॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada II-4

Constant Contemplation Is Achieved through Realizing the Greatness of God and Shraddhā: A Torn Waistcloth and a Gourd

On Shrāvan sudi 5, Samvat 1878 [3 August 1821], Swāmi Shri Sahajānandji Mahārāj was sitting on the veranda outside the west-facing medi in Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. At that time, some paramhansas were singing devotional songs in the Malār raga to the accompaniment of a dukad, sarodā, and satār, while other paramhansas as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him in an assembly.

Then Shriji Mahārāj said, “Please stop the singing and let us now talk about God.”

The paramhansas responded, “Very well, Mahārāj.”

Thereupon Shriji Mahārāj asked, “Suppose a person who observes dharma as prescribed in the scriptures and also offers bhakti to God is faced with such adverse circumstances that if he tries to maintain bhakti, he is forced to lapse in his observance of dharma, and if he tries to maintain his observance of dharma, then he is forced to forsake bhakti. In such a case, which should he maintain, and which should he forsake?”

Brahmānand Swāmi replied, “If God is pleased by upholding bhakti, then bhakti should be upheld; and if He is pleased by upholding dharma, then dharma should be upheld.”

Hearing this, Shriji Mahārāj countered, “For those who have found the incarnate form of God, it is of course appropriate for them to do only that which pleases God. But what should one do when God is not incarnate?”

Muktānand Swāmi attempted to answer, but he was unable to do so satisfactorily.

Shriji Mahārāj then said, “If one faces adverse circumstances when God is not incarnate and there is no one else left to turn to, then if one constantly contemplates only upon God, one will not fall from the path of God.”

Thereafter, Shriji Mahārāj asked another question, “One who thoroughly realizes the greatness of God feels, ‘No matter how many sins one may have committed, if one merely utters the name of God even once, all of one’s sins will be burnt to ashes.’ However, what understanding should one who realizes God’s greatness in this manner cultivate so that he never falters from the observance of dharma?”

Again, Muktānand Swāmi attempted to answer but was unable to do so satisfactorily.

So, replying to His own question, Shriji Mahārāj said, “A person who thoroughly realizes God’s greatness can still observe dharma if he cultivates the following understanding: ‘I want to constantly contemplate upon God and become an ekāntik bhakta. But if my vrutti is drawn towards vicious natures such as lust, anger, avarice, etc., then that will be a hindrance in my contemplation of God.’ Realizing this, he remains extremely wary of treading the wrong path. As a result, he would never do anything related to adharma. If a person has such an understanding, then even though he thoroughly realizes the greatness of God, he would never falter in his observance of dharma.

“Indeed, it is not a small feat to be able to contemplate upon God constantly. Because if one were to leave this body while contemplating upon God, one would attain an extremely elevated state.”

Thereafter, Brahmānand Swāmi asked, “We do realize this, yet we still cannot constantly contemplate upon God. What is the reason for this?”

Shriji Mahārāj explained, “First of all, to be able to constantly contemplate upon God, one needs such shraddhā. If one does not have such shraddhā, it implies that there is a corresponding deficiency in realizing God’s greatness. When there is a deficiency in realizing God’s greatness, it suggests that there is also a corresponding deficiency in one’s conviction of God. So, if one realizes the greatness of God and has shraddhā as well, then one will be able to constantly contemplate upon God.

“Furthermore, God’s greatness should be realized as follows: God, who transcends Prakruti-Purush, is the very same when He enters them; that is to say, He still retains His divine powers. Even after He enters the entities evolved from Prakruti-Purush, i.e., the brahmānd, He retains the very same powers; but, in no way do traces of māyā affect God’s form. For example, consider the difference between gold and other metals. When they are buried together in the ground, after a long period of time, the metals other than the gold will decompose into the dirt surrounding them. In comparison, the longer the gold stays in the ground, the more valuable it becomes; i.e., it does not decompose in any way. Similarly, God, deities such as Brahmā and others, or other munis are not all the same. This is because when they come into the contact of dirt in the form of the vishays, then all except God become engrossed in those vishays, regardless of how great they may be. Moreover, although God seems to be like a human, there is no worldly object capable of affecting Him. Regardless of how alluring a vishay may be, He is never enticed by it. Such is the transcendental greatness of God. If one realizes such greatness, one would be able to constantly contemplate upon God.

“However, as long as a devotee is attracted to vishays, he has not realized God’s transcendental greatness at all. For example, Shri Krishna Bhagwān said to Uddhavji, ‘O Uddhav! You are not even slightly lesser than me.’ Why was this so? Because Uddhavji had realized God’s transcendental greatness and thus was not allured by the panchvishays.

“For one who realizes the greatness of God, to rule a kingdom or to have to beg for food are both equivalent. He also feels the same towards a young girl, a 16-year-old girl, and an 80-year-old woman. In fact, he views all of the attractive and repulsive objects in this world as being equal; he does not get enticed by an alluring object as a moth does by a lamp. In fact, he is not tempted by any object whatsoever except for God; he is only attracted to the form of God. A devotee who behaves in this manner never becomes bound by vishays, regardless of how enticing they may be.

“However, if a person has not understood this key principle, then it would be very difficult for him to detach his mind from even a torn waistcloth or a gourd. Thus, without realizing God’s greatness in this way, even if a person endeavors in a million other ways, he will still not be able to constantly contemplate upon the form of God. Conversely, only one who realizes the greatness of God is able to constantly contemplate upon Him.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 4 ॥ 137 ॥

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This Vachanamrut took place ago.

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

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