Essay Archives

Body, Mind and Soul

Mahant Swami Maharaj explains the difference between deha (body), man (mind) and atma (soul) in the following way. He says that in business, there is generally a working partner, managing partner and a financing partner. The financing partner is most critical for starting and running the business. Similarly, Swamishri compares that in life the body is a working partner, the mind is a managing partner and the atma is a financing partner – the most important player. However, in business the working partner often takes the maximum share of the profit, followed by the managing partner and the financing partner gets the least. Similarly, in life, people spend most of their time on their body and mind and very little for their atma. The essence of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s analogy is that we should prioritize and focus our efforts and resources in elevating our atma to attain moksha.

On Happiness

Mahant Swami Maharaj explains the concept of happiness by posing a question: If you can sleep peacefully for eight hours on a bed worth `5,000, then for how many hours can you sleep on a bed costing `50,000? And what if the bed is worth `500,000, `5,000,000 or `50,000,000? Swamishri replies that happiness does not increase in proportion to having greater wealth or more expensive things. Wealth can provide convenience, but not inner peace, which is a totally different domain.

On Anger

Mahant Swami Maharaj explains that people often get angry on someone over small matters. There may be times, depending on the circumstances, when one has to tell someone off. Swamishri says the important thing is how much to tell, how to tell and when to tell. Then, he elaborates it with an example. To heat 100ml of water, would it make sense to burn 1 metric ton of coal? Similarly, there are times when too much anger is not warranted. Sometimes, one faces minor issues and so saying a little may suffice. But, at times we get extremely angry, which then spoils the matter further, including our health, peace of mind and spirituality. Thus, Swamishri teaches the need to control one’s anger.

Prapti (Association or Attainment of God and Guru)

Mahant Swami Maharaj explains the idea of prapti by saying that it is as big as the Himalayas, while our worldly problems are like small heaps of mud. Our focus should always be on our prapti. Our worldly problems are petty, temporary and limited to this life. On the other hand, realizing prapti results in a permanent relief and liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.
Mahant Swami Maharaj illustrates this further by saying that suppose you are successfully running a big factory in Ahmedabad. Then, due to a new official regulation your factory operations stall. The matter becomes more complicated, resulting into legal issues with some higher officials in New Delhi. Despite your best of efforts in meeting the officials in Delhi, the matter remains unresolved. You return home to Gujarat, desperate to resolve the ongoing heavy losses in capital, production and market share. Now, suddenly out of the blue, you get a call from the authorities in Delhi asking you to urgently meet them the next day at 11 a.m. To get there, no air or train reservation ticket is available. But, you manage to get into a train without any reservation for a bunk to sleep or a seat. Consequently, you reach Delhi the next morning, standing all the way. You are extremely tired and exhausted when you reach your meeting place at 11 a.m. At 11.15 a.m., your file is cleared by the concerned official, giving you permission to recommence your factory operations. Consequently, you are greatly relieved. In this situation, will you remember or feel the pain and struggle of your train journey? The answer is no, because a bigger problem has been solved for which you had been struggling and making efforts for quite some time.
Then, Swamishri explains that souls have been struggling for countless births to obtain moksha. It is only in this life that we have come in the contact of the Satpurush and satsang to enable us to solve our long struggle to achieve permanent relief and happiness. If we keep this in mind, then the problems of this world are trifle, like the difficulties of the train journey to Delhi. This is how Swamishri explains in very simple terms the concept of spiritual prapti in this life and why we should rejoice and always remain joyous.

Unique Relationship Between God and His Devotees

Mahant Swami Maharaj narrations and detailed interpretations of the incidents of Yogiji Maharaj enlighten listeners in new ways. Once, Yogiji Maharaj was about to leave Gondal for Rajkot, when he decided to inspect the utensils being washed by the youths. On inspecting a dish, he found it to be a little oily and unclean. Immediately, Yogiji Maharaj said in his loving style that it was not acceptable since Thakorji (God) eats from the dish. In response, a youth replied that the dishes are used for devotees and not Thakorji. Yogiji Maharaj replied that Thakorji also eats from the dishes, because he resides in the hearts of devotees. Mahant Swami Maharaj narrates this incident and highlights Yogiji Maharaj’s mahima for devotees and his insistence that they receive appropriate care.

Traffic Jam

Mahant Swami Maharaj often speaks about a big traffic congestion which he had once encountered. All the vehicles had come to a standstill. On investigating, it was found that there was a problem between two vehicles on a narrow section of the road, where neither driver was willing to give way to each other. Mahant Swami Maharaj explains that it wasn’t a traffic jam, but a swabhav (temperament) jam. If one of the drivers had reversed a little, the congestion would have eased totally. However, because of their egos, neither were willing to take a step back. Swamishri emphasizes that in life, too, we face such problems. In most cases they are a result of our swabhavs.

Nothing Before His Gurus

Finally, a very important facet of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s speeches is that he never highlights his own greatness. When talking about his gurus, he states that he is nothing compared to them. Referring to Shastriji Maharaj, he says that without him, we would be nowhere. About Yogiji Maharaj, he often says that it was his compassion and love that attracted him and made him forget everything else. When talking about Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Mahant Swami Maharaj says that Pramukh Swami Maharaj did so much work in his lifetime that now apart from accepting garlands from the devotees there is nothing else left for him to do. Furthermore, he adds that the work done by Pramukh Swami Maharaj can never be done by anyone else. Even in his dreams, Mahant Swami Maharaj is aware of the greatness of his gurus. It is his deep humility towards and reverence for his gurus that gives his words the ring of genuineness and strength.
Once, when Mahant Swami Maharaj was in Portland, Oregon, Shanubhai, a new devotee, had come for darshan and to listen to his discourse. He had studied many Hindu shastras and heard various discourses in other sampradayas as well. He was so moved on hearing Mahant Swami Maharaj, that he told Swamishri that his talks were like amrut ni dhara (stream of nectar) and that he felt extremely peaceful.
Swamishri’s words clear doubts, touch hearts and provide relief and solace because Bhagwan Swaminarayan speaks through him.

© 1999-2024 Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha), Swaminarayan Aksharpith | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Feedback |   RSS