The following is a translation of a Gujarati article written by Pujya Mahant Swami, which appeared in the Swaminarayan Prakash, April 1985
Shriji Maharaj’s paramhansa-poet Brahmanand Swami writes, “Rãj mãre din din Diwali re… – My Lord, every day is Diwali for me…” For an ekantik devotee each day is like Diwali (full of divine joy). Why is it that we do not experience such divine joy in spite of having the association of a God-realized Sant
In Vachanamrut Kariyani 6, on the day of Diwali, Shriji Maharaj talks about pure devotion (bhakti). He describes how he himself got up from his seat and walked towards the female devotee of Div Bandar to accept her gift of new clothes and worship. Though Maharaj had donned very nice clothes on the occasion of Diwali, he happily wore the clothes offered by the female devotee. Thereafter, he declared that due to her many years of sincere devotion he is intensely pleased upon that devotee.
If we introspect we may also find lapses in our devotion. Out of the devotion we offer, 75 per cent of it is to please Bhagwan and Sant and the remaining 25 per cent to please ourselves or others. Subsequently, we never attain the fullest rajipo of God because we offer bhakti according to our mind’s resolve, out of jealousy, ego, lapse in faith or other reasons. Thus, we do not experience inner fulfilment or that our base instincts (swabhavs) are being eradicated.
When we speak about God we do so with the motive to preach and not out of bhakti. The same applies while doing seva and other spiritual sadhanas. The devotee of Div Bandar offered bhakti to purely please Maharaj; it was not tainted with worldly feelings.
In our feelings to please God there lies a mixture of other feelings. This means that one may observe niyams out of formality or to please others. In addition, one does not offer bhakti without the element of ego.
Jealousy engenders competitive feelings, faithlessness or the thought of downgrading someone. In spite of knowing that we offer bhakti out of self-will we tell ourselves, “Let me do it this time and I will improve the next time.” But there is no end to ‘next time’!
Out of all our inner faults (doshes) envy (matsar) is the basis of all the other doshes. That is why an envy-free Sant (God-realized) is the upholder of Bhagvat Dharma (Ekantik Dharma).
What is jealousy (irsha)? To be unable to bear the progress of a colleague or peer. One who has matsar (envy) cannot bear the progress of anyone, regardless of a person being a peer or not. And one who has asuya (a subtler form of jealousy) perceives another’s virtue (gun) as a fault (avgun).
The father of all faults is ego. Shriji Maharaj says that when someone does not praise you, you turn a blind eye to that person’s 100 virtues and harp upon his minor fault.
One always feels one should be honoured or praised even though one may not be worthy of it. Then what would happen when one is not honoured when one is truly eligible or possesses a few virtues? One would definitely gripe and create a commotion. When someone else is honoured instead of oneself, then again the situation becomes tense or dicey.
On the other hand, when a person who praises you has 100 faults (avguns) you ignore them and sing about his single virtue.
All such noble talks and truths were spoken by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, which mostly apply to everyone. Without self-examination one will not be able to understand or accept this. A thinker says, “The deepest craving in human beings is to be appreciated.” All our activities have their roots in these words. Ego is the basic cause of world wars.
Anger and jealousy arises when one is not honoured or praised. When Daksh Prajapati arrived in an assembly he was not honoured by Shivji. Everyone else stood up to honour him except Shivji. As a result there was mayhem. Everyone wants honour or praise. Even animals are not exempt from it. Gunatitanand Swami has mentioned that once when a racehorse came second in a race it lost 14 lbs of weight. Such was the effect of losing!