March 31, 2004
Des Plaines Mandira

Given in Swami Ni Vato 10/129, after Neelkanth Varni entered Loj, He plugged a hole in a kitchen wall that was used to pass ember (to create fire for cooking) between the saints and womenfolk of the adjacent home. He also stopped discourses in which men and women sat together. Though about 23 years senior, Muktanand Swami appreciated the changes young Swaminarayan Bhagwan initiated to help saints perfect the vow of non-lust.

In the Shikshapatri, Swaminarayan Bhagwan has elucidated the roadway to achieve the vow of non-lust. Verses 175 to 185 are addressed to naishthika brahmachaaris or eight-fold celibates. Verse 175 fundamentally describes that celibates should avoid (1) touching, (2) talking to, and (3) looking at women. Upto verse 202, Swaminarayan Bhagwan advises the ideal life for celibates and saints.

Throughout the Vachanamrut as well, Swaminarayan Bhagwan emphasizes the vow of non-lust and techniques to overcome lust: Gadhada First 73, Gadhada First 76, Kariyani 3, Loya 1, Loya 6, Loya 8, Loya 10, Gadhada Middle 33, Gadhada Middle 38, Gadhada Middle 39, Gadhada Middle 47, Gadhada Last 19, Gadhada Last 38, Jetalpur 2, amongst others.

Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 33 is titled, "The Vow of Non-Lust." Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains, "If a person firmly observes the vow of non-lust, then he is never far from God - whether he is in this realm or beyond." Swaminarayan Bhagwan reveals that the reason for His staying in Gadhada (with Dada Khachar's family), and the reason for liking the service of Mulji Brahmachari, is their strong resolve in observing the vow of non-lust.

In response to Harji Thakkar's question, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains three components by which the vow of non-lust can become extremely firm:
(1) "Conquer the mind by constantly contemplating in one's mind, 'I am the soul, not the body.' Also, the mind should be continuously kept engaged in the nine types of devotion, i.e. listening to spiritual discourses related to God, etc."
(2) "Keep the praanas (life-force) under control. Shri Krishna Bhagwan has said in the Bhagavad Gita, 'One's diet and activity should be kept regulated; that is, one should not keep a strong yearning for food.' One who behaves in this way is said to have kept his praanas under control" [ref. Gita 6/16].
(3) "Control one's body by physically keeping it within the niyamas (disciplines) prescribed in satsanga for each individual."



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