decades Swamishri has been
guiding others towards God.
Inspiring them in times of
hardship; consoling them in
times of sadness, he has been a
constant source of light in their
lives when there has been only
engulfing darkness. But what
has been his source of inspiration
over the years? How has he
managed to remain composed
during incidents of both honour
and insult? What drives him to
push himself night and day in the
service of others? Delving into
the depths of his heart we find
the source of his light...
Source of Light
Narayanswarupdas, Guru Shastriji Maharaj...
Purshottampura. A small village in Gujarat. Everywhere one treads,
there are memories of Shastriji Maharaj. Young Narayanswarupdas often
accompanied his Guru when he used to come here, and returned many
times for work as President of the Sanstha. In 1986, now himself the
Guru, Swamishri once again came to Purshottampura. In the presence
of sadhu disciples he began to relive incidents with his Guru...
|During a question-answer
session with the sadhus of Sarangpur Temple...
Sadhus : Since your initiation you have been constantly progressing
at a steady pace over the years. Today you are the guru. We realise
that you are eternally great, but from a worldly point of view how
did you make such progress?
Swamishri : There is only one explanation for such progress, the
thought that how can we please the guru. For if he is pleased,
that for us, is progress. And if hes not pleased, then we
dont progress in any manner. The main fact is - we have found
a true guru and lived according to his wishes. If we strive to please
him then we will automatically progress. If we look at those who
have made such progress, we can distinctly see that they kept their
guru at the forefront in all their activities and obeyed all his
agnas. So naturally they progressed. We can also see this in the
lives of our gurus, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji
Maharaj. Those who have progressed in Satsang have only done so
due to the gurus pleasure, the gurus guidance and the
gurus blessings. No one can ever progress by their own efforts,
intelligence or talents.
When Yogiji Maharaj passed away in 1971 and Sant Swami
took you by the hand and seated you in Yogiji Maharajs place,
what was your first thought?
Swamishri : What else could we think of! Shastriji Maharaj had entrusted
us with this seva and by Yogiji Maharajs grace, everything
was running smoothly. Basically we had the same responsibilities
as before except that while Yogiji Maharaj was there, he was our
umbrella. So we never had any tension. Whatever work we had to do,
we would always consult him first. In return we got constant peace
of mind, contentment and valuable guidance. But afterwards, we felt
that even though he is still here as our shield, we will have to
be more attentive in our work so that we can work with everybody
properly. And also that we would have to work a little harder so
as to please everybody. Naturally we felt that everyone should be
pleased with us and that we should earn their blessings...
After that, everyone had enthusiasm and eagerness and the sadhus
had the understanding that he has not gone. So we felt that if we
did everything according to Maharajs wishes, everything would
turn out fine. A lot of people encouraged us so we got a little
courage to carry on. So from the beginning there was the thought
that we want to fulfil our obligations to the best of our ability.
After being honoured or insulted you are able to act
as if nothing ever took place. What thought is behind this stability?
Swamishri : We have seen many in Satsang who have had to face such
honour and insults. Such incidents do happen. Once we have come
into Satsang and developed understanding, then we dont need
to think that Ive been honoured or Ive been insulted.
Such incidents will occur whilst we are trying to please God and
our guru. But if they are pleased by us having to endure such incidents,
we should be pleased with it and just keep on going forward. Then
we wont have any problems.
Didnt Yogi Bapa often say? Nane se ho nana rahiye...
[We should be smaller than the smallest].
If we become like this, we will never be affected by honour or insult.
Gunatitanand Swami tells us, In this Satsang, we should think
that everyone understands and only I dont understand.
We should see everyone as bigger than us and that we ourselves are
smaller than everyone. If we can truly believe this, then we will
never be affected by honours or insults in our lives.
However, when a worldly, ignorant man does something to us we should
presume that he doesnt understand and so there is no point
in getting upset about it. We dont need to worry that he said
this or he did that. They are ignorant people, let them say, or
write, or do as they please. And well go our own way. By keeping
such thoughts in our mind we wont have any problems.
How have you come to realise the all-doership of Shriji
Maharaj to such a fantastic level?
Swamishri : Everyone has to understand that! It is not for us alone
to understand. Because, we are not capable of doing anything; God
is doing it all. Without Gods wish we are not even capable
of moving a dry leaf. Shriji Maharaj controls everything. We are
not even capable of moving our arms and legs or even talking. So
it is wrong for us to take false pride that I did it
or It was all due to me. Thats a false claim.
To realise that without Shriji Maharaj nothing can happen and that
He does everything is also a form of bhakti and a sign of our humbleness
as His servants.
Shriji Maharaj tells us in the Vachanamritam, No matter how
great or big we become, we should always remain Gods servants.
God is the all-doer. Even if we attain His powers, still one thought
should remain predominant in our lives - I am His servant.
We have to become a servant. We are never going to become God, thats
a fact. Our knowledge and our principles teach us that we should
be servants here and even after we attain enlightenment. Our gurus
have lived this way. They have never preached anything else but
to become a servant.
Which principles should be firm in our hearts? That Shriji Maharaj
is the Supreme God, the all-doer, He has a divine form and He is
pragat before us. We must have total conviction in these four principles.
And we should recognise God to be the all-doer every second of every
|Swamishri reminisced about
the difficulties experienced in celebrating the bicentenary birth
celebrations of Gunatitanand Swami in 1985; the impending drought,
rioting in the city, public outcry about the state of education and
even the threat of war with Pakistan. Despite all this the festival
was a great success. Regarding this.....
Swamishri : We feel that it was only due to Gods personal
involvement through others and His grace that even in the midst
of such a volatile climate we were able to celebrate the festival.
Otherwise there were fresh rumours every second that this
will happen and that will happen.... But we had only one belief
at the time that this was Shriji Maharajs and Gunatitanand
Swamis work, and that Brahman was working through others and
Shriji Maharaj is the all-doer. So even in such a tense atmosphere
we were consoled by the belief that by Shriji Maharajs wish,
everything will work out fine. Thats all. There has not been
a single day during which we have been under tension or when we
have not been able to sleep or anything like that. In our mind we
were calm due to the knowledge that this is Maharajs mission;
He is doing everything. It was His reputation and His work. We were
only doing it to please Him and so we did not worry. And it turned
out just fine - the best! Everyone felt 100% contentment.
How do you envisage this Sanstha a hundred years from
Swamishri : [jokingly] Who will be here in a hundred years time?
Will you be here to see?... This is Gods and His Saints
mission. Shastriji Maharaj was such a powerful man that everything
he has done he has done so with the future in mind. He has thought
a thousand years ahead! Shastriji Maharaj was the form of God. He
could perceive the future! He had such divine vision and he was
proficient in every way. From a worldly sense he was the most intelligent
man on earth! No one was as clever as him. All his activities were
carried out with such precision, intelligence and divinity that
everything was always perfect. He has founded this Sanstha. He has
drawn up the charter, organised the administration, all of which
are simply remarkable!
And with him, there was Jogi Maharaj who helped to reinforce the
foundations of the Sanstha. Yogi Bapa followed up by initiating
51 sadhus and by his wish, more sadhus came. Just by looking at
them we feel that this Sanstha will really progress. There will
be no problems of any kind. The organisation is so good. And the
sadhus all have one conviction according to Swamis preachings.
Their lives are based on dharma, jnan, vairagya, and bhakti. Thus
the sadhus will become unshakeable. Basically, God looks after His
own work. Also, as such great sadhus have done this work the Sanstha
will definitely expand. Those who founded this Sanstha could see
the future and so they established this Sanstha, its rules and its
traditions on such a firm basis. We are confident that there will
always be such great sadhus in the future who will keep the mission
running smoothly 100 years from now and beyond.
One after the other great Saints have manifested and more like them
will follow. There are also such sadhus like all of you, and there
are such devotees who, even today, are ready to surrender their
all to this Sanstha.
Jogi Maharaj founded the Youth Organisation, thus ensuring that
the future doesnt become bleak. Then came the organising of
the Bal Mandal. So there are already 3 generations! In this sense
the Sanstha will progress nicely. There wont be any problems!
In total we are over 400 sadhus and parshads (Jan. 1986).
As our guru and our redeemer, what do you feel towards us and how
do you look upon us?
Swamishri : There is an incident written in Satsangijivan. On the
13th day after the passing away of Ramanand Swami, Shriji Maharaj
held an assembly of all the sadhus and devotees. A saint asked,
Maharaj! Now you are our guru and our redeemer. So for our
benefit tell us what we should do and should not do, whatever it
Shriji Maharaj talked about dharma, We should make dharma,
jnan, vairagya and bhakti firm in our lives... and then He
goes on to explain what we should and should not do. Basically,
we have one objective and that is to please our God and our guru.
By Yogiji Maharajs wish you have joined this mission. So we
are constantly thinking of how we can help you master Ekantik dharma,
enjoy the eternal bliss of God. And imbibe the qualities of seva
and bhakti firmly into your lives and to renounce any trace of worldly
defects. Naturally we feel it is good if you can imbibe all of these
qualities. Because in the Vachanamritam it says, A Satpurush
has no concern for this world, he only desires Gods abode.
He also wants to help anyone who comes to him, to attain the happiness
he enjoys. Similarly, we want to help anyone who comes to
us, to become as happy as we are, to do bhakti like we do, to develop
love for God as we have and to develop a keenness to hear spiritual
discourses. Thus we always stress the importance of these.
We hope in our mind that Shriji Maharaj makes all of you happy and
resilient. Yogiji Maharaj used to say that may the sadhus develop
the strength to travel here and abroad and spread our message. May
they convince thousands of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy and
fulfil Maharaj's and Swamis ambitions that everyone does bhajan
Which is your favourite Vachanamritam?
Swamishri : Well, we like all the Vachanamritams as they are all
Maharajs words and so there is no question of likes and dislikes.
But naturally we have an inclination towards Vachanamritam Gadhada
III/7 in which Maharaj says, For one who aspires redemption
there is nothing in this world which gives him more happiness than
God and His Saint. If we can make this belief firm in our
heart, we will develop love and affection for God, who is present
before us in the guru. So naturally we have an inclination for this
statement and we feel that we should imbibe this in our life. Then
we will be able to do whatever we have to for him. We have to forget
our reputation, and whether our prestige increases or decreases,
or whether our bodies survive or not. In fact no matter what happens
we should have one conviction - that He is the only source of happiness.
So if this body is going to fall - let it fall; if pain is coming
our way - let it come; if we receive praise - so be it; if we are
insulted - so be it. But we must be staunch in our minds that we
want to stay here (at Gods lotus feet).
If we can achieve this understanding then we will be able to please
Maharaj. Thats why we have a liking for this Vachanamritam.
(1 January 1986, Sarangpur)