VALI VEDA PURÃNNÃ VETTÃ – EXPLAINING DIFFICULT SCRIPTURAL CONCEPTS
Nishkulanand Swami continues in this stanza by revealing yet another quality of a true Sadhu. A true Sadhu has the ability to accurately explain difficult scriptural concepts in a way that everyone can understand. As Shriji Maharaj says in Vachanamrut Gadhada II 13, “Discourses regarding the nature of God cannot be understood by oneself even from the shastras. Even though these facts may be in the shastras, it is only when the Satpurush manifests on this earth, and one hears them being narrated by him, that one understands them. They cannot, however, be understood by one’s intellect alone, even from the shastras.”
In Vachanamrut Loya 12, Shriji Maharaj narrates one such difficult concept, “One possessing the highest level of nirvikalp faith realizes that countless millions of brahmands, each encircled by the eight barriers, appear like mere atoms before Akshar. Such is the greatness of Akshar, the abode of Purushottam Narayan. One who worships Purushottam realizing oneself to be aksharrup can be said to possess the highest level of nirvikalp faith.” At first, nirvikalp faith seems difficult to understand. What exactly is nirvikalp faith, we may ask.
However, Swamishri is able to simply explain such a difficult concept. On 25 September 2001, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was seated in an assembly. When he spoke, he very simply and practically revealed what Shriji Maharaj meant when he talked of the highest level of nirvikalp faith. Swamishri revealed, “When we attain this state all we will do is continuously chant Maharaj’s name, we will only do his bhajan, and continuously think about only Maharaj. We meditate only on Maharaj, and only speak about and listen to his glory. When we eat, drink, stand, sit or sleep we only think of Maharaj, Maharaj and Maharaj.” Swamishri has the ability to not only understand these difficult concepts, but also explain them to us in a practically useful way.
KOMAL VÃNI AND VÃCHÃL VISHESHA
There is an old African saying, “Three things can never be taken back; the shot arrow, spent time and the spoken word.” This is why Gunatitanand Swami emphasizes that it is important to “Speak truthfully, benevolently and with love”. We can see this clearly in Swamishri’s life. He has never had to regret what he has said, because his speech is always truthful, benevolent and loving – a harmony often difficult to attain.
The next two qualities described are related to how a true Sadhu speaks. Nishkulanand Swami describes the Sadhu as being tactful in that he is not only eloquent, but also understanding and loving.
Several years ago Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited the BAPS Mandir in Rajkot. During Swami’s breakfast a youth activity volunteer gave a report on the various activities his mandal had performed throughout the year. At the end of the reporting another volunteer said to Swami, “Swami, all our youth volunteers are being taken by the children’s activity volunteers. Apart from that everything else is fine.”
Swami immediately understood the situation. He tactfully enquired, “All your volunteers are becoming children’s activity volunteers? Who do they go there to teach?”
The volunteer replied, “Children.”
Swami continued his questioning, “Yes, they go to teach children, right? So where do those children go after they have grown?”
“To the youth mandal,” the volunteer replied.
Finally, Swami expressed what he was trying to tell the volunteer, “So is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
“A good thing,” the volunteer finally realized.
One of the basic concepts of Satsang is unity and Swamishri is a strong believer in and promoter of unity. Whenever necessary Swamishri tactfully explains that the Satsang is one family and that by helping others we ultimately help ourselves.
The devotees in Navsari had a similar experience. In 1984 BAPS was looking for land to build a mandir in Navsari. After much searching and discussing there were two pieces of land to choose from. One piece was the land that we currently have and which touches the highway, while the other piece was adjacent to a railway line. After a number of meetings, the opinions of devotees and sadhus were split evenly. Pramukh Swami Maharaj himself had a preference for the land touching the highway, but how would he convince those on the other side.
Once, during a meeting, the devotees who wanted to buy the land adjacent to the railway line argued strongly for their case. They said that if this piece of land was bought, then people on the train could do darshan as the train passed by the mandir. It seemed as if they were right.
However, Swamishri explained, “Yes, you are right. Your intentions are rightly placed. However, people who drive by in their cars will also be able to see God’s murti and they, unlike those on the train, would actually be able to stop, get out and come for darshan.”
Despite the circumstance, Swamishri has the ability to both understand and convince, while being careful to never disappoint others in the process.
EVA SANTNE NÃMU HU SHISHA
Although others in the world have virtues which allow them to excel in their own fields, Nishkulanand Swami describes the saintly virtues of the Satpurush. Swamishri is such a Satpurush since he possesses all the virtues. Among the ocean of virtues that Swamishri possesses, we have looked at only a few. We pray that one day we can understand his true greatness and attain his blessings. Until then, let us join Nishkulanand Swami by bowing our heads in reverence to such a Sadhu – “Eva Santne nãmu hu shish.”