Live broadcast of Gurupurnima swadhyays
We are pleased to share Param Pujya Bhaishree’s swadhyays on 16th July by live broadcast on this page.
16th July 2019
10:15 - 12:30 am
4:15 - 5:30 pm
16th July - Morning 10:15am
16th July - Afternoon 4:15pm
Live broadcast of Gurupurnima swadhyays
We are pleased to share Param Pujya Bhaishree’s swadhyays on 16th July by live broadcast on this page.
16th July 2019
10:15 - 12:30 am
4:15 - 5:30 pm
16th July - Morning 10:15am
16th July - Afternoon 4:15pm
Param Krupalu Dev Shrimad Rajchandra's soul left its mortal body 118 years ago on Chaitra Vad 5, VS 1957 in the city of Rajkot (India). Followers of Shrimad Rajchandra remember and honour him on this pious day in Rajkot annually. This year Chaitra Vad 5 was on April 24, 2019.
Param Pujya Bhaishree too went to Rajkot to pay his reverence to this great soul. Shrimad Rajchandra Gnan Mandir hosted a four days event where saints of different Shrimad Rajchandra Ashrams came together for spiritual discourse and bhakti.
Spiritual seekers got the benefit of two discourses of Pujya Bhaishree, one in Gnan Mandir on 23rd and the second in Samadhi Mandir on 24th April.
Bhaishree's first swadhyay on ‘mumukshu’ (true seeker of liberation)
Bhaishree started the discourse by bowing to Bhagvan Mahavir, Param Krupalu Dev and all the mumukshus. He then explained what a true mumukshu is by referring to Param Krupalu Dev's literature such as,
“જગતમાં રૂડું દેખાડવા માટે મુમુક્ષુ કંઈ આચરે નહીં, પણ રૂડું હોય તે જ આચરે.”
- Letter 274
“વિનયભક્તિ એ મુમુક્ષુઓનો ધર્મ છે.”
- Letter 925
“આજ્ઞાનું આરાધન એ જ ધર્મ છે.”
Bhaishree revealed that a worthy mumukshu is one who has developed the two virtues: discrimination (vivek) and detachment (vairagya) within.
The characteristics of a mumukshu is called mumukshuta; the main characteristic of a mumukshu is that she/he feels like being imprisoned in the body.
Bhaishree shared that Param Krupalu Dev wished that all the ignorant souls in the universe free themselves completely from all the worldly miseries. However due to false understanding worldly souls believe that they are the body (agnan). Their cycle of rebirths is going on since eternity because of this ignorance. When an ignorant soul meets an enlightened saint of Param Krupalu Dev’s calibre, listens to him and really starts believing that this world is full of miseries and strives to free itself from it. This is called mumukshuta.
Bhaishree also pointed out seven qualities of mumukshus from Shree Atmasidhhi Shashtra, verse 138:
“દયા, શાંતિ, સમતા, ક્ષમા, સત્ય, ત્યાગ, વૈરાગ્ય;
હોય મુમુક્ષુ ઘટ વિષે, એહ સદાય સુજાગ્ય.”
These virtues must be present in all spiritual seekers else they lack true quest for liberation.
With awe in his eyes Bhaishree shared that Shree Atmasidhhi Shashtra is creation of Param Krupalu Dev’s utmost compassion towards mumukshus. He also said that Shree Atmasidhhi Shashtra alone is enough for the mumukshus to succeed in the spiritual path because it encapsulates the essence of all the scriptures in 142 verses.
Referring to Shrimad’s letter number 254, Bhaishree explained three main causes obstructing progress in the spiritual path: (1) આ લોકની અલ્પ પણ સુખેચ્છા, (2) પરમ દૈન્યતાની ઓછાઈ અને (3) પદાર્થનો અનિર્ણય.
(1) Even the slightest desire for happiness from this world: This happens because one has not firmly concluded that the “truth” is undoubtedly so, or because one has not concluded that this indeed is the “very nature of ultimate bliss”. Or else, even in the quest for liberation some happiness is enjoyed, and these external circumstances feel dear (!) and because of this the slightest desire for happiness from this world remains; due to which worthiness of the soul is curbed.
(2) Lack of utmost humility, modesty and respect: Recognising that the enlightened master is the very same as the Lord, is what the enlightened ones have described as the highest dharma, and this recognition inspires the “highest form of humility” such that one has a feeling of servitude towards all living beings, and this enables the highest worthiness. To the extent that this highest form of humility is obscured, the soul’s worthiness is bounded.
(3) Inconclusiveness about one’s true nature: If one has removed both above faults but has not been able to experience the soul, their wandering mind can become restless and a false peace arises. Imaginary concepts are considered the “truth” and as a result, over time, complete devotion is not experienced for the Soul. This fault stops one from attaining the highest worthiness.
Param Krupalu Dev further stated in letter 254 that he has observed above three obstructive causes in very many seekers of liberation that have met him. He has observed a reduction of the second obstructive cause in only a few, and, if they strive to nullify it in every way then they can also remove the other two faults and become worthy to make progress in the path towards self realization.
The ultimate tool to remove fault number two is to recognise the enlightened master to be the same as the Lord (પરમેશ્વર બુદ્ધિ ) and abide by his instructions. This gives us the highest worthiness. This is possible only when one recognises the inner state of the master. Param Krupalu Dev has stated that, “મુમુક્ષુનાં નેત્રો મહાત્માને ઓળખી લે છે”.
Bhaishree adds that it is extremely difficult to recognise a Mahatma (enlightened master) unless mumukshus have developed the vision to recognise one. Lack of Mahatma’s recognition brings about many doubts in the mumukshus’ minds making it impossible to reach to Self Realisation. Therefore mumukshus must develop vision to recognise Mahatma because only a Mahatma knows the true path to Self Realisation.
Having recognised the inner state of an enlightened master, one develops unwavering faith towards the Mahatma which leads to curing of delusion and attachment, which in turn leads to conclusion on the true nature of the soul, leading to solution of doubts, birth of doubtlessness (નિઃશંકતા), which leads to becoming fearless (નિર્ભય) and ultimately experience the distinctness of soul from the body (નિઃસંગતા).
By developing and building on the qualities of a mumukshu as written by Param Krupalu Dev, a seeker can attain all milestones and achieve his/her goal. This letter contains deep meaning of the scriptures and hence Param Krupalu Dev advises mumukshus to further understand the letter by mutual contemplation.
Bhaishree concluded the swadhyay with a story about Mahatma Ved Dharm and his disciple Sandipak. At the end, Bhaishree emphasised that if one wants to succeed quickly and get rid of ignorance in this life, they will have to develop mumukshuta and ultimate devotion like Sandipak as only this will lead them to Self Realisation.
Click on the link to listen to Mahatma Ved Dharm and disciple Sandipak’s story from Bhaishree (audio and video both below):
Bhaishree's second swadhyay on the true path to Moksha
In the early morning on the pious day of Shrimad's Param Samadhi Din, in his swadhyay Pujya Bhaishree elucidated the true path to Moksha.
Bhaishree bowed to the last disciple of Mahavir Bhagwan, Shrimad Rajchandraji and also to all the souls who were fortunate to be present on this ominous day to do bhakti and swadhyay from Shrimadji’s literature, in the same place that he spent his last days and where his remains are still present.
Bhaishree talked about the power of the literature Krupalu Dev has left behind. He said that Shree Atmasidhhi Shashtra is such an amazing scripture that it alone is capable of recreating all the scriptures if they ever happened to be destroyed by a calamity.
Bhaishree said that we should strongly believe in the five affirmations (પદ) as described by Param Krupalu Dev in ‘Shri Atmasidhhi Shashtra’ without any doubt and start putting in practice the sixth affirmation that ‘મોક્ષનો ઉપાય છે’ (There is a means to Moksha). This affirmation starts from verse 97.
Bhaishree said that we do not need to look for and research the scriptures to find the means to Moksha because Param Krupalu Dev has clearly told us about it in Atmasiddhi, verse 100:
રાગ, દ્વેષ, અજ્ઞાન એ, મુખ્ય કર્મની ગ્રંથ;
થાય નિવૃત્તિ જેહથી, તે જ મોક્ષનો પંથ.
Shri Atmasiddhi Shashtra, Verse 100
Param Krupalu Dev has shared from his own experience that attachment, aversion and ignorance are the fundamental causes of karmic bondage. The path which leads to their riddance, is indeed the path to liberation.
Each mumukshu must develop an impartial ability to observe and identify his/her raag (likes) and dvesh (dislikes) at all times. It is when a mumukshu can do this effectively; s/he can start putting a stop to the dualities of likes and dislikes by staying alert and being aware of it as soon as it arises.
When a past raag or dvesh karma is triggered, due to false understanding, one feels that it is happening to oneself and mixes his/herself in the manifestation of the karm and as a result does raag bhaav or dvesh bhaav and increases the karmic bondage. Instead, at this time if the soul becomes aware of them and stays still in its inherent nature by observing equanimity and hence does not join with the past karma by not doing new raag or dvesh then no new karma is bonded and the triggered past karma gets over.
A mumukshu must practice observing equanimity in all situations, be it favourable or unfavourable. This process is also called upsham (ઉપશમ) and its success depends upon the extent of detachment towards worldly life. That is why vairagya and upsham are two fundamental qualities mumukshus must have and these qualities must keep on increasing in order to make progress in the path.
Anandghan Maharaj Saheb has said that everyone talks about religion but not everyone knows the intent of the religion. That is why Param Krupalu Dev had tried to explain the intent of religion saying, “જ્યાં ત્યાંથી રાગદ્વેષ રહિત થવું એ જ મારો ધર્મ છે.”
Raag - the main cause of attracting new karma
Bhaishree revealed that raag is the main cause of attracting new karma among other causes. To understand raag better, we must be aware of its various interpretations.
To get immersed in worldly activities
Raag makes us do all these things everyday. To get attracted, give value, importance and prestige to what is not ours (પરવસ્તુ) is called raag. To have interest towards what is not ours is called raag.
There are about 35 different types of raag we do. Attraction is bigger fault than aversion and is also a cause of aversion. Raag is the father of dvesh because without raag there is no dvesh. Dvesh will not go away until raag is present in us. Hence we should distance ourselves and rise above raag.
Bhaishree then quoted Param Krupalu Dev in letter 77 that, “અધ્યાત્મની જનની તે ઉદાસીનતા”. He further explained that udasinta means to rise above worldly matters and relations and not have attachment and indulgence towards them. When we become udasin our raag becomes mild and dvesh starts fading away.
It's a common belief to not do dvesh. People normally try to get rid of dvesh because it is an obvious fault and is unpleasant but they don’t realize that raag is also a fault. Everyone says not to do dvesh but none say not to do raag. For example, no one says not to have raag towards your family members because they don’t realize that raag is bigger fault than dvesh. When our expectations are not met, it is raag towards relations and worldly matters that cause dvesh. Intensity of dvesh depends upon the intensity of raag.
Raag is subtle while dvesh is obvious. Dvesh can take one towards external violence but one can stop from being violent if s/he becomes aware of its consequences beforehand. While raag takes one all the way to internal violence (ભાવ હિંસા) without even realizing and hence one cannot stop it beforehand.
Both the doer and receiver of raag are unaware of raag’s internal violence (turmoils). Those doing dvesh repent when they become aware of it but those doing raag do not repent because they do not see any harm in doing raag.
Bhaishree said that we don’t like when the receiver of our dvesh responds with dvesh towards us but we expect the receiver of our raag to always respond with continuous raag towards us. Dvesh is like a barking dog while the raag is like the dog that “bites” us while licking our feet. We don’t like it when dvesh stays with us for a long time but we want raag to stay with us for a long time.
Raag does not always last on one thing because it is vibhaav not swabhaav (not our nature). We will eventually have to let raag go. Once raag is gone all the vices associated with it will also go such as anger, ego, deceit and greed. These four passions are always in raag’s service and make raag stronger.
Raag and false understanding (મિથ્યામતિ) support each other. The fire of unhappiness within us is ignited by raag. World’s problems are caused by raag. Raag is biased and supports wrong acts such as violence, untruth and theft etc. Raag’s partiality can be understood further if we contemplate upon daily life examples. One’s sins will be reduced if raag becomes mild. A strong person becomes meek against raag.
Some people are wise about not doing dvesh but they are all unwisely engaged in doing raag. Bhaishree says that dvesh appears worse than raag but in reality raag is more harmful than dvesh because raag attracts one towards the worldly things while dvesh can cause detachment from them as it makes us realise it's frivolousness. Thus in many ways, raag is worse than dvesh.
Bhaishree further said that one does raag towards worldly matters and the body they reside in. The latter is matter (જડ) and not ours (પરવસ્તુ). Raag towards matter results in dvesh when wants are not fulfilled. Dvesh is then followed by all four passions (Anger, Ego, Deceit and Greed). It is ignorance that attracts us towards matter. The false belief that 'I am the body’ makes one want to take ownership of things that do not belong to self. That is why it is said to stay detached from raag, dvesh and agnan when they are triggered by the past karma and stay in svabhaav because that is the path to Moksh.
There are two types of raag:
1) Praiseworthy or pious (prashast)
2) Not praiseworthy or worldly. (Aprashast)
Praiseworthy raag is towards God and enlightened saints. Such raag must be cultivated as it is healthy for a spiritual aspirant.
Bhaishree then talked about jealousy, a vice present in all ignorant souls in varying degree. He narrated a story of a person named Talakchand who eventually lost his life because of jealousy. He said that only someone who’s Darshan Moh has become mild will be able to develop virtues and build upon them.
Click on the link to listen to Talakchand’s story from Bhaishree (audio and video both available):
Bhaishree concluded by saying that true belief in Satdev, Satguru, Satdharma and Satshashtra is called vyavahar samyaktva. When one with vyavahar samyaktva gets rid of agnan by right understanding and following the path as laid down by the true enlightened master, it is called 'nischay samyaktva’ or samyak darshan (Self Realization). One generates tremendous amount of strength from within the soul (આત્મબળ) when one attains Samyak Darshan. This strength then helps one to make further progress in the marg by lessening raag and dvesh. Eventually a moment comes when one completely eliminates attraction and aversion forever. This state is called vitraagta - a state of equanimous detachment. The path that gets one here is the true means to Moksh.
Bhaishree's swadhyay in Gnan Mandir: A True Seeker of Liberation
Bhaishree's swadhyay in Samadhi Mandir: The True path to Moksh
Its the 13th day of rising moon in the month of Chaitra and yet again mumukshus have gathered at Bhalani residence to celebrate the Janma Kalyanak of Lord Mahavir. Bhalani residence can confidently boast about one of the most beautiful Ghar Derasars in the world, if not the most beautiful one.
Lord Mahavir was born in the royal Kshatriya family to King Siddharth and Queen Trishladevi. Named as Vardhman (ever-growing) by the parents, Lord Mahavir was destined to become the last Tirthankar of this Avasarpini Kaal (regressive cycle). Tirthankars (the absolutely enlightened Lords who can liberate others) are born due to the intent from their previous birth to perpetuate the path of liberation for all living beings. Bhagwan Mahavir preached the principles of non-violence, equanimity, pluralism to name a few. Saadhaks of the current time owe everything to him as He was the Arihant dev who showed us the path to become a Siddh Bhagwan.
On this day it is only befitting that we understand how seamless is the amalgamation of Lord Mahavir’s teachings and Shrimad Rajchandra’s life. The living embodiment of Self-realisation, the ever-so-compassionate Param Pujya Bhaishree announces to do a swadhyay on how Param Krupalu Dev Shrimad Rajchandra worshipped Lord Mahavir, how deeply etched Lord Mahavir was in Shrimad’s heart. Bhaishree begins by establishing the connect between Shrimad Rajchandra and Lord Mahavir.
Bhagvan Mahavir and Shrimad Rajchandra
Shrimad in his own words had been a seeker for many a lifetime. The inner revolution in his life began at the young age of seven when he recollected his past lives (jaati smaran gnaan) whilst enraptured in deep contemplation.
Bhaishree quotes Param Krupalu Dev where Shrimad cautions us all by saying that, “When I was Lord Mahavir’s last disciple, a tiny bit of distraction from the atma-bhaav (pramaad) has resulted in births and deaths for 2400 years!” That soul which had the greatest fortune of all, to be under the tutelage of Lord Mahavir in person, to hear Lord Mahavir from close quarters has taken the form of Shrimad Rajchandra in our time. There is little doubt that this great soul must have further elevated its spiritual heritage from the time of Lord Mahavir. It is certain that Shrimad’s birth in this era is to spread the pious message of Lord Mahavir to the world. Through Shrimadji several souls should find the necessary acceleration in their spiritual journey.
Bhaishree describes an exchange of Param Krupalu Dev with the king of Idar. Krupalu Dev when in the jungles of Idar, speaking to king explains his deja-vu that the last Tirthankar and his disciples (Gautamswami and more) have been here. All his disciples have attained salvation leaving one behind which has been born in this time. It is possible that, that soul (the last disciple of Bhagvan Mahavir) is responsible for upliftment of a lot of other souls. Param Krupalu Dev could not have been more direct yet subtle about giving out this truth to us common masses for our own spiritual liberation. Bhaishree explains that for a soul like Shrimad’s, who has seen Bhagwan Mahavir in physical form, who has walked the earth with Him and His disciples, the certitude of Bhagwan Mahavir’s path can only be imagined.
Shrimad’s steadfast belief, love and devotion in Bhagwan Mahavir’s mul moksh marg
Bhaishree cites Shrimad from across his works wherever Shrimad has talked about Bhagwan Mahavir.
The religion conceived by unfettered (Nirgranth) Gods cannot be justly described by any adjectives. Bhaishree urges the mumukshus to give an adjective to the religion. He adds, the best that thoughtful souls can come up with is that giving an adjective is not possible.
Soul has aimlessly wandered since time immemorial only due to lack of such religion.
Bhaishree explains that all of us are still here in human form is because we have not understood this incomparable religion in its true sense or we are still trying to make sense of it. Due to lack of or inaccurate understanding of the original path, the efforts that we have put all this while has not helped us reach our goal of liberation.
Bhaishree proceeds with citations as,
Shraddha (Faith) versus Aagrah (dogmatism)
There is a big difference between believing in something and being conservative about it. Shrimad, despite being an ardent, truthful follower of Bhagwan Mahavir's path is definitely not a fanatic.
Shrimad in one of his letters (letter no. 64) writes
पक्षपातो न मे वीरे न द्वेषः कपिलादिशु !
युक्तिमद वचनं यस्य, तस्य कार्य: परिग्रह: !!
- श्री हरिभद्राचार्य
What I preach or believe is not because of the bias for Mahavir or out of hatred for any other preacher but I do have a liking for, immense love for, anything that helps me realise true Self, helps me discover my Soul.
In another instance Shrimad writes, ‘On careful scrutiny of other religions I find the religion preached by the equanimously detached souls the best’.
Shrimad’s rock solid devotion for Bhagwan Mahavir's principle of Pluralism
Shrimad was also a firm believer in multiplicity of viewpoints (સ્યાદવાદ). The truth is always multidimensional. At any time, the truth can never be realized by means of a single-point of view.
He writes, “એકાંતવાદ એ જ જ્ઞાનની અપૂર્ણતાની નિશાની.”
Ekantvaad (one sided point of view or one sided truth) is the sign of incomplete knowledge.
He writes a quatrain expressing his views on pluralism as
“જિન સોહી હૈ આતમા, અન્ય હોઈ સો કર્મ;
કર્મ કટે સો જિનબચન, તત્વગ્યાનીકો મર્મ
રચના જિન ઉપદેશકી, પરમોત્તમ તીનું કાલ;
ઇનમેં સબ મત રહત હૈ, કરતેં નિજ સંભાલ.”
Shrimad's intention to revive the exquisite path of liberation
“દિન પ્રતિદિન જૈનદર્શન ક્ષીણ થતું જોવામાં આવે છે, અને વર્ધમાનસ્વામી થયા પછી થોડાં એક વર્ષમાં તેમાં નાના પ્રકારના ભેદ થયા દેખાય છે તે આદિના શાં કારણો?”
- પત્ર 713
It was Shrimad’s immense love for Bhagwan Mahavir and his mul moksh marg (the original path to liberation) that moved him to spread the path further. An extraordinary, almost unfettered, great personality like Shrimad wanted masses at large to benefit from the path of liberation like he himself had experienced and benefitted. He constantly harbored feelings of ‘સવિ જીવ કરું શાશન રસી' (May all the souls be interested and persevere in this path) out of his fathomless compassion for every soul in the universe. Detailed plans were in place to take up the mission but only once his own state is elevated to a level where he can do justice to his followers. He was on his way to elevate his soul at the highest level, free himself of all his worldly commitments and renounce his worldly relationships.
Shrimad turns down the feelings of reviving the moksh marg
As seen, Shrimad had strong feelings of reviving the path during the early years (Age 19-20) but Shrimad later surrendered to karmic fruition (પ્રારબ્ધ) and focussed on dwelling exclusively within the realm of his soul (આત્મધ્યાનમાં નિમગ્ન).
Shrimad had picked up this thumb rule from his idol Bhagwan Mahavir to not propound the path until and unless you elevate your soul to highest possible level and construct your readiness for the same. Shrimad has written about the state of his soul in very direct and frank words to his soulmate Saubhagbhai in several letter exchanges. In one of such letters Saubhagbhai requests Param Krupalu Dev to reveal his true self so that common masses may benefit from the person of Param Krupalu Dev. In response to that letter Param Krupalu Dev writes,
“જગતના કલ્યાણને અર્થે પુરુષાર્થ કરવા વિષે લખ્યું તો તે પુરુષાર્થ કરવાની ઈચ્છા કોઈ પ્રકારે રહે પણ છે. તથાપિ ઉદયને અનુસરીને ચાલવું એ આત્માની સહજ દશા થઇ છે, અને તેવો ઉદયકાળ હાલ સમીપમાં જણાતો નથી; તો તે ઉદેરી આણવાનું બને એવી દશા અમારી નથી.”
Feelings of spreading the path do exist somewhere inside but currently abiding by the karmic fruition has become the default way of life and such time (time for spreading the path) I don’t see it in the near future. In yet another letter (no. 621) he writes,
“એક વિનંતિ અત્રે કરવા યોગ્ય છે કે… બહાર આ આત્મા સંબંધી હાલ કંઈ પ્રસંગ ચર્ચિત થવા દેવા યોગ્ય નથી; કેમકે અવિરતિરૂપ ઉદય હોવાથી ગુણવક્તવ્ય હોય તોપણ લોકોને ભાસ્યમાન થવું કઠણ પડે; અને તેથી વિરાધના થવાનો કંઈ પણ હેતુ થાય; તેમ જ પૂર્વ મહાપુરુષના અનુક્રમનું ખંડન કરવા જેવું પ્રવર્તન આ આત્માથી કંઈ પણ થયું ગણાય.”
There is a request worth doing here. No discussion about this (Param Krupalu Dev’s) soul should yet happen outside of the close circle of people. As the common masses believe what they see, the current circumstances (no external renunciation) are such that people would not believe inspite of the virtues of this soul and as a result it would do more harm than good for the common people. Shrimad turning down the feelings of spreading the path in hindsight, also is a sign of his infinite compassion for the souls of this universe. It is worth mentioning here that Shrimad wanted to renounce all worldly possessions (take diksha) at a very young age but his mother did not agree and emulating Bhagwan Mahavir he too chose to be in sansaar and persevered to be equanimously detached (વીતરાગ).
Adulation (પ્રમોદ) for Bhagwan Mahavir’s virtues
“જેના એક રોમમાં કિંચિત પણ અજ્ઞાન, મોહ કે, અસમાધિ રહી નથી તે સત્પુરુષનાં વચન અને બોધ માટે કંઈ પણ નહીં કહી શકતાં, તેનાં જ વચનમાં પ્રશસ્ત ભાવે પુન: પુન: પ્રસક્ત થવું એ પણ આપણું સર્વોત્તમ શ્રેય છે.”
- Letter 52
Souls who have not an ounce of ignorance or attachment left, is equanimous, and about whose teachings nothing can be further said, it is of ultimate upliftment that we bind ourselves with words and teachings of such souls.
At this point Bhaishree said, “When we think of virtues of Bhagwan Mahavir it amazes us so much. Even thoughts of virtues of such souls are the reason of shedding so many karmas from our soul. Adulation for such souls and hence such virtues helps us progress on our path rapidly. Such immense appreciation should arise from within.” Bhaishree urges the mumkshus to sustain this state of continuous and innate adulation for Bhagwan Mahavir’s virtues for 24 hours and to see the benefits for themselves.
Bhaishree concludes his swadhyay at this point and thereafter mumkshus put Bhaishree's words in action by remembering Bhagvan Mahavir's life incidents, his virtues and singing his glory wholeheartedly. Brahmnisht Vikrambhai took over for Bhakti. In his moving and soul-touching voice he starts the bhakti with a pad ‘ઝહેર અમારાં ઉતારો’. The tempo is then lifted by jaap of ‘Aum Shree Mahaviray Namo Namah’.
The evening could not have had a better conclusion than the pad ‘Veer haank’ - a call to the Veer in each of us. Mumukshus could feel the power singing the words of
‘વારસ અહો! મહાવીરના, શૂરવીરતા રેલાવજો,
કાયર બનો ના કોઈ દી, કષ્ટો સદા કંપાવજો,
રે! સિંહના સંતાનને શિયાળ શું કરનાર છે?
મરણાંત સંકટમાં ટકે, તે ટેકના ધરનાર છે.’
Only the purity of our souls is permanent, everything else is temporary. Material things can never become ours forever, they belong to us today, will belong to another tomorrow. But the qualities accumulated by our Atma remain with us in this birth as well as future births. This corrupt mind lulls us into a false sense of ownership of all things external. Only when an Enlightened Master holds our hand and removes the delusion from within, does a disciple actually awaken and start correcting his misconceptions!! It is the harmony of Guru’s words and actions that instils the faith in HIS sermon.
Learning is the Raising of Character by the broadening of Vision and the deepening of feeling. Our actions and conduct is a reflection of our thoughts
So, how do we listen to his swadhyay to gain the most and the best? Brahmnisht Minalben shared some meaningful ways to help us absorb the Guru’s words and connect with him better; and encourage grasping true knowledge from any source or setting.
Be attentive to the Guru’s guidance and teachings – his words have divine wisdom filled in them
Feel the flow of his consciousness and not just the words – the guru speaks from his experience and awareness of inner self
Know that Guru wants you to succeed – When you reach a karmic block don’t be embarrassed to ask for his guidance
Follow his lead and inner guidance to move past the test of Karma
Persevere until you feel assured that you have attuned to His consciousness.
Use this awareness to build your confidence and strength for the spiritual journey
Pujya Bhaishree’s recent Holi swadhyay shed light on the immense value of gratitude so closely related to kindness, and so did the next chapter from ‘Pinnacle of Spirituality’ narrating one incident between Shrimad and judge Dharshibhai. Chapter 14 illustrates an incident when as a young boy, Shrimad overhears that his uncles plotting to kill Dharshibhai. His compassionate heart would not rest until he found a solution for this impending heinous crime, which would immerse his uncles’ in a sea of bad karmas. He alerted the judge and saved the situation. Gratitude is very closely related to Kindness.
‘Daya dharmnu mul chhe’ – Shrimad Rajchandra
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thoughts creates profoundness/depth and Kindness in giving creates love. Try injecting little bit of kindness everyday with the intent of making it not just a habit but an effortless part of our nature and conduct.
Kindness and mindfulness are like two wheels to reach the heights of everlasting joy. Minalben and Vikrambhai shared different ways in which all of us can do our act of kindness everyday.
Say hello to everyone you meet
Give directions to someone who is lost
Provide water to stray people
Don’t interrupt when someone is explaining themselves
Simply say sorry when you have done wrong
Let someone in the queue go ahead in the line
Hold the door open for someone else
Compliment the first three people you meet in the day
Everyone is important – Learn their names
When everyone in a group are gossiping – remain silent
Feed a meal to someone
Forgive someone and never bring up that issue again
Help an elderly person
Try to ease the worry of your household help or someone who helps us daily
Be kind to your family members
Refrain from focusing on to the weakness and shortcomings of your family members. Constantly referring to them leads to dissatisfaction and bitterness
Vikrambhai says kindness also means making an effort to achieve greater good and spreading joy. He shared two inspiring incidents:
Trustee of Gadge Baba Mission, Gunvantbhai, a simple and modest man, would clean the floor wherever he would go. He would himself bend, pick up and arrange shoes and footwear of other people even when nobody was looking.
Prabhashankarbhai would go house to house, collecting old newspapers, then carry large bundles of discarded newspapers to sell. The money that he collected from this back breaking work would be used to help poor farmers in villages.
It is human nature to be kind and soul’s nature to love and be happy. And there is joy in giving. So, shall we begin being Kind from Today?
March 21, 2019
Falgun sud Poonam marks the Gujarati calendar as the day of Dhuleti, the day of colours, day of the triumph of good over the evil. Aligning in the same pursuit 97 mumukshus of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram, Sayla had gathered at Saffronstays at Karjat to celebrate this festival with their beloved. Saffronstays at Karjat is a picturesque location with a European styled villa and a lush green lawn.
Armed with devotion in hearts, marigold in hands, excitement in the air mumukshus were all set for yet another auspicious welcome of the divine. The lyrics of 'Utsav Aaya' adorned the near complete atmosphere. No sooner the eyes lay on the physical manifestation of divine, hands started clapping, legs left the comfort of the ground.
Beloved Sadguru was welcomed with overwhelming hearts, tilak and garland.
After a hearty breakfast, mumukshus gathered in the hall of the villa with great anticipation.
"Badhane Jai Bhagwan, badhane Holi Mubarak", greets Param Pujya Bhaishree to all the mumukshus in his inimitable quirky style. Bhaishree expressed his pleasure for the beautiful place that all were in and thanked the almighty. Thus setting the tone for the swadhyay. Topic of the swadhyay was Gratitude.
Param Pujya Bhaishree drove home few and extremely crucial points with the help of interesting and humourous stories. One line that stayed with most of the mumukshus from the first story is,
"મારા માલિકને છેતરી શકું, પણ અમારા બેયના માલિકને શી રીતે છેતરી શકું? ને ધારો કે એનેય છેતરું, પણ મારા અંતરાત્માને છેતરવાનું તો અશક્ય જ છે ને!"
(I can dupe my master but how can I dupe the master of both of us? And imagine I dupe even Him but duping my soul is definitely impossible.)
Few initial tales culminated into a moral as - When we are in adverse or bad situations we should not be disturbed, on the contrary we should thank God for not making it worse. Another pearl of wisdom shared was 'If we want to be unhappy we should compare ourselves with the ones who are more fortunate than us and if we want to be happy we should compare ourselves to the ones who are less fortunate than us'.
Second point Bhaishree made was 'Happiness lies in contentment'. It has little to do with the material possessions and things that we hoard thinking they will make us happy. A glaring example is the simple lives of villagers. Toiling in the sun, eating simple food, little to no material comfort but praising the Almighty with song and dance each day surely pegs their quality of life much higher than most of the city dwellers. Bhaishree pierced the hearts of everyone when he stated, 'If we could acquire happiness with wealth and things, the materialistic we are, we would not have let it remain for anyone else'.
We should be grateful and content for what we have in life.
Third point Bhaishree elucidated is that feeling of gratefulness should be expressed not only for the Almighty or circumstances but also for our near and dear ones. He talked about couple of trivial situations in marriages which could have been made better just by simple acts of acknowledgement or heartfelt 'Thank-you's.
He asked us to be grateful also for the things which others do which they are anyway responsible for. Leading by example Pujya Bhaishree promptly thanked the organisers of this event then and there. He explains living without feeling of gratefulness is like living without sunlight. It's not impossible as people can still survive in darkness but living with light is a different deal altogether.
Thankfulness is the mother of all virtues.
Without it we gradually become insensitive.
Bhaishree stressed at the point that 'Happiness is born out of depth of realisation, simple living, high thinking, testing times and lending your helping hands to others.' He says thanking God is not for Him, for he is going to provide for us irrespective. Thanking is for us. This feeling of thanking softens our heart, sensitises us, keeps us in positive frame of mind and it's also a cause of other virtues.
He quoted Swami Shivanand expressing that
the biggest terror is the lack of gratefulness in our routine life.
Bhaishree, the visionary and compassionate that he is, saved the best for last. He says if the stream of gratefulness constantly flows from our life, if we practice gratefulness in everything we do, while eating, working, sleeping it will slowly but surely culminate into Bhakti (devotion). Anybody who follows Param Krupalu Dev knows what's the importance of bhakti in each one of our spiritual journeys. If somehow we are able to do this, there won't be much left for us to do then. Bhaishree concluded the swadhyay on this note. By now mumukshus were drenched in the colours of wisdom and water of devotion.
Swadhyay was followed by raas garba and the sacred tilak on each mumukshu's forehead by Bhaishree. Few mumukshus were seen practising what they had just been preached - Thanking each other. This was a sight to relish.
The property boasted of a huge cricket ground and the men were in no mood to disappoint it. Men took to the ground and started the game. Teams had men as experienced as 75 years and as young and exuberant as 10 years. Well, this took the day into lunch.
After a short siesta there was an interesting session conducted at the hall. Selected mumukshus came up to the centre and quoted Param Krupalu Dev. All the others were required to give reference to the context in which these torch-bearing, life-changing words have been said.
"માર્ગને પામેલો માર્ગ પમાડશે."
"આત્માની અનંત શક્તિઓ છે."
"અમે જ્યારે વીર પ્રભુના છેલ્લા શિષ્ય હતા તે વખતમાં લઘુશંકા જેટલો પ્રમાદ કરવાથી અમારે આટલા ભવ કરવા પડ્યા."
were a few that were discussed in detail.
This fascinating and engrossing session gave the mumukshus an insight into the situations which inspired these timeless words of wisdom. This marked the end of day at Saffronstays.
Entire group then paid a visit to a local Jinalay. Mumukshus got the privilege of doing chaitya vandan in Naminath Jinalay in the august company of Param Pujya Bhaishree.
Finally the day of colours of happiness, the triumph of gratitude over ungratefulness, celebration of devotion saw its end.
On this blessed occasion it's only befitting that we thank our Guru who's taught us Thankfulness.
પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રીના ચરણોમાં કોટી કોટી વંદન.
The most mesmerizing Pratistha
Only an ardent disciple can truly understand what it means to consecrate the Lord, the Guru and the faith in the innermost realms of his heart. The most holy days of March 2019 witnessed the Pratistha Mahotsav of the simply awesome, jaw-droppingly majestic Raj Mandir and breathtakingly divine pratimaji of Shrimad Rajchandra in Sayla. This much awaited program spanned over 7 days, was presided over by eminent heads of various ashrams, and infused thousands of disciples with overwhelming devotion.
On the beautiful morning of 4th March, after morning meditation and nityakram, mumukshus participated in soulful bhakti and swadhyay. Pujya Bhaishree gave an insightful discourse on Updesh Chhaya 9. He made special mention of the devotion of the gopis for Shri Krishna. Even while going about their daily chores, their whole being was immersed in devotion for the Lord. Similar should be the devotion of every mumukshu aiming to reach their ultimate goal – enlightenment or samkit. The Panch Kalyanak Pujan in the afternoon and audio-visual film – ‘Divya Jyoti no Amar Prakash’ in the evening, brought in the first devotion filled day of the 7-Day Pratistha Mahotsav.
On the 5th of March, among the special programs were Atma Siddhi Pujan and transformation message delivered through comedy by well-known performer Shahbuddin Rathod. By some divine co-incidence Pujya Fulchandbhai Shastri, founder of Adhyatmik Sadhana Kendra in Umrala arrived in Sayla on the very day and time when the Atma Siddhi Pujan was being conducted. He graced the occasion with his presence, arriving in ashram in the morning hours, accompanied by other mumukshus. During the afternoon swadhyay, Pujya Bhaishree gave a discourse on Vachnamrutji letter 569.
On the 6th of March, the entire day was filled with swadhyay, agna bhakti, meditation, collective recitation of the Atma Siddhi shastra and ultimately devotional bhakti by Shri Ashokji Pandey and his immensely talented troupe from Varanasi, which filled the Raj Mandir hall with melodious bhajans and lingering notes of musical instruments.
The triple day special fest 7th-8th-9th March saw a flurry of celebrations – from the ceremonial procession of the Pratimaji, along with visiting dignitaries, all seated in magnificent chariots. The whole parade of devotees leading and following the chariots brought to memory, the holy rath-yatra of Bhagwan Mahavir’s diksha ceremony as described in the Kalpa Sutra. So divine was the entire occasion, that it drew a candid comment from Pujya Gokulbhai: “The entire event is reminiscent of Mahavideh Kshetra. So palpable is your devotion, O mumukshus, that I suggest all of you extend your stay in Sayla. Follow up your sadhna. Strike while the iron is hot just now. You will surely reach your goal of Samkit, and make this human birth successful.”
Parshwa Padmavati Pujan was conducted by the well known pujakaar – Shri Hiteshbhai, who explained the meaning of many shlokas which helped in fully engaging the participants during the entire 4-hour ceremony. With every consequent event matching up to the excellence of its predecessor; there remained one more cherry on the cake: a 35-minute dance performance by trained classical dancer-mumukshus from London, Nilpa and Naitika. So emotively was the message conveyed in their performance on Shrimadji’s composition – ‘Bahu Punya Kera Punj Thi’, that the audience was held spell bound. The entire moksh marg, the pitfalls on the way, the shelter provided by an enlightened master and value of this priceless human birth were explained through dance, drama, dialogue, music and emotions. Their perfectly coordinated steps along with the hand and eye movements were a delight to watch.
On the auspicious day of 8th March (Fagun sud 2, birthday of Param Pujya Bapuji), after the ceremonial procession, was the Pratistha ceremony of Bhagwan Mahavir and the inauguration of 3-D images of the lineage of enlightened masters of Sayla. All the visiting dignitaries from different ashrams in India then gave their discourses and sent good wishes and blessings.
Below are excerpts from the discourses of visiting heads of ashrams:
After the Pratistha, Pujya Ben Prabhu said the bhaavs of all the the mumukshus were extremely elevating. “I am sure that the planning for this 7-day occasion was backed by 7-year vision, consolidated by numerous years of sadhna of an enlightened master – Pujya Bhaishree. And all of us were able to participate, witness and experience this divinity due to the compounded punyas of 7-births. The whole event was complete. When a combination of bhakti and satsang lead to an inner stillness, an inner silence – the entire journey radiates completeness. I have never witnessed such a Pratistha before.”
Pujya Gokulbhai said: “This Atma is the knower of all pleasure and pain, it does not feel the hurt, sting or discomfort of pain and neither does it experience any excitement or thrill from worldly pleasures. The great Atma is completely unmoved and a witness of external events. This is the path of total non-attachment.”
Pujya Gangjibhai said: “Always remain aware that you are the powerful soul. Every activity, every action must be done with awareness. The bhakti bhaav of every mumukshu that we have witnessed during this Pratistha reminded me of the incidence in Shrimadji’s life when mentioned to Laghuraj swami that in the entire day he was reminded of the satsang he partook in when he was the disciple of Bhagwan Mahavir. In the same way, all of you mumukshus must have inculcated this bhakti bhaav in your previous births, such that in this birth too, all of you are drenched with devotion.
Pujya Chandanaji said: “So beautiful and divine was the collective bhakti bhaav that I was unable to remember anything else, or feel anything else. I felt that I was present in the Samvasaran. I have experienced such magnanimity, inclusiveness and large-heartedness in Pujya Bhaishree that he is able to unite so many different people and different streams of thoughts within him, that I shall pray to the Lord that he is able to connect people in all four corners of the earth and unite them through love and compassion. This bhakti marg will surely overcome all the hatred and jealousy that is released into societies at the behest of religion. Thank you Bhaishree, for inviting me to experience this divinely uplifting occasion. Thank you again and again, and I also send my love to all the mumukshus.”
Pujya Ben Prabhu said: “There is always an objective or goal in every event conceived by an Enlightened Master. So when a colossal sized pratimaji of Shrimadji is planned to be consecrated in this equally large Raj Mandir, there is surely a divine message that accompanies this occasion. When I attempted to connect to Pujya Bhaishree’s vision, four points came to my mind as significant factors:
Make your vision large; reach for the sky, reach for enlightenment, rather than groping for insignificant things like wealth, power, family ties etc.
Expand your thoughts and discussions to ‘Who am I? Where have I come from? Whence forth my journey?’; rather than narrow, lowly thoughts about politics, food, women or government.
Become large-hearted; inculcate qualities of brotherhood, forgiveness, understand the perspective of the other person.
See the big picture in every incidence of your lives. Auto-suggest to yourselves ‘this too shall pass’
The ashram trustees and mumukshus expressed heartfelt gratitude and felicitated architect and interior designer Shri Devenbhai and civil engineer Shri Chandrantbhai Jasani and their entire team for their selfless service in the construction of the spectacular Raj Mandir.
Shri Ashishbhai and his group immersed the audience in devotional bhakti towards the end of the evening.
9th March – Fagun Sud 3 (also inauguration day of the Ashram and Jinalay (temple) in Sayla)
The Sattar Bhedi Puja was conducted from 6.45 am on the artificial turf outside the Raj Mandir. Mumukshus gathered for participating in the puja as well as changing the Dhaja (Jain flag over the temple). This ceremony is a veneration of the 5 holiest beings – Arihants, Siddhas, Acharyas, Upadhyays and Sadhus in the entire universe.
At 10. 45 am, was the climax of the entire occasion – Pratistha of Shrimad Rajchandra’s pratimaji in the new Raj Mandir. To the uplifting music of bhajans and chants, disciples danced in gay abandon, deeply grateful to be part of this most holy event. So breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerizing was the inauguration of the Pratimaji, that every eye turned moist and every heart overflowed with pure devotion. The nectar-clad image of Shrimadji seemed like the very replica of Bhagwan Mahavir in the Samvasaran. A deep silence descended in the auditorium filled with 2000 people and every soul was overwhelmed.
10th March - Shanti Pujan
To bless the new hall, to expel negative energy and to fill with pure energy a shanti pujan was conducted in the new Raj Mandir in the final day of the Mahotsav.
Day 1 - Mon 4th March
Day 2 - Tues 5th March
Day 3 - Wed 6th March
Day 4 - Thurs 7th March
Day 5 - Friday 8th March
Day 6 - Sat 9th March
Day 7 - Sunday 10th March
For students, the month of February and March is about exams; so is every day of our life – about pressure, performance and results. In this morale boosting swadhyay, Brahmnisht Minalben shares 10 key tips that one must remember if they wish to do well in their tests – written paper or practicals, with a cool head
She says, while facing any situation -
Be confident – Because you are not alone. Through your faith, Pujya Bhaishree is always with you.
Never compare – Give your best and leave the rest to God.
Be consistent – If you really want something, two things that will guarantee achievement, is perseverance and consistency.
Understand what you study – To retain something for a longer time and to be able to use it practically, understanding is fundamental.
Marks are not the only criteria – The journey is more important than the destination. LEARN – PUT in your BEST and ENJOY what you do.
Picture what you study – Do not study hard, study SMART. Doing one task at a time, studying methodically, giving a picturesque form to what one studies will help to effectively remember things.
Resist the urge to copy – Learn to rely on yourself. Trust yourself.
Keep your goals BIG – Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. Even for a spiritual being – ‘A soul without High Aim is like a ship without a rudder’ – Eileen Caddy
Never despair – Failure is a part of life. Your sadguru is always with you. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Plan your future in such a manner so you can serve others –The best living example in our life is Pujya Bhaishree. Make a habit of being useful to others.
The kind of test does not matter, but efforts and intentions matter. Sometimes the result may be good or bad, sometimes better or worse, but your attitude and confidence will make the difference.
Lord Mahavir in His last sermon mentioned 4 things which are rare in this era:
Manushyatva – Getting a Human life and being humane
Finding shelter in Satsang and Sadguru
Having faith in Sadguru
Having found faith, living a life abiding his aagnas
Nectar of Humanity: Merely being born a human being is not enough; one must also cultivate the virtue of humanity
The desired results will be seen by making the most of each day. We have been graced with three rare jewels. To make our human life better and help reach our soul to its rightful pinnacle, will depend on our understanding what we have been blessed with and walk on the path shown by our sadguru.
Who enjoys the nectar of humanity?
He who broadens his heart and mind – Two principles that we must imbibe are ‘Vasudev kuttumbhakam’ (the whole world is like my family) and the principle to inculcate the right values, regardless from where we receive them. Rather than stubbornly clinging on to our own beliefs as the only right beliefs, we must expand our vision to imbibe right values from wherever we can.
He is who is a slave of his desires is a demon -Rise above your desires
He who sympathizes with the grieving – We are not selfish, Pujya Bhaishree teaches us to be caring, selfless, loving towards others
He who takes not the advice of well -wishers is not a human – Learn the art of giving as well as receiving
Increased duration of sleep impairs intellect – Set your sleep regime
Respect other people – Respect has to be earned. Gentle nature begets respect
Recognize the joys & sorrows and needs of your family members – Love is knowing and understanding
Spiritual matter is spiritual awakening – This body is not the soul. What you can see with these eyes is ephemeral. Remember, soul is immortal and cannot be seen with these eyes
To be enamoured by luxury is slavishness - The soul has two functions – the knower and the observer. Practice mindfulness. Practice being in the present without being involved.
A good human is known by his character. These refined thought processes and daily practices build both our character and morale.
All of us read page 13 from ‘The Pinnacle of Spirituality’ and some young mumukshus shared their experiences with the others.