In every one of us there lies virtues and faults. Humans have both faith and no faith. When we get the company of a God-realized person the good in us blossoms forth. Our earth contains a variety of minerals and elements like zinc, copper, nitrate, chloride and also unwanted waste. Trees absorb whatever that is good from the soil. Similarly, an association with the Gunatit Satpurush brings out whatever good that lies in us. He awakens our faith. Since his personality is divine the qualities of faith, trust, love for God, etc. come forth from within us. Our virtues manifest according to the type of person we keep company of. If he is a crook or a morally perverted person then the bad surfaces from within us. The calculation is very clear.
The lyrics of a kirtan say, “There are two chambers within us. In one resides God and in the other lies evil.” The analogy is wonderful, and needless to say a reality. In all of us there lies two chambers. When we get the association of the Satpurush he opens for us the door in which God resides. And if we bump into someone who is corrupt, then he opens the other door from which evil steps out. In fact the door of evil is always open! Evil does not allow its door to remain closed. On the contrary, evil shuts the door of God for us! But when we meet the God-realized Satpurush our story becomes different.
We have got such a Satpurush in the form of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. We have his association after innumerable births and to some extent by virtue of our past merits. Bhagwan Swaminarayan reveals so in Vachanamrut, Gadhada II 2. Whoever is in Satsang, no matter how small he may be, his atma is not small. Yogiji Maharaj used to address children, “You are not small. You are akshar and the rest that is in you is dehbhav.” This is the perspective we have to develop in us.
Once, Yogiji Maharaj arrived in the village of Dhuava near Jamnagar. He was invited by a devotee to perform the ground-breaking ritual for the construction of his new home. The strange thing was that there was no Brahmin to conduct the ritual. So Yogiji Maharaj himself conducted and performed the ritual by singing the shlokas, “Mahãdhyãnãbhyãsam…” Once this was over the devotee told Yogiji Maharaj to sanctify his farm. Swami told him, “We will go there in the evening and from there we will proceed to Rajkot.” In the evening everyone forgot about the visit to the farm. Yogiji Maharaj’s car was heading towards Rajkot. After travelling for about five kilometres Yogiji Maharaj remembered and expressed his wish to return and sanctify the devotee’s farm. Sanatan Swami, who was accompanying Yogiji Maharaj, replied that the devotee must have forgotten about it, so there was no need to go. But Yogiji Maharaj insisted that they go. So the entourage returned to Dhuava and arrived at the farm. The farm had been ploughed, so there were clods of mud. I was with Yogiji Maharaj as a parshad (wearing white clothes). Yogiji Maharaj held my hand for support and walked on the clods of mud to the opposite end of the farm. Along the way there were two mango trees. Yogiji Maharaj patted them with his hands and revealed, “Both of them have been performing austerities since 10,000 years.” I felt that Swami had specially come to bless the two mango trees. It was not possible to know the true answer. Imagine, after 10,000 years of austerity they got the association of a God-realized person. Similarly, our affiliation with the Satpurush in Satsang is not a coincidence. Partly after acquiring so much merits (punya) we have got his association. However by the grace of God and the Satpurush we have forgotten all that. If we were able to remember our past we would not be able to do satsang. We would breathe with arrogance, “Oh, I am of this calibre, and I have so much merits!” We can derive the benefit of doing satsang when we remain humble.
It is difficult for those who are overwise to tread the path of spirituality. Yogiji Maharaj said that one should listen to satsang discourses with the attitude that one is spiritually ignorant. Once one has eaten a stomach-full what can one eat when visiting the kitchen? It doesn’t matter that the food items are superb, one will not feel like having even a little. Similarly, when one feels “I know everything” then one’s ability to learn further comes to an end. That is why God has blocked our past altogether. It is indeed a blessing in disguise. However, one thing is clear that after the accumulation of merits of so many past births we have had the association of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who are God-realized persons.
Sometimes when we mull we feel that if we were to amass the punya of this universe we would not get the opportunity of this association. Bhagwan Swaminarayan had so wished and that is why we have had this spiritual association. It is his wish and resolution, otherwise our spiritual merits would fall way short in attaining him. He said that he is realized through divine grace and not through sadhanas alone, and that we have had his association through the former.
After having attained him, what remains to be done now? We have to preserve him only in our hearts. All our activities, like working, business, farming or whatever should be external. Whereas within, we should have God and his realized Sadhu. There should be nothing else within us but them.