॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada I-43

The Four Types of Liberation

On the evening of Mahā sudi 7, Samvat 1876 [22 January 1820], Shriji Mahārāj was sitting on a large, decorated cot on the veranda outside the east-facing rooms of Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He had tied a white pāgh around His head. He had covered Himself with a white cotton cloth and was wearing a white khes as well. Tassels of yellow flowers were dangling from His pāgh, and garlands of yellow flowers adorned His neck. Also, bunches of yellow flowers had been placed upon both of His ears. At that time, an assembly of munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Looking at all of the devotees with a compassionate gaze, Shriji Mahārāj said, “I wish to ask a question, so please listen.” He then began, “The Shrimad Bhāgwat Purān states: ‘Those who are devotees of God do not desire any of the four types of liberation.’ Other great devotees of God also say, ‘Devotees of God do not wish for the four types of liberation.’ What are the four types of liberation? Well, the first is to reside in the realm of God; the second is to stay near God; the third is to assume a form similar to that of God; and the fourth is to attain divine powers similar to God’s powers. These are the four types of liberation. A devotee of God does not wish for any of these; he wishes only to serve God. Now, My question is, ‘Why does that devotee not wish for the four types of liberation?’ Please answer according to your ability.”

All of the paramhansas attempted to answer the question but were unable to do so satisfactorily.

Thereupon Shriji Mahārāj said, “Here, I shall answer the question. One who maintains a desire for those four types of liberation after becoming a devotee of God is known as a ‘sakām devotee’. In contrast, one who has no desires regarding the four types of liberation and who only desires to serve God is known as a ‘nishkām devotee’. In fact, the Shrimad Bhāgwat states:

Mat-sevayā prateetam cha sālokyādi-chatushtayam |
Nechchhanti sevayā poornāhā kuto’nyat-kālaviplutam ||
Sālokya-sārshti-sāmeepya-sārupyaikatvam-apyuta |
Deeyamānam na gruhnanti vinā mat-sevanam janāhā ||

“This means that a ‘nishkām devotee’ of God does not wish for the four types of liberation if service, i.e., attending to God, is not included therein; he wishes only to serve God. In turn, God keeps him in His own service. God also insistently grants such a devotee His divine powers and bliss, even though the devotee does not wish for them. Kapildev Bhagwān has also said:

Atho vibhootim mama māyā-vinas-tām-aishvaryam-ashtāngamanupravruttam |
Shriyam bhāgavateem vā’spruhayanti bhadrām parasya me te’shnuvate tu loke ||

“It is only such a ‘nishkām devotee’ who has been referred to as a devotee with gnān by Krishna Bhagwān in the Gitā. A ‘sakām devotee’, on the other hand, has been referred to as materialistic. Therefore, a devotee should not wish for anything except the service of God. After all, wishing for anything other than the service of God is considered to be a deficiency in that devotee. If one does have such a deficiency, it should be overcome by profound association with the desire-less Ekāntik Bhakta of God.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 43 ॥

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This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. मत्सेवया प्रतीतं च सालोक्यादी चतुष्टयं ।
नेच्छन्ति सेवया पूर्णाः कुतोऽन्यत्कालविप्लुतम् ॥

If those who are [only] fulfilled by serving me do not desire the four [types of liberation], such as a place in my abode, etc. - which are attained by serving me - then why would they desire anything that is ultimately perishable? - Shrimad Bhāgwat: 9.4.67

2. सालोक्य सार्ष्टिसामीप्य सारूप्यै कत्वमप्युत ।
दीयमानं न गृह्णन्ति विना मत्सेवनं जनाः ॥

Even if granted a place in my abode, powers similar to mine, my vicinity, a form similar to mine or oneness with me [i.e, qualities similar to me], ‘[nishkām] devotees’ would not accept them without my service. - Shrimad Bhāgwat: 3.29.13
Although the second verse mentions five types of liberation, this does not contradict the earlier verse – which does not mention ‘oneness with me’ – since there are considered to be two ‘sets’ of liberation; oneness with God, and a further four types of liberation. A person who attains oneness with God, i.e. qualities similar to those of God, will naturally attain the other four types of liberation. On the other hand, the other four types of liberation alone are for those who have not attained such oneness with God.

3. अथो विभूतिं मम मायाविनस्तामैश्वर्यमष्टांगमनुप्रवृत्तम् ।
श्रियं भागवतीं वाऽस्पृहयन्ति भद्रां परस्य मे तेऽश्नुवते तु लोके ॥

Even though my [‘nishkām devotees’] have no wish for the material opulence of the realms up to and including the realm of Brahmā, for the eight yogic powers [see Appendix A], or for the auspicious wealth of God, they still enjoy [i.e. attain] all these in my - the supreme being’s - abode.

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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