॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan


Regarding Geography and Astronomy

[From Kārtik sudi 1 to Kārtik sudi 11, Samvat 1863 [21 November 1806], under the harmo tree in Bhaktibāg, Gadhadā, Shriji Mahārāj dictated a letter to Shuk Muni addressed to His followers. The letter included a description of pruthvi, the dwips and the khands; the time span of the yugs; as well as a narration of the various types of dissolution in reference to the rarity of attaining a human birth in Bharat-khand. It incorporated the message of striving for liberation rather than engaging too deeply in worldly activities. A similar letter is also noted in the Harililāmrut [VI/11-12]. Regardless of whether the letter mentioned in the Harililāmrut is this same letter, it is just as significant, and so it is presented here separately.]

“The Shrimad Bhāgwat and other sacred scriptures state that it is extremely rare to receive a human birth in Bharat-khand, and that it can be equaled to receiving a chintāmani. In fact, even Indra and other deities long for a human birth. The vishays, the affluence and opulence, as well as the lifespan of the deities greatly exceed that of humans, yet they have no means of attaining liberation in their own realms. Only after receiving a human birth in Bharat-khand can one attain liberation. In no other place and with no other body is liberation possible. For this reason, attaining a human birth in Bharat-khand is better than being born in any of the other regions of Mrutyulok. Thus, there is no place in the 14 realms that can compare with Bharat-khand.

“Here are the names of those 14 realms, of which six are above Mrutyulok: (1) Firstly, there is Bhuvarlok - where impure deities reside. (2) Above that is Swarglok - where Indra and other deities reside. (3) Next is Maharlok - where Aryam and other ancestral deities reside. (4) Fourth is Janlok and (5) fifth is Taplok. Bhrugu and other rishis stay in these two realms. (6) Finally, the sixth and highest realm is Satyalok - where Brahmā resides. These are the seven realms inclusive of Mrutyulok.

“Below Mrutyulok there are a further seven realms. In (1) Atal, (2) Vital, and (3) Sutal, the demons reside. Below them are (4) Talātal, (5) Mahātal, and (6) Rasātal - in which nocturnal beings reside. (7) Finally, serpents stay in the seventh realm, Pātāl. These seven realms are below Mrutyulok. This makes 14 realms in total, of which Mrutyulok is the best.

“Mrutyulok comprises of seven concentric dwips: (1) In the center is Jambu-dwip, which is 100,000 yojans in size. It is surrounded by a salt-water ocean that is also 100,000 yojans in size. (2) Plaksh-dwip, the second dwip, is 200,000 yojans in size. It is surrounded by an ocean that is also 200,000 yojans in size. The water of this ocean is like that of ‘ikshu’, i.e., sugarcane juice. (3) The third surrounding dwip is called Shālmali-dwip. It is 400,000 yojans in size and a surrounding ocean that is also 400,000 yojans in size. Its water is like that of ‘surā’, i.e., alcohol. (4) The fourth dwip, Kush-dwip, is also circular. It is 800,000 yojans wide and has a similar-sized surrounding ocean whose water is like that of ‘ghrut’, i.e., ghee. (5) Next is the fifth dwip, Kraunch-dwip. It is 1,600,000 yojans in size and it also has an ocean of 1,600,000 yojans surrounding it. Its water is like that of ‘kshir’, i.e., milk. (6) The sixth dwip, called Shāk-dwip, is 3,200,000 yojans wide and has a surrounding ocean of the same size. The water of this ocean is like that of ‘dadhi-mandod’, i.e., yogurt. (7) Finally, the seventh dwip is called Pushkar-dwip. It is 6,400,000 yojans in size and has a surrounding ocean that is also 6,400,000 yojans in size. Its water is as sweet as ‘sudhā’, i.e., amrut. These are the seven dwips that make up Mrutyulok, of which Jambu-dwip is the best.

“Jambu-dwip itself comprises of nine khands. At the center is the golden Mount Meru. Surrounding its base on all four sides is the landmass called Ilāvart-khand where there is the worship of Sankarshan, and Shivji is the principal devotee. To the west of Meru is Ketumāl-khand, which is also called by the name of Subhag. There, Pradyumna is worshipped, and Lakshmiji is the principal devotee. To the north of Meru, there are three khands: Ramyak-khand - where there is the worship of Matsya Bhagwān, and Sāvarni Manu is the main devotee; north of that is Hiranyamay-khand - where there is the worship of Kurmaji, and Aryamā is the main devotee; and north of that still is Kuru-khand - where there is the worship of Varāh, and Pruthvi is the main devotee. This makes five khands. To the east of Meru there is the khand called Bhadrāshwa-khand - where Hayagriv is worshipped, and Bhadrashravā is the principal devotee. South of Meru, there are a further three khands: Harivarsh-khand - where there is the worship of Nrusinh, and Prahlād is the main devotee; south of that is Kimpurush-khand - where there is the worship of Rām-Lakshmanji, and Hanumān is the main devotee; and further south of that is Bharat-khand - where there is the worship of Narnārāyan, and Nāradji is the main devotee. These are the nine khands of Jambu-dwip. Of these, Bharat-khand is the best because although the other eight have a greater extent of worldly pleasures to indulge in, one cannot attain liberation there - endeavors for liberation are only possible in Bharat-khand. For this reason, there is no place in the 14 realms equal to Bharat-khand.

“Within Bharat-khand, there are 13 regions which are ‘anārya’, that is to say, ignoble. They are: (1) Bangāl, (2) Nepāl, (3) Bhut, (4) Kāmākshi, (5) Sindh, (6) Kābul, (7) Lāhor, (8) Multān, (9) Irān, (10) Astambol, (11) Arbastān, (12) Swāl, and (13) Pilpilām. These 13 regions are impure. It is very difficult for someone who has taken birth there to attain the association of a Sadguru - the granter of liberation - and to understand the nature of liberation.

“Twelve-and-a-half regions in Bharat-khand are said to be ‘ārya’, i.e., noble. These are: (1) Purva, (2) Vraj, (3) Mālav, (4) Māru, (5) Panjāb, (6) Gujarāt, (7) Dakshin, (8) Malbār, (9) Tilang, (10) Drāvid, (11) Bārmalār, (12) Sorath, and half of Kutch. These twelve-and-a-half regions are superior. There, the Sant - a Sadguru who is a knower of Brahma - is invariably present. Whosoever receives a human birth in these regions is able to understand dharma, gnān, vairāgya and bhakti and is able to realize the path to liberation. How does he come to realize this? Well, these regions are called the best because of the many avatārs of God that manifest there. Thus, all humans of Bharat-khand can attain liberation if they endeavor; if they do not endeavor, they will not attain it. Therefore, one who is wise should abandon violence and other such vices, renounce evil influences, and seek the refuge of the Sadguru Sant who is a knower of Brahma and serve him.

“The Sadguru Sant, whose characteristics are noted in the sacred scriptures, is one who is endowed with all of the noble virtues of dharma, gnān, vairāgya, bhakti, etc. After recognizing that Sant, one should seek his refuge, keep one’s body, indriyas and antahkaran in accordance with his commands, and engage in the worship of God. This is the only means for attaining liberation. Whoever has done this in the past, is presently doing so, or will do so in the future should be regarded as one who has best utilized his invaluable human body, as one who has true understanding, and as one who is eminent. Conversely, one who does not understand this wastes such an invaluable human birth by craving the insignificant pleasures of the world and by having faith in the words of a hypocritical, misleading guru - who himself is prey to death. Even though the latter person - who may be called understanding, eminent and wise among the devotees - may be highly esteemed and famed in the world, his esteem and fame are merely like a dream. Those who assume such fame and esteem to be true and are infatuated by them but do not understand the path to liberation are called fools and self-destroyers by the Sant who is a knower of Brahma and by the sacred scriptures. They would then have to wait a great deal of time before receiving another human birth in such a place where liberation can be attained.

“The duration of this wait is stated in the scriptures. One lav of Brahmā is equal to our 666 years and eight months. Sixty such lavs equal one nimish, which is the equivalent of our 40,000 years. Sixty such nimishes equal one pal, which is the equivalent of our 2,400,000 years. Sixty such pals equal one ghadi, which is 144,000,000 years of our years. Thirty such ghadis make a day of Brahmā, which is the equivalent of our 4,320,000,000 years.

“The passing of four yugs is called a ‘chokdi’. Satya-yug lasts for 1,728,000 years; Tretā-yug for 1,296,000 years; Dwāpar-yug for 864,000 years; and Kali-yug for 432,000 years. This means one ‘chokdi’ is completed in 4,320,000 years; and one thousand such ‘chokdis’ pass in one day of Brahmā. That is, in one day of Brahmā, 14 Manus and 14 Indras reign and ultimately die. Each Manu and each Indra reign for 308,571,428 years, six months, 25 days, 42 ghadis, 51 pals, 25 nimishes and 42 and 1214 lavs. Fourteen such Manus and Indras are created and destroyed during one day of Brahmā. Countless creatures die throughout that day of Brahmā. This is called nitya-pralay.

“When one night of Brahmā passes and Brahmā retires to sleep, the ten realms inclusive of swarg, Mrutyulok and pātāl are destroyed. Brahmā’s night is as long as his day. Thus, one of Brahmā’s night and day together lasts for our 8,640,000,000 years. The lower ten realms of the brahmānd are thus destroyed daily. At the end of each day, a new set of realms is created, which in turn will be destroyed as well. This is called nimitta-pralay, which is the duration of Brahmā’s day.

“Thirty days of Brahmā make one month, 12 such months make one year, and a hundred such years is the lifespan of Brahmā. When Brahmā dies, the brahmānd, consisting of the 14 realms, is destroyed. Then, all of the entities that have evolved out of Prakruti are assimilated back into Prakruti. This is called prākrut-pralay.

“The fourth type of dissolution is ātyantik-pralay. This is when countless millions of brahmānds are destroyed. At that time, even Prakruti-Purush - the cause of Pradhān-Purushes - draws countless brahmānds within itself and is then eclipsed by the light of Akshar-Purush.1 This, the fourth type of dissolution, is called ātyantik-pralay.

“At the time of creation, everything evolves from Prakruti-Purush in the exact reverse order from which it was assimilated during the time of dissolution. I have thus described the four types of dissolution.

“The third type of dissolution, prākrut-pralay, is the end of the lifespan of Brahmā. A jiva squanders its human body, which it receives after 350,000,000 such prākrut-pralays, for the sake of vain worldly pleasures and by the refuge of a false guru. Consequently, it has to suffer the torments of Yam and the agonies of the pits of narak. Moreover, it receives another human birth in a place where liberation is attainable only after passing through the sufferings of the cycle of 8.4 million life forms, i.e., after another three-and-a-half prākrut-pralays. This is the interval before one receives a human birth again.

“Therefore, O brother, having understood this today, and having sought the refuge of the Sadguru Sant - the granter of liberation - and having kept your body, indriyas and antahkaran in accordance with his wish, strive for the benefit of your ātmā and reach the abode of God. If you do not realise this fact today and waste this human body, which is instrumental in attaining liberation, you will have to wait for the aforementioned time before you receive another chance like this. Only after such suffering and only at the end of that interval will you receive another opportunity to attain liberation, and that too if you strive for it. If you do not, you will not attain liberation. This is a fundamental principle. The wise should ponder over this. Fools, on the other hand, will never understand this since they have no respect for the Shrutis or Smrutis.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 1 ॥ 263 ॥

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This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. ‘Akshar-Purush’ in this context refers to ‘Aksharbrahma’.

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