First Sight ~ My Beloved Sharnãgatvatsal ♥

by Ekantikam


Kãriyãni-11: The Characteristic of Affection

On the night of Kãrtik sudi 11, Samvat 1877 [16 November 1820], Shriji Mahãrãj (Lord Swãminãrãyan) was sitting on the veranda outside the east-facing rooms of Vastã Khãchar’s darbãr in Kãriyãni. He was wearing a white khes and a white dagli made of chhint. He had also tied a white pãgh around His head and was wearing garlands of yellow and red guldãvadi flowers. Tassels of yellow flowers were also dangling from His pãgh. In addition to this, two barbers holding torches were standing before Him, one on either side. At that time, an assembly of munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Thereupon Sachchidãnand Swãmi asked Shriji Mahãrãj, “What are the characteristics of a person who has affection for God?” Shriji Mahãrãj replied, “He who has affection for his beloved, God, will never disobey the wishes of his beloved. That is the characteristic of affection. To take an example, the gopis had affection for Shri Krishna Bhagwãn. So, when Shri Krishna Bhagwãn prepared to leave for Mathurã, all of them together decided, ‘We will infringe the norms of family traditions and society, and we will keep God here by force.’ However, at the time of Shri Krishna Bhagwãn’s departure, they looked into his eyes and realised that it was not his wish to stay. As a result, all of them remained far away, because in their hearts, they feared, ‘If we do not act according to God’s liking, God’s affection for us will subside.’ Thinking in this way, none of them were able to utter a word. “Then, after God went to Mathurã, even though Shri Krishna was only three gãus away, the gopis never disobeyed his wishes by going for his darshan. They realised, ‘If we do go to Mathurã contrary to God’s wish, then the affection that God has for us will diminish.’ “Therefore, the characteristic of affection is exactly this: One who has true affection for a person acts according to the person’s wishes. If he realises his beloved to be pleased by his staying nearby, then he stays nearby. On the other hand, if he realises his beloved to be pleased by his staying away, then he stays away; but in no way does he behave contrary to his beloved’s wish. That is the characteristic of affection. So, since the gopis had true affection for God, they did not go for God’s darshan without his command. Only when God sent for them in Kurukshetra did they have the darshan of God, but in no way did they disobey God’s command.

Therefore, a person who has affection for God would never disobey God’s command. He would only act according to God’s wishes. That is the characteristic of affection.”

Then Shriji Mahãrãj said, “Now let Me ask a question.”

The munis responded, “Mahãrãj, please do ask.” Shriji Mahãrãj then said, “Except for those vishays which are related to God, a devotee of God treats all other vishays as vain. Thus, he associates in the five ways only with God. Now, suppose God were to issue the following command to such a devotee: ‘Live away from Me.’ In that situation, if he keeps a selfish desire for God’s darshan, it would amount to disobeying the command; and if he does not follow the command, then the love that God harbours towards that devotee would not remain. Therefore, just as that devotee has forsaken the worldly vishays, i.e., sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch, does he also forsake the vishays related to God, or does he not? That is the question.”

Each of the munis gave an answer according to his level of intelligence, but the question was not answered satisfactorily. They then said to Shriji Mahãrãj, “Mahãrãj, You will have to provide the answer.”

Thereupon Shriji Mahãrãj replied, “If a devotee has deep affection for God and treats the worldly panchvishays that are not related to God as vain, and if he is firmly attached to God via the panchvishays, then wherever such a devotee goes by God’s command, the form of God also goes with him. Moreover, just as that devotee cannot remain without God, in exactly the same way, God also cannot remain without that devotee. In fact, He does not leave the heart of that devotee even for a fraction of a second. Therefore, such a devotee does, in fact, constantly maintain contact with God in the five ways. How? Because the same panchvishays that no being can stay without, that devotee has considered to be vain; instead, he has attached himself to God in the five ways. Therefore, that devotee maintains a constant relationship with God.”

।। Vachanãmrut Kãriyãni-11 ।।