॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada III-1

The Inclinations of Gnān and Affection

On Vaishākh vadi 11, Samvat 1882 [1 June 1826], Swāmi Shri Sahajānandji Mahārāj was sitting on a cushion with a cylindrical pillow that had been placed upon a beautifully colored, decorated cot. The cot rested on the high veranda outside the west-facing rooms in the courtyard of the mandir of Shri Vāsudevnārāyan in Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. Beautiful tassels of mogrā flowers decorated the large, white pāgh that was tied around His head. Also, a garland of mogrā flowers hung around His neck, and a string of flowers decorated His wrists. At that time, an assembly of munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Then Shriji Mahārāj asked the paramhansas, “What is the understanding of a devotee who, despite facing adverse circumstances, experiences no setbacks in his bhakti towards God?”

The paramhansas replied according to their understanding, but they were unable to provide a satisfactory reply.

Thereupon Shriji Mahārāj said, “One who worships God needs, firstly, firm vairāgya; and secondly, the virtue of ātmā-realization. If vairāgya is lacking, then when one obtains desired objects, one will also develop love for those objects in the same way that one has love for God. If the virtue of ātmā-realization is lacking, then when the body experiences pain or pleasure, that devotee’s vruttis become disturbed. Then, he develops love for anything one considers pleasurable and an aversion for anything he considers to be full of misery. In this way, his mind becomes polluted. Therefore, a devotee of God needs extremely firm realization of the ātmā as well as extremely firm vairāgya.

“Why? Because, by vairāgya, all worldly forms except for God’s form are negated; and through ātmā-realization, worldly pleasures and miseries are negated. A person who does not have the virtues of ātmā-realization and vairāgya, even though he has attained nirvikalp samādhi, experiences happiness and peace only while he remains in samādhi. But when he comes out of samādhi, then, like Nārāyandās, on seeing pleasurable objects, he becomes attracted to them.”1

Thereafter Shriji Mahārāj said, “A devotee of God either has an inclination of gnān or an inclination of affection towards God. Of these, one who has the inclination of gnān understands the profound greatness of God, and one with an inclination of affection for God cannot stay without God even for a moment. Jhinābhāi, Devrām and Prabhāshankar, for example, have an inclination of gnān. Such devotees who understand the greatness of God should be known as having an inclination of gnān. A devotee who has affection for God like the gopis of Vraj should be known as having an inclination of affection.

“Of these, one who has the inclination of gnān realizes God as being antaryāmi and believes, ‘God does not make judgements based on what He hears from others. Instead, God recognizes a devotee’s inclination and speaks to him accordingly, but He does not act based on others’ advice.’ Conversely, one who believes, ‘God rebukes me based on someone else’s words even though I am not at fault,’ has no gnān of God.

“Even in worldly life, we notice that a person who has selfish motives of gaining something from another will never see the other person’s faults. Why? Because his affection is based on self-interest. Similarly, if a person has self-interest in mind that God will free him from the fear of births and deaths, then he will never perceive faults in God. But one who attributes faults in God by thinking, ‘God changes His stand based on the prompting of others,’ has neither the inclination of gnān nor the inclination of affection.”

Having said this, Shriji Mahārāj said to the senior paramhansas, “Please reveal which of these two is your inclination.”

All of the paramhansas replied, “We have the inclination of gnān.”

Then Shriji Mahārāj continued, “A person who has an inclination of affection will do for his loved one even that which is not fit to be done. For example, in the world, thieves have affection for their wives and children. Yet, when they go to steal, they kill other people and pass on the money to their own family. In reality that thief is quite merciless, but since he has affection for his own family, he is not merciless towards them. Similarly, one who has affection for God and His devotees can never become angry on or jealous of God or His devotees, and in no way does he attribute faults to them. One who has such affection can be said to have the inclination of affection. One with neither the inclination of gnān nor the inclination of affection is said to be confused.”

Having delivered this discourse, Shriji Mahārāj returned to His residence.

On the evening of that same day, Shriji Mahārāj was seated on a cushion with a cylindrical pillow placed on a decorated cot on the veranda outside the east-facing rooms of Dādā Khāchar’s darbār. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. He had also worn a garland of mogrā flowers around His neck. At that time, some sādhus were singing devotional songs to the accompaniment of a dukad and sarodā, while munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him in an assembly.

When the sādhus had finished singing, Shriji Mahārāj addressed the assembly, “The Shikshāpatri which I have written should be read daily by all of My followers - renunciant sādhus and brahmachāris, as well as all male and female householders. Those who do not know how to read should listen to it daily; and those who do not have the facility to listen to it should worship it daily. I have stated this in the Shikshāpatri itself. One should observe a fast on the day one fails to do any of the three. This is My command.”

Thereupon everyone resolved to observe this command of Shriji Mahārāj by saying, “O Mahārāj, we will do as You have said.”

Hearing this, Shriji Mahārāj became extremely pleased. He embraced all of the sādhus and brahmachāris and imprinted His holy footprints on the chests of all of the satsangis.

Vachanamrut ॥ 1 ॥ 224 ॥

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This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. Once, Shriji Maharaj was distributing new daglis to the sadhus whose old one had torn. Narayandas had a good dagli, but to get a new one, he hid his old one in the gutter. Maharaj gave him a new dagli. When cleaning out the gutter, they found his dagli with his name written on it. Maharaj scolded him. Despite being able to experience samādhi, one may try to cheat God to acquire the best of clothes.

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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