Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Which devotee is superior, with inward love or outward love ?


The devotion of Gopis for Shri Krishna. Uddhavaji and Gopis. The Company of wicked.

On the fourth day of the first fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada of Samvat 1877 , Shriji Maharaj was seated on a cot in the Varan dah near the hall in the Durbar of Shri Jiva Khachar at Sarangpur. He had put on all white clothes. Muni's and the Bhaktas from the various places were assembled before him.

Shriji Maharaj then said, "Let me ask you a question. There are two types of devotees. One bears an exuberant love for God and can not live for a moment without his Darshan. The over flowing emotions of his love, are open and visible." The other devotee has fully developed Atmanishtha and Vairagya, and bears love for God, but does not allow his emotions to be displayed. The former lacks Atmanishtha and Vairagya and the display of his love for God carries high esteem for him.. The letter, however, possessed of both these redemptive attributes has his devotion unrecognised. Whose devotion excels ?"

Swayamprakashanand Swami replied immediately, "Qne who lacks the attributes, of Atmanishtha and Vairagya and still is full of exburant love for God excells in devotion."

Again Shriji Maharaj asked, "With what logical understanding do you recognise the devotion of a devotee lacking the attributes of Atmanishtha and Vairagya as excelling the other ? He is conscious about the body. Therefore, when he comes in contact with five objects of pleasure which give happiness to the body, he would develop love for objects of pleasure and then he would not have similar love for God. How do you then regard him as best ?" Swayamprakashanand Said, "One who becomes attached to the seductive Panchvishayas or to the pleasures of life has no love for God. I mean the type of love that the Gopies offered to God."

Shriji Maharaj then said, "The Gopies were not so credulous as you believes then to be. They possessed such spiritual wisdom which transcended the wisdom of those possessed of the attribues of Vairagya and Atmanishtha. Their words of wisdom turned the wisdom of the great statesmen pale. They had known and realised God fully. Uddhavaji, the bosom devotee of Shri Krishna, who approached the Gopies as the messenger of Shri Krishna, was overwhelmed at their profound love for Shri Krishna. And under this inluence he uttered, "I am extremely greatful to Shri Krishna for sending me to the Gopies, whose exuberant love for Shri Krishna has made me to learn from them. However, you will feel by the various words uttered by the Gopies that they did not possess such spiritual wisdom but the Gopies belonged to three categories, viz.-Mugdha or those who had absolute love for Shri Krishna, but when it was not responded to by Shri Krishna, they rebuked Shri Krishna. Hearing such word, one would naturally feel that these Gopies would severe all relations with Shri Krishna. The second is Madhya- or those who had profound love for Shri Krishna. They, did not exhibit any anger if their love was not responded to and did not even use harsh words. But they continue to do such things which please, them as well as Shri Krishna. Any thing that pleased Shri Krishna only and did not fulfil their sentiments, they did not carry out. Evenwhen compelled to carry out the orders of Shri Kishna, they carry them out in such manner by which they satisfy their instincts and also those of Shri Krishna. The third type of Gopies is the Praudha. They are thoroughly matured. These Gopies behave only as would please Shri Krishna. They never have any malice towards other Gopies of their calibre. They had no instincts of anger, envy etc. They preferred only the service of God and did not do any thing either in words, thought or action which would even slightly displease Shri Krishna.

These are, the characteistics of the Mugdha, Madhya and Proudha 0 Gopies. These Gopies were extremely modest and possessed diagnoetic wisdom. Their love for Shri Krishna, copious in low, was not the product of a superluous understanding. They knew Shi Krishna and his greatness thoroughly. This knowledge of the divine form of Shi Krishna inspired in them, overwhelmingly, Vairagya and Atmanishtha. The Gopies", therefore, possessed Atmanishtha, Vairagya and other redemptive attributes which constituted the grace of God bestowed upon them with great propitiation for their knowledge of the divine form of Shi Krishna.

Such a devotee enjoys the five sense objects - words, touch, charm, taste and smell only as they emanate from the person of God. His exuberant love for God even jf it seemingly does not exhibit Atmanistha and Vairagya, yet it does not generate in him any thought excepting the thought of God. The earth in off-season apparently seems barren but holds the seeds of grass and grains, which grow in abundance when rain falls over them, similarly a devotee devoid of Atmanishtha and Vairagya eventhough; he does not outwardly seem to possess the instinct of seductive Panchvishayas, yet these dormant instincts will develop when he, will come in contact with such a vicious forces. He will then forget God and will feel that he has no love for god. Therefore, such a devotee lacking the attribute of Atmanishtha and Vairagya draws no recognition as a devotee, whereas a devotee fully possessing these two attributes and apparently not seeming to be a deeply dedicated devotee, always feels within him the presence of God, manifesting in human form, Though he remains non-chalant in outward observance, his love for God is deep rooted, not retrivable even by the most maleficent forces. He is, therefore, a single minded devotee attached only to God."

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Sarangpur - 15.

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