|September 18, 1998 |
Gunatitanand Swami is Anaadi Mool Akshar Moorti, Swaminarayan Bhagwan's Devotee and manifest Abode, Akshardham. Swaminarayan Bhagwan appointed Him as the mahanta of the Junagadh temple. Gunatitanand Swami illustrated through His discourses and life, the glory of Swaminarayan Bhagwan. In temple moortis, Gunatitanand Swami is generally the saint who is on the left of Swaminarayan Bhagwan. In the mantra SwamiNarayan, Mool Akshar Gunatitanand Swami is Swami and Sahajanand Swami is Narayan.
In Vachanamrut Loya 13, Lord Swaminarayan asks senior saints to ask questions amongst themselves. Gopalanand Swami asked Brahmanand Swami, "What type of person is not overcome by adverse places, times, actions, company, etc.?" Gopalanand Swami also referenced to Brahma and Shiva who were overcome by adverse circumstances after seeing Sarasvati and Mohini, respectively. Swaminarayan Bhagwan answered, "A person who has withdrawn his naadis and praanas, and by way of his nirvikalpa state remains at the holy feet of God, would not be overcome by adverse places, times..." Swaminarayan Bhagwan continues, "Thus, only God is not overcome by those influences. While all others, however great they may be, if they are not engrossed in the holy feet of God, would be overcome...[And] thus, only God remains unaffected by maayaa, and one who has realized God through a nirvikalpa state is also not overcome by maayaa." Nityanand Swami then responded with another question in which he asked, "[If the muktas have attained qualities similar to those of God], how should we understand the distinction between the muktas and God?" Swaminarayan Bhagwan reiterates there is only one Purushottam Narayan - He then describes Purushottam Narayan [Himself] and the distinction between muktas.
In Swami Ni Vato 8/27, Gunatitanand Swami explains another essence behind Swaminarayan Bhagwan's discourse in this Vachanamrut. Manjibhai commented that there does not seem to be anyone in the satsanga that considers God and muktas to be the same - then why has God stated, "If [God] wishes, He can eclipse all of the muktas of Akshardham by His own divine light and prevail alone. Also, if He wishes, He can accept the devotion of the muktas and reside with them. He can eclipse even Akshar, in the form of the Akshardham in which He dwells, and preside alone independently. If He choses, He is capable of supporting the countless muktas by His own power, without even needing Akshardham...He who equates God with Akshar and the other muktas should be regarded as evil-minded and as a great sinner. One should avoid even looking at him. In fact, merely looking at such a person is as sinful as committing the five great sins."
Gunatitanand Swami reveals that here, Swaminarayan Bhagwan has called Akshar higher than all muktas, and Himself even higher than Akshar. Due to the special relationship Akshar and muktas have with God, the writers of scriptures have paroksha-pane (without actually seeing) described God, Akshar, and muktas to be similar. The Vedas and Vedanta scriptures talk about sachchidaananda brahma, which is the light of Mool Akshar, but no scripture has been able to describe the glory of Moorti-maana Mool Akshar [i.e. the saakaara or personal form of Mool Akshar]. When it is said that God is beyond sachchidaananda light, Mool Akshar (whose is the illuminating source of sachchidaananda) is left out. Hence, Mool Akshar is considered part of the mukta category. In this way, those who call God as Mool Akshar and Mool Akshar as a mukta, should be regarded as evil-minded. Again, sachchidaananda is the dhaamaroopa light of Mool Akshar - but when the sachchidaananda light is described as the light of God, Moorti-maana Mool Akshar is considered part of the mukta category. They call God great, but understand Him to be like Mool Akshar. So, if one does not understand Mool Akshar as He is, then the glory that is said of Mool Akshar, is understood to be that of God. That is, God is known like Mool Akshar - though called the Master, He is known as the Servant.
Gunatitanand Swami continues that hence, without understanding the glory of Mool Akshar, there is a great gap in the upaasanaa (worship/devotion) of God. And there are many with this kind of understanding in the satsanga. For that reason, God wants to give the understanding of His essence to His devotees. That is why God says, "without God, even Akshar cannot be called God - let alone anyone else." Here God has [actually] implied that Aksharbrahm is beyond all other muktas and is the greatest. In Loya 12, Swaminarayan Bhagwan has stated to offer Him upaasanaa after becoming aksharabrahmroopa. In other words, just as air is important for a bird in the sky to fly, and water is important for a fish to swim, a devotee cannot stay in the service of God in Akshardham, without acquiring the qualities of Aksharbrahm.
Gunatitanand Swami concludes that hence, by way of His special non-dual relationship with them, God has shown the oneness of Mool Akshar, muktas, and sachchidaananda brahma. But including Mool Akshar, everyone's upaasya moorti is the one, God.
After giving this important Swami Ni Vaat, Dinkar Uncle reiterated that there is one Swaminarayan Bhagwan and His glory is unfathomable. Also, there is one Mool Akshar Gunatitanand Swami and His glory is also unfathomable. Only by gaining the understanding and qualities of Mool Akshar Gunatitanand Swami, is one able to offer loving devotion to Swaminarayan Bhagwan.