Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Vedanta Philosophy


Advaita Philosophy of Shankaracharya

Ceremonial Worship and Restrictions

On the sixth day of the first fortnight of the month of Magh in Samvat 1876, Shriji Maharaj was seated facing west on a cot under the Margosa tree near the temple of Shri Vasudev Narayan in the Durbar of Shri Dada Khacher at Gadhada. He had put on a white turban and had put on his shoulder a white side cloth. His body was wrapped by a white cotton shawl. Yellow flower srtrings were arranged about his ears. Saints and the followers from the different places were assembled before him in an assembly.

A Brahmins belonging to Advait-school was present in the assembly. Shriji Maharaj said to address him. "Those who follow Advait Vedant declare that the rules of Vidhi and Nishedh, heaven and hell, perceptor and the disciple, are all deceptive illusions, and therefore mythical. Only all prevailing Brahm is the eternal truth. With what understanding do they make such pronouncement?Shankaiacharya, the exponent of the Advait philosophy, has laid down that one who has renounced the world should put on the garments of an anchoret, should keep a staff and wooden bowl, should recite the Bhagwad Geeta, chant the Vishnusahasra Mantra and shoul offer worship to Shri Vishnu. Further he should respect the elders and should go for begging only to the houses of pious Brahmins. Shankaracharya has thus recommand that these scriptural codes should fully be observed. Does he, therefore lack requisite knowledge ? and those who propound that these scriptural codes are mythical, do they have more enlightenment than Shankaracharya? Therefore, it seems that such preachers who denounce the observance of the scriptural codes are pseudo-pundits.

The cessation of the observance of the rules of conduct is prescribed only for those who have attained the highest state of Brahmic consciousness. When they pronounce that Brahm alone exits and everything except Brahm is mythical, they speak from the sublime state of Brahmic bliss, wherein they have lost the vision for seeing other objects. just as one travelling in a ship, when he comes into mid-sea, observes nothing except water and so say that 'water alone is', similarly a Brahmanised devotee enjoying only the bliss of Brahm says that Brahm alone exists and excepting Brahm, Jiva, Ishwar and Maya are all deceptive-appearances. Such words appear in scriptures but not realising their esoteric meaning and also not having attained such elevated Brahmic state, if one pronounces that Brahm alone exists and everything else is a myth, one simply speaks without realising that state. Such preachers, in their personal life are deeply attached to their family member and are engaged in such activities for the maintenance of their families. Yet they posess the audacity to make such statements. They are, therefore, called the most degenerate sinners.

Shanakaracharya has composed the <Sanskrit Sloka - Bhaj Govindam> Stotra and many others to be recited daily so that the ]iva may not be drawn-towards atheism. Shanakaracharya has also composed Stotras eulogising Lord Shiva, Ganapati, the Sun God etcetera to bring to the knowledge of the Mumukshu that these Gods also really exist, as against the spread of such spiritual wisdom by Shanakaracharya, the pseudo-pundits pronounce that 'Brahm alone is and everything else is false'. They do not stop with such pronouncements but go a step further and say that a gyani remains untouched by the sins he commits. It is an act of folly. All scriptures narrate the story of Jadabharat since he is the best amongst the renouncers. He in his previous birth, was the son of Bhagvan Rishabhadev. He had abdicated his kingdom, taken up Sanyas and gone to the seclusion of forest. Here, out of compassion he got so much attached to the young one of a deer that consequently he was born as a deer in his next birth. Attachment to the deer brought him this fate. Again, the Gopies of Vraj were amarously attached to Shri Krishna but still they transgressed the barriers of Maya, became Brahmanised and attained Akshardham. Since Shri Krishna was fully divine, his contact divinised the Gopis. Whereas Bharatji, even though out of compassion, was attached to the young one of the deer, this contact transformed him into the form of a deer.

Therefore, however much a man may be spiritulised, his contact either with a pious one or a sinner elevates him or lowers him. And even a damned sinner, if he gets the contact of God, becomes totally redeemed of all his sins and attains Abhayadan. If Shri Krishna were not divine the Gopi's would never have been divinised, and if the Gopi's are divinised by the contact of Shri Krishna, Shri Krishna is totally divine. Therefore, the words of pseudo-Vedantin that everything is Brahm, fall flat because like the Gopi's, if everything is Brahm, Every woman attached to her husband and every husband attached to his wife have been divinised by such contacts and yet neither of them is said to have been so. On the contrary, they are consigned to hell. Therefore, the rules of Vidhi Nishedh possessed sanctity and should be observed respectfully. One who defies these rules spells one's own spiritual downfall.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Gadhada First - 42.

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