Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Wisdom and Teachings of Gunatitanand Swami ni Vaatu

Gunatitanand Swamiji, the ideal devotee of Lord Swaminarayan, through His talks, has explained the glory of God in such simple and lucid language so as to appeal to any individual, regardless of their age or education.

He has talked to a great extent about the causes of our misery and sadness and about ways to liberate ourselves from that. He has highlighted that one of the biggest hindrances in acquiring the bliss of God and happiness is our mind. However, most of our life’s decisions are made by consulting our mind and hence cause us excitement or frustration. In our mind lies laziness, likes and dislikes, over-confidence, greed, uncertainty, tension, ignorance, lack of faith in self and God, fear of accomplishments: How it will happen? What will happen? Will it happen or not? Our mind engages us into all such nuisance and creates a distraction or divergence from doing what is required to be done at the present moment.

One of the core ideas of all the religions around the world is ‘We are not our mind. Our true identity is our soul.’ That is we are different from our mind. God resides in our soul and our soul harnesses the energy of Aksharbrahm. Gunatitanand Swamiji has explained this core concept through various examples in His talks which are very easy to understand. He has also explained how to take continuous fight with the mind and where one should engage the fickle mind to make it steady, peaceful, well-mannered and focused. Throughout the week various Swami ni vaato were explained in the assembly.
  • On the first day, “ત્રણ જણ  સુખીયા, એક તો મોટા સાધુ કહે તેમ કરે તે, તથા મન નું કહ્યું ના માને તે જ્ઞાની, તથા કઈ જોઈએ નહિ તે.” (somewhat translates to: "3 people are happy: one that does as per what a saint says; the wise one that does not listen to mind and the one that does not have any desires.")
  • On the second day, “ડાહ્યો હોઈ તેને વઢે ત્યારે રાજી થાય અને મુર્ખો હોઈ તેને વખાણે ત્યારે રાજી થાય.” ("The one who is wise feels happy when scolded, and the one who is foolish feels happy when praised.")
  • Third day, “ગાફલાઈ ટાળવાનું કારણ તો એ છે જે ખટકો રાખે તો ટળે ને બીજો ઉપાય તો કોઈ શિક્ષા કરે ત્યારે ટળે.” ("The way to get rid of carelessness is to remain vigilant and another way is if there is someone to guide or show right from wrong or scold, carelessness can be removed.")
  • Fourth day, “મુંજવણ આવે તો કેમ કરવું? એ પ્રશ્ન પૂછ્યો, તેનો ઉત્તર કર્યો જે "સ્વામિનારાયણ સ્વામિનારાયણ ..." ભજન કરવું તેથી મુંજવણ ટળી જાય.” ("'When there is tension, what should be done?', was the question asked. The response was: chant 'Swaminarayan Swaminarayan', doing which will relieve the tension.")
  • Fifth day, “સત્ય, હિત અને પ્રિય એવું વચન બોલવું ને ઉપેક્ષા રહિત બોલવું પણ આગ્રહ થી વચન કહેવું નહિ.” ("Speak truth, for welfare and in a pleasant manner but not with contempt and also not with insistence.")
The sixth day, Saturday, was the creatively assembly. In the creative assembly students of Shivam House had presented an entertaining and enlightening drama titled, ‘લુચ્ચું નાલાયક લબાડ મન’ ("The cunning, unworthy, roguish Mind"). The core idea of drama was based on Swami ni vaat, “કેટલાક ને મન રમાડે છે અને કેટલાક મન ને રમાડે છે.” ("The mind tricks many while many trick their minds") Through this drama it was conveyed to the children that we need to take persistent fight with our fickle mind. Our mind is like a cunning fox, a skilful trickster. It does not allow us to focus and diverges us from the task at hand. It puts us into difficulty and itself remains away from it. Becoming resolute to never do as our mind says and firm determination to follow the commands of parents, teachers and guru are the only two ways to conquer our fickle mind and make it steady, peaceful, well-mannered and focused. In this assembly, ALL the Shivam House students from Std 3 to Std 7 had participated. Shivam House extends special gratitude to the students of Std 8 and Std 10 for sparing their valuable time in stage set up and Vinayakbhai (Std 8) for his contribution in setting up the music system for daily practice. Furthermore, the House extends special gratitude to Vallabh Mama, Samarthya Ma’am, Ritesh Sir and Devang Sir for their valuable contributions in stage set up.

Lastly, it was a lesson not just for the students but also for the elders. Very often our mind does not allow us to do the right things for many selfish reasons. In those times it becomes very difficult to fight with the mind and make it do the right things. At that time we must have someone in our life who can tell us outright what to do and what not to do and insist us on doing the right things. We must recall the commands of our guru, and pray to God to give us the strength and determination to fight with the devil mind.

By Teachers of Shivam House

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