॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada III-36

The Most Extraordinary Spiritual Endeavor for Liberation

On Vaishākh sudi 1, Samvat 1885 [4 May 1829], Swāmi Shri Sahajānandji Mahārāj rode on horseback from Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā and arrived at Lakshmivādi. There, He sat on a platform within the grounds. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. At that time, an assembly of paramhansas as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Then Shriji Mahārāj asked all of the paramhansas and devotees, “What is the most extraordinary spiritual endeavor for the liberation of the jiva, which, if practiced, will surely guarantee liberation and prevent all other obstacles from hindering that liberation? Also, what is the greatest obstacle in that endeavor for liberation, on account of which one would certainly fall from the path of liberation? Please answer both of these questions.”

Everyone answered according to their understanding, but the question was not answered satisfactorily.

So then Shriji Mahārāj said in reply, “The most extraordinary spiritual endeavor for liberation is to understand Purushottam Bhagwān, who is seated amidst the mass of light of Brahma, as eternally having a form. Furthermore, understanding that all avatārs emanate from Him, one should accept the refuge of the manifest form of God by any means possible. One should also offer bhakti to that God while observing dharma, as well as associate with a Sant possessing such bhakti. That is the most extraordinary spiritual endeavor for liberation. One encounters no hindrances along that path.

“A major obstacle in practicing that spiritual endeavor is keeping the company of shushka-Vedāntis. Which obstacles arise when a person keeps their company? Well, initially, he develops affection for them. That affection develops due to the Vedāntis’ goodwill. For example, if a person has saved someone’s life by giving him some food during a famine, then that person would naturally develop affection for him. In this way, one develops affection for a person who has helped one. Similarly, those shushka-Vedāntis would point out advantages, such as, ‘The ātmā does not undergo births and deaths, and it is formless. In fact, regardless of the number of sins one may commit, the ātmā remains immune to those flaws.’ Pointing out such advantages, they denounce the form of God. That is a major obstacle since it leads to the rejection of God’s form. Therefore, one should never keep the company of shushka-Vedāntis - they are absolutely ignorant. In fact, there is no greater obstacle on the path of bhakti than this.”

Thereafter, Shriji Mahārāj returned to Dādā Khāchar’s darbār. There, He sat on a large, decorated cot on the veranda outside the east-facing rooms and said, “I have heard all of the scriptures and have formed a principle. I have also travelled throughout this land and seen many realized yogis.” So saying, He narrated the stories of Gopāldāsji and other sādhus. He then continued by saying, “I believe that it is impossible to see the ātmā and Brahma without the upāsanā and meditation of God’s form. Only through upāsanā can the ātmā and Brahma be seen; without it, they cannot be seen. In fact, wishing to see the ātmā and Brahma without upāsanā is like attempting to lick the sky with one’s tongue; even if one tries for a hundred years, one will never be able to taste it as sour or salty. Similarly, the ātmā and Brahma simply cannot be seen without the upāsanā of the form of God - regardless of the efforts one may resort to. Furthermore, the scriptures’ mentioning of the possibility of ātmā-realization through nirbij1 Sānkhya and Yoga is irrelevant - I have not seen anyone do so, nor is the claim in accordance with My experience. Therefore, the claim is false.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 36 ॥ 259 ॥

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This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. Literally, ‘nirbij’ means ‘seedless’, but here it should be understood to mean ‘without the association of God’.

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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