Definition of a Scripture

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Definition of a Scripture

Scriptures are religious texts which are sacred to a Sampraday. They are considered to be of great importance and guide us towards a righteous path, showing us how to live life. They are usually written, spoken and recited by pious and very great souls. On some occasions God Himself will have written a scripture (Shikshapatri) and other times He may have recited the scripture (Bhagwat Gita).

Shikshapatri



Author:

Sahajanand Swami




Date written:

Vasant Panchmi, VS 1882 (1826 AD)




Number of chapters:

212 shloks


Overview:

The Shikshapatri was written in Vadtal by Almighty Supreme Lord Swaminarayan. He wrote this Shikshapatri in the form of a letter, explaining the rules that all satsangis should follow to be happy in this life; as well as the next. The Shikshapatri has been intricately divided up into sections for the different satsangis. The Shikshapatri has been divided into the following sections:


General rules for everyone

Acharayas

Acharaya’s wives

Householders (Grahastas)

Rulers

Married women



Widows

Common duties of women

Naishtik Brahmcharis

Sadhus



Why it was written:

Just like we use an instruction manual to operate a piece of machinery, similarly, the Shikshapatri is a manual for the soul. If at any time one goes against this manual, hardships are likely to occur in life.


Swaminarayan Bhagwan created a scripture that took the essence of all our different scriptures into account as He knew many would not have the time to read each and every scripture. He compiled this small scripture to give His satsangis a criterion to follow if one wishes to attain the 4 purush arths.


Benefits of reading:

There is no scripture in the world where a guarantee of Dharma, Arth, Kaam and Moksha has been given in a simple and straight forward manner.

Satsangi Jeevan

(covering Shatanand Swami Jeevan Chaitra)


Author:

Shatanand Swami



Date written:

Maghsar Sud 6, VS 1885 was the day Swami started writing this scripture. He would write each prakran and then go to Akshar Ordi in Gadhada and to read the scripture in front of Maharaj.

Number of chapters:

5 prakrans, 319 chapters.


Overview:

Muktanand Swami has written in the mahatmya of this scripture that the 5 prakrans represent different parts of Maharaj’s swaroop.


1st Prakran = mukh (face)

2nd Prakran = hrday (heart)

3rd Prakran = udar (naval)

4th Prakran = dhichan (knees)

5th Prakran = charan (feet)
This is scripture is also known as a Dharma Shastra
Why it was written:

Shatanand Swami was a born in Mithilanagri and his father’s name was Vishnudatt. From a young age he wanted to attain God and loved reading the Bhagwat. Once he read a story about Nar-Narayan Dev living in Badrikashram and that he was still present that day. After hearing this, he wanted to meet Nar-Narayan Dev and asked his parents if he could leave in search of God. His parents refused.


He had heard that there was a group of people going for yatra to Badrikashram. He then asked his father if he could go for yatra, who agreed as long as he did not become a sadhu. Swami saw this as the perfect opportunity to leave and when they reached Badrikashram they all did darshan. When it was time to return, Swami explained that he had not gone all the way there just to return home again. Shatanand Swami stayed and decided to do tap (penance) for 6 months. On the day of Chaitra Sud Ekadashi he started to wonder whether God will give him darshan. Just by thinking this, Nar-Narayan Dev gave darshan to Swami and Swami fell at His feet. Nar-Narayan Dev was very happy and told him to ask for anything he wanted. Swami then replied that he wanted nothing but to remember the Lord always in his heart and be able to write the charitra (past times) of the Lord. Nar-Narayan Dev agreed but explained that he would not be able to write any scriptures in such a cold place.

He advised him to Gadhpur, in Gujarat. Swami then went to Gujarat and it was in Ahmedabad that he heard Brahmins talking about the big yagna taking place in Dabhan. On hearing this, Swami decided to go to Dabhan, where he met Maharaj and performed by doing danvat pranam. He then told Maharaj to make him His sadhu and hence received his diksha in Dabhan. Later, after the installation of Gopinathji Maharaj at Gadhada, Shatanand Swami began writing the Satsangi Jeevan.


Benefits of reading:

All the important qualities required to be a true Satsangi is in this scripture. A true Satsangi is one that associates with Sat-Bhagwan, Sat-Dharma, Sat-Shastra and Sat-Sant. The Satsangi Jeevan shows how to keep in the association with these entities.


Volume 1 narrates the birth of the Almighty to Dharmadev and Bhaktimata in Chhapaiya. After this, Shatanand Swami explains the childhood pastimes of Maharaj. The gruelling pilgrimage all over India as well as Nilkanth Varni’s arrival in Gujarat is then described.

Volume 2 describes Sahajanand Swami’s social uplifting of many souls. He describes the spiritual, religious and social guidance for the bhaktos and their well-being as Maharaj continues to visit followers, moving through various villages, towns and cities.

Volume 3 continues the narrations of Shreeji Maharaj’s movements and also teachedthe depths of devotion when accompanied with true observance of Dharma. We learnof numerous acts of selfless devotion depicted by Shatanand Swami and of the temple construction era.

Volume 4 begins with narrations of the recitals of various scriptures by the instruction of Sahajanand Swami. However, this volume is primarily revered for its intricate explanation of the Shikshaptri, the establishing of the Acharya-ships and teachings specifically to His adopted sons, the Acharyas.

The final volume is dedicated to minute details of personal religious activities, for the spiritual benevolence of the soul. It concludes with heart-wrenching descriptions of Shreeji Maharaj’s departure of the mortal realm. Here, he promises to always to remain on earth in the constituent parts of the Sampraday: Murti(s), Acharyas, Saints and Scriptures.

Mahabharat

(covering Vyasji Jeevan Charitra)

Author:

Ved Vyas
Date written:

Approximately 3000 BC (over 5000 years ago)
Number of chapters:

18
Overview:



The Mahabharat is one of the greatest epic histories ever witnessed together with the Ramayan. It contains the story of the greatest battle between the Pandavs and Kauravas.
Ved Vyas was the author of this authentic scripture. He was the first and greatest acharya of Sanatan Dharma. He is responsible for classifying the four Vedas, writing the 18 Puranas and reciting the great Mahabharat. The most important and the most glorified section is the Bhagwad Gita, the lesson recited to Arjun by Lord Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Some 5000 years ago, Ved Vyas was born on an island on the holy river Yamuna. His father was Parashar Rishi, and his mother was Satyavati. He taught the Vedas to his disciples with ardent devotion and dedication. It is said that Mahabharat is the 18th Puran that was written by Ved Vyas. He fathered four famous sons, Pandu, Dhritarashtra, Vidur and Sukhdev. He described that the most important goal in one's life is to attain Narayan, the Divine Supreme Being. The life of Ved Vyas is an example to all in the modern times on how to be selfless and devote oneself entirely to the Lord who will grant eternal bliss.
Vyasji is as an important character in the Mahabharat. His mother later married the king of Hastinapura, and had two sons. Both sons died and taking recourse to an ancient practice called Niyoga, where a chosen man can father sons with the widow of a person who dies issueless, she requested Vyas to produce sons on behalf of her dead son Vichitravirya.

Vyas fathered the Princes Dhritarashtra and Pandu by Ambika and Ambalika, the wives of the dead King Vichitravirya. Vyas told them that they should come alone near him. First Ambika went, but because of her shyness and fear, she closed her eyes. Vyas told Satyavati that her child would be blind. Later this child was named Dhritarashtra. Thus Satyavati sent Ambalika and warned her that she should remain calm, but Ambalika's face became pale from fear. Vyas told her that her child would suffer from anaemia, and he would not be fit enough to rule the kingdom. Later this child was known as Pandu. Then Vyas told Satyavati to send one of them again so that a healthy child could be born. This time Ambika and Ambalika sent a maid in the place of themselves. The maid was calm and composed, and she bore a healthy child later named as Vidura. While these were his sons, another son Sukh, born of his wife, sage Jabali's daughter Pinjala (Vatika) is considered his true spiritual heir. He was thus the grandfather of both the warring parties of the Mahabharat, the Kauravas and the Pāndavas. He makes occasional appearances in the story as a spiritual guide to the young Princes.

In the first book of the Mahabharat, it is described that Vyas asked Ganesh to aid him in writing the text, however Ganesh imposed a condition that he would only do so if Vyas narrated the story without pausing. To this, Vyas then made a counter-condition that Ganesh must understand the verse before he transcribed it. Thus Ved Vyas narrated the whole Mahabharat, all the Upanishads and the 18 Puranas, while Lord Ganesh wrote.

Ramayan


(covering Valmiki Jeevan Charitra)
Author:

Valmiki
Date written:

Approximately 5000 years ago
Number of chapters:

7 khand (books), 24000 verses.

Overview:

Valmiki is the author of the great epic Ramayan, consisting of 24,000 verses. Maharishi Valmiki was born as Ratnakara to sage Prachetasa. At a very young age, Ratnakara went into the forest and got lost. A hunter, who was passing by, saw Ratnakara and took him under his own care. Under the love and care of his foster parents, Ratnakara forgot his original parents. From the guidance of his foster father he became an excellent hunter. As he approached marriageable age, Ratnakara was married to a beautiful girl from another hunter's family. As his family grew larger, Ratnakara found it impossible to feed them. As a result, he took to robbery and began looting people passing from one village to another.

One day, the great sage Narad, while passing through the jungle, was attacked by Ratnakara. As Narad played his veena and sang praises of the Lord, he saw a transformation coming over Ratnakara. Then, he asked Ratnakara whether the family, for whom he was robbing others, would partake in his sins also. Ratnakara went to ask the same question to his family and on being refused by his entire family, he went back to sage Narad. Narad taught him the sacred name of Rama and asked him to sit in meditation, chanting the name of Rama, till the time Narad came back.

Ratnakara followed the instructions and continued to meditate for several years, during which his body became completely covered by an ant-hill. One day, Narad came to see him and removed all the anthills from his body. Then, he told Ratnakara that his tapasya (meditation) had paid off and Lord Rama was pleased with him. Ratnakara was bestowed with the honour of a Brahmrushi and given the name of Valmiki because he was reborn from the Valmika (ant-hill). Sage Valmiki founded his ashram at the banks of River Ganga.

One day, Valmiki had the fortuity of receiving Lord Rama, His wife Sita and brother Lakshman at his ashram. On Valmiki's suggestion, Lord Rama built his hut on Chitrakuta hill, near the ashram. Narad visited Maharishi Valmiki in his ashram once and there, he narrated the story of Lord Rama. Thereafter he received a vision from Brahma in which the Lord instructed him to write Ramayan in shlokas, which the sage readily followed.

Vachnamrut

Author:

Muktanand Swami, Gopalanand Swami, Nityanand Swami, Shukanand Swami and Brahmanand Swami


Date written:

From 1819 to 1829 CE


Number of chapters:

273spiritual discourses


Overview:

The Vachanamrut is a dialogue of questions and answers between Maharaj and various Santos/bhaktos. This dialogue was written in detail by the above named Swamis. Later they all came together to compile a concise version of all the dialogues of Maharaj. The name Vachanamrut (Vachan roopi amrut), translates to be the sweet nectar-like words of Maharaj that were showered upon all the devotees who came into contact with Him. Any discrepancies and wrong understandings are cleared in this scripture.


The Vachanamrut was presented to Maharaj by Nityanand Swami and other saints in Loya’s 7 Vachanamrut, where Maharaj witnessed the manuscript and was very pleased.
Why it was written:

Many people do not have the time to read and research all the scriptures present. A particular point in one scripture can be understood and portrayed better than in another hence the reason for having many scriptures to help us with our different problems. Just like a broken car needs to be seen by a specialist, our body and soul needs a specialist but if we go searching for the particular problem our lives may be wasted. This is why the Vachanamrut can be thought of as the one specialist we need as it takes different aspects from all the true scriptures. In essence, its existence means that devotees do not have to waste time looking in many areas for answers. All our questions in life regarding the soul are guaranteed to be answered within the Vachanamrut.

Benefits of reading:

The Vachanamrut focuses on training the mind so stay affixed upon Maharaj’s Murti 24 hours a day. There are many small things that can be done to achieve this and is hence the topis of the first discourse. The rest of the Vachanamrut then teaches one many methods effective in centring the mind on God. To do this one should start to understand who they are, where one wants to go and how one should get there. Once one can realise these things, the questions raised in the Vachanamrut start to unravel and help us focus our minds completely upon Maharaj.

Nishkulanand Kavya


Nishkulanand Swami Biography:

Birth place: Shekhpat (Saurastra State) near Jamnagar

Birth date: VasantPanchmi 1822

Birth Name: Lalji

Father: Rambhai

Mother: Amrutba

Guru: Ramanand Swami

Wife: Kankuba

Two Sons: Madhavji- Born Savant 1856 (Govindanand Swami) and Kanji - Born Savant1859

Caste: GurjarSuthar (Carpenter)

Diksha: 1843

Left his mortal frame: 1904 (82 years of age)


Achievements:

Nishkulanand swami composed the following 23 scriptures:



  1. Yamdand

  2. Saar Siddhi

  3. Vachanvidhi

  4. Bhakti Chintamani

  5. Haribar Gita

  6. Dhiraj Akhyan

  7. Sneh Gita

  8. Purushpottam Prakash

  9. Bhakti Nidhi

  10. RadayPrakash

  11. Kalyan Nirnay

  12. Man Gunjan

  13. Gun Grahayak

  14. Chosatpadi

  15. Hari Vicharan

  16. HariSmruti

  17. Arjivinay

  18. Avtar Chintamini

  19. Cheen Chintamini

  20. Pushpa Chintamini

  21. Lagna Shakunavali

  22. Vruti Vivah

  23. Shikshapatri Padrupa

Swami was a fine craftsman, which is evident from the dome arches and temple doors at Dholera Mandir. He also constructed the AksharOradi at Gadhada, but his masterpiece was the swing at Vadtal made for the FuldolUtsav. The swing had twelve entries all intrinsically engraved. At each entry Maharaj gave divine darshan in different forms.

Swami was famed as the very embodiment of vairagya (detachment from worldly objects) and hene is often referred to as Vairagyani murti.

Bhakti Chintamani

Author:

Niskulanand Swami


Date written:

The last day of recitation of the scripture was on Thursday, Aso Sud 13, 1887.


Number of chapters:

164 prakran


Overview:

All other scriptures by Nishkulanand Swami talk about Vairagya (non-attachment) or ways of attaining ultimate knowledge, but this scripture is all about Maharaj’s leelas which helps one attain salvation.The meaning of the title is based on the content of the scripture. “Chintamni” means fulfil desired wishes, which would occur if a bhakt remembers leelas about Maharaj.


At the end, Nishkulanand Swami says explains that whoever sings or hears this scripture whole-heartedly, will have his minds’ desires fulfilled by the Lord.
Prakran 1 – 100: Leelas in detail performed by Shreeji Maharaj while on earth

Prakran 101 – 105: Talks about the greatness and strength of the Lord.

Prakran 106 – 112: Detailed explanation of the vartmans of Santos and Sankhyogibaios.

Prakran 113 – 127: Details of backgrounds of Haribhaktos including Place, Surname, caste etc.

Prakran 128–158: Leelas performed by Shree Hari towards His followers and non-followers showing them that He is God Himself.

Prakran 159 – 164: Shree Hari plans to leave for Akshardham. There are leelas of haribhaktos who endured pain when separating but were consoled. It ends with the summary of the scripture and highlighting of its greatness. This scripture has been given the same status and valuation as the respected Satsangi Jeevan.

Yamdund

Author:

Nishkulanand Swami

Date written:


Number of chapters:

20 Kadvas (chapters) and 1,111 quart verses


Overview:

Yamdund is the first scripture to be written in the Swaminarayan Sampraday and was written in Aadhoi. In this scripture, Swami explains in great detail, the misery that the soul suffers in hell. The scripture speaks of about 28 different types of hell and how a bad person receives punishments in accordance with the types of sins he/she has committed when living on earth. There is no other scripture which gives a detailed heart-rending supernatural account of a soul’s journey towards and within hell. Yamdund portrays the reality of hell in a very direct manner which is why many will not be found reading or listening to this scripture. However, Swami acknowledges the fact that truth remains truth, irrespective of how harsh it may be.


Swami describes the miseries the soul encounters in the mother’s womb, in its youth and as it grows old committing sins and disregarding Lord. The sinful soul is then walked to hell, a distance of 1,035,636km, and passes through 16 towns which have increasing amounts of torture to offer on its journey. Once the soul reaches hell, the demons of hell throw him into 28 different pools of hell where it is punished for the different sins carried out.

Finally Swami describes that after suffering these pools of hell, the soul is born into one of the 8.4 million species of life and is born from the four classes of pools. Thus the soul suffers the same process over and over again. Swami says that to attain peace, the soul has to find the shelter of the almighty Lord and fully dedicate itself to God to avoid the perilous journey of 8.4 million species. He then describes the greatness of Lord and clarifies that we no longer will have to fear the demons of hell after attaining God and his saints.

Saar Siddhi

Author:

Nishkulanand Swami


Number of chapters:

11 subsections, 48 stanzas


Overview:

Saar Siddhi is presented in the form of a poem. From the title, “Saar” means essence or nectar, and “Siddhi” meaning to attain or achieve. Saar refers to Shreeji Maharaj Himself and thus the scripture contains the ways and means to attain Lord Hari. Swami explains that to attain the divine image of the Lord, one needs both detachment and devotion. The scripture also answers many questions which arise within the soul when doing devotion. It helps one form a bond with the Lord rather than worldly pleasures.


Swami points out that devotion should be done without desires for worldly happiness or Nishkam Bhakti as it is more commonly known. One who is detached from worldly pleasures is regarded asa saintly soul and is not even touched my illusion (Maya). Swami also makes it clear that worldly pleasure and sufferingis related to the body and has no effect on souls that have detached themselves from the worldly desires. These are also regarded as the happiest of all souls as they have no wants except Shree Hari. Pleasing saints of Shree Hari helps bringpeace to the mind.
Swami then goes ahead to describe the splendour of a true saint and explains that they are the only true relative of the soul. He then narrates the various incarnations of the Lord and advises us to always remember these leelas of Lord.

Haribar Gita



Author:

Nishkulanand Swami


Number of chapters:

44 kadvas, 11 pads

Overview:

Haribar Gita is one of the poems sung by Nishkulanand Swami and is part of Nishkulanand Kavya.

The scripture starts by explaining the importance of the name “Narayan”. The name has so much happiness in it that people like Putthu Raja asked for 10,000 ears so that he could hear the name Narayan. Hiranyakashipu also spoke the Narayan name by mistake, and a great devotee, Prahlad, was born to their demon clan.

Chanting the Lord’s name is the only way the soul can free itself and attain salvation.In all the 14 loks, the only pure names are those of the Lord. Later Swami speaks of the love a wife has for her husband and what she will do to make him happy. Also the pain that parents go through to make sure that their children are happy is mentioned. Nishkulanand Swami says that this love is the same love that one should have towards Shreeji Maharaj.
Benefits of reading:

Reading/listening to this scripture helps to diminish the doubts one has towards God. Also, fully understanding the poem will help reduce the sins committed by making one more self-aware. It explains that one should have unfaltering faith in the Lord and be forever loyal to the one you believe in (pati vrata).

Dhiraj Akhyan

Author:

Nishkulanand Swami


Overview:

This scripture is a compilation of stories of various disciples that showed admireable amounts of patience. To have a proper understanding of the importance of tolerance (dhiraj), Nishkulanand Swami wrote the leelas of 21 true (satyanishth) disciples. Swami explains that that these devotees had surrendered completely to the Lord and that was why they have been remembered here.


Nishkulanand Swami describes that Maharaj will take care of all the worries of His disciples, who have complete faith in Him and surrendering to Him is the only way to achieve true happiness. Swami gives details regarding the merciful nature of Maharaj, who is ever ready to protect His disciples.

Nishkulanand Swami goes on to teach one how to live life in grahasthashram and tyaag ashram. Swami speaks of warriors that must fight in battle; similarly, saints and disciples of Maharaj must learn how to fight their bad habits. Swami explains that there have been many devotees who have faced trouble in their lives, however they did not cry or lose their patience, they moved forward on the path of dharma, bhajan bhakti and overcame their troubles. Swami explains that this life is full of troubles and happiness but a devotee should learn how to deal with both and digest them equally.

Finally Nishkulanand Swami says that happiness found in Maharaj’s murti, association with His santo and Hari bhakto is true happiness, and is eternal. The happiness derived from worldly affairs is temporary.
Why it was written:

The main aim of this scripture is to teach us that whenever a disciple faces trouble he should always have patience as Maharaj sometimes testshis devotees. Thus in order to pass the test, one should never fail in having patience.


Sneh Gita

SadguruNishkulanand swami wrote 23 scriptures in NishkulanandKavya and SnehGeeta is one of them. The scripture contains 44 Kadavun and 11 padas. The title Sneh means Love. Swami starts off by saying that Sneh Geeta develops and strengthens ones Love and affection for God. This scripture is like water pool that satisfies the thirst of mankind. But this can only be attained if one has real thirst for God. This scripture sings with love the praise of Lord Shree Hari.

Swami mentions that SnehGeeta has two wings; Shraddha (faith) and Bhavna (devotional thoughts). Where shraddha raises true knowledge in our intellect and Bhavna purifies our mind and destroys sins. If there is no devotional love, it is like Vegetable meal cooked with no salt and flowers with no fragrances. He moved ahead and mentions that one gets devotional love for Lord Shree Hari from satsang, Katha and Kirtans.

The scripture talks about Love toward Shree Krishna by the people of Gokul that is Gopas, Gopis and His relatives. The Gopis did all their household duties by evoking Lord Krishna. For the Gopas, Gopis and the cows of Gokul, Lord Krishna was dearer to them than their own souls. They were attached eternally to Lord Krishna with a strong tie of devotional love. The Gopis were never happy without the darshan of Shree Krishna and they thought that there is no peace without His darshan. He is the heart, soul and life.

Swami mentions that Gopis had devotional love toward Lord Krishna as they had perfect knowledge, devotion, detachment and practice of ethical duties. Swami also insists that one to have devotional love and love for God.

Purushottam Prakash

Nishkulanand Kavya is a great scripture containing 23 scriptures. Purushottam Prakash is part of this amazing scripture. Literally the title means Purushottam meaning Lord Swaminarayan Himself, and Prakash means bright light, luminosity. It contains 55 short chapters (prakars) consisting of doha and chopais.

Swami writes that Lord Swaminarayan’s main aim was to grant His Akshardham to as many souls as possible, thus he devised several different schemes by which a noble soul can get closer to Lord and be granted access to Akshardham. Initially Swami describes the greatness of Lord Swaminarayan and his abode Akshardham, its location, beauty and several names it is referred to as. He then describes the jewelries and body parts of Lord. Lord Swaminarayan’s life history starting from curse of Sage Durvasa in Bakrikashram, his childhood leelas, Lord Swaminarayan giving clear coincide guide lines on what to do etc. and Lord’s various avatars are also briefly described.

Swami thereby says that remembering Lord Swaminarayan and his leelas while doing all activities opens the doors to Akshardham. He also adds that by taking guuns of the 500 Paramhans of Lord Swaminarayan, being loyal to them, listening to them etc gives access to Akshardham. Listening to the description of utsavs done by Lord Swaminarayan, or acknowledging the places visited by him or always chanting his holy name, Swaminarayan gives access to Akshardham. It is a divine scripture helping one to be granted access to Lord Swaminarayan’s heavenly abode Akshardham.

Bhaktinidhi

SadguruNishkulanand Swami was a great saint. He had written several scriptures for the beneficial of the human kind. He wrote the NishkulanandKavya which contains 23 scriptures. Bhakti Nidhi is one of the scripture. It contains 44 stanzas and as the name suggests, it describes the forms and attributes of devotion (Bhakti), how devotion should be done with the various steps to the path of devotion.

SadguruNishkulanand Swami mentions that acting as per Lord Swaminarayan’s will is the key principle of devotion. Devotion should be done without any desires and with absolute love and pure heart. Devotion can be done by 9 different ways and a 10th way of absolutely loving Lord Swaminarayan (prem-lakshana bhakti).

Swami also mentions the several flaws in doing devotion. Some of them include looking at faults of fellow satsangis, ego or fearing sinful people while doing devotion. Devotion to Lord Swaminarayan should be as steady as a rock and one should have full faith in Lord to maintain it. In order to develop love and affection towards devotion, one should have the holy company of Lord’s saints and have faith in them.

Swami also suggests that out of the 4 attainments of salvation, devotion is the best. Devotion protects purity and holiness of the soul. The scripture also warns us not to waste this precious human birth and make it fruitful by doing absolute devotion towards Lord Swaminarayan.

Kalyan Nirnay

Nishkulanand Swami has written Nishkulanand Kavya which contains 23 scriptures. Kalyan Nirnay is one of the amazing scripture in it. The title says it all, that is, means to salvation (Kalyan). The scripture has 18 means of attaining salvation with the 18th one the final one. The scripture portrays a teacher student discussion on the means of salvation and the frequent questions which comes across one’s mind in thinking about salvation.

Sadguru Shree Nishkulanand Swami says in the scripture that the only means of ultimate salvation is by association with God, his fellow saints or his relevant divine scriptures. Other than these 3 ways, one cannot get salvation.

In the teacher student discussion, the student asks questions which arise in the mind of a modern individual and the teacher answers them appropriately with relevant examples. Some of the questions like can devoting the various avatars of Lord grant salvation, or can the descendants of Lord grant salvation etc. are asked by the student.

The scripture is a very interesting means of learning how to answers questions augmented by atheists or people who have left the Sampraday (vimukhs). The scripture mainly helps one understand the greatness of the Swaminarayan Sampraday and the greatness of true saints. Swami says that a true saint is one who takes an individual close to God and not close to worldly things. Thus, he advises us to be careful when choosing a saint teacher (guru) as they could potentially make one fall from the path of salvation if not chosen carefully, however, it gets hard for one to walk on the path of salvation without a guru.

Man Ganjan

Maanganjan is one of the 23 scriptures of Nishkulanand Kavya. It was written on Samvat 1871 Shravan Sud 7. The scripture was written to help devotees in winning their soul (jeev) over mind (maan) in their fierce fight. The title means “maan” meaning mind and “ganjan” meaning killing proudness. Thus Maanganjan helps one to kill the proudness that is filled in their mind.

Reading the scripture helps cleanse the heart and make it pure. It also helps one open the inner eyes and thus follow the right path to salvation, which is getting attached to Lord (vairagya). Some of the ways to make the soul win over the mind is by seeking help from God and his saints; praying to Lord and keeping the words of saints in the heart; and removing worldly desires out of mind. However, the main aim is to keep the mind busy in the “leelacharitras” of the Lord and continuously remembering and thinking about them. This is mainly achieved by performing any of the 9 types of bhakti (Navdha Bhakti).

Sadguru Nishkulanand Swami also says that when the mind is left wandering and not engaged in Lord, it goes to attaching to worldly desires. Controlling the sense of sight and looking at Lord only, helps conquer the mind. Inner enemies like anger dirties the mind and makes it unclean, thus one should also learn how to control it. Finally swami says that one who have conquered the mind has conquered this world and is called a saint.

Chosatthpadi
As all the other scriptures and poems, Chosatthpadi is one of the 23 scriptures narrated by Nishkulanand Swami in a poetic form. Its understanding cannot be understood by the mind but by strong deep belief.

The essence of the scripture cannot be gained by millions of money. It helps one to be relieved from the circle of life and death. Nishkulanand swami writes the scripture in simple words and is useful and understandable to both young and elder people.

Chosatthpadi is a poem of how a soul (Aatma) can meet God (Parmatma). It shows us the right ways to follow so as to meet him.

It shows us that one has to love satsang and have vairagya (attachment) towards the Lord. Also, maya (Illusion) is one problem most lives have on earth as it attaches the people to worldly things. The scripture helps one relieves himself from Maya.

Towards the end, Nishkulanand Swami says whoever reads, does its katha, hears it, sings it, will surely go to Akshardham in the end.

A lifes main richness is having Dharma, Bhakti, gnan and Vairagya.

Main phrases:

Those who can fight the inner enemies are the ones who can reach Akshardham and meet the Lord.

Swami tells us to do seva of REAL saints. By doing that, it’s like doing the same seva for the whole world.

Satsang is a school to attain the Lord.

Hearing out REAL saints every day and acting as per their words helps one control the indrias.

Human life is a staircase to attaining salvation.

A human or saint whether he is rich or a knowledgeable person or a tricky person, if his actions are not right, then he has no value.

To realize saints, one has to have the right choices.

People can be known from their speech. Therefore learn speak words which are nice and sweet.

Think wisely before speaking anything.

Those who clean their tongue (speech) are able to clean their life from worldly things.

To leave according to God’s will is a hard task but that is the way to make him happy.

To help the soul (Aatma) to attain salvation, he has to deeply love satsang.

Eating simple food helps the body be pure, healthy and free from diseases.

If you don’t want to be beaten by Maya (Illusion), then you have to be on side with Sahajanand.

Those who want to go near God, has to live life of a servants servant to Him.

Life is a donation by God, so use it wisely.

If vairagya (attachment) lives in your heart, then maya (illusion) walks far away.


Hari Smruti
Hari Smriti means to remember Hari. In this shashtra Nishkulanand Swami’s main goal is for us to have Maharaj’s murti firmly placed in our hearts so that Maharaj becomes a prominent aspect of our lives and all else becomes secondary. The shashtra has 7 chintaminis and each chintamini consists of 50 kadhis.
In the 1st Chintamini Nishkulanand Swami describes Maharaj’s beautiful feet and in particular the 16 cheens. He goes on to describe the out of this world happiness which can be experienced as a result of doing dhyan on these cheens. The sant then describe Maharaj’s beautiful body, working upwards from the feet to the tips of His sikha. The names of the different angs are mentioned together with the unmeasurable happiness which can be achieved as a result of doing dhyan to Maharaj’s angs.
In the second Chintamini Nishkulanand Swami describes all the different foods that he has seen Maharaj eat. These range from rotlas of different grains, many different shaaks, different daals, mithais, fruits etc. This is followed with a description of all the different types of dishes which have been used when jamading Maharaj. These range from just using His hand to eat, eating in Patrawalas to elegant thaam vasans made from silver and gold.

In the third Chintamini Nishkulanand Swami describes all the different vaghas, jewellery and haars which he has seen Maharaj adorn. These range from the finest silks with golden threads, to the simple dhoti made of cotton. All the different types of clothing, paags and jewellery have been described. Nishkulanand Swami then says that he has seen Maharaj wearing haars made of rare and beautiful flowers, nuts, grains and even leaves. He then goes on to describe all the places where he has seen Maharaj sitting, this ranges from singhasens, beds made of string, horse carts, on an elephant, riding a camel and all different types of palhkis.

In the fourth Chintamini Nishkulanand Swami provides a description of all the utsavs he has seen Maharaj taking part in, including rang utsavs. Where using a pichkari Maharaj injects different colours on santos, Hari bhakto and has great fun in doing so. When bathing Maharaj plays with the water and splashes santo and Hari bhakto. Next there is a description of Maharaj doing vichran in all weathers and carrying bricks to help the construction of mandirs. This is followed by Maharaj giving Samadhi to Hari bhakto, visiting the ill and basically doing what ever it takes to bring sukh into duki people’s lives.
In the 5th Chintamini Nishkulanand Swami describes the greatness of Maharaj. How He is raja dhiraj, the all knower, controller of all, and how devtas as wells as Sheshji have tried to describe His greatness and were unable to do so. in the end they finished by saying neti neti…Nishkulanand Swami describes that due to the fear of Maharaj the sun, moon and the stars etc.. Remain in their maryada and act in accordance to His instructions. This is followed by the immense amount of krupa Maharaj has done on jeevs. The result of which is that they recognise Maharaj and know that they are not worthy of the blessings showered up on them. Yet Maharaj, You smile up on them and in the end grant them Your Akshardham.
In the 6th chintamini Nishkulanand Swami describes the sukh that can be achieved as a result of taking shelter at Maharaj’s feet. He goes on to describe the mayma of His charan, the touch of which freed Ahalya, and where Tulsiji resides permanently and the charan ruj, the mayma of which was fully realised by Udhavji and Akrurji. This is followed by a description of the huge amount of sukh which can be achieved by nirakhing all the different angs of Pragat Maharaj’s murti.

In the 7th chintamini Nishkulanand Swami continues the mayma of Maharaj and His murti. He says there is no other quite like Maharaj, and goes on to describe the parachas Maharaj has shown. This starts with Santdas arriving in Badrikasham when he dived into the Hamir sarovar in Bhuj, Satchitanand Swami escaping from a room with locked doors without the lock being opened, Vyapkanand Swami bringing a dead horse to life to Swamroopanand Swami emptying yamlock of all jeevs. All these things and many more where all achieved, as a result of the santo/Hari bhakto’s association and deep love for Maharaj.

Vrutti Vivah

Sadguru Nishkulanand Swami has written several scriptures. He wrote the Nishkulanand Kavya which contains 23 other scriptures. Vrutti Vivah is one of them. The scripture contains 20 pads and as the name suggests, it helps ones soul’s (Vrutti) thought and fluctuations get attached to God (Vivah). Swami describes the marriage of the Soul with God, making the Groom, Lord Narayan himself and Bride being soul’s thoughts and fluctuations (Vrutti).

Swami starts off by briefly describing how the bride (Vrutti) searches everywhere for the right person to marry and chooses Narayan, the Groom. Lord Narayan then sends renunciation (Vairagya) in the form of coconut to confirm the marriage. The bride, Vrutti then tells her friends how great her husband Lord Narayan is and talks about his good qualities. The bride and groom go round the fire 4 times the same way worldly wedding happen with each round signifying the attainment of Dahrma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

A brief description on various devotees who have got same kind of (Vairagya) renunciation coconut is also described.

Swami also says that it’s not hard for the soul to reach God but all one has to do is express oneself; ones thoughts and qualities the way they are without hiding anything. Finally, Swami reminds at the end of the scripture that only Lord Narayan is the Groom and all of us are the Brides. We have to act and be like a female to marry with Lord Narayan.

Shree Hari Digvijay

Written by Nityanand Swami while in Durgapur.

Has a total of 49 chapters each with paragraphs of different leelas performed by Shree Hari.

It was written after SatsangiJeevan. When SatsangiJeevan was written, Shree Hari emphasized that SatsangiJeevan does not bring out in depth the greatness of UddhavSampraday. Also, some leelas where he got victory in knowledge, teachings to and debates with great scholars which brought the name of the sampraday at a high position are not explained well in SatsangiJeevan.

Thus, he wanted someone to write such a scripture which explains in depth the greatness of UddhavSampraday and the victories gained by Shree Hari while on earth.

Nityanand Swami took the priviledge of obeying this order and wrote the scripture. After completion, Nityanand Swami showed it to Shree Hari, who became so happy that he garlanded Nityanand Swami and patted him on his head. He was given another task to make sure that UddhavSampraday does not diminish and remains healthy.

It starts by some leelas in Krishna Avtar. Then in second chapter comes the introduction of Uddhavji and the attainment of eternal knowledge. Later, comes the Durvasa curse in Badrikashram which was used as an excuse for Uddhavji to be born on earth so that he can pass on the eternal knowledge to others. Then continues with the birth of GhanshyamMahraj, his leelas while he was young, his departure to the forest for penance, victorious leelas in the forest against other pilgrims, reaching Loj, getting Diksha, meeting with Ramanand Swami in Piplana, continuing effectively the UddhavSamraday throne, building temples etc….

Reading or hearing the scripture helps in fighting the inner enemies and keeping thesampraday healthy and strong.

Satsangi Bhushan
Author:

Vasudevanand Brahmchari


Number of chapters:

5

Overview:

Vasudevanand Brahmchari was born in VS 1855 in Malapur town in Gujarat. He was a Trivedi Movada Brahmin and obtained diksha in Jetalpur. He was initially named Gopalanand Brahmchari then later Vasudevanand.Once at Loya village he was asked to do a katha by the Lord. The assembly was overcome by his performance and Lord was very pleased. It was at this time the Lord gave him the new name of Vasudevanand Brahmchari. He went to Akshardham in VS 1920 in Ahmedabad.


Benefits of reading:

This Satsangi jeevan is known as a dharma shastra but this scripture is a bhakti shastra where the whole scripture is full of detailed leelas of Maharaj during His time on this earth. It is said by listening to any leelas of Maharaj it brings joy, peace and tranquillity to the heart. Vachanamrut Madhya prakran 29 states, if a person is really tired after walking a long distance and he is not even able to stand. What can he do to get rid of this tiredness? Maharaj has replied and said if he listens to a talk about the Lord all this tiredness is got rid of. Hence the reason for reading scriptures like this.

Hari Leelamrut

The author of this amazing scripture is H.H.AcharyaVihariLaljiMaharaj. KavirajDalpatram then converted into a poem.


H.H.AcharyaVihariLaljiMaharaj was born at Dubolima in SarvarDesh on ChaitraVad 1, 1908. His parents were KrushnaPrasadji and Chanurashi. AdiAcharyaRaguvirjiMaharaj, Gopalanand Swami and various saints were pleased on hearing his birth.VihariLaljiMaharaj got his YagnaPavit from RaghuvirjiMaharaj at the age of 8. He studied various types of scriptures and became knowledgeable. He was in constant touch with RaghuvirjiMaharaj and Sadguru saints and hence he got the devisadgunos (qualities) like vivek (manners/good behaviours), bhakti (devotion), and more.

KavirajNanalalDalpatram is the poet who quotes the famous saying about the camel, “UtakaheAasabhama, vakaaangvadabhunda……., dakheDalpatram, “Anyanu to Ekvaku, ApnaAdharchhe”.” Even though his poems were heard and are written down in books around India, his picture in the books would contain his picture with the tilak and chandlo fully visible in the image. This is who he was really proud of, Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

He can be stated as a true nirmaani devotee of ShrijiMaharaj, as the whole Harileelamrut scripture has been converted into poem by KavirajDalpatram and still his name does not appear once in the whole printed version of the scripture. This shows the Nirmaanipanu of the poet.

Dalpatram had once seen Shriji Maharaj at age of 5, when his uncle (mama) took him for darshan to Gadhada. At that time, Shriji Maharaj was arriving to Dada’sDharbar and was letting loose Manki Godi to graze. Maharaj’s style, Latko, was of such a distinct nature that Dalpatram remembered it untill his last breath.

The scripture has 10 Kalash (chapters), or so called Prakrans. It contains the leelacharitras of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. As the name of the scripture suggests, by listening to the leela charitras of Bhagwan, which are like amrut (nectar), one is freed from the cycle of birth and death.

As one would drink amrut (nectar) and it would be stored in a kalash, in this analogy, a haribhatka (devotee) would take a break and memorize the leela charitra, hence it’s called a vishram, instead of Adhyay. Many vishrams makes one prakran, but prakran has been named as kalash in this scripture.


After being instigated as the VadtalGadi’sAcharya by H.H Shree BhagwadPrasadji Maharaj, many staunch haribhaktos (devotees) told Maharajshri, “There are scriptures in Sanskrit, VrajBhasha and Gujarati about Shriji Maharaj’sleelacharitras, but still Elder santos and haribhaktos talk about leela charitras that are not stated in scriptures. Hence it is Acharya Maharaj’s primary duty to write scriptures in ordinary language.” From history, he did not see any dosh(wrong) in writing a scripture in ordinary language as Shriji Maharaj’svani, Vachnamrut, is also in written in simple language. Besides, Shriji Maharaj has also advised saints to write scriptures in simple language so that a normal person would be able to understand the essence. Thus, Acharya VihariLalji Maharaj after this thought decided to write this scripture.

Acharya Viharilalji Maharaj and Dalpatram Kavi put together the scripture in Vadtal and Dalpatram used to move around thinking on Vadtal temple’s foyers, trying to create musical pads from the leela charitras of Shriji Maharaj.

The divinity of the scripture is that one who reads or listens with purity and without bias (no pakshpaat), then one would realize in their mind that Swaminarayan Bhagwan is Purna Purshottam.

Shriji Maharaj’s leelas are divine and one who listens and memorizes them becomes divine.





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