|March 14, 2002 |
In Swami Ni Vato 10/31, Gunatitanand Swami explains that one who has love for and glory in God, cuts off any object that comes in the way [of his devotion to God]. When Jinabhai visited Gadhada, he would not open any of the letters from his home; instead he would keep the letters under his bed. Finally, the family wrote a letter directly to Lord Swaminarayan asking if Jinabhai was there. When Lord Swaminarayan asked Jinabhai if he had received the letters, he told Lord Swaminarayan that he did not read them so that he would not think about going home, and loose the happiness of the association [of God in Gadhada].
In the same Vaat, Gunatitanand Swami talks about a devotee by the name of Devrambhai who lived with the knowledge of aatmanishthaa (soul-consciousness). For example, when Devrambhai's wife passed away he ritually bathed in the river. He then said, "Tell me if anyone else has passed away as well, so I can together finish the bathing [ritual]."
During the wedding procession of Prabhashankar of Piplavya, a letter came from Lord Swaminarayan asking him to come to Vadtal. He thus left the procession and began walking to Vadtal. Prabhashankar told his parents, "The procession will join again, but the opportunity to follow this command of God will not come again." Gunatitanand Swami says further, due to such devotees love for God, they effortlessly remain in soul-consciousness.
In Vachanamrut Gadhada Last 1, Lord Swaminarayan explains, "One who has the inclination of gnyaana (knowledge) understands the profound greatness of God, and one with an inclination of heta (love) for God cannot stay without God even for a moment. Jinabhai, Devram, and Prabhashankar, for example, have an inclination of knowledge."
However, Gunatitanand Swami explains that despite having the knowledge of soul-consciousness and the knowledge of love with God, they did not have sarvoparee svaroopanishthaa or belief in Lord Swaminarayan as the supreme God. For example, given in Bhaktachintamani chapter 139, Jinabhai only went to Shvetdvip (not Akshardham).
Pragji Dave initially did not have as much faith in Lord Swaminarayan as he had in guru Ramanand Swami. Thus in Vachanamrut Ahmedabad 7, Lord Swaminarayan explains to Pragji Dave that He is the supreme God. In response to Pragji Dave's question, Lord Swaminarayan explains, "By realizing the greatness of God, one's mind becomes fixed on Him." Lord Swaminarayan explains, "I had previously asked Ramanand Swami at Ladha Brahmin's house in Piplana, 'Are you truly God or are you merely called God?' Ramanand Swami did not reply then. Later in Samvat 1869, I had fallen ill. During My illness, I went to Kshirsagar where Sheshshayi Narayan rests upon Shesh and saw Ramanand Swami there [i.e. in Shvetdvip]...There, I asked Narayan, 'Who is this Ramanand Swami?' Narayan replied, 'He is a Brahma-vetta (knower of Brahma).'" (In Shikshapatri verse 115, Lord Swaminarayan explains, "A Brahma-vetta is not worthy of meditation.") Finally, Lord Swaminarayan Himself reveals, "As Garud was unable to fly to Brahmadham, I went alone to the abode of Shri Purushottam Narayan, which transcends everything. There, I saw that it was I who was Purushottam; I did not see anyone eminent apart from Myself."
In many Swami Ni Vato (e.g. 6/21 and 7/15), Gunatitanand Swami explains that a devotee attains a dhaama (abode) according to his belief in Swaminarayan Bhagwan. If one believes that Swaminarayan Bhagwan is the supreme God, one attains Akshardham.