swamEnarayan-Mail (edition 126)
|December 05, 2002 |
There is a proverb that states, "There is no limit to an unpurified soul's mistakes, but there is also no limit to God's mercy." Swami Ni Vato 11/60 explains that when a soul makes a mistake, God does not look at his bad qualities, but continuously forgives. If an offending person approaches God's saint with deena-aadheenbhaava (humble surrender), nishkapatabhaava (without hiding or holding anything back), a desire for forgiveness, and an inclination to follow the saint's anuvrutti (real intent), then no matter what mistake has been committed, s/he achieves the same liberation as an ekaantika (highest-level) devotee.
An example of this is referenced in Vachanamrut Vadtal 14. A devotee by the name of Ramachandra Vaghmodiya had a younger brother who had been outcast from his town for marrying a girl belonging to a lower caste. However, once he devotedly served some saints. The saints thus invited him to attend a festival in Vadtal. When he came to Vadtal, immediately upon seeing Swaminarayan Bhagwan, he went into samaadhi. His brother, Ramachandra Vaghmodiya, who had been attending satsanga for many years, became jealous of this and raised a doubt in God. Thus, he asked, "Why does a seemingly unworthy person attain samaadhi?" Swaminarayan Bhagwan understood the reason for his question and thus replied, "By seeking the refuge of the great saint, regardless of how terrible a sinner a person may be, he becomes extremely pure and attains samaadhi. On the other hand, a person who maligns the great saint is a terrible sinner, regardless of how sincere he may seem to be following dharma."
|SARVADESHIYATAA - THE MATURE DEVOTEE|
|December 06, 2002 |
In spirituality, a broad spectrum is necessary to develop full maturity. The need for this broad-mindedness is in fact, found everywhere. Someone who graduates school learning only one subject would have a partial understanding as compared to someone who has taken all subjects. A CEO that comes from only one division in a company would not be as proficient as one that has experience in various divisions. Similarly, a father of many children cannot pay attention to only one child and neglect the others. Even a small business owner would not be profitable by selling only one item in his store.
By the knowledge and experience of a variety of things, one develops a broad base that results in fuller maturity. One that sees the world with its "gray area" and not only in terms of "black and white" has a more mature understanding of the world. Ek-deshastataa, on the other hand, is limited thinking.
This concept is very important in satsanga as well. To set an example for devotees, Gunatitanand Swami Himself served everyone, from the highest to the lowest. In fact, in order to serve others, He kept an extremely "low profile," hiding His actual glory.
The sarvadeshiya devotee has equal glory for all satsanga branches and religions in general, taking the good from everywhere. The devotee gives respect and love to all and does not think that, "This belongs to me and this belongs to someone else." A devotee with sarvadeshiya does not criticize others, but rather gives sincere support. And even if criticized by others, he never becomes negative, but rather introspects and takes something positive out of the situation.
|GUNATITANAND SWAMI BLESSES UGO KHUMAN|
|December 06, 2002 |
In Shikshapatri verse 201, Swaminarayan Bhagwan has stated, "Saints should tolerate the verbal and physical abuses of wicked opposition, but never retaliate against such abuses verbally or physically. [Saints] should not think negatively of [those who have abused them], but only how [those who have abused them] can be benefited." Once, when Gunatitanand Swami and saints were touring Saurashtra, the chieftan of the village of Saavar, Ugo Khuman, had his men beat the saints and ran them out of the village. When the saints took rest at the outskirsts of the village, Gunatitanand Swami overheard a shepherd saying that Ugo Khuman did not have a son. Gunatitanand Swami thus said, "The darbara treated us out of ignorance. Let us curse him." To the surprise of the aching saints, Gunatitanand Swami stated, "May God bless Ugo with a pious son!" Several years later, when Gunatitanand Swami and saints visited Saavar again, Ugo's son Jivo asked Gunatitanand Swami to grace their royal palace!