Essay Archives

10 August 2019, Dar-es-Salaam

During Swamishri’s evening meal, Kirtanprem Swami entered with his hand bandaged. Swamishri asked, “What happened?”
Kirtanprem Swami explained, “I cut my finger while using a knife to cut the thermocol designs. Since the cut was deep, it was necessary to take a stitch to seal the wound. But at that time I recalled an incident with you and really understood your mahima.”
Then he continued to narrate the incident he had witnessed as a youth, “In 2002, you had come to America. You went for dental treatment in Edison. I accompanied you as a translator.
“The dentist said that since your tooth had to be removed, he would give you a local anaesthetic. You agreed. So, he injected a local anaesthetic into your gums, but it did not numb the area. So, he gave you a second injection. Still, the area was not numbed. Then, he said, ‘It is not safe to give a third so I will continue, but if you feel too much pain or discomfort, raise your hand and I will stop for a while.’
“You were reclined on the dental chair and I was observing your hand. The dentist began to remove the tooth. It’s natural that any surgery without adequate anaesthesia is painful. But, during the procedure, when you felt extreme pain, you merely raised the first finger of your right hand. So, I would tell the dentist and he would stop for a while. In this way, the surgery was completed.”
“Afterwards, the dentist said, ‘Swami’s tolerance of pain is incredible. Others would scream with pain if the area is not numbed with anaesthetic.’
“The doctor stitched my finger without numbing the area, so I screamed in pain. That’s when I recalled what you had experienced then.”
Then Swamishri said, “My jaw was broken, so it was wired together. And for one month, I could take only liquids. I could barely swallow.”
Swamishri’s tolerance and physical pain reveals his elevated spiritual state of atmarup.

21 August 2019, Atladara

Today’s evening assembly was titled ‘Samjan Din’ – Understanding Day. In his blessings, Swamishri said, “Up to now we have remained foolish. Now is the time to remove this foolishness. How? Everyone has forgotten their true form – atma. If this is understood, everything is achieved.
“But such understanding evades us. No matter how much you memorize and repeat this, it is forgotten and you remain the same.
“One may give eloquent speeches on this topic, but one’s body-consciousness and swabhavs (base natures) remain. If one is not honoured, one is immediately affected. But this is due to attachment for the body. Gunatitanand Swami has told us to constantly remember that ‘I am not this body, I am atma.’ Since we have taken refuge in Maharaj and Swami, it will be achieved.”

14 November 2019, Bochasan

After breakfast, Swamishri experienced a painful muscle spasm in his left arm, which he tried to relieve by massaging with his right hand.
Meanwhile, a senior sadhu garlanded Swamishri. Despite the pain, Swamishri even smiled for the photo. Then, as he got up, Swamishri folded his hands to the sadhus, just like he did every day, even though his arm was painful.
Swamishri entered the lift. Inside, in the background, the dhun ‘Swaminarayan namo namaha; Shriji Maharaj namo namaha’ was playing, Swamishri joined in the dhun while clapping, ignoring the pain in his left arm.
Trilokbandhu Swami asked with amazement, “When will we be like this?” Swamishri instantly replied, “It won’t happen!”
Trilokbandhu Swami was referring to being able to constantly engage in bhajan, while Swamishri was referring to the pain in his arm.
Despite the pain, Swamishri engaged with all and revealed his sentiments for others.

4 January 2020, Surat

After Swamishri’s evening meal, the sadhus described the worrying situation in Australia due to the bushfires and the immense loss of wildlife and widespread damage.
Then, Swamishri sat down to sing the cheshta, but he was deep in thought about the fires in Australia. As there was some pain in Swamishri’s foot, the attendant sadhus placed an ice pack around that area. When the cheshta concluded, Swamishri asked, “Have you placed the ice pack?”
“Yes,” replied the attendants.
“I didn’t feel it.”
An attendant touched the area to check that the ice pack was cold. Swamishri also touched that area and said, “Oh, it is very cold. I didn’t even notice.”
Swamishri’s physiotherapist, Rahul, said, “Swamishri is very sensitive to the cold, yet did not notice this.”
Then, Swamishri went to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Uttamyogi Swami asked, “Is there a reason you did not notice the ice pack?”
Swamishri said, “During cheshta I was praying for the situation in Australia, so did not notice it.”
Swamishri retired to sleep at 10.20 p.m., but was restless. At 10.53 p.m. he got up to sit on the sofa. For 39 minutes he turned the mala to pray and then went to sleep.

26 March 2020, Nenpur

Discoursing after puja, Swamishri said, “Maharaj manifested on earth to teach us that the body and atma are separate. So do not waste this life and opportunity. We have attained this birth and God’s manifest association. This is a great opportunity, so do not waste it. Believe ‘I am the atma, not the body’ and live accordingly. Strengthen this belief daily. We say ‘Aksharam aham, Purushottam dāsosmi,’ but we must live it day and night – 24 hours. Throughout the day, frequently repeat, ‘I am akshar, but am the servant of Purushottam’. This is the focus of our sadhana.”

2 May 2020, Nenpur

After puja, Swamishri blessed, “Over countless births, the body and atma have become one. But they are distinct. Understanding this is the goal of satsang. It is not possible to physically separate the two, but it must be done through understanding. With such wisdom, one lives in the body, but knows the atma to be separate.”

27 May 2020, Nenpur

After his puja , Swamishri discoursed, “The body and atma are separate. By assuming yourself to be the body, you experience misery. Believe your true form to be atma and there will be no miseries. So, all the pain everybody experiences is due to body-consciousness. We have attained this satsang, the Satpurush and Bhagwan. But problems remain due to one’s body-centredness. If this is overcome, one will experience unbroken joy. Remaining attached to the body leads to great deficiencies.”

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