In Gadhada I 77, a sadhu starts to denounce dharma on the strength of his nishchay (conviction) for Bhagwan, probably saying something of the order that one does not need to observe the rules of dharma when one has a firm conviction of Bhagwan. Maharaj feels so strongly about this, that he has no qualms about the choice of words in describing such a person, “A person who forsakes dharma under the pretext of the jnan of Bhagwan should be considered demonic.”
Another of Maharaj’s sublime teaching attributes is tact. He uses tact to resolve difficult dialogues or questions. On several occasions, an elderly and venerable sadhu such as Muktanand Swami, twenty-two years older than Maharaj an who was once his guru, gives an answer which is not wholly correct. Maharaj wants to acknowledge this, but prefers not to dishearten him at the same time. In Gadhada I 67 and Gadhada III 2, in reply to Muktanand Swami’s answer, Maharaj artfully says, “It is true that there is a deficiency in vairagya, but it appears to me that…” (Gadhada III 2) and then gracefully gives his own valid answer, simultaneously maintaining Muktanand Swami’s dignity.
A desirable requisite in teaching is to praise pupils when they perform well, to boost them further. Simultaneously, they should also be corrected and admonished on failing to meet an expected standard. Yet the virtues needed by the aspirant for attaining moksha, if imbibed sincerely, are still appreciated by Paramatma and the Satpurush out of their divine grace.
In the Vachanamrut, Shriji Maharaj never fails to appreciate such virtues of the paramhansas and devotees present in the gathering.
In Gadhada III 26, he praises and vouches for Mayaram Bhatt, Mulji Brahmachari and Nishkulanand Swami in observing their dharma unflinchingly should they come in contact with money or women.
In Gadhada I 73, Gadhada II 38 and 52, Gadhada III 1, 22 and 24, and Loya 3, he lauds the different virtues of many devotees. In Gadhada II 41, he appreciates the egoless devotion to Bhagwan by Ratanji and Miyaji (a Muslim devotee). Maharaj had no hesitation in appreciating the devotion of a non-Hindu, at a time when varna and sectarian rigidity prevailed. In Loya 3, we witness Maharaj’s phenomenal memory, lauding the virtues of no less than 22 devotees. Two of these, the Kathi brothers Bhimo Dev and Sardu Dev of Gundali had never even met him. Yet he sincerely appreciated their sacrifice; they died while fighting dissenters who insulted and expelled some paramhansas out of their town.
As we study the Vachanamrut we become aware of Maharaj’s ingenuity in teaching. His talks sparkled. They came ‘alive’ by changing the location, varying the time of katha, using vivid imagery and examples from common everyday occurrences which were familiar to the listeners and they could easily identify with, and posing questions.
In Gadhada I 22 the paramhansas have just sung kirtans. Maharaj then talks about smruti of God while singing and mentions musical instruments that are present in front of him, such as; mrudang, sarangi, saroda, tal. In public speaking jargon, this is known as using ‘local colour’.
In Panchala 1, he uses local colour by mentioning a burning torch, that is lighting the gathering. In Panchala 4, he gives the example of Bhago and Mulo, identical twins present in the katha. In Sarangpur 5 he initiates the katha in a way that grabs the listeners’ attention. He commands the paramhansas to pose vexing (vankda vankda) questions to remove boredom. At the end of Kariyani 1, he says, “Now let us stop this discourse, and as the assembly has become inert, someone please sing some pleasing kirtans.” But too much of a good thing can also lead to monotony. So, in Gadhada II 34, he even says, “Please stop the devotional kirtans, and let us conduct a question-answer session in order to dispel lethargy.” In Gadhada I 26, he frames a sentence so creatively, “Now please stop singing and listen as I sing a kirtan in the form of a discourse.”
The Swaminarayan Sampradaya’s gurus have sung the immense glory of the Vachanamrut.
Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami
“Maharaj has uttered much about his innermost secrets, wishes and principles (siddhants) in the Vachanamrut. One should focus one’s attention on these and imbibe them” (Swamini Vato 2.76).
“There is no text greater than this Vachanamrut” (Swamini Vato 10.91).
“The Vachanamruts contain the essence of the four Vedas, six-shastras and eighteen Purans. In these Maharaj has elucidated principles. Hence one should study them” (Swamini Vato 6.19).
Whenever he requested a sadhu to bring a Vachanamrut text, he would say, “Bring amrut. This shastra is amrut on earth.”
On 3-10-1969, Yogiji Maharaj wrote in his blessings in the Gujarati edition of the Vachanamrut, “One who will drink this amrut will be graced with a seat next to Maharaj.”
“One who will read the Vachanamrut 108 times will be graced with the darshan of Shriji Maharaj.”
Pramukh Swami Maharaj
“We should read the Vachanamrut even if we do not understand it. Bhagwan’s words are like viable seeds; someday they are bound to sprout.”
“Just as there is no need to bathe (elsewhere for spiritual purity) after bathing in the Ganga, similarly after reading the Vachanamrut, nothing else remains to be read. One must read this shastra for a quarter of an hour every day.”