Here are some highly beneficial words that will advance aspirants on the highway of spirituality
NEW DELHI, Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — World-renowned spiritual leader and founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji has authored a lucid commentary in English, simplifying the essence embedded within every verse of Atmasiddhi Shastra for seekers around the world. The book is a step-by-step guide to self-realisation written with great compassion and vision. A universal and indisputable path is presented through an open-hearted, logical dialogue between an experienced Master and an earnest seeker.
Published by HarperCollins India, this book will be launched on 21 October 2021.
Verse: Subject and purpose
Aligning with the ancient traditions of the great composers, Shrimadji paid obeisance to the supremely benevolent Shri Sadguru Bhagwān and established the r elation in the first verse. In this second verse, He introduces the remaining two aspects of the text: the subject and the purpose.
Meaning of the Verse
In this present era, the path of liberation has almost become extinct. It has been clearly revealed here without concealing, for the contemplation of true seekers.
According to Jain scriptures, there are several different regions in the universe. The region in which we currently reside is called Bharat kshetra. The current era is called dusham kāl, which is the declining time period, when the path of liberation has almost vanished. In the first half o f t his verse, through the words ‘ bahu lop’, Shrimadji indicates that in the current period of time, the pure path of liberation is almost lost. However, it is not completely obscured and although difficult, it is not yet impossible to obtain. Possessing an incorrect understanding of dharma, one gets impeded by his own insistences regarding opinions, sects, etc., about the path. Trapped in a maze of external practices, he runs around in circles, losing his way despite walking for miles. Hence, due to this unfortunate reality, Shrimadji proclaims that He will unravel the true path of liberation for the benefit of spiritual seekers.
Thus, Shrimadji indicates that the subject matter of this text is to illuminate the path of liberation, which is almost lost at present. Moreover, He indicates the spiritual purpose of this text with the words, ‘vichārvā ātmārthine’ – for aspirants to reflect upon. The immediate objective of the aspirant is to contemplate upon the path of liberation and the ultimate goal is to attain liberation.
Although the path of liberation has already been described in numerous ancient scriptures, they were composed to suit the needs of those times. Shrimadji has composed this scripture keeping present conditions in mind. With utmost divinity, He has unfolded the spiritual essence using such simple language that seekers everywhere can reflect upon it and benefit from the knowledge.
Through the word ‘agopya’, Shrimadji states that the path explained here is the same one illuminated by infinite omniscient ones. He expounds the path as it is, without additions or subtractions and without concealing facts or reservations. He has absolutely no selfish motives or prejudices in this highest endeavour. Hence, this proves to be a testament to the authenticity of the scripture.
Shrimadji’s pledge to re-establish the true path kindles hope in this era of darkness. Shri Ātmasiddhi Shāstra serves as a beacon to lead one out from the depths of darkness. All that is required now, is the willingness to be led.
Verse: Two types of deluded people
Prior to revealing the true path of liberation, Shrimadji points out the prevalent wrong beliefs and conduct regarding it. In this verse, He portrays a tragic picture of why this path seems to have disappeared in the present times. Shrimadji says –
Meaning of the Verse
While some have become mechanical ritualists, others have become dry intellectualists. Compassion arises for them as they believe themselves to be on the path of liberation.
While every religion propounds both theoretical and practical aspects, some people emphasise only metaphysics and others, only rituals. Some believe that liberation can be achieved by merely observing rites, and others through mere theoretical knowledge. In this verse, Shrimadji highlights the two kinds of people who follow the path of liberation with an incorrect understanding: those who are bogged down by rituals and those who pursue superficial scriptural knowledge. He identifies them as ‘kriyājad’, the mechanical ritualist and ‘shushkjnāni’, the dry intellectualist.
Kriyājad – This word is composed of two words, kriyā and jad. Kriyā means ritual and the word jad means lifeless. Those who find fulfilment in routine practices without understanding the purpose and significance are called kriyājad. A knife that cuts a mango or a bitter gourd does not experience the sweetness or bitterness. Similarly, rituals carried out mechanically, without right understanding or awareness, do not result in an experience of the blissful self. The kriyājad are ignorant of the nature of the self and feel content in external activities. As they consider rituals alone to be the path of liberation, they are said to be pitiable. Shushkjnāni – This word is composed of two words, shushk and jnāni. Here jnāni does not mean a self-realised one; it refers to the one who only understands the scriptures intellectually. The word shushk means dry words without inner transformation. Guided by delusion, they act contrary to what they speak. Their knowledge can be compared to dry sugarcane that has no juice. In other words, their knowledge does not possess the nectar of self-experience. Since the shushkjnāni have not attained self-realisation and negate pure conduct, they become bereft of the means and drown in the ocean of transmigration. Instead of striving for the welfare of the self, they cause extreme harm to themselves by insisting on their beliefs as being correct. As they consider studying scriptures alone to be the path of liberation, they too are said to be pitiable. Mirroring the two above-mentioned behaviours, some believe that only ‘doing’ leads to liberation, neglecting the study of the true essence, which proves to be a mistake. Similarly, others believe that only ‘knowing’ leads to liberation and they read religious books, neglecting religious practice, which also proves to be a mistake. Their actions descend to mere mechanical ritualism and their knowledge becomes sheer rote learning. Through actions performed without correct understanding or knowledge sans virtue, they are nowhere near self-realisation. They are both trapped in a maze and yet under the delusion that they are on the path of liberation.
Shrimadji views their pitiable condition and is overwhelmed with compassion. He does not condemn them, instead feels sympathetic to their plight. With patient wisdom, He first focuses on the flaw in their method and then proceeds to set them on the right path. Thus, clearly stating that neither mere rituals nor mere knowledge prove to be beneficial, Shrimadji has compassionately guided all seekers of the path across all times.
About The Author
Enlightened Master, spiritual visionary, modern day mystic and humanitarian leader, Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshji is the founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur—a spiritual organisation for inner transformation with 108 centres across five continents, 250 value education children’s centres, and over 90 youth groups.
Born on 26 September, 1966 in Mumbai, India, Pujya Gurudevshri showed signs of divinity at a very young age. An ardent devotee of Shrimad Rajchandraji, blending theory with experience and the head with the heart, Pujya Gurudevshri provides powerful and practical tools to joyfully tread the journey inward. His mastery of the spiritual principles, illuminating wisdom, pure love, rationality, oratory flair and sparkling wit, captivates people of any age or background. Pujya Gurudevshri reveals the deepest truths embedded in a vast array of scriptures. He has authored inspiring books on spirituality, translated in multiple languages.
His unending flow of compassion has blossomed into Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care, offering selfless service and bringing joy to the underprivileged. This international initiative enjoys special consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Transforming millions globally, inspiring humanity to seek self-realisation, Pujya Gurudevshri is a 21st century spiritual force, while remaining unmoved Himself—the unmoved mover.
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