Mumbai is the city of dreams or a Mohmayi Nagari as Param Krupalu Dev always said. This city never sleeps. The population of this city runs in crores and is probably more than that of a small country in Eastern Europe. Each individual here harbours dreams and ambitions, and the quest to achieve them makes him toil day and night. Everyone wants to be an achiever, however, only a handful realise what true achievement is. We belong to that minuscule category that got blessed with the invaluable gift of knowing our goal due to the presence of our benefactor and enlightened saint Param Pujya Bhaishree.
Bhaishree believes that the youth contains a fountain of energy which, when channelised in the right direction can lead to miracles.
In order to enrich the lives of his young disciples with spirituality, Bhaishree conducts Yuva swadhyays that deal with a specific topic.
On Saturday the 10th of August 2019, a Yuva Swadhyay was held at Dr. Jitubhai Nagda and Dr. Suhaben Nagda’s residence at 8:30 PM. Luminescent Bhaishree chose 'Monghi Mahatvakansha' as the subject for swadhyay.
This topic elaborated on how every soul puts in tremendous effort to be happy. But Alas! his merriment is only limited to materialistic possessions like trying to acquire loads of wealth, striving to retain his youth and beauty, acquiring a beautiful and docile spouse and ensuring the best education and lifestyle for their children. Compassionate Bhaishree in his discourse not only warned his disciples against the dangers of getting caught in this rat race but also enabled them to perceive that the sole ambition of this human form should be to free the soul from the strappings of birth and death. Through a culmination of short stories with meaningful morals, empathetic Bhaishree showed the path to achieve this empyrean state.
In his discourse, thoughtful Bhaishree egged all those present to dig deeper and understand the truth or reality of their existence. He motivated them to analyse their dreams thoroughly and determine if they were a boon or a curse, after obtaining a clear picture of what needed to be pursued, he then asked them to chase it with all their might. He warned that the journey to attain a goal is never a bed of roses, hence one needs to be prepared to make sacrifices along the way. Effective utilisation of time, living a life free from deceit, harbouring compassion for all souls and complete surrender to the supreme were some of the paths highlighted by him.
As a token of their devotion and love Bramhnisht Minal ben and Dr. Suhaben tied a rakhi to Param Pujya Bhaishree and Bramhnisht Vikrambhai.
This year the 15th of August which is India’s Independence day coincided with Raksha Bandhan. In order to highlight the importance of both the days Bramhnisht Minalben penned a poem that emphasised on freeing our soul from this cycle of birth and death.
The discourse left all those present, feeling light and channelised. With hands folded in gratitude and devotion, they prayed for the light of this sermon to enlighten their life, and allow each moment of their existence to be filled with elation and euphoria.
Poem: RAKSHA BANDHAN and INDEPENDENCE DAY
(What an irony)
15 August, one single day with duality filled celebration
One asking for protection and one seeking liberation
Can we find a way to remove this duality?
Find bondage and freedom in one true reality?
Fortunate that we are, we have sealed our fate
With a Sadguru who can guide and also elevate
HE can be our brother for Raksha Bandhan and HE can be our liberator
HE can make our lives pious and HE can be our ultimate saviour
We tie the sacred thread (Rakhi) around HIS wrist
HE saves us from binding new karma at every little twist
From this cycle of birth and rebirth we wish salvation
HE leads the way with his actions, HE is our true motivation
HE says experience the soul and remove false identity
Look within, meditate and still your mind with sincerity
Eventually, life is only joyful awareness and that is self-realisation
Hang on only to HIS hand and you will surely reach your destination.
We bow at HIS pious feet and pray to keep us near HIM
HE is in our every breath, every prayer and every hymn.
- Brahmnisht Minal ben
યુવા મુમુક્ષુઓ પ્રેરિત અને પ્રોત્સાહિત થાય અને તેમનું વ્યાવહારિક જીવન સંપૂર્ણપણે આધ્યાત્મિક બને, એ હેતુથી દર યુવા સ્વાધ્યાયમાં, પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી વિશેષ પ્રકારનો ઉત્તમ બોધ આપતા હોય છે.
શનિવાર તારીખ ૧૦મી ઓગસ્ટના રોજ, ડોક્ટર સુહાસિનીબેન તેમજ ડોક્ટર જીતુભાઈના ઘરે રાત્રે ૦૮.૩૦ થી ૧૦.૦૦ ના સ્વાધ્યાયમાં, પ્રજ્ઞાશીલ ભાઇશ્રીએ "મોંઘી મહત્વાકાંક્ષા" વિષય ઉપર બોધ આપ્યો હતો.
મહત્વાકાંક્ષા એટલે અસાધારણ ઈચ્છા, એવી ઈચ્છા, અભિલાષા કે મનોરથ, જેનું માહાત્મ્ય આપણા મનમાં ખૂબ વેદાતું હોય. તે પ્રાપ્ત કરવાની એવી અદમ્ય ઈચ્છા જાગે કે, એ આપણા જીવનનું મુખ્ય લક્ષ્ય બની જાય. એ લક્ષ્ય માટે સમગ્ર જીવન સમર્પિત કરી દઈયે.
સુખી થવું એ મનુષ્યની તમામ ઈચ્છાઓ પાછળનો હેતુ છે. મોટા ભાગના મનુષ્યો સંસારી સુખને જ ઇચ્છતા હોય છે, જેવા કે લૌકિક સમૃધ્ધિ, યુવાન અને દેખાવડા રહેવું, નિરોગી શરીર, સુંદર અને યોગ્ય જીવનસાથી, બાળકોનું ઉચ્ચતર શિક્ષણ અને ભૌતિક કમાણી. મુમુક્ષુઓના કલ્યાણમિત્ર છે એવા ભાઈશ્રીએ ગંભીરતા સાથે યુવાનોને ચેતવતા કહ્યું કે આ મનુષ્યભવમાં માત્ર મોક્ષની ઈચ્છા રાખી, કર્મોથી મુક્ત થવાની ભાવના ભાવી પવિત્ર જીવન જીવવાનું છે. સ્વાધ્યાય દરમ્યાન અનેક દાખલા અને પ્રસંગોની વાત કરતા, સ્વાધ્યાયનો સાર જેમાં સમાઈ જાય એવા મુખ્ય મુદ્દાઓ નીચે બતાવ્યા પ્રમાણે તેમણે જણાવ્યા:
૧) જીવ, જગત અને જીવનનો વિચાર કરી મુક્ત થવાની પ્રબળ ભાવના કરવી.
૨) યાદ રાખવું કે ઈચ્છા એ વરદાન અથવા તો અભિશાપ બંને બની શકે એમ છે માટે દરેક ઈચ્છા અને મહત્વકાંક્ષાને તપાસી જવી. મહત્વકાંક્ષા શુદ્ધ હોવી જોઈએ.
૩) આપણી શક્તિઓને માપીને સાહસ કરવું.
૪) મહત્વકાંક્ષા એ મોંઘી છે, સસ્તી નથી માટે અનેક બલિદાનો આપવા પડશે અને ખૂબ મહેનત કરવી પડશે.
૫) એક વાર લક્ષ્ય નક્કી કર્યા પછી આપણી તમામ શક્તિઓને તેમાં જોડી દેવી.
૬) સમયનો સદુપયોગ કરી જીવન નિયમિત બનાવવું, સમયને શ્રમથી ભરી દેવું.
૭) પરવસ્તુ મેળવવામાં જીવનનું સાફલ્ય નથી, પુદ્દગલનું, જડવસ્તુઓનું મમત્વ છોડી, આત્મકેંદ્રિત જીવન જીવવામાં સાચી સફળતા રહી છે.
૮) મનની તાલીમ એ ખુબ અગત્યનો મુદ્દો છે, કારણ કેળવાયેલું મન જ મહત્વાકાંક્ષાને આંબી શકે છે.
૯) મનુષ્ય ભવમાં પ્રાપ્ત થયેલી અમૂલ્ય તકોનો સદુપયોગ કરી લેવો.
૧૦) ઓછી રુચિ તેમજ આળસ અને પ્રમાદને કારણે આપણે યોગ્ય પુરુષાર્થ નથી કરી શકતા.
૧૧) ચાર કષાયોમાં, માયાએ આખા જગતને કેદ કરેલ છે. સારા દેખાવા માટે નહીં પણ અંતરથી સારા થવા પુરુષાર્થ કરવો અને યાદ રાખવું કે કીર્તિ અને કાર્યમાં ભેળસેળ ન થાય.
૧૨) સંસ્કાર વર્ધક અને લોકોના દુઃખ દૂર કરવાના ધ્યેયે જીવન જીવવું.
૧૩) જીવન સ્વયં તપશ્ચર્યા છે, સમર્પણ નિષ્ઠા અને સાધના દ્વારા આત્મસાક્ષાત્કાર સિદ્ધ થઇ શકે છે.
સ્વાધ્યાય પછી મીનળબહેન તેમજ સુહાસિનીબહેને પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી તેમજ વિક્રમભાઈને, ભક્તિ અને પ્રેમના પ્રતીક સ્વરૂપે રાખડી બાંધી હતી.
જોગાનુજોગ, આવતી ૧૫ ઓગસ્ટ ૨૦૧૯ એ ભારતનો સ્વાતંત્ર્ય દિન તો છે પણ સાથોસાથ તે જ દિવસે નારીયેળી પૂર્ણિમા એટલેકે રક્ષા બંધનનો દિવસ પણ છે. તે દિવસને ધ્યાનમાં રાખી મીનળબહેને સ્વરચિત અંગ્રેજી કવિતા વાંચી હતી. જેનો સાર એ હતો કે એક બંધન એવું છે જે મુક્તિ અપાવે છે ― તે છે સદ્દગુરૂ સાથેનો શિષ્યનો સંબંધ.
મોંઘી મહત્વાકાંક્ષાનો અર્થપૂર્ણ બોધનો પ્રકાશ, આપણા જીવનમાં અજવાળા પાથરે એજ પ્રભુ પ્રાથના.
સંત પરમ હિતકારી, પરમ પૂજ્ય આત્માનંદજીનું રાજમંદિરમાં આગમન
જેમની નિશ્રામાં દેહકેન્દ્રિત જીવન આત્મકેન્દ્રિત બને, કષાયો ઉપશમિત થાય, ઇન્દ્રિયો સંયમિત વર્તે અને મન પવિત્ર તેમજ સ્થિર રહે એવા મહાપુરુષોનું પવિત્ર આગમન જ્યારે સાયલાના આશ્રમમાં થાય ત્યારે મુમુક્ષુઓ ઉત્કૃષ્ટ ભક્તિભાવથી તેમને આવકારતા હોય છે.
છેલ્લા એક વર્ષથી પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઈશ્રી તેમજ સર્વે મુમુક્ષુઓ જેમની આતુરતાપૂર્વક રાહ જોઈ રહ્યા હતા એવા પરમ શ્રદ્ધેય, પરમ પૂજ્ય શ્રી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબ ગુરુવાર, તારીખ ૧૮ જુલાઈ ૨૦૧૯ની સવારે ૧૦:૪૦ કલાકે સાયલા આશ્રમમાં પધાર્યા હતા. તેઓની સાથે શાંતમૂર્તિ પૂજ્ય શર્મિષ્ઠાબેન, પરમ આદરણીય, બાળ બ્રહ્મચારી શ્રી સુરેશજી તેમજ કોબા આશ્રમના અગ્રગણ્ય મુમુક્ષુઓ પણ પધાર્યા હતા.
તેમની ગાડી મુખ્ય દ્વારમાંથી દાખલ થઇ અને હર્ષવિભોર મુમુક્ષુઓએ ગરબા રમી ચહેરા પર આનંદના ભાવો સાથે તેમનું સ્વાગત કર્યું. પરમ પૂજ્ય ભાઇશ્રીએ આંટી પહેરાવી અને નાદુરસ્ત તબિયત અને સફરનો થાક હોવા છતાં પૂજ્ય આત્માનંદજી સીધા રાજમંદિરમાં પધાર્યા.
પરમ આદરણિય મીનળબેન તેમજ બ્રહ્મનિષ્ઠ વિક્રમભાઈએ તેમનું ભાવઊર્મિઓથી શાબ્દિક સ્વાગત કર્યું અને ત્યારબાદ ૧૦૮ ઇંચ ઊંચી, પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવની દિવ્ય પ્રતિમાજીની આગળ રહેલા પડદાને શ્રી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબના હાથે બટન દબાવી ઉપર લેવડાવ્યો. ૮ મિનિટ સુધી તે પ્રતિમાના સ્વરૂપસ્થ ભાવોમાં સર્વે ખોવાઇ ગયાં! તેમના જ્ઞાન નેત્રો પ્રત્યે સહુ એવા સ્થિર થયા કે દેહભાવ ભૂલાતો ગયો. પવિત્ર ચેતના સાથે વૃત્તિઓ એકાકાર થઇ અને સર્વે ધન્ય થયાં.
ત્યારબાદ આ સજીવન સમી પ્રતિમાજીને વર્ણવતું એક પદ વિક્રમભાઈએ ગાયું અને સમતાધારી ભાઈશ્રીએ તેમજ મીનળબેને સાથે મળી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબ તેમજ સતી સીતા સમા શર્મિષ્ઠાબેનનું શાલ ઓઢાડી બહુમાન કર્યું.
સંતશ્રી આત્માનંદજી સાહેબને વિનંતિ કરતાં તેઓ એક નમસ્કાર મંત્ર બોલ્યા અને ત્યાર બાદ જે સૂત્ર તેમના ભાવચારિત્રની ઓળખ બન્યું છે તે તેઓએ ત્રણ વાર સહુને બોલાવડાવ્યું. “હું આત્મા છું, આપનો સેવક છું, સૌનો મિત્ર છું.” શારીરિક પ્રતિકૂળતા હોવા છતાં તેમના ચહેરા ઉપર સતત અંતરઆનંદની છાયા ઊભરાતી હતી. સંતનું સંતપણું દૈદીપ્યમાન થતું હતું.
ત્યારબાદ સ્વાધ્યાયમાં પ્રજ્ઞાશીલ ભાઇશ્રીએ પૂજ્ય છોટાબાપુજીનો પુષ્પાબેન ઉપર લખેલ પત્ર નંબર ૨૧ લીધો હતો. મૃત્યુની ભય પ્રકૃતિનો પ્રશ્ન પુષ્પાબેનનો હતો. જવાબમાં છોટાબાપુજી કહે છે કે “મૃત્યુ વિષે મનમાં જેટલા ઘોડાઓ ઊઠે છે તેના તમે સાક્ષી રહી શકો છો. પહેલા ભળેલા રહેતા તે હવે ક્રમે કરી છૂટાં રહેવાય છે તો તે ભય પ્રકૃતિ ઊછળી ઊછળી સામે આવતી તેના તમે સાક્ષી ખરા કે નહિ? સાક્ષી આત્મા હંમેશા નિર્લેપ, અપરિણામી તથા અક્રિય છે. તેમાંથી ઉપયોગનો કે જ્ઞાનનો પ્રવાહ ચાલ્યો આવે છે. આપણા જ્ઞાનનો પ્રવાહ કે ઉપયોગનો પ્રવાહ, તે નિર્લેપ આત્માની સમય સમય જ્ઞાન અવસ્થા, તે દેહના ધર્મો, સુખ દુઃખ કે જ્ઞાન ઇંદ્રિયોની સાથે બંધાયેલા છે. એટલે દરેક ઉદય વખતે આપણે જાગૃતિ રાખવાની છે કે આપણે નિર્લેપ ચેતન છીએ, સાક્ષી છીએ.”
શાંતભાવે ભાઇશ્રીએ સમજાવ્યું કે ઇન્દ્રિઓની પાછળ મન છે અને મનની પાછળ આત્મા રહ્યો છે. જો આત્મા મનને પ્રેમથી નિયંત્રિત કરે તો ઈન્દ્રીઓ સંયમિત રહે. સાક્ષીભાવે આ જગતમાં અકરતૃત્વબુદ્ધિએ કાર્યો કરવાનાં છે. ઉપયોગને પરવસ્તુઓથી પાછો વાળી સ્વકેન્દ્રિત કરીને બહિરાત્મભાવને ત્યજી અંતરાત્મભાવમાં સ્થિર થવાનું છે. તેમ કરતા આપણે અસંગ, નિર્લેપ અને નિ:સ્પૃહ રહી શકીશું. ભય કે આંતરિક ચંચળતા નહિ રહે. ચિત્ત પ્રશાંત થતા આપણે આત્માનંદને અનુભવીશું.
ત્યારબાદ પ્રેમમૂર્તિ શર્મિષ્ઠાબેને બાપુજીની સાથેની પ્રથમ મુલાકાત યાદ કરી હતી અને કહ્યું હતું કે મને બાપુજી મારા પિતાતુલ્ય લાગતા હતા અને સાયલા આવી છું તો એવું લાગે છે કે હું મારા પિયરે આવી છું. આત્મસિદ્ધિની એક મહત્વની કડીનો ઉલ્લેખ કરીને કહ્યું કે,
“સ્વચ્છંદ મત આગ્રહ તજી, વર્તે સદગુરુ લક્ષ;
સમકિત તેને ભાખિયું, કારણ ગણી પ્રત્યક્ષ.”
આપણા સમર્પણભાવમાં ક્યાંય કચાશ ન રહી જાય અને આજ્ઞાઓનું પાલન અપૂર્વ રુચિ તેમજ પૂર્ણ શ્રદ્ધાન સાથે થાય તે બહુ જરૂરી છે. પ્રત્યક્ષ નિશ્રામાં આમ વર્તાશે તો જીવ સમ્યગદર્શન અવશ્ય પામશે.
છેલ્લે વિક્રમભાઈએ રાજમંદિર વિષે થોડી માહિતી આપી અને સૌ બેઝમેન્ટમાં રહેલી પરમ કૃપાળુ દેવની ખડગાસન મુદ્રાની પ્રતિમાજીનાં દર્શન કરવા ગયા, જ્યાં સ્તુતિ કર્યા બાદ કૃપાનિધાન આત્માનંદજી સાહેબે એક ભજનની પંક્તિ ગાઈ હતી.
અન્નપૂર્ણામાં સૌએ સાથે ભોજન લીધા બાદ થોડો આરામ કરી બપોરના ૩:૧૫ આસપાસ તેઓ કોબા જવા માટે રવાના થયા. બે સંતો અને મુમુક્ષુઓનું આનંદસભર મિલન તેમજ પારમાર્થિક પ્રેમની પવિત્રતાનો દિવ્ય અનુભવ જીવનભર આપણે માણતા રહીશું.
Faith & Surrender
This shloka from the ancient Vedic Scriptures explains the supreme place a teacher or Guru holds in the hearts of his disciples:
Gururbrahmā Gururviṣhṇu Gururdēvōh Mahēśhvaraḥ...I
Guru Sākṣhāta Paraṁ Brahmah Tasmai Shrī Guravē Namaḥ...II
Meaning: Oh teacher, you are akin to the Gods. You are Lord Vishnu and you are Lord Shiva – the God of the Gods. Oh teacher, you are the supreme being, and you are Lord Brahma for me. Thus, oh revered teacher, I bow in front of you.
The Full Moon day in Shukla Paksha during the Lunar month Ashad is celebrated as Guru Purnima. In the word Guru - Gu means darkness, ignorance and Ru implies elimination or removal. So, Guru is literally the one who removes the darkness of ignorance from our lives, and extricates us from the potentially eternal cycle of births and deaths.
Day 1: 15th July
The 3-day celebration began with waking up in the Brahma-mahurat and doing meditation followed by the morning regime of love (Agna Bhakti) and Chaityavandan.
Eye Camp in Matushree Kashiben Harjivandas Sanghrajka Eye Hospital, Sayla
Mumukshus participated in an Eye Camp sponsored by UK-based Deepakbhai Kamdar. A total of 100 cataract surgeries were performed free of cost, at this camp (which is part of multiple camps organised throughout the year, since many years).
After lighting the inaugural lamp, trustee Shri Vinubhai Shah said: “In the very initial years, eye operations were performed by Raj Saubhag Ashram in collaboration with Virpur Ashram. In the secondary stage, operations were performed in the ashram complex itself. Government regulations and increasing number of patients required enhanced facilities, and therefore this eye hospital was built and later expanded in Sayla village itself. A lot of people advised against establishing a hospital in a centre as small as Sayla, since larger centres were unable to attract large numbers of patients and not more than 10 surgeries are performed every month. However, due to Pujya Bhaishree’s characteristic long term vision, and with his selfless efforts and grace, the hospital in Sayla was established and expanded some years later. Today, over 700 surgeries are performed every month in Sayla.”
Unveiling of Dr. Ambedkar Open University Study Centre
The morning special session in the newly opened, architectural masterpiece Raj Mandir, witnessed a historic unveiling of a collaboration between L.M.Vora College of Arts and Commerce and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (affiliated to Government of Gujarat offering distance learning diploma and degree programs). The available degree courses would be M.A (Master of Arts), B. Com (Bachelor of Commerce), BPP (Bachelor Preparatory Programme) and CCC Computer course. L.M.Vora College has been chosen as one of the study centres for Dr. Ambedkar Open University.
In a village like Sayla, where a mere 20 years ago, educating the girl child beyond primary school and sending her to high school was unimaginable; slowly but surely a tectonic shift is taking place. Now, girls would be able to spread their wings and become university graduates without opposition from family members and society. All this has been achieved due to the tireless efforts and vision of Pujya Bhaishree.
Project director Chandrakantbhai Vyas said: “I have always explained to my girl students, that education is the main reason for all progress – intellectual, economic and social progress. The L. M. Vora College girls students are making their place in the whole zilla district. To all those who support educating the girl child, I say that, this is superior to all other donations. When we started the Arts and Commerce college, there were 7 enrolments in the first year. Today, over 500 girls are studying in the college. In the same way, we have 11 admission applications for the graduation course, and I can foresee that this number will grow to hundreds and thousands. The ceremonial lamp that has just been lighted will drive away the darkness of illiteracy. I thank Pujya Bhaishree again and again for his unflinching support and vision.”
During the morning param satsang on Gnansaar, written by the venerable, eminent Upadhyay Shri Yashovijayji Maharaj Saheb, Pujya Bhaishree said: “A majority of the people are immersed in sansaaric activities, searching for happiness in transient objects like wealth, indulgence of the senses, worldly comforts, or fame; while an Atma gnaani has found happiness within himself, just like the Mansarovar swan. Merely memorizing verses from the scriptures is not enlightenment. For a sadhak aiming to reach his spiritual goal – he would need to focus on qualities to purify his soul, and not be blinded and weighed down by knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Atma Gnaan or Granthi Bhed should be every seeker’s goal and that is the highest, greatest, ultimate goal of this human birth.”
Emphasising the wisdom of the above words with narratives from the lives of Adi Shankracharya, Manjhibhai Patel among others, Bhaishree explained in great detail how the quality of Sambhaav (equanimity - not getting swayed by likes or dislikes) contributes greatly on the path of spiritual progress. Bhaishree ended his discourse with: “I send good wishes and prayers to every mumukshu to progress on this spiritual path with great speed.”
Visit to Chorvira & Evening Celebrations
In the afternoon session, the mumukshus participated in a Jatra to Chorvira, (birthplace and school of their benefactor Pujya Bapuji) and Panch Kalyanak Puja with great enthusiasm. After dinner, was the daily Arti, Mangal Divo and evening Dev Vandan; followed by Bruhad Alochana (a deeply meaningful prayer in which devotees recount their misdeeds and ask forgiveness with great humility). Since it was the auspicious day of chaudas, everyone recited the Bruhad Alochana together.
A cultural programme by mumukshus from different parts of the world and different parts of India, brought this eventful day to an end.
Day 2: Guru Purnima – 16th July
After the morning meditation and agna bhakti, mumukshus lined up from Pujya Bhaishree’s kutir to the Raj Mandir to welcome their benefactor with soaring devotion in their hearts. At the first glimpse of Pujya Bhaishree coming out from Pujya Bapuji’s kutir, after bowing before his Guru (P Bapuji), warmed every heart beholding him. Each and every mumukshu bowed at his lotus feet as he passed them, while Pujya Bhaishree remained in his perfect balanced, unmoved inner state – a witness, full of humility and kindness in the midst of so much veneration and adoration.
The mid-morning session began with distribution of aids and appliances to individuals with motor impairment; and a dance performance by children with special needs from Ashirvad Trust for the Disabled. This centre has been doing exemplary work by empowering individuals with impairments via access, equal opportunities and love.
The morning Guru Purnima session also witnessed divine bhakti, messages and cards from mumukshus around the world were read and presented to Pujya Bhaishree by Minalben. Dubai mumukshu group presented their Guru Purnima card themselves with a 5-minute group performance.
In his param satsang, Pujya Bhaishree said: “An ever increasing faith in the True Deity, True Guru and True Path, with complete devotion will surely lead to spiritual progress. Such a sincere devotee will achieve salvation within 15 births, say Tirthankars. Having said that, the qualities of Upsham (calming the passions) and Vairaagya (detachment) need to be cultivated and nurtured constantly and consistently. As Param Krupalu Dev says: “ભક્તિ પ્રધાન દશાથી વર્તવાથી, જીવના સ્વચ્છંદ આદિ દોષ સુગમપણે વિલય થાય છે”. Just like the Gopis, who though living in sansaar, remained detached from sansaari relations, objects and situations. They were only connected to the Divine. In the same way mumukshus must remain detached from worldly objects and situations and be connected only to the Satdev, Satguru and Satdharma. This supreme devotion of the disciple towards his Guru, will elevate the disciple to the spiritual level of his enlightened Master. This is Para-Bhakti.”
The afternoon session continued with selected mumukshus sharing with the audience their divine experiences with Pujya Bhaishree, giving everyone a glimpse into the divinity that personifies our benevolent Guru.
Evening session consisted of Arti, Mangal Divo, Dev Vandan and Atma Siddhi. A 30-minute film on the UK Dharma Yatra and bhajans and bhakti immersed every person in the audience in devotion and bhakti bhaav.
Day 3: 17th July
Day 3 arose with meditation, agna bhakti and veneration to all our Guruvaryas.
Mumukshus also participated in another eye camp, sponsored by the Parekh family based in Baroda and UK.
Two more mumukshus shared their experiences and Bhaishree gave a discourse on purusharth (spiritual striving). During the Param Satsang in the mid-morning, Pujya Bhaishree questioned: “If you want to progress on the spiritual path, can you do so while giving in To Anger? To Egotism? To Malice? To Greed? Each and every mumukshu must master the art of suppressing his negative qualities and trying sincerely to overcome them. The reins of likes and dislikes (raag and dvesh) must be firmly held within our own hands, and we must not allow any of these to supersede us, overwhelm us.”
Pujya Atmanandji and his disciples from Koba Ashram arrived in the Ashram on the 18th July, to an extremely warm welcome by Pujya Bhaishree, Vikrambhai, Minalben and all the mumukshus of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram.
The three days celebrations ended with Bhaishree’s key message urging seekers to strengthen their spiritual foundation by cultivating inner faith and complete surrender. These two foundational virtues will help us remove vices, increase our focus and become one with our enlightened mentor.
Swadhyays - video recordings
A disciple who sped up his master’s spiritual journey
Shree Saubhagbhai’s Dehvilay Commemoration - 2019
Soulmate Shri Saubhag – this was the address used by Param Krupalu Dev Shrimad Rajchandra for Pujya Saubhagbhai, his disciple and his benefactor. For a person like Shrimadji who could recognise the world and its pleasures as a mirage that should be actively shunned, meeting Saubhagbhai was the providential blessing in his feverish and angst-ridden quest for ‘Samyak Darshan’ (self-realisation). In an unusual happenstance, Saubhagbhai became Shrimadji’s disciple as well as a guide and soulmate who enabled him to achieve ‘Samyak Darshan’.
Shree Raj Saubhag Satsang Mandal observed the death anniversary of Saubhagbhai on June 27, 2019. In attendance were dignitaries and mumukshus from several Shrimad Rajchandra ashrams. On the evening of June 26, the large number of attendees soaked in the devotional atmosphere created by the soulful singing of Meghalben from Shree Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur.
The next morning, Brahmnisht Vikrambhai elaborated on the endearments used by Shrimadji for Saubhagbhai in his letters, each of which expressed their exceptional bond as well as his abiding gratitude to the latter – “Param pujya (most revered),” “supreme benefactor,” “liberated,” “Param saral (supremely straightforward) and an icon of peace,” and many more.
In his discourse, Sudhirbhai, a well-known scholar from Rajkot, asserted that one can strive endlessly for spiritual upliftment without guidance but it yields little. A self-driven pursuit of spirituality leads nowhere. Hence, one has little choice but to opt for the shelter of a liberated soul for therein alone lies his liberation.
Before beginning his discourse, Param Pujya Bhaishree warmly welcomed all the mumukshus and invitees of the Shrimad Rajchandra family who had arrived for the occasion from different parts of the country. In his discourse, he explained in depth the concept of “ashray bhakti”, which defined the relationship Saubhagbhai had with Shrimadji. Shrimadji instructed mumukshus to give predominant weightage to the path of devotion (‘bhakti marg’) over the path of knowledge (‘gnan marg’). When devotion takes precedence, many obstacles, difficulties, and hardships are easily overcome.
For Saubhagbhai, adopting this path came easy as he had the refuge of a powerful and enlightened master such as Shrimadji. He worshipped every utterance of Shrimadji; he valued these pearls of wisdom which eclipsed everything – his troubles, his agonies, the human shortcomings of his personality - and helped him steadily ascend the spiritual ladder to the state of self-realisation that Shrimadji had envisioned for him and for which the seer held his hand gently but firmly through the seven years of their spiritual connect from 1946 to 1953.
During their close association, the two spent 560 days together. Each time they parted, they wrote to each other. Each sought the other’s company earnestly and fervently as each had renounced the world in their mind even while inhabiting it materially; each craved to break free of their worldly lives and dwell in spiritual solitude and communion; each knew that the other mirrored their state of mind even though their spiritual evolution followed different trajectories.
In his letters, Shrimadji has consistently expressed his longing for ‘nivrutti’ (time to pursue his spiritual goals). He would tell Saubhagbhai that his company was akin to ‘nivrutti’ as every moment of their time together was spent in spiritual activity and discussions. Bhaishree said that their profound and intimate relationship was characterized by Saubhagbhai’s role as the catalyst in Shrimadji’s attainment of self-realisation and Shrimadji’s assiduous spiritual grooming of Saubhagbhai.
After steering the gathering into a state of deep devotion through the glorious example of Saubhagbhai, Bhaishree read out a few letters written by Saubhagbhai to Shrimadji from the book, ‘Hridaysakha Shri Saubhag.’
At the foundation of their relationship was the shared knowledge of a meditation technique, ‘beej gnan’, the seed of Samyak Darshan. Saubhagbhai was instrumental in giving ‘beej gnan’ to Shrimadji, which gave direction to Shrimadji’s restless and relentless search for his soul. Acquiring it at a young age of 23, Shrimadji dived deep into himself to attain samyag darshan. He felt indebted to Saubhagbhai for this invaluable knowledge that afforded him a giant leap in his spiritual journey and opened the door to salvation.
Shrimadji’s focussed pursuit of spirituality after acquiring ‘beej gnan’ led him to attain pure, vibrant and liberating realisation of self in Samvat 1947 at a young age of 24. His readiness as a seeker, his extraordinary faculties of the mind and spirit, the purity of his consciousness needed that single trigger of divine knowledge that Saubhagbhai sought him out to share with him. In the process, Saubhagbhai became immortal as the seeker who helped the seer.
In letter number 165 (‘Vachanamrut’), Shrimadji wrote in Gujarati as translated: “All spiritual achievers have sung the glory of the knowledge that you (Saubhagbhai) have. With each passing day, this soul also experiences the speciality of this knowledge incrementally.”
In letter number 259, a grateful Shrimadji tells Saubhagbhai, “I feel you must have taken birth for me. I owe you a huge debt of gratitude. You have given me my desired happiness. What can I offer you in return other than my salutations?”
It was to facilitate easy understanding of ‘The letter of six precepts’ for Saubhagbhai and his kin that Shrimad wrote the most revered treatise in his literature, ‘Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra’ in lyrical form. In the process, the treatise has become the most potent scripture on the reality of the soul.
Dr Bhagwandas Mansukhbhai Mehta mentions in the book, ‘Adhyatma Rajchandra’ that Saubhagbhai’s relationship with Shrimadji played a very important role in Shrimadji’s spiritual life. It was his meeting with Saubhagbhai that led to the cathartic fulfilment of his innermost craving for self-realisation.
Why did Saubhagbhai share his divine knowledge with someone he did not know well? He was very impressed with Shrimadji’s ‘avdhaan’ prowess (ability to attend to many things at a time showcasing one’s mental and spiritual competence) and the way he welcomed Saubhagbhai by name in their very first meeting even though he did not know him, among other things. He felt a high degree of veneration for Shrimadji and, on an inner call, surrendered his whole being to him.
Saubhagbhai informed Shrimadji in a letter just before his demise that he had attained self-realisation. This is evident from letter number 54 dated Jeth Sud 14, Samvat 1953. In another letter dated Jeth Vad 11, Samvat 1953, Ambalalbhai conveyed that Saubhagbhai passed away peacefully in samadhi.
On the morning of Jeth Vad Dasam (June 27), Bhaishree led everyone to Vishranti Dham, where Saubhagbhai lived, in Sayla village to pay homage to this great son of the soil.
Bhaishree reminded us that we were very fortunate to be able to comprehend and appreciate a gnani like Shrimadji through Saubhagbhai’s copious correspondence with him. In a world tainted with greed, material acquisitiveness, and smallness of spirit, there are barely a handful of people who are blessed with Saubhagbhai’s exemplary qualities such as compassion, contentedness, largeness of heart, forbearance, straightforwardness, sincerity, inner purity and evolution of soul. Each of his qualities is worthy of emulation and will inspire generations to come.
Saubhagbhai remains immortal as a human being, an ideal disciple and as the one who shone the light for one of the greatest torchbearers of Jainism – on the passage to his soul.
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
Shrimad Rajchandra’s Love For Veer
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.’
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