Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Physical and mental worship.


What means Shravana, Manana, Nididhyasan and Sakshatkar ?

How to meditate upon all aspects of God ?

On the seventh day of the second fortnight of the month of Shravan of Samvat 1877 Shriji Maharaj was. seated on a cot in the verandah at the Durbar of Shri Jiva Khachar at Sarangpur. It was evening and he had put on a white turban on his head. He had covered his body with a cotton shawl having a black border. Munis and Bhaktas from the various places were assembled before him.

Then Swayamprakashanand Swami asked, "Oh Maharaj! One devotee offers worship to God personally by offering sandal paste, flowers, incense etcetera and another devotee offers worship mentally with all such - paraphernalia. Who out, of these two excels?" Then Shriji Maharaj said, "If both these devotees offer worship either mentally or in person to God with all such aids and are engrossed in the emotion of love for God, both are acclaimed as great. And if any one of them, does it either in - person or mentally but with an absent mind, then it would be."

Further to this, Somla Khachar asked, "One offers such worship with total engrossment in the emotion of love, but by which distinctive features can such a devotee be distinguished ?" Shriji Maharaj replied, "One who has immutable faith in and love for God and desires to serve his lotus feet, and has an equal interest is listening to scriptures, spiritual talks, and chanting of devotional songs of the divine praises of God and knows the infinite powers and glory of God and if all these features do not wear out with time, but get renewed with vigour every day then such a devotee is said to possess the distinctive features of being totally engrossed in the emotions of love. Muktanand Swami, ever since I saw him at Lojpur, has been flourishing in faith and in love for God which have not worn out today, the Yadavs4 who lacked these two distinctive features viz knowledge of the infinite greatness and glory of God and faith, even though they stayed with Shri Krishna, served him as their king only. Their names therefore are so easily obliterated from the scriptures, since they lacked the knowledge of the glory of Shri Krishna, where as Uddhavji who served Shri Krishna and knew his divine greatness, is acclaimed as Parama Bhagwat and his name has been well recorded in the scriptures and also remembered by the people.

Then Nirvikaranand Swami asked, "Oh Maharaj! explain to us that what means Shravan, Manan, Nididhyasan and Sakshatkar. Shriji Maharaj said, "A talk which is heard through ears is Shravan. The same which is heard, remembered well mentally and its worthy portion retained is called Manan. The talk mentally so retained when recollected incessantly is Nididhyasan and the talk so recollected when imprinted within and spontaneously emerging out of the mind is Sakshatkara.

If the same process is applied to the Atma, one would attain Atma Sakshatkar. The same process of Shravan, Manan, Nididhyasan, and Sakshatkar when applied to the divine form of God, God would reveal himself with all his divinity before the devotee. Mere Darshan of God whose human form appears before us does not lead us to Sakshatkar. Therefore, one who sees God but does not introvert to remember him mentally will not have his Sakshatkar even if he lives with God millions of years. His Darshan which is superfluous tantaments to the knowledge of one who has simply heard of God, but not seen him. However, one who has keenly observed every limb of God and has-been recollecting the same mentally, would remember then so vividly as if he was seeing him. But mere superfluous Darshan does not bring him near to the state of Sakshatkar.

Some devotees complaint that when they sit in meditation and try to remember my form, they can not recollect a single part of my body. How then would they recollect my divine form in all fullness ? The reason is not far to seek in as much as such superfluous Darshan without the aid of manan6 and nididhyasan does not bing him nearer to me. Even a material object is required to be keenly observed or attentively heard, for a future reminiscence, otherwise that too is likely to be forgotten. How then is one who is divine and of the other world can be remembered without an unbroken mental recollection ? Therefore, one who has the Darshan of God or who hears his talks, if he men tally recalls tthe Darshan or talks, is sure to reach the state of Sakshatkara. Otherwise he loses the thread of such divine contact even if he remains with God for life."

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Sarangpur - 3.

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