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The Inspirer and Present Guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

He has a heart wherein the whole world can live


Parents have also to understand their responsibilities. They should not push their child to do exactly what they want all the time. They should try to understand him and let him develop. Seniors should trust the young
Selections from various interviews with Swamishri
Orlando, 27 June 1994
Question: Has a bad thought ever come to you?
Swamishri: Only thoughts of God come, and thoughts that good happens to all.
Q: Have you ever sinned?
S: How was that ever possible? I've been in Satsang since birth!
Racine, (USA) 8 August 1988
Reporter: Do you have any experience of what a woman is like? (sexuality implied)
S: Not in trikala. I have never experienced such things.
Bombay, 4 October 1989
Q: Is there any past occurrence which when comes to mind depresses you?
S: (laughing) Unhappiness is forgetting the spiritual master and the coming to one's mind of thoughts other than that of God.
Viveksagar Swami : He is asking about you personally.
S: No, there is no such problem. I constantly experience bliss and only more bliss.
Q: How can we increase our powers of concentration for meditation, studies and whatever?
S: Efforts have to be made daily. This is not something that can be perfected in a day. Concentration comes slowly. Because of worldly pursuits and attachment to them disturbances to concentration are inevitable. But with determined effort and Sant samagam one's vrutti becomes still.
Q: What is meditation?
S: It is thinking of God's glory. Contemplating on God's divine glory, His works and reflecting that, 'God who is every where is also within me', is meditation.
Q: What is samadhi? (referring to the reward of perfect 8-fold yoga)
S: That is difficult but if you do Satsang you achieve Jnan samadhi. After this you see nothing but God, there is spiritual comprehension.
Q: What is meant by Brahmajnan- knowledge of Brahman?
S: The Satpurush is Brahman, to understand his spiritual glory and perfection is Brahmajnan, to believe that God is fully manifest in him is brahmajnan.
Q: When does the 'inner- eye' open?
S: The inner eyes are said to be open when you have assimilated spiritual knowledge. The bonafide spiritual master, who should be brahmaswarup, gives this knowledge. Hanumanji had such eyes so he recognised Rama. Tulsidas could not. But when Hanumanji explained and Tulsidas understood he also recognised Rama. When the Satpurush gives knowledge the inner eyes open.
Kolkata, 6 April 1986
Q: How can a person gain control over his mind?
S: Through the nine types of devotion.
Sarangpur, January 1986
Q: What is the secret behind your greatness?
S: The grace of my guru and God, without Their grace one cannot become great.
Q: You have met many people across the world. Who has really impressed you and won your respect as being a 'true man'?
S: A sadhu respects all people, he disrespects no one.
Q: When do you become angry?
S: A sadhu has no anger.
Q: Even then, do you recall any time when you may have become angry because of a gambler, adulterer, or another who could not give up their vice due to personal weakness?
S: Anger never comes, but in such circumstances I do feel that what is happening is not right. And then I leave it to God's will. I want to help such people, I try. If there is a need to be strict, I am, but at the end of it all I leave it to God.
Q: What is the secret of your success?
S: There is only one reason or secret, the singular goal of earning the spiritual master's pleasure. If he is pleased then we progress. If he is not pleased there is no trace of progress. In the main, my gurus (Shastriji Maharaj - Yogiji Maharaj) were bonafide and I lived according to their commands.
If you examine the lives of those who have got ahead you will see that they have always given prominence to their guru and obeyed them implicitly. We can see this in the lives of Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. The same applies for all those devotees in the past who have found even a little success: the guru's pleasure, his grace and his blessings are a must.
Nobody has progressed due to their solitary efforts or intelligence or education or scholarship or talents.
Bombay, 20 September 1989
Q: I read the scriptures but derive no satisfaction. What should I do to destroy my inner enemies anger, passions, etc.?
S: Spiritual progress is only to be had by association with a true guru. Only he can direct.
Q: People go to great efforts to build temples today, but what can be done to build a temple for one's soul within?
S: Sant samagam is needed. Association with a true spiritual master builds a living temple.
London, 4 September 1994
Q: When we get home we feel at ease, relaxed. Where is your home, where do you feel at ease?
S: Wherever God and his devotees are is my home. Where there are devotees, where there are sadhus and katha varta is in progress - that is a home. Shastriji Maharaj has said that one's true home is Akshardham. This is my family (gesturing to the seated devotees and sadhus), living with them is 'home'. I am at 'home' in India and abroad. I believe the homes of devotees and places of God worship to be homes and so I never experience in any place the feeling that I'm in a strange place. Wherever I go I see a house of mine!
Q: How do you manage to remain so fresh in the midst of so much activity?
S: By not feeling that, 'I am doing,' or 'I have accomplished this', and by believing God to be the cause of all, one is not burdened. 'I am not the doer. God is the doer,' with such faith we should do all seva. By doing this you will experience blissfulness 24 hours a day. Forgetting body consciousness one should perform all activity by remaining focused in God and guru.
Q: What is the purpose of your birth on earth?
S: There can be only one purpose and that is to spread the ideals and beliefs established by God when He incarnated. (Lord Swaminarayan, 1781-1837) God desires the good of all, that all offer devotion, all attain peace. To worship and encourage others to worship, that is the only purpose. By devoting themselves to God, people will become happy, religious values increase, morality increases, unity and harmony increase; these are the intentions of spiritual leaders. Such saints remove prejudices, attachment to worldly pleasures, 'I-ness and My-ness' and other unholy desires - to replace them with holy virtue. A real human is he who never hurts another, is not prejudiced to others and has no attachment to worldly sense pleasures, these are the messages of saints and this is the purpose of their work on earth.
Q: Death is a certainty for everyone living. Even then, people are afraid of death. Why?
S: Because there is ignorance. When they realise that the soul has a different existence from that of the body they will lose their fear.
Q: What should the younger and older generations do to remove friction between them?
S: This is an eternal problem. The youngsters should see their seniors as experienced people who have gone through life in all its facets. Rama left for the forest on the command of his father, he did not argue. Rama is an ideal for youth to follow. It is the responsibility of youth to keep faith and confidence in their seniors. They should be given due respect and not seen as orthodox. This only leads to anger. To oppose them and behave in other similar ways is something we have picked up from western culture.
Parents have also to understand their responsibilities. They should not push their child to do exactly what they want all the time. They should try to understand him and let him develop. Seniors should trust the young and only step in when problems arise to help with their experience. Only then will the youngster feel satisfied that he has achieved something, this leads to his development.
Q: Society is in need of highly educated youngsters such as engineers and accountants. Do you not feel that it is mis-harnessing the youth power of our country by making such youths sadhus?
S: There is absolutely no harm being done to society. On the contrary they come in great use to society in a variety of ways. They can use their special talents and strength in spiritual and creative ways to inspire society and present ideals to be followed. Also, whether a doctor or a lawyer, the final goal of human existence is moksha. True progress lies in the rise of the soul.
If there are good sadhus, then a virtuous society will result, people will change their lives for the better, spirituality will be fostered, thousands will shed vices and be inspired to worship God.
Q: Do you predict the future? What does the future hold for us?
S: For one who worships God and stays within His commands, the future is always bright.
Q: Effects of the 21st century and its technology can already be seen. What do you have to say on this?
S: The 21st century is going to come, there's no doubt to it, but if we live a virtuous life then we are already in the 21st century. 'Sat Yuga is coming,' we hear the clarion call everyday, but by living a live within the bounds of dharma-niyam, staying away from drinks, theft, corruption, we are already living in Sat Yuga. If our life is pure we are in Sat Yuga. As long as individuals do not progress we may enter the 21st century but for that person it is the stone-age.
Q: There are wars in the name of religion, why?
S: Religion teaches only good. Quarrels and fights are caused by man's own selfish ego. Religion does not teach how to fragment or divide. The quarrels are not between religions but between politicians.
Q: How is world peace possible?
S: If people become more religious and all religions help one another, world peace can be established.

Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan Gunatitanand Swami Bhagatji Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Pramukh Swami Maharaj Bhagwan Swaminarayan

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