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Enlightening Essays



To perform good deeds without expectations reflects purity of action. Pramukh Swami Maharaj (Swamishri) has been performing good deeds for nearly 90 years without expecting anything in return, except the blessings of God.

  Published on: 23 Dec 2011

Adhyay- 2 Brahmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 2)


Yoga – The Greatest Secret

For this reason, the fourth adhyãy presents this yoga as a close secret. Shri Krishna says, ‘इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवान्‌ अहमव्ययम्‌।’ – ‘Imam vivasvate yogam proktavãn ahamavyayam’ – ‘O Arjuna, I explained this everlasting yoga to Vivasvãn, i.e., the Sun’ (Gitã 4.1). Thereafter, it had been spread in the world, but as time went on it gradually diminished and was forgotten. Therefore, ‘स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः। ’ – ‘Sa evãyam mayã tedya yogaha proktaha purãtanaha’ – ‘I have explained and continue to explain that same ancient secret of yoga to you today’ (Gitã 4.3).

  Published on: 08 Dec 2011

Adhyay- 2 Brahmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 1)


Recap: Shri Krishna spoke to Arjuna about the transiency of the world, about the difference between the ãtmã and the body, and about the true form of the ãtmã. This knowledge is what is meant by sãnkhya jnãn. Now let us see what happens thereafter...

A Pledge to Teach Yoga
Up till now, Shri Krishna had explained sãnkhya jnãn. Thereafter, explaining a very important principle, he says,“एषा तेऽभिहिता सांख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां श्रृणु । बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ कर्मबन्घं प्रहास्यसि ॥”
– ‘Eshã te’bhihitã sãnkhye buddhiryoge tvimãm shrunu, buddhyã yukto yayã Pãrtha karmabandham prahãsyasi.’ – ‘O Parth, I have explained sãnkhya jnãn, I will now explain the knowledge of yoga. Listen carefully. By this knowledge you will be freed of all bonds’ (Gitã 2.39).

  Published on: 22 Nov 2011

Damodar Bhakta of Ahmedabad


The true measure of a devotee is to sustain the practice of satsang whatever the situation. Damodar Bhakta had such faith in Bhagwan Swaminarayan and
respect for the sadhus and devotees that he even met insults with a smile...

The assembly was jam packed. Maharaj was sitting on a raised seat. Sadhus, Kathis and Darbars were sitting in rows on either side. They added dignity to the atmosphere. One devotee was intently focused on Maharaj. He found it difficult to take his eyes off the graceful figure of Maharaj.
Shri Hari was engrossed in the Bhagvat discourse, when suddenly he began to cough. As the phlegm came out of his mouth, a devotee stood up, took off his turban, held it out and requested, “Maharaj, please spit into this.” That was the loving service he rendered.

  Published on: 08 Nov 2011

Mirabai A Great Krishna Bhakta


Mirabai is one of the brightest stars in the star-filled spiritual firmament of our country. We are too near history to either add to her greatness or detract from it. For, five hundred years in the history of a nation that stretches back several millennia is a short period. But her place in the religious history of our country is unique as she had danced and sang her way into the hearts of millions of her admirers.

  Published on: 22 Oct 2011

Water Is Life (Part 4)


Water in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, the same procedure is known as nasya, except salted water is used. Water is also used in enemas to cleanse the bowels, a procedure known as jal basti, and in swedan, which is a herbal steam bath.
Ayurveda also advocates walking on green grass with morning dew just after the sun’s rays emerge. This is believed to improve one’s health, prana and eyesight.
Drinking boiled water during illness removes toxins known as aam, cited in the previous article (Swaminarayan Bliss, June 2011, p. 23). This occurs probably because minerals and chemicals are removed, as in distilled water. This, according to hydrotherapists, makes it prone to attract toxins. In the language of Ayurveda, aam is removed from the channels and tissues by this water. This re-establishes the equilibrium of the three humours of vata (wind), pitta (bile) and kapha (phlegm).

  Published on: 10 Oct 2011

Water Is Life (Part 3)


In this third and final article on water, we discuss how water is regarded as sacred by Hindus and how its sacredness is borne out from the day one’s samsara yatra starts at birth to the end at death and even after.
Purificatory Baths
At birth, a child is given a purificatory bath with water. The mother also bathes to attain purity.
On awakening in the morning a person is only purified from the impurity of dreams and karmas during night sleep by having a bath. Hence nitya pratah snan – a daily morning bath – is the first daily ritual of purity attained by water. The shastras enjoin that this bath attains greater merit in the following manner: Do not bathe naked – ‘Na nagnaha snānamācharet’ (Manu Smruti 4.45, Vishnu Smruti 64, Baudhayan Smruti 2.3.61, Sushrut Samhita, Chikitsa 24.100, Charak Samhita, Sutra 8.19, Mahabharat, Anu. 104.51, 67, Vishnu Puran 3.12.19, Agni Puran 155.22, Vaman Puran 14.47).

  Published on: 22 Sept 2011

Water Is Life (Part 2)


1. Which drink is the perfect nutrient to replace the eight glasses of water that your body loses daily through sweating, exhaling, urination and defecation?
2. Which ones contain the equivalent of eight cubes of sugar, dehydrate you, remove calcium from your bones and lead to osteoporosis? (Answers at the end of the article).
3. Which is the most acidic, erodes enamel and punches holes in your teeth?

  Published on: 08 Sept 2011

Water Is Life (Part 1)


In India, those who lived in desert areas or cities, also practised rainwater harvesting. The monsoon rainwater falling on the roofs of their homes was drained into an underground tank. Such tanks are still commonly found in old houses in some cities in Gujarat. In Rajasthan, the water falling on wasteland was and is still diverted, by a gradient, into underground tanks made of stone, known as kundis. Such water is used for drinking for both humans and camels during the summer when water in wells and ponds begin to dry out. Gujarati pioneers in the early 20th century who settled in small villages and trading posts dotted along the railway from Mombasa to Kampala used to survive on rainwater diverted by ducts from their tin roofs into large tanks. An 80-year-old Gujarati trader recalls that as recent as the 1960s in Uganda, this was their only source of potable water since there was no piped water in remote villages such as Luwero, near Jinja.

  Published on: 25 Aug 2011

The Guru Tradition In Hinduism (Part 2)


The relationship between teacher and pupil is partly determined by the type of knowledge sought. The law books reflect a basic parental relationship between teacher and student because obedience to the laws is the basic orientation. In the earlier Upanishads, where knowledge of Brahman or knowledge of the Self is the aim, then a more intimate personal association between the guru and devotee comes about. It is the epics, Puranas and the early bhakti literature which establish the basis for the refined love relationship between guru and shisya (Cenkner, 1983:27), and which belongs to the understanding of the guru-devotee relationship in the movement.

  Published on: 08 Aug 2011

The Guru Tradition In Hinduism (Part 1)


In its general sense the term guru has been applied to any person, even one’s father, who is in a position to provide some aspect of the education of the individual in Hindu society (McMullen, 1976:13). A more specific meaning applies in the case of the traditional family guru to whom a boy would be given for training in the Vedic lore once he had reached the age of twelve.

  Published on: 26 July 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 7)


Krishna tells Arjun, ‘अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत। अव्यक्तनिघनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना॥’
– ‘Avyaktãdeeni bhootãni vyaktamadhyãni bhãrata, avyaktanidhanãnyeva tatra kã paridevanã’ – ‘O Arjun! All beings were unmanifest before they were born. They are manifest only in the middle, or so long as they live. When they die, they become unmanifest once again. What is the cause then for grief?’ (Gita 2.28).

  Published on: 8 July 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 6)


Bhagwan Shri Krishna tells Arjun, ‘जातस्य हि घ्रुवो मृत्युर्घ्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च । तस्माद्‌ अपरिहार्येर्थे न त्वं शोचितुम्‌ अर्हसि ॥’ – ‘Jãtasya hi dhruvo mrutyur dhruvam janma mrutasya cha; Tasmãd aparihãryerthe na tvam shochitum arhasi’ – ‘For one who is born, death is inevitable. And for one who has died, birth too is inevitable. This fact is unavoidable, and thus it does not call for your sorrow’ (Gita 2.27).

  Published on: 27 June 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 5)


Shri  Krishna Bhagwan says, ‘न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः। अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे॥’ ‘Na jãyate mriyate vã kadãchinnãyam bhootvã bhavitã vã na bhooyaha, ajo nityaha shãshvato’yam purãno na hanyate hanyamãne shareere.’

  Published on: 10 June 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 4)


Why is there no end to our miseries? Why can we not experience everlasting happiness? The answer is simple – a lack of some basic understanding.
We  still remain ignorant of the very things that truly need to be known. For example, we  do not understand the difference between the perishable and the eternal.

  Published on: 25 May 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 3)


Krishna, with a grin on his face, said to Arjuna, ‘अशोत्व्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्र्च भाषसे। गतासूनगतासूंश्र्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः॥’‘Ashochyãnanvashochastvam pragnãvãdãnshcha bhãshase, gatãsoonagatãsoonshcha nãnushochanti panditãhã.’ – ‘O Arjuna! You grieve for those who it is no use grieving for, and on top of that you speak like a wise man. But wise men do not grieve for those who are dead, or for those who are alive’ (Gita 2.11).

  Published on: 9 May 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 2)


Sanjay then describes what Arjuna did after taking Shri Krishna’s refuge: ‘एवमुक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः परंतप। न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णी´ बभूव ह॥’‘Evamuktvã Hrusheekesham Gudãkeshaha paramtapa, na yotsya iti Govindamuktvã tooshneem babhoova ha.’ – ‘O King! After saying this to Krishna, Arjuna told Krishna that he would not fight and then became silent.’ (Gitã 2.9)

  Published on: 23 Apr 2011

Brãhmi Sthiti Yoga (Part 1)


Arjuna’s surrender is loyal to Krishna alone. He says, ‘नहि प्रपश्यामि ममापनुद्याद्‌ यत्व्छोकम्‌’ ‘Nahi prapashyãmi mamãpanudyãd yachchhokam’ – ‘O Lord! I do not see anyone else who can rid me of my grief other than you. You alone are my saviour.’ (Gita 2.8) Thus Parth’s surrender is completely and specifically devoted to Shri Krishna.

  Published on: 11 Apr 2011

Two Chambers Within Us… (Part 2)


When one is sitting in a boat it is alright when the boat is in water. But what if there is water inside the boat? Similarly, one may go anywhere in the world, but the world should not get inside oneself. Within oneself there should be only two things – God and his realized Sadhu. Inside, one should have Pramukh Swami. This is all that is to be done. And that is true refuge.

  Published on: 25 Mar 2011

Two Chambers Within Us… (Part 1)


In every one of us there lies virtues and faults. Humans have both faith and no faith. When we get the company of a God-realized person the good in us blossoms forth. Our earth contains a variety of minerals and elements like zinc, copper, nitrate, chloride and also unwanted waste. Trees absorb whatever that is good from the soil. Similarly, an association with the Gunatit Satpurush brings out whatever good that lies in us.

  Published on: 8 Mar 2011

Principles of Satsang: (Part 2)
Samp, Suhradbhav and Ekta


The interesting part of the show, however, was to notice the transformation that each person underwent as the show progressed. At intervals the participants of the team were interviewed and asked questions about the status of their task and what they felt about the people that they were working with. During the beginning of the series, everyone looked forward to helping each other, praised one another, was polite and quickly formed close ties.

  Published on: 22 Feb 2011

Principles of Satsang: (Part 1)
Samp, Suhradbhav and Ekta


A recent well-known survey revealed that the English, Welsh and Scottish people in England eat individually ten kilogrammes of chocolate every year. Their cravings for the mouth-watering, cacao tree derivative amounts to the consumption of about four billion kilogrammes of chocolate each year. One can imagine the elation felt by the dentists of the region.

  Published on: 8 Feb 2011

Arjuna in the Eyes of Krishna (Part 2)

  Written By: Sadhu Bhadreshdas, Ph. D., D.Litt. , Translated by: Sadhu Paramvivekdas  

Shri Krishna Bhagwan said to Arjuna, ‘कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम्‌। अनार्यजुष्टम्‌ अस्वर्ग्यम्‌ अकीíतकरम्‌ अर्जुन॥’‘Kutastvã kashmalamidam vishame samupasthitam, anãryajushtam asvargyam akeertikaram Arjuna’ – ‘O Arjuna! No great man would do such actions. Moreover, such actions would not help one attain heaven, such actions would not even give one fame. How have these tainted actions come of you at such an inappropriate time’ (Gita 2.2).

  Published on: 28 Jan 2011

Arjuna in the Eyes of Krishna (Part 1)

  Written By: Sadhu Bhadreshdas, Ph. D., D.Litt. , Translated by: Sadhu Paramvivekdas  

On the outset of the second adhyãy, Sanjaya says to Dhritarãshtra, ‘तं तथा कृपयाविष्टमश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम्‌। विषीदन्तमिदं वाक्यमुवाच मघुसूदनः॥’‘Tam tathã krupayãvishtamashrupoornãkulekshanam, visheedantamidam vãkyamuvãcha madhusoodanaha.’ – ‘Madhusudan Shri Krishna said the following words to Arjuna who was overcome with infatuation, in remorse, and whose disturbed eyes were filled with tears’ (Gita 2.1).

  Published on: 10 Jan 2011

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