॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥


Spiritual Discourses

by Bhagwan Swaminarayan

Gadhada I-66

Misinterpreting the Words of the Scriptures; The Four Emanations of God

On Fāgun vadi Amas, Samvat 1876 [14 March 1820], Swāmi Shri Sahajānandji Mahārāj was sitting on a large, decorated cot on the platform outside the east-facing rooms of Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He was wearing a khes with a black border and had covered Himself with a white blanket. He had also tied a white feto around His head. At that time, an assembly of munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Thereupon Shriji Mahārāj said, “The Shrimad Bhāgwat describes Vāsudev, Sankarshan, Pradyumna and Aniruddha - the four emanations of God. In some places they are described as sagun, whereas in other places they are described as nirgun. The term nirgun is used in reference to Vāsudev Bhagwān, and the term sagun is used in reference to Sankarshan, Aniruddha and Pradyumna. However, when described as nirgun, the minds of the listener and the reader are baffled, and they draw the conclusion that God does not possess a form. This, however, is their misunderstanding.

“Besides, the words of the scriptures cannot be understood in their true context by anyone except an ekāntik bhakta. Which words? Words such as: ‘God is formless’, ‘universally pervasive’, ‘luminous’ and ‘nirgun’. On hearing such descriptions, a fool concludes that the scriptures describe God as being formless. On the other hand, an ekāntik bhakta realizes, ‘When the scriptures describe God as being formless and nirgun, they are referring to the fact that He does not possess a māyik form or māyik attributes. In reality, His form is forever divine, and He possesses countless redemptive virtues.’

“There is also a reference to God being an immense mass of divine light. However, if there is no form, then there can be no light either; therefore, that light must definitely be from that form. Take, for example, the form of Agni. When flames emanate from his form, only the flames - not the form of Agni - are seen. A wise man, however, realizes that the flames are definitely emanating from Agni’s form. Similarly, water emanates from the form of Varun. Although only the water - not the form of Varun - is visible, a wise man realizes that the water emanates from Varun’s form. In the same way, having the intensity of a million suns, the divine light, which is like brahmasattā, is the light of the form of Purushottam Bhagwān.

“The scriptures also state, ‘A thorn is used to remove a thorn. Thereafter, both are discarded. Similarly, God assumes a physical body to relieve the earth of its burdens. Then, having relieved the earth of its burden, He discards that physical body.’1 Hearing such words, the foolish are misled into the understanding that God is formless; they fail to realize the form of God as being divine.

“An ekāntik bhakta, however, has the following understanding: To fulfill Arjun’s pledge, Shri Krishna Bhagwān, with Arjun, left Dwārikā on his chariot to fetch the Brāhmin’s son. Crossing Mount Lokālok, they cut through māyā’s veil of darkness with the Sudarshan Chakra. Driving the chariot through that darkness, they entered a mass of light. There, they collected the Brāhmin’s son from Bhumā-Purush before returning. But it was only because Shri Krishna Bhagwān’s form was divine that, due to the power of that divinity, the wooden chariot and the horses - despite being composed of the five bhuts - all became divine and like chaitanya; i.e., they transcended māyā. Had their forms not become divine, they would never have been able to transcend māyā. After all, everything that has evolved from māyā ultimately merges into māyā and can never reach Brahma,2 which transcends māyā. Thus, it was due to the powers of God’s form that such māyik objects became non-māyik. A fool, however, realizes God’s form as māyik, whereas an ekāntik sādhu realizes God’s form to transcend Akshar and also realizes Purushottam Bhagwān - who possesses a definite form - as the ātmā of countless millions of brahmarup muktas, as well as of Akshardhām.

“Therefore, regardless of which scriptures are being read, if they describe God as being ‘nirgun’, one should realize that they are merely extolling the glory of God’s form; but, in fact, God always possesses a definite form. One who realizes this is known as an ekāntik bhakta.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 66 ॥

* * *

This Vachanamrut took place ago.


1. This is in reference to the verse:

ययाहरद्भुवो भारं तां तनुं विजहावजः ।
कण्टकं कण्टकेनेव द्वयं चापीशितुः समम् ॥

Yayāharad-bhuvo bhāram tām tanum vijahāvajaha |
Kantakam kantakeneva dvayam chāpeeshituhu samam ||
- Shrimad Bhāgwat: 1.15.34

2. Here ‘Brahma’ should be understood as ‘Aksharbrahma-dhām’ or ‘Akshardhām’.

Prakaran Gadhada I (78) Sarangpur (18) Kariyani (12) Loya (18) Panchala (7) Gadhada II (67) Vartal (20) Amdavad (3) Gadhada III (39) Bhugol-Khagol Additional (11) Additional Info Vachanamrut Study People in the Vachanamrut Vachanamrut Introduction Vachanamrut Principles Vachanamrut Preface Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Blessings Vachanamrut Calendar Paratharo 4: Auspicious Marks Paratharo 5: Daily Routine Appendices

Type: Keywords Exact phrase