॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada I-12

The Attributes of the Elements; Creation

On Māgshar sudi Punam, Samvat 1876 [1 December 1819], Shriji Mahārāj was sitting in Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. At that time, an assembly of sādhus as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Shriji Mahārāj then said, “When one understands the nature of the causes of the entire creation, specifically Purush,1 Prakruti, kāl, the 24 elements including mahattattva, etc., then one is released from the bondage of one’s inherent avidyā and the entities evolved from it, the 24 elements.”

Thereupon Muktānand Swāmi asked, “Mahārāj, how can their nature be known?”

Shriji Mahārāj replied, “Their nature can be realized by knowing their attributes. I shall now describe those attributes.

Purush1 is the controller of Prakruti and is also distinct from her. He is indivisible, without a beginning, without an end, self-luminous, omniscient, satya, kshetragna and the cause of the activities of all objects that possess a form. He also has a divine body.

“Prakruti is composed of the three gunas. She is both jad and chaitanya, eternal, nirvishesh, the kshetra of all jivas and all elements including mahattattva, and also the divine power of God.

“That which disturbs māyā - which is nirvishesh and whose gunas are normally in a state of equilibrium - is known as kāl.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of mahattattva and the other elements, so please listen.

Chitt and mahattattva should not be regarded as being different. The entire world inherently resides in a subtle form within mahattattva, which itself is unchanging, luminous, pure, passive and full of pure sattvagun.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of ahamkār. Ahamkār is composed of the three gunas and is the cause of the evolution of all of the bhuts, indriyas, antahkarans, their presiding deities, and the prāns. It is passive, dense, and totally ignorant.

“I shall now describe the attributes of the man. The man is the site where all desires for women and other objects are generated. It is subject to fluctuating thoughts and is the governor of all of the indriyas.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of buddhi. It possesses the knowledge of all objects. The specific knowledge which all of the indriyas possess is also due to the buddhi. Its inherent features are doubts, conviction, sleep and memory.

“The attribute of the ten indriyas - the ears, the skin, the eyes, the tongue, the nose, the voice, the hands, the feet, the anus, and the genitals - is to engage themselves in their respective vishays.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of the five tanmātrās. The attributes of sound are that it is the indicator of all objects and the cause of all social interactions. Sound also reveals the nature and class of the speaker. It dwells within ākāsh and is also the tanmātrā of ākāsh. It is perceived by the ears. These are the attributes of sound.

“I shall now describe the attributes of touch. It is the tanmātrā of vāyu. Softness, hardness, coldness, hotness and perception by the skin are the attributes of touch.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of sight. It reveals the forms of all objects. It resides subordinately in all objects and changes as objects change. It is the tanmātrā of tej and is perceived by the eyes.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of taste. Sweetness, pungency, distastefulness, bitterness, sourness and saltiness are its attributes. It is the tanmātrā of jal and is perceived by the tongue.

“I shall now describe the attributes of smell. Fragrance and stench are its attributes. It is the tanmātrā of pruthvi and is perceived by the nose.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of pruthvi. It supports all jivas and, in the form of a celestial body, is their place of residence. It separates the other four bhuts, i.e. ākāsh, etc., and it gives a physical form to all life forms. These are the attributes of pruthvi.

“I shall now describe the attributes of jal. It binds pruthvi and other substances, and it also softens and moistens all objects. It satisfies and sustains all life forms. Quenching thirst, subduing heat and abundance are also the attributes of jal.

“Now I shall describe the attributes of tej. Luminance, causing the digestion of food, absorbing liquids, eliminating cold, drying, creating hunger and thirst, as well as burning wood, ghee and other sacrificial offerings are the attributes of tej.

“I shall now describe the attributes of vāyu. Vāyu causes trees to shake, and it gathers leaves and other objects. It also carries the panchvishays, i.e., sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch, to their respective indriyas, i.e. eyes, ears, etc. It is the vital force of all of the indriyas.

“Finally, I shall describe the attributes of ākāsh. It provides space for all jivas and is the cause of the internal and external activities of their bodies. It is also where the prāns, indriyas and antahkarans reside. These are the attributes of ākāsh.

“In this manner, by knowing the attributes of the 24 elements, Prakruti, Purush1 and kāl, one is freed from ignorance.

“Moreover, one should know the process of creation of all of these, which I shall now describe.

“While residing in His abode, Shri Krishna Bhagwān impregnates the womb of māyā through Akshar-Purush, through whom countless millions of Pradhāns and Purushes are produced. What are those Pradhān-Purush pairs like? Well, they are the cause of the creation of countless millions of brahmānds. Of these, I shall now tell you about one Pradhān-Purush pair - the cause of the creation of one brahmānd.

“Firstly, Purushottam Shri Krishna Bhagwān, in the form of Purush,2 impregnated the womb of Pradhan. From that Pradhān, mahattattva evolved. From mahattattva, the three types of ahamkār evolved. Of these, from sāttvik-ahamkār, the man and the presiding deities of the indriyas evolved; from rājas-ahamkār, the ten indriyas, the buddhi and the prāns evolved; and from tāmas-ahamkār, the five bhuts and the five tanmātrās evolved. In this way, all of those elements were produced.

“Then, inspired by God’s will, each element, with its own constituents, helped create the bodies of the ishwars and the jivas. A particular ishwar’s bodies are known as virāt, sutrātmā and avyākrut; and a particular jiva’s bodies are known as sthul, sukshma and kāran.

“The body of the ishwar called Virāt has a lifespan of two parārdhs. Fourteen manvantars elapse during one of Virāt-Purush’s days. His night is of the same duration as the day. During his day, the lower ten realms of the brahmānd remain in existence, and after his night falls, they are destroyed. This is called nimitta-pralay. When the two parārdhs of Virāt-Purush have elapsed, the body of Virāt is destroyed along with Satyalok and the other realms. At that time, Pradhān-Prakruti, Purush,2 and the 24 elements including mahattattva are absorbed back into mahāmāyā. This is called prākrut-pralay. When that mahāmāyā is absorbed by the divine light of Aksharbrahma - like the night merges into the day - it is called ātyantik-pralay. Also, the day-to-day death of the bodies of individual deities, demons, humans and others is called nitya-pralay.

“In this manner, by knowing the process of the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the various realms, one develops vairāgya towards the world and bhakti towards God. In addition, when all of those brahmānds are destroyed, all other jivas lie dormant within māyā, whereas the devotees of God attain the abode of God.”

Again, Muktānand Swāmi inquired, “What is the abode of God like?”

Shriji Mahārāj replied, “The abode of God is without a beginning and without an end; it is divine, infinite and indivisible; and it is characterized by eternal existence, consciousness and bliss. I shall describe it using an analogy. Imagine that this whole world, with all of its mountains, trees, humans, animals and all other forms, is made of glass. Also imagine that all of the stars in the sky are as bright as the sun. Then, just as this glass world would glow with extreme beauty amidst this radiance, the abode of God is similarly beautiful. Devotees of God see this in samādhi and attain that luminous abode after death.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 12 ॥

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This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. In these cases, Purush refers to Akshar-Purush, or Maha-Purush, who is an aksharmukta that creates the countless pairs of Pradhan-Purushes via Prakruti.

1. In these cases, Purush refers to Akshar-Purush, or Maha-Purush, who is an aksharmukta that creates the countless pairs of Pradhan-Purushes via Prakruti.

2. In this case, Purush refers to the Purush in the Pradhan-Purush pair. He is responsible for the creation of countless Virat-Purushes via Pradhan. Pradhan-Purush is of the ishwar entity.

Prakaran Gadhada I (78) Sarangpur (18) Kariyani (12) Loya (18) Panchala (7) Gadhada II (67) Vartal (20) Amdavad (3) Gadhada III (39) Bhugol-Khagol Additional (11) Additional Info Vachanamrut Study People in the Vachanamrut Vachanamrut Introduction Vachanamrut Principles Vachanamrut Preface Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Blessings Vachanamrut Calendar Paratharo 4: Auspicious Marks Paratharo 5: Daily Routine Appendices

Type: Keywords Exact phrase