मे दिव्यम् – Divinity in the Manifest Form
The words, ‘my birth and actions are divine’ refer to the form directly before Arjuna’s eyes. The underlying meaning to be understood here is that one must keep divyabhãv in the manifest form of Paramãtmã. It may be possible to keep divyabhãv in the form of Paramãtmã that one cannot see, but it is difficult to keep divyabhãv in the manifest form in front of oneself. Often, when we hear about the incidents of previous avatars, we are delighted; but if the manifest form of Paramãtmã performs similar actions, our thoughts begin to waver. This is why the Gitã subtly tells us to keep divyabhãv in the manifest form of Paramãtmã one has attained. Thus, the principle of understanding divyabhãv in human traits applies to the form of Paramãtmã that is present at that time. For example, when Paramãtmã assumes an avatar by specifically pervading another ãtmã, divyabhãv must be understood in that avatar. Paramãtmã is divine, therefore it is necessary to understand his avatars as divine. The life stories of the avatars are well-documented in our shastras. For example, in his time Shri Krishna Bhagwan’s human-like actions were understood to be divine by the gopis, and, by doing so, they pleased their beloved Shri Krishna Bhagwan.
Moreover, when that same Paramãtmã assumes a human body himself, without specifically pervading another ãtmã, divaybhãv must be affirmed in that form. For example, when Parabrahman Purushottam Swaminarayan Paramãtmã himself assumed a human form in this world, his sadhus and devotees affirmed divyabhãv in him. They saw his human-like actions and, in his very presence, were delighted by them, praised them, wrote poems on them and thus attained ultimate liberation.
Furthermore, divyabhãv must be kept in the manifest form of the Aksharbrahman guru in whom that same Paramãtmã completely resides. Being eternally beyond mãyã, that brahmaswarup guru is indeed eternally divine. But, more importantly, it is through him that Paramãtmã gives bliss to his devotees, and thus, for them, he is the manifest form of Paramãtmã. In this case, Paramãtmã has not specifically pervaded the brahmaswarup guru, but eternally resides in all entirety within him. Therefore, the guru is revered as the form of Paramãtmã himself. It is necessary for all spiritual aspirants to attain divyabhãv in his actions. The reference to the manifest form of Paramãtmã with the words ‘my birth and actions are divine’ refers to such brahmaswarup gurus as well. For example, in the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, there are hundreds of thousands of devotees who attained the manifest form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the form of Brahmaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj. They understood him to be divine, and on experiencing his divine life and work, became fulfilled. In the same manner, today, that same divinity is showered upon us by Param Pujya Pragat Brahmaswarup Mahant Swami Maharaj, and we all experience this.
Thus, the lesson here is to keep divyabhãv in Paramãtmã when he himself assumes a human body, in the avatars which he has specifically pervaded, and in the brahmaswarup gurus in whom he completely resides.
Although the Gitã has briefly mentioned keeping divyabhãv in the human form of Paramãtmã, Bhagwan Swaminarayan has elaborated on it in great depth in his teachings. He has clarified the various aspects of this principle, and by raising possible questions he has given clear answers in accordance with the shastras.
वेत्ति तत्त्वतः – To Know As Is
The precepts on divinity are not just for the sake of information. Emphasis has been given on imbibing them in our lives. The words ‘evam yo vetti tattvataha’ emphasize that the above precepts are not to merely be heard. ‘Evam’ means ‘in this manner’. This refers to what manner one’s conviction in Paramãtmã must be, i.e. one’s conviction in Paramãtmã should be such that one understands his birth and actions to be divine. Tattvataha means truly and completely, as it really is, i.e. without prejudicing that knowledge with one’s own opinions. Vetti means to imbibe in one’s life, to truly accept from within, to experience, to not just say – but to believe. One who does not understand divyabhãv as described here, does not understand it completely, does not understand it as it is and does not imbibe it, remains aloof from the ultimate attainment, or even obtains an unfavourable attainment. Thus, the above precept has been given. It also explains that divyabhãv is a philosophical principle. It then goes on to explain what one who imbibes this principle of divyabhãv attains.
पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति – To Be Rid of Rebirth and Attain Paramãtmã
Here, it mentions two attainments that those who are wed to divyabhãv receive. The first is ‘tyaktvã deham punarjanma naiti’ – after they leave this body, they will never have to be born again. They are freed from the chains of mãyã. They are liberated. Secondly, ‘mãmeti’ – they attain Paramãtmã.
What divine fruits of divinity! All spiritual endeavours are directed at ultimate liberation, and divyabhãv is an easy direct means to it. If one does millions of other spiritual endeavours, this still may not be one’s last birth; but if one keeps divyabhãv, then nothing remains to be done. Paramãtmã is the greatest thing, invaluable. Divyabhãv gives us the greatest gift – that is the power of divyabhãv.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has also said that to keep divyabhãv in human-like actions is in itself bhakti. Only one who has such devotion can be called a devotee, and only such a devotee attains the ultimate abode. (Vachanãmrut Gadhadã II 10). Mul Aksharmurti Gunatitanand Swami Maharaj has also attested to this saying that upon understanding the manifest form of Paramãtmã to be absolutely flawless, nothing remains to be done (Swamini Vato 5.124).
Becoming What One Believes
Furthering this same topic of divinity, Shri Krishna Bhagwan says, ‘न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा। एवं यो मामभिजानाति न स कर्मभिर्बध्यते॥’ – ‘Na mãm karmãni limpanti na me karmafale spruhã, evam yo mãmabhijãnãti na sa karmabhirbadhyate.’ Meaning, ‘Actions do not taint me; moreover, I do not covet the fruits of actions. One who understands me in this manner is also not bound by karmas’ (Gitã 4.14).
The principle of becoming what one believes has been stated here. No matter what type of actions the manifest form of Paramãtmã does, he is never tainted by those actions, he is also not attached to the fruits of actions – one who keeps such divyabhãv, himself becomes divine. To rid oneself of the taints of karmas, it is not necessary to wrestle with those karmas; if one keeps divyabhãv in the manifest form of Paramãtmã, the taints of karmas dissolve by themselves. Thus, the power of divyabhãv has been revealed here.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has also explained this principle of becoming what one believes. He says that one who believes Paramãtmã to be beyond mãyã himself transcends mãyã (Vachanãmrut Panchãlã 7), and if a person realizes Paramãtmã to be absolutely flawless, then regardless of his own swabhãvs, he himself becomes absolutely flawless as well (Vachanãmrut Gadhadã I 24).