53.1 In the Samvat year 1876, on Mahã vad 9 [8th February 1820], Shreeji Mahãrãj was sitting facing west on a decorated bedstead on the veranda outside the west-facing rooms in front of the mandir of Shree Vãsudev-Nãrãyan in Dãdã Khãchar’s darbãr in Gadhadã. He was wearing a white survãl and a white angarkhu. He had tied a rich, orange shelu with a silken border around His waist. He had also tied a rich, orange reto with a silken border around His head, with tassels of flowers hanging from it. He was also wearing garlands of flower around His neck. A sabhã of munis, as well as haribhaktas from various places, had gathered before Him.
53.2 Shreeji Mahãrãj then requested, “Someone please ask a question.”
53.3 Muktãnand Swãmi then asked, “There are those in Satsang who progress day by day. There are also those who seem to fall back day by day, despite being in Satsang. What is the reason for this?”
In Satsang, there are two types of people, one who gradually progress in Satsang, and the ones who gradually fall back. Muktanand Swami being an elder saint in the Satsang, observed this and asked Shriji Maharaj, what could be the reason for this. Muktanand Swami has asked this question on behalf of all the devotees because we all want to make progress in Satsang, and if we learn the method to gradually progress in Satsang, it will help us in our spiritual journey.
53.4 Shreeji Mahãrãj explained, “A person who perceives avgun in a great sãdhu, gradually falls back in Satsang. Conversely, a person who perceives gun in that sãdhu progresses, and his bhakti towards Bhagvãn flourishes. Therefore, a person should not perceive avgun in a sãdhu. Instead, should only perceive his gun.
The way to progress in Satsang is very simple, to perceive and to gain only the guns(ie the good qualities) in a saint. It is important to note, that Lor Swaminaryan refers to a Sadhu ie a saint, and not someone who is falling back in Satsang. If one only perceives good qualities and learns from a saint, he will gradually become saintly. That is why one should always associate with a saint, and learn by observing his qualities. When we develop such an attitude, we will see only well in others and therefore our vision will be pure.
Conversely, if we perceive faults in others, especially a saint, then it will give rise to fault-finding attitude. Therefore we will contemplate only faults of others, and that is why those faults will become our thoughts and therefore our character. Perceiving faults in innocent saints causes us to be at faults, therefore that perceived fault enters us.
Therefore one should always look at the qualities of a saint and not his faults.
53.5 A person should perceive an avgun in that sãdhu only if he breaks any of the vartmãns prescribed by Bhagvãn. However, even if the sãdhu has no flaws in following his vartmãns, on seeing some small irregularity in the sãdhu’s nature, a person may feel that is improper. Therefore, they focus only on the sãdhu’s avgun and ignore his many gun. This causes the person’s own glorious gun, like of gnãn and vairãgya, to diminish.
Now Lord Swaminarayan draws a line and says, that we should not become blind, we should at least make sure that the person who we consider to be a saint, should at least follow the five basic rules of the saint properly. And for that, we must at least know the five basic vows of the saints.
One should not focus on the small irregularities in a saint. That exists because He has taken a human form, and bodily irregularities o does not make him a demon. He still is a saint, and potent enough to grant us liberation.
Here saint should be taken as any devotee of God with saintly qualities, whether a saint, a householder or a woman devotee.
53.6 “Therefore, only if there is a flaw in the following of the vartmãns, should a person find avgun; he should not find avgun in a bhakta of Bhagvãn for any other reason.
53.7 “Moreover, if a person does not find flaws, his glorious gun will begin to flourish day by day.”
Hence the only way to flourish in Satsang is to find good qualities in someone and inculcate them in ourselves.
Just like Dattatreya, one should be able to gain inspiration from everywhere.
One Nirmalanand Swami came late to have lunch. Lord Swaminarayan had served food and washed his hands, so He said, why don’t you take a morsel from each and every saint and then sit.
Nirmalanand Swami did the same and his bowl was full.
Then Lord Swaminarayan said, Did you see saints? When he came for the meal, his bowl was empty, but since he took one morsel from each of you, his bowl is now brimming. Similarly, when we come in Satsang, we are empty, that is our spiritual bowl is empty, but if we take and inculcate good qualities from each saint, we will become complete and ideal saints!”
This is how Lord Swaminarayan taught his saint to be complementary to each other.
|| End of Vachanãmrut Gadhadã I || 53 || 53 ||
- Vachanamrut (Download English)