Mahant Swami Maharaj elaborated upon Vachanamrut Gadhada I 16
in a satsang assembly in Morbi on 16 June 2019
There are two types of vivek (etiquette or wisdom). One refers to discipline and social decorum. This means that when one bows the other person also bows. However, they may not always be heartfelt bows. The second is Shriji Maharaj’s explanation about bowing heartfully. He explains about spiritual vivek, which is way above the social decorum aspect of it that we understand in our minds.
‘A wise devotee [viveki] of God who can discern between sat and asat identifies the flaws within himself and thoughtfully eradicates them’ (reference from the Vachanamrut). Sat means one’s atma. Asat means one’s body. One does not find such explanations in the worldly context, in which one sees the faults of others. However, in satsang, if one looks at others’ faults it amounts to being worldly minded. But when one enshrines the vivek [prescribed by Maharaj] the devotee starts looking at his own faults.
Even while doing satsang one does not focus on one’s own faults. And if one [genuinely] does, one congratulates oneself, ‘I have seen my faults’, thus believing it to be a great achievement. Thereafter, one thinks, ‘This fault of mine is not good because it will take me on the wrong path, on the path of destruction.’ After discerning in this true way one then renounces one’s faults.
One who relates the spiritual discourses one hears to someone else is worthless. One should take them upon oneself, ‘The fault described lies in me.’ One who is really spiritually inclined (has khap) will see his own fault. Otherwise, in spite of attending daily satsang for years, one will remain flawed.
Maharaj says here, ‘[He] identifies the flaws within himself and thoughtfully eradicates them.’ But he does not accumulate them. We do not amass garbage and say, ‘Oh, the garbage is so nice.’ Similarly, finding faults in others is garbage.
‘Any apparent flaws he perceives in the Sant or a satsangi’ (from Vachanamrut) – in fact there aren’t any flaws. But when one who is [viveki] apparently sees them, he renounces them and imbibes the virtues. Of what use is garbage? Why not collect pearls! Shriji Maharaj and the Gunatit Sants teach us to root out and discard [the habit of] fault-finding [towards others] altogether. Those who are (spiritually) courageous truly perceive the virtues (of others). But most perceive the virtues of others in a superficial way – this means one perceives another’s virtues and then also his faults. However, by perceiving only the virtues of others one becomes enriched and wealthy.
‘Moreover, he never perceives any faults whatsoever in God’ (from Vachanamrut). And he believes that whatever faults and shortcomings there are lie in himself. In fact, such a person believes that whatever faults he sees in another person are a reflection of his own faults. When one imbibes such an attitude only then can one understand Bhagwan. If there is garbage in one’s mind how can one understand Bhagwan. By believing Bhagwan and his Sadhu to be pure only then can one understand (and realize) both of them.
‘When the Sant tells him, “You are distinct from the mind, body, indriyas and pran, you are satya; you are the knower of the body, indriyas and prans, which are all asatya – he accepts this to be the truth. He then behaves as the atma – distinct from them all – but never follows the instincts of his own mind’ (from Vachanamrut). If one perceives this, which is a very big thing, then all else (that is bad within oneself) will disappear. Side with and pay a little attention towards satsang. Maharaj has said one should ponder a little, (about satsang). Here, Maharaj says, ‘Never follow the [worldly] instincts of one’s mind.’ The mind causes all problems. A little idleness of mind creates problems. The mind takes you on the wrong road. It generates wrong thoughts. In spite of years of sadhana, no matter who you may be, (the mind) spoils you. But by repeatedly thinking about not following the mind’s instincts and imbibing satsang one’s work (of liberation) will be accomplished. But we do not have a strong inclination to imbibe it. And so the mind takes you on the wrong path.
Gunatitanand Swami has said, ‘For millions of lifetimes we have done the bidding of our mind. In this birth, we have the association of Bhagwan, so we should do what he says. We should give up our mind’s likings, restrain it and pulverize it into pieces and do whatever Bhagwan and the Sant says. But because we are steeped in worldly activities we perform our spiritual and satsang activities superficially. So, our thoughts should be aligned with Bhagwan and the Sant’s (thoughts). We should have spiritual leanings.
This satsang is such that if you contemplate a little and put in some effort, you will start doing satsang and will feel good about it. But, because we never ever think about satsang our life veers off in the wrong direction. At that time, we should apply brakes and avoid going in the wrong direction. The reason behind this is that we have the association of (a great) Bhagwan. If we make even little efforts, with a little spiritual inclination, then we will attain a lot. We should make efforts with sincere feelings and with a strong spiritual inclination.
‘Such a person identifies those objects and evil company that may cause bondage or raise deficiencies in his ekantik dharma and shuns them, but he does not become bound by them’ (from Vachanamrut). One has to think about what causes mundane bondage. Instead, we hold on to that which causes bondage and give up something else (that which liberates us).
We never engage in social dealings that incur losses for us. In fact, we instantly refrain from doing something (that causes losses), and think about it. This we should also apply while doing satsang. The attainment (prapti) of the (Divine) is similar to having attained amrut (immortalizing nectar). By listening to satsang discourses and pondering upon them one becomes immortal. Having attained such a (great) Bhagwan and Sant we should not disrespect and insult them. We should align our thoughts with their thoughts and likings. Only then will we enjoy this satsang and reap great benefits.