In the Vachanamrut, Bhagwan Swaminarayan has revealed the highest philosophical doctrine by which all genuine spiritual aspirants can progress spiritually and attain ultimate liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. This is the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, which, in essence, teaches that one must become aksharrup and offer humble devotion to supreme Parabrahma. This is the core principle which Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s succession of Gunatit Gurus have reiterated and reinforced by their exemplary lives and teachings. Their practical spiritual guidance to all devotees is based on this principle.
Since becoming the guru of BAPS in 2016, Mahant Swami Maharaj has continued to nourish this tradition. He has resolutely and repeatedly, through his work and words, embedded the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan in the hearts and minds of all devotees. He has ensured that this unique doctrine revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan is recalled regularly by devotees in their daily devotional rituals. To enable this, he has gifted the worldwide BAPS community of devotees with the mantra ‘Aksharam aham Purushottam dasosmi’, and a revised arti, mahapuja and Sahajanand Namavali that focus entirely on the principle of Akshar-Purushottam revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
In addition, alongside the murti of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj he worships daily, Swamishri has fulfilled Yogiji Maharaj’s much cherished wish and consecrated the murti of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami.
The darshan of these murtis serves as a perpetual reminder to all of the core philosophical principle revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan: one must become aksharrup and offer humble devotion to Parabrahma, and that this is achieved by the profound association of a Gunatit Guru, who is the manifest form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan on this earth.
The following incidents reveal Mahant Swami Maharaj’s deep-rooted faith in the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan and his dedication to teaching it to all, such that it becomes an integral part of their lives.
10 April 2020, Nenpur
Uttamyogi Swami asked, “What have we come here to do?” Swamishri replied, “To worship God.” And with his right hand gestured as if turning the beads of a mala.
“What earns the most grace?”
Swamishri said, “Spreading nishtha.”
29 August 2019, Dar-es-Salaam to Kampala
During the flight Kaushikbhai asked, “We serve as per your wish, but what can we do to earn even more blessings? Swamishri said, “Strengthen nishtha in others.”
3 November 2019, Rajkot
Swamishri gazed at the murti of Shastriji Maharaj sitting in a relaxed pose and said, “See, Shastriji Maharaj is sitting so relaxed because he has consecrated Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj.”
Uttamyogi Swami asked, “If he had not consecrated Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj would he not be relaxed?”
“No, that is what he dedicated his entire life for.”
“Are you relaxed? Has what you have manifest on earth for been achieved?”
Swamishri said, “It’s in progress.”
“What is that work?”
“To propagate nishtha everywhere.”
20 April 2019, Dubai to Abu Dhabi
En route, an attendant sadhu said, “Yogi Bapa’s vision was to spread satsang throughout the world. Today’s historic Shilanyas Ceremony is part of that. What are your thoughts?”
Swamishri replied, “To strengthen nishtha in devotees for Maharaj-Swami… that is the main thing.”
7 April 2019, Sarangpur
After Swamishri’s walk, Vedantpriya Swami asked, “What can we do to quickly overcome our faults?”
Swamishri said, “Aksharam aham, Purushottam dasosmi. Constantly think and research on this mantra. By your association with Bhagwan, kal, karma, maya cannot affect you. Just as a snake around Shivji’s neck is protected from a predatory eagle, but when separated from Shivji, the snake perishes. Similarly, if you have ashro of Bhagwan, he will protect and liberate you.”
4 October 2019, Nairobi
After lunch, Swamishri said, “Once I went to inspect another’s room. It was disorganized, so, thereafter, I resolved to look only at myself and stop looking at others.”
Atmatrupt Swami said, “You used to keep a piece of paper in your puja, which you sometimes read to the sadhus: 1. Revel in the joy of what we have attained – prapti no vichar. In comparison, atmavichar is insignificant and 2. Keep our clothes and space neat and clean. Do not look at what others do.”
Swamishri nodded, smiled and commented, “Reflecting on one’s prapti supercedes everything else… Even atmavichar. By realizing what has been attained, everything is included in that.”