ANTARDRASHTI AND BAAHYADRASHTI
November 09, 2004
Des Plaines Mandir

Antardrashti and baahyadrashti can be loosely compared to introverted and extroverted vision, respectively. The root word drashti comes from darshana and is based on the function of sight. This is different from jovu (observation at the gross level) and nirakhavu (observation at the subtle or emotional level). Drashti implies grace, and empowers that which is being observed.

Antardrashti is to analyze within. Depending on an individual's inclination, one can look internally and focus on many things. Spiritually, antardrashti refers to looking to the soul, and focusing on God. Baahyadrashti, on the other hand, is focusing on surface-level, worldly things, problems, and issues, not related to and disconnected from God.

Swaminarayan Bhagwan defines antardrashti in Vachanamrut Gadhada First 49 and Gadhada Middle 8 (and Sarangpur 10). In Gadhada Middle 8, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains, "Antardrashti is to direct one's vrutti towards either the internal or the external form of God. Without doing this, even if one is sitting and seemingly engaged in antardrashti, it is still baahyadrashti. Thus, physical God-related activities, such as having the darshana of God, performing His poojaa, or engaging in discourses, devotional songs, etc., of God, are all, in fact, forms of antardrashti."

Dinkar Uncle then explained two related concepts. When a devotee analyzes himself, he keeps "saadhu ni drashti" or looks to oneself striving to better himself and continuously offers prayers to progress. When looking to others, he keeps "Maharaj ni drashti" or only sees others' relationship with God, thus seeing God in all. Second, if someone makes a mistake, a person practicing antardrashti would not consider others' mistakes, but takes the mistake upon himself. This purifies a devotee and takes him closer to God.

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