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Everything posted by Knowlard

  1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with onions & garlic. The restrictions have a spiritual base tried & tested since Vedic period & written in scriptures. Onions & garlic are the only vegetables which are high on 'Rajasic' value ie tend to thrust 'desires', which would obviously come in way of spiritual progress. Since ages Sikhs & Vaishnavs and even today many vaishnavs from gujarat & north <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region> avoid onion & garlic in their food. South Indian brahmins also pratice the same. Almost all the major established ancient matts & ashrams donot let onions & garlic in. And most important of all, it is the wish & command of Lord himself !!!
  2. Without any intention to hurt feelings of any of the belivers & followers of Lord Swaminarayan, let me state the current factual position: As per Vartal Gaddi Sect of Swaminarayan Sampradaya, there are only four editors of the Vachnamrut and as per Amdavad Gaddi Sect there are five editors including Bramhanand Swami. Though there is one Sanskrit Sloka written originally then where Brahmanand Swami's name is mentioned, it still remains a mystry as to why his name is not there. As per BAPS Swaminarayan Sampradaya and Vadtal Gaddi Sect, there are 262 lectures in Vachnamrut. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sampradaya though accepts and publishes them in their Vachanamrut print the 11 extra lectures as mentioned in and published by Amdavad Gaddi Sect. This is because a slight change in the style & format of language is observed in these 11 extra lectures, though the philosophy stated in them are still in line with what Lord Swaminarayan Him Self would have stated. Hence, the dispute. The Vadtal Gaddi Sect outrightly rejects them. That makes the total 273.
  3. <TD width="30" background="../images/leftback.gif"></TD><TD width="555" background="../images/centerback.gif"> Shikshapatri is the sacred book of ethics. Its 212 spiritually potent verses in Sanskrit carry the essence of Hindu moral codes for everyday life...From the basics of hygine, how to meditate, whom to honor, whose company to avoid to the highest ideals of devotion. The Shikshapatri, originally written by Lord Swaminarayan on 11 February 1826 CE (Maha sud 5, 1882 VS), is read daily by the Swaminarayan devotees. Apart from practical spiritual guidance, it provides guidelines on every aspect of life - familial, financial, managerial, social, ecological, and even health and hygiene. Shikshapatri Verse 203: "I have described briefly dharma for all My disciples. To learn them in detail, they shall refer to the shastras of our Sampraday." 'Vachanamritam' is the quintessence of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Vedant Sutras, the Bhagawad Geeta and other Scriptures. It is the book of the nectarine words of Lord Swaminarayan. It is in the form of dialogues between the disciples and the Lord in the general assembly of His followers at different places like Gadhada, Sarangpur, Kariyani, Loya, Panchala, Ahmedabad and Vartal. There are 262 talks in all, compiled and edited by four of His eminent saints, namely, Muktanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami, Nityanand Swami and Shukanand Swami and re-read by Lord Himself, thus authenticating the Holy Book. One peculiarity of the book is that every one of these talks is prefaced with a short pen-picture of Shree Swaminarayan, with the precise record of the date, place and time of the discourse, thus bearing out the historical testimony. </TD>
  4. Akshardham means the eternal, divine abode of the supreme God, the abode of eternal values and virtues of Akshar. Akshar has been held as the sustainer and all-supporter of the millions of macrocosms. Akshar owes his greatness to Purushottam (Parabrahma), as Akshar is controlled by Parabrahma as its shariri. Akshar as the Atma of all the atmas (the Soul of all the souls), possesses unitive consciousness with Parabrahma, yet is conscious of his dependence upon Purushottam (Parabrahma). Bhagwan Swaminarayan upheld Akshar (Brahma) and Purushottam (Parabrahma) as separate entities, and defined their relationship as: Akshar (Brahma) is related to Purushottam (Parabrahma) as drashya-drashta, sharir-shariri and niyamya-niyamak. Parabrahma pervades, controls and subdues Akshar. Akshar (Brahma) is the divine abode of God (Parabrahma), serving God in two ways. As the divine abode, Akshar supports Purushottam and the infinite number of released souls; and as His choicest devotee, Akshar serves Purushottam (God) in revealing His infinite greatness and glory. Akshar is beyond maya or prakruti and is savayav i.e. having a divine body. One desiring ultimate redemption should identify himself with Brahma (Akshar) and worship Parabrahma (Purushottam) as his God, upholding the ideal of swami-sevak bhav (master-servitor relation) Hence, Akshar is: 1) 'Imperishable'. Second-highest of the five eternal entities; i.e., transcends everything except Purushottam. Also referred to as Aksharbrahma or Brahma. The other four eternal entities: jiva, ishwar, mãyã, and Purushottam. 2) In his personal form, Akshar serves Purushottam in His abode, Akshardhãm, and manifests as His ideal devotee, the Satpurush, on earth. Both forms are human in appearance. 3) In his impersonal form, Akshar is the abode of Purushottam, called Akshardhãm. See: Akshardhãm. 4) In his all-pervading anvay form, Akshar is called Chidãkãsh {Gadhada I-21; I-46; I-65}. See: Chidãkãsh. Akshardhãm The highest abode. The divine abode of Purushottam Bhagwãn Swãminãrãyan, where He is forever seated before countless muktas, who have attained qualities similar to those of Akshar {Vachnamrut Gadhada I-21}. The impersonal form of Akshar. Chidãkãsh Formless and pure chaitanya form of Akshar {Gadhada I-21.7}. By nature, it is the all-supporting and all-pervading ãkãsh, extremely luminous, not subject to change and eternal, within which Purush and Prakruti undergo their states of expansion and contraction. Also known as Brahma. Although the term Chidãkãsh is sometimes abbreviated as ãkãsh, it is not to be confused with the ãkãsh evolved from tamogun, which is one of the five gross elements and which undergoes creation and destruction {Vachnamrut Gadhada I-46.5,9,10}. <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=615 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=26 background=images/left.jpg></TD><TD width=563 bgColor=#fdf2ed> || The Vastness of Akshar || “… Countless millions of brahmãnds dwell like mere atoms in each and every hair of that Akshar. It is not that those brahmãnds become small compared to Akshar; they still remain encircled by the eight barriers. Rather, it is because of the extreme vastness of Akshar that those brahmãnds appear so small…” [Vachnamrut Gadhadã II-42] </TD><TD width=26 background=images/right.jpg></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  5. Gems From Vachanamrut Vachanamritram' is the quintessence of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Vedant Sutras, the Bhagawad Geeta and other Scriptures. It is the book of the nectarine words of Lord Swaminarayan. It is a revealed text in as much as the words have come straight from the mouth of Shree Swaminarayan who was the Ultimate Reality Himself. It is in the form of dialogues between the disciples and the Lord in the general assembly of His followers at different places like Gadhada, Sarangpur, Kariyani, Loya, Panchala, Ahmedabad and Vartal. There are 262 talks in all, compiled and edited by four of His eminent saints, namely, Muktanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami, Nityanand Swami and Shukanand Swami. In the entire volume it would be difficult to find a single word that is redundant or out of place, or a thought that is unnecessary or out of keeping with the plan of salvation unfolded in the scriptural text. It is the very first book in prose in Gujarati language. It is outstanding among the religious classics of the world. One peculiarity of the book is that every one of these talks is prefaced with a short pen-picture of Shree Swaminarayan, with the precise record of the date, place and time of the discourse, thus bearing out the historical testimony. Shree Swaminarayan has referred to Himself as the Supreme Godhead in the Vachanamrut. The philosophy of Akshar and Purushottam is rooted in the Vedas, the Shrutis and the Smritis. It has therefore a divine fragrance and magnetic attraction. This is the path of dedicated devotion which demands persistent spiritual endeavour in life. God The divine form of God is like the philosopher's stone, which gives one the desired fruits. (Gad. I-1) One who believes that God is formless and abstract is the worst sinner, even worse than one who has committed the five great sins. There is no atonement prescribed for this sin. (Gad. II-39) God incarnates on the earth in human form only for fulfilling the desires of His beloved devotees. He also, simultaneously, redeems an infinite number of Jivas and establishes dharma.(Kar. -5) God always possesses a divine form and, while residing in His divine abode Akshardham, He appears in millions of macrocosms. (Vartal-13) Purushottam who transcends Akshara is the cause of all avatars (incarnation), who emanate from His divine form, and revert to Him after completing their mission on earth. (Gad. II-13) The divine form of Lord Purushottam visible here before you and the divine form seated in His divine abode Akshardham are one, and there is absolutely no difference in these twin forms. They are one. This Purushottam visible here is the controller of all, including Akshar, is the Lord of all Lords, the ultimate cause of cosmic evolution, and is transcendentally the Supreme One. From Him all incarnations emanate and in Him finally they merge. He is the ultimate God who only should be offered implicit devotion with Ekantik bhav. The previous incarnations who have emanated from this divine form by His will are also to be honoured with due worship.(Gad. III-38) God is one and unparalleled. Many released souls have attained the redemptive virtues of God, yet they cannot attain that transcendental status of God. He is unparalleled as He is God sui generis. (Gad. III-39) When God descends on earth for the redemption of the Jivas and assumes human form, His divine abode Akshardham, the released Jivas and His full-fledged Lordship, all descend on earth. (Gad. I-71) Akshar Brahman (Earth, water, fire, wind, space, egoity, Mahat, Pradhan Purush, Prakriti Purush) Akshar Brahman is the cause of all these tattvas. And that Akshar is the dwelling place of Lord Purushottam....and also possesses a divine form.(Gad.I-63) The Jiva seems to be more luminous in the disc of flesh in the heart and less throughout the body where it is felt immanently. This is how the Jiva resides in the body. And within the Jiva, Parmatman resides as the witness. (Gad.III-4) The scriptures proclaim that the Jiva by nature is conscious, all powerful, and is enwrapped by avidya or the causal body. Just as a magnet attracts iron, similarly, the Jiva has the inherent nature to be attached to gross and subtle bodies. And being enwrapped by avidya, he identifies himself completely with his physical body, forgetting his original form, viz. the Atman. (Gad. II-66) When the Jiva is released from the bondage of ignorance, he loses contact with the three bodies and assumes his original form, which is chaitanya and sattaaswarup. In the divine abode of God, he gets the form of chaitanya prakriti or suddhasattva, separate from the eight evolutes of Prakriti; viz., earth, water, fire, wind, space, manas, buddhi, and ahankar. (Gad. II-66) Deep Attachment To God And His Brahmanised Saint: One who is deeply attached to God and His brahmanised saint has in great abundance realised satsang as the only sadhana for ultimate redemption. (Gad. II-54) Satsang (Company of Saintly People): The divine contact of a God-realised saint is like the magic stone and the tree which gives the desired fruits. (Gad. I-14) By cultivating the contact of a God-realised saint, who sincerely observes the five holy injunctions, the force of Bhakti flourishes. (Gad. I-29) It is by the contact of a God-realised saint that the ego and the attachment towards the body and the relatives of the physical body dissolve, and a deep attachment towards God develops, which consolidates an unflinching devotion to God in one's heart. (Gad. I-8) One who with purity and love dedicates himself to this satsang will be redeemed of all his sins and will experience Brahmic bliss in this very life. (Sar.-9) If you cannot fully engage your mind in meditational thoughts of God, you should firmly resolve to remain in the company of a saint possessing the attributes of Dharma, Jnan, Vairagya and Bhakti. (Gad. II-48) If a man desires to be redeemed, he should be attached to this Holy Fellowship with no worldly desires. (Gad. I-70) Redemption: If God does not manifest on earth one should contact His brahmanised saint and dedicate himself at his lotus feet which will also bring him ultimate salvation. (Vartal -10) The saint who is singularly devoted to God and who possesses the attributes of Swadharma, Jnan, Vairagya and Bhakti is the upholder of Bhagawat Dharma. The Jiva can be released from Maya only if he keeps himself in the company of such a saint. (Gad. I-54) One who desires to redeem himself should feel that the transcendental bliss which emanates from the divine person of God and His brahmanised saint is the only bliss to be enjoyed in life. One should therefore be attached to God and His brahmanised saint with as deep affection as one bears towards one's own body. Their glory should be upheld at the cost of one's own reputation, honour or even life. (Gad. III-7) Offering dedicated devotion to God manifesting on earth, singing His praises, chanting His name and observing the rules prescribed for everyone according to the stage of his life, these four would ensure one an easy redemption. It is as easy as crossing an ocean with the help of a ship. Whereas, to attain redemption by endeavouring to realise one's own Atman is as difficult as crossing the ocean by swimming. (Gad. II-35) One who desires to be redeemed should cultivate animosity with his mind. (Vartal -1) The knowledge of the divine form of God and also of His infinite powers and Lordship is the only supreme sadhana by which one can attain moksha. (Gad. I-57) One who has fully known the manifest human form of God is said to have attained ultimate salvation. (Kar.-7)
  6. Vachanamrut The Holy Scripture of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. A historical collection of 262 spiritual discourses delivered by Lord Swaminarayan in the Gujarati language. It is a catechism, filled with infallible logic, startling metaphors and analogies, and divine revelations that provide philosophical and practical answers to the mysteries and questions of life: How to overcome depression How to cool down anger How to remove ego and jealousy How to develop faith How to recognize a true Guru How to realize God Every discourse is preceded by the exact description of place, time and atmosphere. Glory of Vachanamrut "This spiritual talk is the essence which I have extracted after listening to every word written for salvation in the Vedas, Purans and all other scriptures of this world. It is the ultimate Secret, the Essence of essence. And those who have attained salvation in the past, those who shall attain salvation in the future and those who are striving for salvation now, for all of them this talk is their Lifeline!" Lord Swaminarayan in Vachanamrut Gadhada II-28 Essense of Vachanamrut Profound love for the Enlightened Sadhu is the only way of realizing the Atman and the only way of realizing Parmatman." Lord Swaminarayan in Vachnamrut Vadtal 11
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