|January 05, 2005 |
Des Plaines Mandira
In Swami Ni Vato 3/36, Gunatitanand Swami asks, "What is the best of all good things? And what is the worst of all bad things?" Swami answers, "The best thing is our relationship with God and His saint...[Conversely,] the worst thing is when we have manushyabhaava (seeing negative human qualities) in this saint. And the four reasons for manushyabhaava are loka, bhoga, deha, and pakshapaata."
Dinkar Uncle explained that loka is our personal world that keeps us from satsanga, including family, associates, and anything else that surrounds us and is dearer to us than God. There is the example of a Brahmin that was given a cow by the king. On his way home, three robbers saw him and came up with a plan to steal the cow. The first robber met him on the way and immediately jumped back and ran away, yelling, "Run away from the tiger!" The Brahmin was confused that the man had mistaken his cow for a tiger, but ignored it and continued on his way. At that point, the second robber crossed the Brahmin's path and grabbing his arm, yelled, "Come this way, away from the tiger!" Now the Brahmin was a little bit alarmed, but he still continued forward. Then the third robber met him and pulled him away from the animal, screaming, "This way, let's get away from the tiger!" This time the Brahmin figured he himself must have made a mistake and ran along with the third thief. When the thieves had left the Brahmin, they gathered the cow and went on their way!
The second factor is bhoga, or indulgence in vishayas or objects of attraction to the senses. Because of our attachment to these things, we have a negative feeling toward those that persuade us to leave them. In Vachanamrut Loya 17 (and Swami Ni Vato 14/228), Lord Swaminarayan explains that attachment to the vishayas could lead one so far as to kill a motherly saint such as Muktanand Swami, if the saint tried to break him from his attachment!
Our deha (body) is the third factor. The final hurdle is paksha or taking the wrong side. Swami explains that this is the worst of the four factors, because with the other three, we can still turn to God and His saint for help to overcome. However, if we side against God and His saint, then we have closed the door to progress. As an example of wrong side, Swami cites people who lit Gopalanand Swami's prized manuscripts on fire. Gunatitanand Swami warns that by taking the side against God and His saints, one will never be able to find happiness.