27th August 2016
“Ye mandir tera harta andhiyara,” sang Br Vikrambhai in his powerful voice. This song, a riveting composition of his, was perfect for the Jin Sthapna at Br Vinubhai and Br. Minalben’s home that seemed to have emerged from a spiritual oasis.
The word ‘Pratistha’ in Gujarati, means consecration of the idol of our Tirthankar Bhagwan. When this very vital ceremony, akin to invoking God to bless the home, is to be done at the home of not one, but two Brahmanishts who have already amalgamated themselves with the lord that resides within, it becomes an event twice coveted for mumukshus of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram.
Mother Nature, too, had decided to play the perfect host. The rains had stopped, the sea was settled, and the sun, in between playing peekaboo with the clouds, had flooded this white house with bright light. The temple made of white marble with a gold plated pinnacle, gleamed as the rays of the sun embraced it.
Dressed in white and her trademark beaming smile, Br. Minalben glowed. Her eyes radiated inner joy and peace, as she and her family personally welcomed each one of us into her spiritual abode with a loving warmth that only truly evolved souls can muster.
Rupaben and Br. Minalben welcomed P.P. Bhaishree by singing the song, “Sawara Mera Sawara”. Their enthusiasm was contagious and set the mood for P.P. Bhaishree’s discourse. In his swadhyay, P.P. Bhaishree took a hymn on the fourth Tirthankar Abhinandan Swami, which was written by the great Devchandraji Maharaj.
This hymn tracks the journey of a spiritual seeker who has tremendous faith in the Lord but is nonetheless drawn to the worldly life around him. The love in his heart for the Lord arouses a certain curiosity in him about the nature of the Lord. It is then, as he contemplates further, that he decides to free himself from all the shackles binding him, by shifting his focus from the world outside to the world within him.
As he looks within, he realises that all the worldly objects that he has identified himself with, are just the objects Lord Abhinandan Swami has detached himself from. How will he ever bridge this distance between him and his Lord, wonders the disciple.
As his journey forges ahead, the seeker realises that his true nature is merely that of an observer. The change, if any, is taking place only in his external circumstances. His true form continues to be pure and untouched. Even as he realises this, his gaze falls upon his Lord who is resting in profound equanimity. The disciple, who can now appreciate his master’s spiritual greatness, wonders how he would ever get there.
Being a true seeker, he soon finds direction through the study and deep contemplation of the agamas, meditation, and utmost and undeterred faith in the path shown by his Sadguru. As this disciple progresses in his journey, his ability to comprehend the finer nuances of spirituality gets further refined and he increasingly finds himself filled with awe at the magnificence of his Lord. At the same time, he also feels small in comparison.
The wisdom that he has been seeking happiness from objects and relationships, which by nature are both temporary or destructible and illusory, sinks deeper within him. He now realizes that he has been experiencing the momentary happiness of this world in countless past births. But it has inevitably been followed by sadness. He realises that there isn’t a single body form that he hasn’t attained in some birth and there isn’t any pleasure that he hasn’t experienced and not regretted later.
So why o why, wonders the disciple, am I still getting deluded by this worldliness? Why am I wasting this precious human birth on chasing my desires? Why don’t I focus on finding the fragrance that lies within me? Let me now dwell in immortality and not get swayed by this mortal wreath. “My Lord, please be with me as I take up this daunting task,” he beseeches.
Under the refuge of his Lord, recites Devchandra Swami, this seeker now decides to chisel his mind and conquer his mental torments and tribulations by withdrawing from everything that hinders his spiritual evolution. He now starts replacing all his negativity with the positive qualities of his Lord. He trains his mind to be one with the Lord.
Now, his thoughts are filled only with the glory of his Lord, his innumerable qualities and benevolence. He surrenders himself at his Lord’s lotus feet as he seeks salvation in His words and grace.
Growing in oneness with the Lord, this seeker now experiences inner joy and happiness. This awareness is a stage that keeps one detached and untouched, in spite of numerous changes happening around him. Steeped in this awareness, one knows, feels and becomes what he truly is.
O Abhinandan Swami, says the seeker, “Under your shelter, my soul has now attained infinite bliss. I am bathing in the truth, love and purity that you have showered. You have fully awakened my latent Godliness. My saviour, O Abhinandan Swami! You are mine and I shall remain yours forever.”
This in-depth swadhyay, that covered our journey as a seeker left each one of us spellbound. We bowed our heads in reverence and awe that we had a Sadguru like P.P Bhaishree to guide and handhold us; we thanked our Guru and Lord P.P. Bhaishree for laying the entire path to salvation open for us.
Energised and upbeat after the swadhyay, we participated in the consecration of the 'Uvasaggaharam Parshwanath Pratimaji'. Br Vikrambhai set the mood by singing one beautiful hymn after another. He was joined in this by Nimit Shah and Hiren Boradia. Some more bhajans from Kirtibhai Boradia, Dulariben Boradia and Rupaben Shah followed. Br Vikrambhai had penned down not one but three bhajans for this once-in-a-life event. P.P. Bhaishree’s invigorating presence accompanied by Br Vikrambhai’s singing and Br Minalben’s joyful dancing filled us with enthusiasm. We all felt a bit like shaking a leg, and, as if some higher power was reading our minds, we found ourselves playing garba, encircling the pratimaji. Immersed in bhakti, we danced with happy abandon.
Br Vikrambhai sang “Parshwaprabhu aavya dware lahiye hiloda,” another of his self-composed renditions as P.P. Bhaishree consecrated the idol in the temple. We participated by singing along enthusiastically. An atmosphere of sublime joy pervaded the sanctified space. Post consecration mantras essential for the sthapna were chanted by Jigar Mehtalia, the Uvasaggaharam mantra was recited nine times by P.P. Bhaishree, Br Vinubhai and Jigar. His love, devotion and dedication towards the ritual, changed the feel of the room. The environment felt peaceful and still.
Another photo-frame of Param Krupalu Dev, P.P. Saubhagbhai, P.P. Bapuji , P.P. Guruma and P.P. Bhaishree was also placed in the temple, amid a burst of dancing and singing among the attendees. This was followed by a thanks giving from Br Minalben wherein she thanked each and everyone involved in the making of the house and temple. She then said that this house belonged to the mumukshus and each and everyone was always welcome. Just listening to her there was so much to learn. She has expertly managed every aspect of her life and has set an example for us to follow. After this we all dispersed for lunch.
Any sthapna ceremony blessed by a Sadguru fills the house with divinity. In this case, the event had the presence of a Sadguru as well as two self-realised souls. What we had witnessed, to our good fortune and spiritual enrichment, was the sanctification of a purified house into a temple.
દેવચન્દ્રજી કૃત ચોથા અભિનંદનજીન સ્તવન
Here we shall try to understand the 4th Abhinandanjin Stavan written by the great Devchandraji Maharaj, who inducted himself in pure self-restraint. As professed by Tirthankar Bhagwan he became a Jain monk and zealously followed the supreme religion of the soul.
Being a spiritual soul, our only ultimate goal of this life and there after is to meet emancipation. [Permanently liberating our soul from pain, misery and sorrow born out of reincarnation]. To make this final goal possible we shall have to realize several immediate goals which keep on altering in accordance to our progress.
Each of these immediate goals helps us to ascend on the ladder of spirituality or take us further on the pathway to Moksh. In our journey, these are like milestones, cheering and motivating us, to work harder as the last goal has become more nearer more achievable.
Each temple or place of pilgrimage is very important as it helps us to be near Vitrag Bhagwan, who is quintessence of infinite equanimity, peace, bliss and knowledge. First and foremost weneed to idolize and admiringly worship them. In praise and prayers it is essential that we stay in their close proximity and hence precisely in this 4th Abhinandanjin stavan Devchandraji Maharaj deeply and candidly ponders on the question of how we shall come near.
O! My friend, though I have complete faith in Vitrag Abhinandan Bhagwan, but still, at this moment I feel uncertain of what shall make me absolutely curious? How will I develop deep interest in knowing him? If at all I get attracted by his pious charms then who will make me aware of his true inherent nature. How will I closely come near to Him?
On contemplation, it seems that first I need to retract and disengage myself from various worldly objects and matters. Indulging in them I get so involved and lost that it becomes impossible to focus and concentrate on Him. Significance drives interest and interest builds concentration and concentration parts experience that impels our intelligence to unearth what is still not known. O! My well-wisher this seems the way, the path that I need to adopt.
Looking at myself, I am the sum total of all that I can call is mine. Starting from my physical body and my psychic powers, family, ancestors, friends, clothes, house, wealth, my reputation and profession, these are the means by which I know myself and how someone else can relate and identify me.
Consecrated in your pure consciousness my lord O! Supremely divine Abhinandan Bhagwan, you have detached and disassociated yourself from all of these. Therefore how do I perceive and relate to you?
As I understand, the awareness, the true self is so different from the various experiences that it endures. Being intangible it has no shape colour odor or taste. O! My savior, Abhinandan Bhagwan, you in your transcending nature cannot be seen. Even if I could see you, you are so entirely and singularly focused to your own being and thus would not even acknowledge my presence. Persistently inhabiting, within the boundaries of your nature you are so uniquely separate thus how do I be coherent to your sovereign existence. Two discretely different substances do not unite and always stay in their lone identity so how will I be intrinsic with you?
O! Peerless and perfect Abhinandan Bhagwan, through penance and austerities you have cleansed and purified your soul. Not even the minutest part of your soul remains externally masked by any karmic particles. Settled in profound equanimity, you are transparently clear. No attraction or aversion just sublime awareness of the self. While my soul is still tainted and contaminated. O! The most noble and divinely pure Bhagwan you have reclaimed and instituted yourself in such excellence so how do I, an unworthy poor soul reach out to you? How shall I befriend and patronize you?
Jain faith and ideology speak of life's infinite potential and the way to its realization. Every single living being has inherent ability to survive, stay safe, be contented, free itself from shackles of karmic bondage and experience its eternal, peaceful and blissful nature. Happily optimistic I am now eager to follow the 14 ancient texts that contain your direct teachings. A number of other parallel scriptural traditions also continue to keep the essence of your preaching. Wide variety of subjects are so well analysed in these Agamsutras. Owing to lifelong experiences of deep meditation and rigorous conduct, the torch-bearer of your reign Shree Sadguru simplifies those profound and complex concepts. Hearing and understanding the scriptures from Sadguru, I shall in my broad contemplation, acquire knowledge and find the road map to reach you. For being near and dear to Abhinandan Bhagwan we first need to be close to Bhaishree, surely in Him we shall find Abinandan Bhagwan.
Beholding you in my eyes I can evidently discover that you are so immersed in your divine self. You are the king of your inner kingdom. Sitting on the throne of self-consciousness, you hold and govern your real self. Unlike you, I am caught in the web trap of the illusory world. Enslaved by my own desires, I chase, seek, explore all that is not mine and keep on dwelling in distress and agony. Graciously magnanimous, O! Abhinandan Bhagwan, now I can precisely and positively apprehend and deduce the difference, between your greatness and my ghastliness. I am experiencing your abundant grace, as manifesting in my thoughts you are revealing yourself to me. Fully enlightened you are the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
It's the happiness that we seek from every aspect of all our pursuits. In complete faith we have tried deriving happiness from various objects and relationships. Unfortunately the happiness if gained at all is just a flash of light, soon followed by various shades of disappointing darkness. Despite of being capable of learning from our past experience we still continue committing the same mistakes.
The bird chatak, thrives only on pure rain water drops and the chakor to its brim would drink the nectar-like moonlight. The hans is able to separate milk and water, drawing our attention to discriminate between good and bad and the eternal and transitory. These birds too can understand and live righteously. Misguided and wrong in my deeds, shall I prove to be even worse than these birds? Will I pursue the same pleasures that have proved to be full of pain. I feel so ashamed and horrible for I am eating the same food that I have earlier chewed and spewed? In the infinite cycle of birth and death I have in repeatedly committed the same mistakes and have endured enormous pain.
Nothing outside ourselves has the power to keep us eternally happy and at the same time nothing of that is capable to keep us clinging to it. Mindfulness, concentration and insight are the inner strength that drives us to compassion, understanding and happiness.
Chasing my desires why do I waste this precious human life-like a deer running after the mirage in a desert. Why can't I find the musk that is lying within me? Knowing that the great fragrance of divinity is within, I shall now dive deep inside me, to inhale the perfume of self-knowledge. Dwelling in my immortality I shall not get disillusioned by the mortal world. O! bounteous and tender-hearted Bhagwan Abhinandan Swami you now seem to be in my conscience, counseling and controlling me.
Sustaining in goodness and being continuously progressive, is what we need to assure for ourselves. Cause and effect if properly studied can help us to sustain in goodness. Many factors influence us and at times we get overshadowed too. Our existence is besieged by duality of life. Good and bad, brighter and the darker side both co-exist within and outside us. It's our power of discrimination that will make us anchor to all that is only and only good and pure.
Our performance widely depends on these external factors. In this stanza, most skillful and conversant Shri Devchandraji Maharaj is suggesting a perfect style that would undoubtedly craft our character. Jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, ego, pride, all worries and anxieties, fears, mental torments and tribulations entirely need to be conquered.
Withdrawing from everything that hinders our spiritual evolution, let us bind and bolt ourselves to Lord Abhinandan Bhagwan. Under him, we are completely safe and secure. On the path of truth we may face unique problems, but the universal solutions offered from his infinite vision and knowledge would help us in many ways.
Serenely steady with much ease he is resting in his own enclosure of deep self-awareness. Peace and happiness are what we experience by just looking at him. Scanned by His pure gaze we too start shedding the impurities that have made us corrupt and immoral.
For an aspirant his final goal is to be like Him. To achieve this we need to hold on to those main key characteristics of our soul, those important traits that help us to recognize the true me, the nebulous invisible soul.
In my contemplation I profoundly think about you. Absorbed in deep meditation, O! Abinandan Bhagwan you are fully awakened and liberated. So pure and divinely perfect you are embodiment of countless virtues. Soaked in peace and equanimity I find you to be heavenly delightful.
The ray of your attention is focused towards your innate being, and now, your sacred individuality has been focal point of my concentration. Keeping eye in eye, as I match your steady gaze you are enlightening me. Drenched in showers of your grace I feel so blessed and so fortunate. Your awareness is transpiring and is awakening me too. Noble and pious your holy liveliness is the core point of my meditation. Your brilliance is brightening me. You are the sole reason of my evolution.
My body, my speech, my mind and all my senses, my intellect, my innate being, in absoluteness I offer and surrender to you. The more I become yours the more you reveal yourself to me. In oneness my ego is shrinking and soon it will perish. In veneration I hold you high in me. I immensely adore you O! Colossal of Divine Bliss Abinandan Bhagwan, you are the fragrance of my life and essence of my soul.
Growing in oneness I earnestly keep you alive in me. Even while I carry out my worldly duties, I persistently try to hold on to my self-awareness. In the continuous flow of consciousness, I am experiencing a deep inner sense of peace and tranquility and an innate sense of joy and happiness that has no outer cause.
Knowledge and insight that you have imparted has gifted me those divine eyes by which I can recognize and see the truth. Illusion or delusion can no more cheat or captivate me.
Paying attention to my consciousness I have known that the seeker is the one that is searched for. In the arena of awareness the world emerges and gets exterminated. The awareness is the screen that remains stable and constant while the world projected on it keeps on differing and deviating.
Resting in present the mindfulness integrates my past experience and judiciously leads me to the direction I want to lead myself in future.
Knowing feeling and being is the trinity ofknowledge faith and conduct. Submerged in pure awareness you know you feel and you become what you truly are.
Complete in my consciousness I am the power that knows, does and seeks. Right perception Right Knowledge and Right conduct are the tree jewels that combine the path to Moksh. In my belief of myself I perceive and rest in me. Disease decay or death I have triumphed all and have attained immortal joy and bliss.
O! Abinandan Bhagwan, taking your refuge, I am on a spiritual pilgrimage. In my purposeful expedition I am trying to know how vast, how deep, and how solemn you are. In your company, my life has become a celebration. Till now death had been a dark door to another life but now it shall be gateway to immortality. I am bathing in truth, love and purity that you have showered. In this holy realm there is no fear, no doubt, no indecision only oceanic ecstasy and cosmic consciousness. The experience is simply divine, self manifested and equally compounded of joy and consciousness.
O the lord of lords, you are the altruistic motivator for all those who want to be liberated. You have proved yourself by walking on the path that you profess. By worshiping you I become humbly aware of my faults and weaknesses. My gratitude and love for you has no bounds as you have fully awakened my latent Godliness. With each moment of realization you have enabled me to drink the elixir of immortality. My Saviour O! Abhinandan Bhagwan, I am yours and you shall remain mine forever.
- Explained by Param Pujya Bhaishree and captured by Br. Vikrambhai from the Nasik Dharmayatra