॥ વચનામૃત ॥

Vartal-3

Four Types of Eminent Spiritual People

On Kārtik vadi 11, Samvat 1882 [6 December 1825], Swāmi Shri Sahajānandji Mahārāj was sitting on an ornate seat in the mandir of Shri Lakshminārāyan in Vartāl. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. He was also wearing garlands of roses around His neck, and tassels decorated the pāgh upon His head. At that time, an assembly of all of the munis, as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Thereupon Shriji Mahārāj said, “In our Uddhav Sampradāy one who has the four virtues of dharma, gnān, vairāgya and bhakti towards God is called an ekāntik bhakta, and only he is worthy of being made eminent in our Satsang fellowship. But if those four virtues are not perfect and only one is predominant, then of the four, which is the best in that it incorporates the other three?”

Gopālānand Swāmi and Muktānand Swāmi replied, “Mahārāj, only dharma is such, because if there is dharma then the other three virtues will eventually develop in that person.”

To this, Shriji Mahārāj countered, “Dharma may be present even in those who are non-believers. Does that mean that we should make them eminent in Satsang?”

Hearing this argument, no one could give a reply to the question. Shriji Mahārāj then explained, “If one has bhakti towards God coupled with knowledge of His greatness, one will never fall from dharma - even if one has a lesser degree of ātmā-realisation, vairāgya and dharma. This is because he who realises God’s greatness thinks, ‘If Brahmā and all the other deities follow God’s commands, then how can I not follow His injunctions?’ Bearing this in mind, he always abides by the niyams prescribed by God.”

Then Shuk Muni asked, “If bhakti coupled with the knowledge of God’s greatness alone is enough, why are all four qualities prescribed as essential, and not just bhakti alone?”

Shriji Mahārāj replied, “If one has intense bhakti for God coupled with the knowledge of His greatness, then all three are incorporated in bhakti alone. But if one’s bhakti is of a mediocre intensity, then the other three are not incorporated therein. Thus, it is said, ‘One who has the type of bhakti which encompasses all four qualities can be called an ekāntik bhakta.’

“King Pruthu had such extraordinary bhakti. When God conferred a boon upon him, he asked for 10,000 ears in order to hear discourses related to God, but he did not ask for anything else. Also, some gopis who were forbidden to go and play rās discarded their bodies and went to Shri Krishna in spirit. If one has such extraordinary bhakti, then the other three virtues of gnān, vairāgya, etc., are all incorporated in bhakti alone.”

Brahmānand Swāmi then asked, “By what means can such extraordinary bhakti be attained?”

Thereupon, Shriji Mahārāj replied, “It is attained by serving an eminent spiritual person. There are four types of eminent spiritual people. One is like a small flame, the second is like a torch, the third is like lightning, and the fourth is like the vadvānal fire.

“He who is like a small flame is extinguished by the wind in the form of the vishays. He who is like a torch is extinguished by stronger gusts of wind in the form of the vishays. He who is like lightning is not extinguished even by rainwater in the form of māyā. The vadvānal fire, however, stays in the ocean without being extinguished by the ocean water; it drinks the sea water and excretes it in the form of sweet water; in turn, the clouds carry this water and shower it upon the world; and from this many types of tastes are formed. Similarly, the great Purush, like the vadvānal fire, transforms even the ‘salty’ jivas who are like the saline sea water, into ‘sweet’ jivas.

“Of the four types of eminent spiritual people just described, if a person serves one who is like lightning or the vadvānal fire - by thought, word and deed, while staying within the tenets of one’s dharma - then bhakti coupled with the knowledge of God’s greatness develops in that person.

“Also, one should realise that the person who is like lightning is known as God’s ekāntik sādhu - who is in the process of God-realisation. The person who is like the vadvānal fire is known as God’s Param-Ekāntik Sant - who is perfectly God-realised.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 3 ॥ 203 ॥

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