Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

How a devotee can develop intense love for God ?


Controlling body and mind while paying respect to icon of God in a temple.

What happens on achieving spiritual perfection ?

On the sixth day of the second fortnight of the month of Shravan of Samvat 1, Shriji Maharaj was seated facing north on a cot in the verandah facing north in the Durbar of Jiva Khachar at ,Sarangpur. He had put on a white turban and had covered his body with a white cotton shawl. He had placed about his neck and shoulders a white and folded side-cloth. Munis and Bhaktas from the different places have assembled before him.

Then Shriji Maharaj said, "Now start spiritual dialogue amongst your selves." Whereupon, Swayamprakashanand Swami asked, "How a devotee of God can cultivate intense love for God ?" The Muni's tried at their best to answer the question but could not do so satisfactorily.

Then, Shriji Maharaj answered the question, "Love generates from seductive charms, lust, covetousness, selishness and sheer virtues. However, the love which generates out of seductive charm, is likely to disappear when the body contracts leukoderma or leprosy. Similarly love generated out of lust, covetousness or selfishness will disappear ultimately. Where as, love which generates out of sheer virtues remains till the end. One who has developed such Love would never experience a lapse from the bondage of such ties of love."

Then Somala Khachar asked, "Do the virtues of this material world or the virtues of the spirituality inspire such everlasting ties of love ?" Shriji Maharaj said in reply, "The virtues of this material life are superfluous and are not capable of inspiring such everlasting love. But the intrinsic virtues which are inherent in the spiritually wise inspire love. The softness of their speech, their fidelity to the person loved, their bodily service and mental attachment produce such everlasting love which can never be effaced. However, do you desire merely to know how a devotee develops love towards God or how even God develops such love for his devotee ?" Then Swayamprakashanand Swami said, "We desire to know both."

Then Shriji Maharaj, Giving an exposition, said, "One should not hurt even a smallest creature by speech even. And again when one enters into a dialogue with God or his realised saint, and is likely to get ascendancy in such polemic discussion, even then one should with due respect accept defeat from them when one has acclaimed them as great. He should never develop such state wherein during such dialogue the saint would suffer defeat from him. He should always remain fulfilled by accepting such defeats from the great ones. Again when god or his realised saint gives him some orders, which, according to him, may be relevant or irrelevant, he should immediately take it with due respect but should not exhibit even on iota of irrelevance, even if he may feel so. However, later on when God or his realised saint is in a relaxed mood, he should, with due respect relate before him "Oh Maharaj ! Even though I have taken your orders, 1 feel some anomaly in them." But if he finds that God or his saint is not in such a relaxed mood, he should relate before some great saint or devotee who knows the mood of God or his saint, thus, "God has given me such orders which I feel are not consitent with my notion." Then such a saint or devotee would, with pragmatic wisdom, give him such solution or would get such solution from God. But at no time should such orders given by God or his saint be immediately flouted. This virtue of cultivating humility by which one with due reverence defers the observation of such orders is an inherent virtue which invites the grace of God or his saint. The devotee who possesses this virtue develops love for God and his saints. Now I shall tell you, how one should behave bodily, which will earn for him Love of God. If his physical Body is full of overwhelming vitality, he should lessen such vitality by sitting for long hours in meditational worship or by observing the Chandrayan VrataV If, however, God or his Saint during such process takes care of his body, he should pay due heed to it but he should for himself in no way enjoy bodily comforts,or try to preserve it's vitality. He should.use his body only to serve God or his devotees. Such inherent virtue to serve God or his devotees by ones body propitiates God into showering his grace on him. The devotee also develops love for God by such act or service. Now, I shall explain to you how the mind should be employed to earn the grace of God. When a devotee is engaged in enjoying the divine Darshan of God, he should along with his eyes engage his mind also on such divine Darshan. He should not allow his eyes to deflect to other views during such Darshan and should not indulge in enjoying the other views simultaneously along with the Darshan of God. God is not pleased with such a devotee who has his eyes and mind diffused on various views. Such a devotee has not realised the significance of the divine Darshan. Just as a layman who does not know the manifertation of God in human form views God as an ordinary human being. Such a devotee who has no significance of the divine Darshan of God, views him as such and gradually retracts from the spiritual path. One should therefore, keep one's gaze fixed while having the Darshan of God. This divine Darshan should be enjoyed intensively to fill the devotee with fresh vigour wherever he has such Darshan. The gaze should be first kept fixed on the divine form of God, and then it should be turned inwards to see him within. The Queen mother of Dharampur state - Kushal Kunvar - applied this process and enjoyed my Darshan both within and without. Similarly, ote should fix the eyes and the mind on the divine form of God and so enjoy the Darshan unhampered by outward influences.

If, however, while having the Darshan of God, one indulges in diffusing one's vision on other objects which come into one's view, one will in one's dream state be disturbed by such objects which will appear before him along with God. Therefore, a devotee should concentrate his vision only on God, but should not diffuse his vision. One who so enjoys Darshan of God with such concentration both of the eyes and the mind, always enjoys the Darshan as if ever fresh. Similarly, the sacred words of God also get imprinted within the heart of such a devotee. Whereas on others with a disturbed mind and vision, the divine Darshan loses it's impact. Even though one may be enjoying such Darshan daily, it does not thrill his heart, so much so that when he takes, to meditation, his diffused mind recollects many other objects which he may have seen before, along with the divine form of God, therefore, a devotee should fix his eyes and mind firmly on God.

One who so remains engrossed is the meditational worship of God becomes devoid of diffusion and gains concentration, whereas the others who keep their eyes and mind stretched can not escape from my sight as, also the sight of the realised one saints who have established control over the eyes and minds. Such devotees have, therefore, a material out look even in regard to the Darshan of God. They, however, will gradually stray from this path. Therefore, like one who is passionately attached to a woman and becomes oblivious of other objects which disturb his vision fixed on a women, a true devotee should develop such concentration on the divine form of God and should shun a materialistic outlook."

Then Niravikaranand Swami asked, "Oh Maharaj! We have to move to different places and have to give spiritual talks to people. How can we, therefore, stabilise our mind."

Shriji Maharaj said, "It is My order that you should give spiritual talks to people when you move to different places. But when you are here before me, when have I told you to let your mind deflect from having my Darshan ?" So saying, Shriji Maharaj continued, "When a devotee has the Darshan of God for the first time, he sees him in all divinity. This divinity in the human form of God can be retained only if he focuses his mind along with his eyes on God. A mind so engaged on God wins God's pleasure. The disciple also develops love for God when his mind is thus stabilised on him. Along with mind, the eyes and ears also should be so controlled that they do not get deflected towards worldly affairs. The eyes and ears are the channels through which worldly objects creep into the heart and disturb the disciple when he is in meditational worship. Therefore, they should be fully checked from running helter skelter. And again, when a disciple is engaged in having the Darshan of God and if the eyes and ears are simultaneously directed towards other objects, they should be reprimanded thus, "You fools, is it possible for you to get that object which you dote on so passionately or hear those talk so attentively ? You have not still attained that high status which will fulfill all your desires. You are yet at the stage of Sadhaka and as such, you can not get all that which you desire. Why, then, discard the spiritual path and hanker after ephemeral happiness ? If, however, your craving for enjoying the Panchvishayas is fulfilled, you will be sent to hellish misecries. But if you get totally engaged in the divine form of God, you will attain that divine status by which your eyes and ears will spread in all directions. Even if you desire to assume a charming form like that of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, your desire for so will be fullfilled. And if you desire to attain that culmination in devotion which Lakshmi and Radha have. Y ou will attain that also. However, during such state of Sadhana, if you can not attain that divine status then even, after death you will be' released from the bondage of Maya and will attain the divine status. But without attaining such divine status, the craving for worldly objects will not be fulfilled. On the contrary, during such stage of Sadhana, if your eyes and ears are attracted towards worldly objects, your Buddhi. will be vitiated, which will lead you to total stagnation. The eyes and ears should thus be cautioned from being deflected towards worldly objects and should be focused only on the divine form of God. A man who is so engaged in his Sadhana flourishes and his attachment to God develops. God and his saint also shower their love upon such a devotee.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Sarangpur - 2.

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