gives us a simple method to develop such a spiritual status. We should constantly keep our mind concentrated on God while doing all kinds of activities. I sometimes wonder, instead of playing mobile games and reading newspapers on the toilet seat, one can easily contemplate the spiritual truths, sounds disgusting, but it is better than using the toilet seat as a platform to make high scores. The easiest way to remember God in all activities is to chant “Swaminarayan Swaminarayan ” while walking, just before sleeping, while doing some monotonous work like cleaning dishes.
Now it is easier to remember God, one can put on earphones and listen to lectures and Kirtans while doing their work.
But to be honest, the most important part is to attain knowledge of God’s greatness and at the same time knowing in how bad shape we are, so that we are constantly aware that we need God. And that is how we will remember God always.
|| End of Vachanãmrut Gadhadã I || 23 || 23 ||