March 31, 2003
Des Plaines Mandira

In Swami Ni Vato 11/170, Gunatitanand Swami explains that without the association of a gunaateeta (God-realized) saint, gnyaana (knowledge) is not possible. Shivlal Seth's life is an excellent example of progress by strong association with a saint. He would let go of everything and come listen to the discourses of Gunatitanand Swami. Because of this, his progress was very quick.

Trikamdas Kothari, a trustee of the Junagadh temple, on the other hand, was reluctant to listen to Swami's talks. In Swami Ni Vato 11/80, Gunatitanand Swami reveals that in order to retain everyone's attention during the discourses, He would personally control all of the temple's activities and delegate duties to devotees only after the discourses were over. Otherwise, maayaa (illusion) tries to disturb one during the discourses. For example, once when Gunatitanand Swami was delivering a discourse, Trikamdas Kothari interrupted and asked Swami to attend the person who had come to sell ghee (boiled butter). Swami replied that He would deal with the salesperson when the discourse was over. A short while later, Trikamdas became impatient and again interrupted the discourse. Swami asserted that the salesperson could leave if he wanted, but He would attend to him only after the discourse. Hearing this, the salesperson ran in and exclaimed that he was in no rush - it was Trikamdas who was impatient.

Swaminarayan Bhagwan confirms progress by the association with a gunaateeta saint in Vachanamrut Gadhada First 53. He explains, "A person who perceives flaws in a great saint gradually regresses in satsanga. Conversely, a person who perceives virtues in that saint progresses, and his devotion towards God also flourishes."

Swaminarayan Bhagwan has demarked two paths to liberation in several Vachanamrut discourses (e.g. Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 16): one snail-slow and the other rocket-fast. The paths are summarized by the following two shlokas (verses) from the Bhagavad Gita:
"Aneka janma sansiddhas tatoh yaati paraam gatim" (6/45)
After many lives, supreme realization is achieved.
"Shraddhaavaana labhate gnyaanam tata paraha sayatendriyaha, Gnyaanam labdhvaa paraama shaantim achirenaadhigachchhati" (4/39)
He who has his senses under control and possesses full faith attains the knowledge that immediately gives supreme realization and such a person does not regress again.



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