AATMIYATAA OR AATMABUDDHI
July 04, 2001
Des Plaines Mandira

The word aatmiyataa is based on the 'oneness' relationship between the soul and the body. Aatmiyataa is developing such a relationship with God's saints and devotees.

In Vachanamrut Gadhada First 54, Swaminarayan Bhagwan references Bhagavat 3/25/20: "Prasangama ajarama paashama aatmanaha kavayo viduhu, sa eva saadhushu kruto moksha dvaarama apaavrutama." Kapildev Bhagwan explains to his mother Devhuti, "Just as one has a strong, profound association with his relatives, if that same profound association is developed with God's ekaantika saint, then the gateway to liberation opens for him."

In Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 54, Swaminarayan Bhagwan references Shrimad Bhagavat 10/84/13 that states, "He who regards his body, composed of the three constituents [i.e. vaata or gas, pitta or bile, and kapha or phlegm], to be his own self; regards his wife and children to be his own; regards [the moortis of God made from] earth to be venerable; and regards [holy] water to be [sacred like] a pilgrimage place - but does not regard enlightened devotees to be [these] then he is the most despicable of all animals, a gokhara or wild donkey." One naturally has aatmabuddhi or an inseparable relationship (such as between the body and soul), with these four things: one's own self/body, one's wife and children, moortis of God, and sanctified objects/places. But one should also create such aatmabuddhi with God's devotees - otherwise, God has called such a person a wild donkey!

In Vachanamrut Gadhada Last 7, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains, "Just as a person has aatmabuddhi for his own body, he should have similar aatmabuddhi with God and His saint. One should also keep firm paksha (side) of God's devotee...even if while keeping that paksha one's reputation increases or decreases, or one is honored or insulted, or one lives or dies...And one should not have as much affection towards one's body or relatives as one has towards God's devotee. For a devotee who behaves in this manner, even extremely powerful enemies such as lust, anger, etc. are unable to defeat him."

In Vachanamrut Gadhada Last 11, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains, "If a devotee has aatmabuddhi and deep preeti (love) for God and His devotee, just like the aatmabuddhi and deep preeti he with his own body, then the type of bliss that prevails in nirvikalpa samaadhi will continue to remain forever, even without samaadhi."

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