Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Itasca

Jay Shree Swaminarayan

Distinction between soul and the rest.


The soul and body.

Death without spiritual gain. About hells.

On the eighth day of the second fortnight of the month of Shravan of Samvat 1877, Shriji Maharaj was seated facing north on a cot in the verendah of Durbar of Shri Jiv$ Khachar at Sarangpur. He had put on a white turban and had covered his body with a white cotton shawl. A white and folded side cloth was placed about his neck,and shoulders. Munis and Bhaktas from the different places had assembled before him.

Then Swayamprakashanand Swami asks, "Oh Maharaj ! How can one distinguish very clearly between Atma and Non - Atma (Physical body) in order that such perfect distinction may help him to discriminate them as sepaate entities ?" Replying to the question, Shriji Maharaj said, "The distinction between Atma and Non-Atma should be clearly realised, by the study of one, two, or a hundred or a thousand verses in the scriptures. Ambiguity regarding their forms that they are not distinct must be discarded. The knowledge that those are separate entities should be sought since an ambiguity in understanding distinctively their forms brings about spiritual recession. Therefore, one should realize that the Atma is separate from the body and his attributes are neverfound in the body which is perhsible, ephemeral and full of miseries. And these chaacteristics of the body are totally absent in Atma.

With such clear understanding, when an individual realises that he is the Atma, pure and free from wordly desires and desires only meditational worship of God, he has, said to have established the distinction between ephemeral body and the eternal Atma. Whereas, one who undergoes lapses in his behaviour sometimes behaving as Atma and some times becoming oblivious of this consciousness and thinks of the seductive charms of a woman, he is an obscurantist. So he can not experience bliss in his heart. For example. The food prepared out of sweet and rich ingridients gives an enjoyable taste, but if by some accident the venom of a serpent drops into it, the same food then becomes deadly. Similarly, after constant endeavouring to think and behave as Atma, if by some lapse, one thinks of such seductive objects like a woman etcetera, his spiritual edeavour to realise his Atma is reduced beyond all cognition. Knowledge of Atma, therefore, should be sought to dissolve the empiric state of mind.

However, One may wonder, if during the process of reaching the stage of realisation of knowledge of Atma, one dies in an immalined state of complete desirelessnes, where will he be sent ? But one who treads this path should not indulage in such thoughts as death comes only to the body, but the Atma is eternal. No patience should, therefore, be given away. The spiritual efforts to shed off all desires - excepting the desire to attain God, should be continued ceaselessly to establish stability of mind. In spite of such efforts, if wordily desires persist and one meets with death, one will be consigned to Indralok which offers enjoyments, though hellish in compasision to divine bliss offered in the eternal abode of God. But such a devotee will never be condemned-to undergo the tortures of hell, nor will he have to move in the cycle of births and deaths. Therefore, if worldly desires persists while endeavouring to shed them and then death comes, one will be trancemigrated to the region of the deities and again from there to the region of men on earth, when again once more the spiritual efforts to become desirless should be carried out for attaining the divine abode of God. Therefore, one should have courage to defy the might of the wordly desires. The bliss of meditational worship should never be missed even while endeavouring to shed off desires, and implict faith should be reposed in the nectarine words of God and his realised saint.

Thus Ends Vachanamrit : Sarangpur - 4.

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