Why is a mango seed planted? To benefit from the shade of a fully blossomed mango tree? To use its leaves as festoons? Well actually, the main reason is to enjoy the delicious, juicy mangos that it produces.
Yes, shade, leaves and wood are also obtained, but they are side benefits. However, the main benefit is the mango fruit.
In the same way, why is ghar sabha (family assembly) held? For kalyan. It is the command of the Gunatit Satpurush, and the true and ultimate benefit of obeying his wishes is kalyan. Thus, by observing this inner wish of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj, kalyan is readily attained. At the same time, the benefits of family unity and harmony, values, spiritual understanding and others are also experienced.
If the core understanding that regularly conducting a ghar sabha is Swamishri’s wish is attained, then whether or not the side benefits are experienced in one’s family, one will remain motivated to continue conducting ghar sabha regularly with one’s family.
How far can one throw an arrow by hand? But if one uses a bow, it can be sent much further. In the same way, conducting ghar sabha for its side benefits is like the former, while holding a regular ghar sabha with the sole sentiment of obeying Swamishri takes one’s family further.
In one’s spiritual journey, to experience peace and happiness in life, observing the commands of the Satpurush is of paramount importance. The Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Shrimad Bhagvat, Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Vachanamrut and other shastras all indicate observance of the Satpurush’s commands as the master key.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has even declared, “One who follows commands of the Satpurush is behaving as the atma.”
India’s late former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had a heartfelt reverence for Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Dr Kalam was a distinguished, internationally respected scientist and intellectual. Yet, he also attached great importance to fulfilling Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s wishes.
On 30 June 2001, Dr Kalam presented to Swamishri the five key areas which 500 of India’s leading thinkers had identified to transform India. After listening to him, Swamishri suggested, “In addition to your five areas to transform India, add a sixth – developing faith in God and spirituality in the people of India.”
On hearing this proposal, Dr Kalam remarked, “I was taken aback by the clarity, precision and force of his words.” In an instant, Swamishri had identified an idea which had eluded so many great thinkers. This was Swamishri’s divine intelligence in action and Dr Kalam endeavoured to fulfil Swamishri’s idea.
That same divine mind of Swamishri has insisted that all should conduct ghar sabha to experience peace, harmony and happiness in life. Swamishri’s insistence is based on his extensive experience of the problems that face families and society in general. And this is his solution to these manifold problems.
Swamishri counselled – in person, by letter and by phone – lakhs of people. He truly understood the pains of people and their causes. Ghar sabha was the solution he advocated, borne of the pure, genuine concern he had for the welfare of all.
So, even if one does not understand the reason or logic behind Swamishri’s guidance, it is still wise and beneficial to obey him. Such faith in his words will certainly bear fruit.
On 3 October 1998, in London, Swamishri said, “Ghar sabha is an important sadhana. When you start ghar sabha, do not stop, even if it takes some time to ‘set’. When you move homes, it takes time to settle into the new home. The same happens for ghar sabha. Even if others don’t come, you must continue your efforts. One day, everyone will become set with it.”
On 11 June 2006, Swamishri said, “If you conduct ghar sabha with faith, trust and patience, all problems will be resolved.”
Mahant Swami Maharaj has also re-inforced this message on many occasions.
On 13 July 2017, in Chicago, during the Bal Din assembly, the children asked Swamishri to draw them a picture. So, Swamishri drew a house and wrote ‘Ghar Sabha’ next to it. What was in Swamishri’s heart, he drew by hand.
On 15 July 2017, a youth driving Swamishri’s car said to him, “Swami! I got married recently.” Instantly, Swamishri guided, “Before any problems arise, start ghar sabha.”
So, just as performing daily personal puja and observing ekadashi are the Satpurush’s commands, similarly, conducting ghar sabha is also his command.
On 3 October 1998, Pramukh Swami Maharaj said, “I thank you for faithfully conducting ghar sabha. So, just don’t forget this!
This is Swamishri’s gift to all – accept it and welcome it with open arms and minds. Give it pride of place in your homes and revel in the pleasant atmosphere it generates. It is our duty to uphold Swamishri’s wish. So, just don’t forget this!