Embodiment of Moral Disciplines
In 1986, Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited the home of Kanubhai Khachar, the descendant of Dada Khachar, in Gadhada. After initiating two children by placing kanthis around their neck, Swamishri asked their names. On replied, ‘Saurabha’ and the other ‘Devkuba.’ On hearing the latter’s name Swamishri realized that he has initiated a girl. He did not say anything than, but after leaving he instructed the driver to take the car to the river Ghela. There, Swamishri bathed in the holy waters and then returned to the mandir. When it was time for dinner, Swamishri refused to have anything and fasted because he has touched the four-year-old girl, Devkuba. He strictly adhered to the principles ordained by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, even in spite of having touched her unknowingly. Swamishri thereafter did not even drink a drop of water nor did he take his medicines.
Today, one sees the cardinal vows of Sadhus prescribed by Shriji Maharaj in the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Swamishri’s steadfastness in morals is a beacon of inspiration for hundreds of thousands who strive to remain resolute in their morals.
Abhaysinh Darbar of Lodhika was a bona fide devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He strictly adhered to the five cardinal moral vows prescribed for householders.
Once, he went to the Jamsaheb of Jamnagar for some administrative work. The palace of Jamsaheb was a venue for evening bouts in binging. When Abhaysinh entered, the guests were intoxicated with liquor and ego. The Jamsaheb, too, was drunk and entertaining himself with jokes with his men.
Abhaysinh Darbar sat quietly, showing the least interest in the drunken revelry. Then the darbars offered a glass of liquor to Abhaysinh. But Abhaysinh refused, saying, “ I am a devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. I do not drink liquor, or eat meat.”
Some of the darbars loathed Swaminarayan, so they decided to force Abhaysinh to break his pledge. They then instigated the Jamsaheb, “Abhaysinh refuses to drink liquor. Even if you offer him yourself, he will still refuse to touch it.”
The Jamsaheb got up and went up to Abhaysinh wih a glass of liquor. He insisted that he accept the glass, but Abhaysinh remained unflagging in his resolve. After undue pressure, Abhaysinh pulled out his own sword and gave it to the Jamsaheb. “Bapu, take this sword and behead me. Than you can pour as much liquor as you wish in my throat. But as long as I am alive and I have the kanthi of Bhagwan Swaminarayan around my neck, I shall never drink liquor.”
The lion-like resolve of Abhaysinh jolted the Jamsaheb from his intoxication. He embraced Abhaysinh for his steadfastness.
A true devotee remains morally resolute even in the face enticements or peer pressure.
Sagram Vaghri of Limli village was a genuine devotee of Shriji Maharaj. Though he was low-born, by character he was noble and towering. The severe famine of VC 1869 (1813 CE) had spread its tentacles of suffering and death on the land of Kathiawad. Many migrated to souther Gujarat to survive and eke out a livelihood.
Sagram Vaghri and his wife, too, were heading optimistically towards the town of Surat. On the way Sagram’s eyes fell on a shiny ornament. It was an expensive silver anklet that someone had lost. Despite his poverty, Sagram had no desire to take it. But he thought of his wife who was a few furlongs behind him. Being a woman she would be enticed to take it, and it would amount to a transgression of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s words. So thinking, Sagram covered the anklet with mud.
After a while when his wife caught up with him, she asked, “What were you doing sitting down a little while back?” Sagram revealed to her about the silver anklet and added, “To prevent you from seeing it, I covered it with mud.”
“why did you cover mud upon mud? I see another’s possession as mud!” Sagram’s wife nobly responded. Sagram was surprised and fascinated by his wife’s resolve.
Even in spite of hard times, Sagram remained steadfast to Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s instruction of not talking a thing lying on the wayside. And his wife perceived another’s belonging as mud!
The strength of one’s character is reflected in hard times.
Observance of niyams means obeying moral and spiritual commands.
OBSERVACNE OF NIYAMS – Gem 1
“Whethere or not one has vairagya, if one diligently observes the niyams prescribed by God, then the desires for the panchvishays can be conquered.” (Vachanamrut: Gadhada II-16)
OBSERVANCE OF NIYAMS – Gem 2
“… One should indulge in the vishays only as prescribed in the scriptures; but one should never indulge in them by transgressing the regulations that are described in the scriptures.” (Vachanamrut: Gadhada I-8)
OBSERVANCE OF NIYAMS – Gem 3
“If Brahma and all the other demigods follow God’s commands, than how can I not follow His injunctions? Bearing this in mind, he always abides by the niyams prescribed by God.” (Vachanamrut: Vartal-3)
OBSERVANCE OF NIYAMS – Gem 4
“Like a village that has a fort, life too has forts in the form of five-cardinal vows. And in that, like the sentry point, we have niyams. Just as the sentry point protects the fort, the niyams protect the vows. So know the laxity in niyams as breaches in life.” (Swmini Vato: 5.100)
OBSERVANCE OF NIYAMS – Gem 5
“The bonds of dharma do not bind, but are the means to liberation.” – Pramukh Swami Maharaj
50th Year Celebrations of
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Ahmedabad
50th Patotsav Celebration on 28 April 2012, Ahmedabad
Closeup images of Hari Krishna Maharaj at BAPS London Temple.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha