॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada II-42

Akshar Has Both Sagun and Nirgun Aspects; The Key1

On Māgshar vadi 12, Samvat 1880 [29 December 1823], Swāmi Shri Sahajānandji Mahārāj was sitting on the veranda outside the east-facing rooms of Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. At that time, an assembly of munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Thereupon Bhagwadānand Swāmi asked Shriji Mahārāj, “Mahārāj, in what way do countless millions of brahmānds dwell within each and every pore of God? Also, where in the brahmānds do the avatārs of God manifest?”

Shriji Mahārāj replied, “There are two aspects of Purushottam Bhagwān’s Akshardhām. The first is the sagun aspect, and the other is the nirgun aspect. Purushottam Nārāyan, on the other hand, cannot be described as sagun, nor can He be described as nirgun.2 The distinction of sagun and nirgun applies only to Akshar.

“The nirgun aspect of Akshar has an extremely subtle form, smaller than even an anu, while the sagun form is much larger than even the largest of objects. Countless millions of brahmānds dwell like mere atoms in each and every hair of that Akshar. It is not that those brahmānds become small compared to Akshar; they still remain encircled by the eight barriers. Rather, it is because of the extreme vastness of Akshar that those brahmānds appear so small. Take Mount Girnār as an example. Compared to Mount Meru, it appears to be extremely small. However, compared to Mount Lokālok, Mount Meru itself appears to be extremely small. In the same way, the brahmānds remain exactly as they are, but in comparison to the extreme vastness of Akshar, they appear to be extremely small. This is why they are described as being like atoms.

“Aksharbrahma itself is like the sun in the sense that when the sun rises, all ten directions3 can be determined in relation to it. Akshardhām is like that; i.e., above, below, on all four sides of that Akshar - in fact, in all directions - are millions of brahmānds.

“Moreover, God - Purushottam - forever remains present in that Akshardhām. His will always prevails. While remaining in Akshardhām itself, He manifests in whatever form is required in whichever brahmānd. For example, Shri Krishna Bhagwān had only one form, yet during the rās episode he assumed as many forms as there were gopis. In the same way, Purushottam Bhagwān manifests in whatever form is required in whichever brahmānd - while simultaneously dwelling in Akshardhām. Actually, He Himself forever dwells in Akshardhām. In fact, wherever that form of Purushottam resides, that is the very center of Akshardhām.4

Vachanamrut ॥ 42 ॥ 175 ॥

* * *

This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. In the title, ‘The Key’ refers to the fact that Aksharbrahma is the ‘key’ to unlocking the greatness of Purushottam.

2. Purushottam Narayan does, in fact, possess the sagun and nirgun aspects; however, these aspects cannot be described with words. Yet, Maharaj says the distinction of sagun and nirgun applies only to Akshar. These wods can be understood as follows:

In Vachanamrut Kariyani 8, Shriji Maharaj has described the sagun and nirgun aspects of Purushottam Narayan. Parabrahman Purushottam Narayan is the ātmā of Aksharbrahman; therefore, in his anvay form, he pervades the nirgun form of Aksharbrahman, who himself pervades everything. (Vachanamrut Gadhada I-64). Therefore, the nirgun form of Parabrahman is even subtler than the nirgun form of Aksharbrahman.

Moreover, Purushottam Narayan can eclipse the sagun form of Aksharbrahman - Akshardham, the support of the infinite aksharmuktas - and preside as the sole supporter of the infinite aksharmuktas instead. (Vachanamrut Loya 13) Therefore, the vastness of Purushottam Narayan’s sagun form is greater than the vastness of Aksharbrahman’s sagun form.

Therefore, Parabrahman does in fact possess both sagun and nirgun forms; but one cannot perfectly describe the forms with words, because when one attempts to do so, they effectively only describe the sagun and nirgun forms of Aksharbrahman and cannot reach the description of Purushottam Nayaran’s forms. Purushottam Narayan remains limitless and fathomless, beyond any description.

Yogiji Maharaj explains, “One cannot describe the sagun-nirgun forms of Purushottam Narayan. However, in explaining the sagun-nirgun aspects of Aksharbrahman, one understands the glory of Purushottam. Why? Because, if the greatness of Aksharbrahman is understood, then one wonders how much greater the master of Aksharbrahman - Purushottam - must be.”

[Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj: 1/559]

3. The ten directions are: (1) Uttar - North, (2) Ishān - Northeast, (3) Purva - East, (4) Agni - Southeast, (5) Dakshin - South, (6) Nairutya - Southwest, (7) Pashchim - West, (8) Vāyavya - Northwest, (9) Urdhva - up, (10) Adhah - down.

4. These words by Shriji Maharaj can be understood in 3 ways:

  1. In Loya 14, Maharaj says that: “Amidst this mass of light (i.e. in the center of the mass of light) lies a large, ornate throne upon which presides the divine form of Shri Nārāyan Purushottam Bhagwān.” What is the center of Akshardham? For Akshardham is infinite, boundless, and immeasurable. To imagine the center is impossible. Therefore, where the vyatirek form of Purushottam Narayan resides in Akshardham is the center of Akshardham.
  2. Wherever God resides on the earth in human form is the center of Akshardham. (Vachanamruts Gadhada I-63, GadhadaI-78, and Loya 11)
  3. After Purushottam Narayan leaves the earth, he remains present in the Sant who is Akshardham or Aksharbrahman, in whom the murti of Purushottam Narayan resides.
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