Overview: From Gunatitanand Swami’s life, there are countless prasangs that illustrate how he worked at improving himself. Here, we will examine a few examples and see how they may apply to our lives.
Gunatitanand Swami’s Quest for SelfImprovement
Print out a picture of the sculpture and show it to the kishores in the sabha for reference. A picture can be found at the following website: http://www.akshardham.com/phot ogallery/hallofvaules/index.htm.
In Gandhinagar Akshardham, a statue of a man sculpting himself out of a large stone first greets visitors at the beginning of the exhibit tour. On seeing the statue, former U.S. President Bill Clinton remarked, "Amazing, incredible idea...so powerful. If you make models of this, you can start an international business of inspiration...Individuals all over the world will be inspired!" This idea, that man is the sculptor of his own life, character, and happiness, began with Swaminarayan Bhagwan and has reverberated with Gunatitanand Swami and his divine spiritual successors. We are responsible for our own happiness, and we attain that happiness by actively chipping away at our flaws in order to sculpt ourselves into better people and improve our lives. Gunatitanand Swami was able to take advantage of every opportunity for improvement in his life. In this presentation, we will begin to examine the spiritual ardor with which Gunatitanand Swami shaped his life.
W HO H E I S
Mul Aksharmurti Gunatitanand Swami was Aksharbrahma – the divine abode of Shriji Maharaj. Brahma, Aksharbrahma or Akshardham—all synonymous—is above Jiva, Ishwar and Maya, but subservient to Parabrahma. He serves the supreme Lord in two forms—personal and impersonal. In his personal, sakar – with a human body – form, he serves the Lord both in His abode (Akshardham) and wherever Maharaj incarnates Himself. Aksharbrahma is the ideal devotee and the most appropriate idol for the aspirant to follow who is striving to reach the supreme Lord. In his impersonal – non-human body – form, he serves the Lord by being His divine abode, which is radiant, infinite and all-pervading and in which innumerable redeemed souls (jivas) serve the Lord. He is also the foundation of all that is subservient to him. And that Kishore/Kishori Mandal Syllabus
Before stating who Gunatitanand Swami is, ask someone in the audience to describe Gunatitanand Swami first.
Aksharbrahma incarnated on the earth in the form of Gunatitanand Swami to serve Lord Swaminarayan. Shriji Maharaj describes the glory of the Gunatit Sant in Vachanamurt Gadhada I/27: “… having thus fully developed gnan, vairagya, bhakti and infinite other redemptive attributes, he gains the power to sustain God within him fully and thus becomes totally possessed by God. God bestows on him His infinite powers for the redemption of many jivas.” All of this may be difficult to understand fully, but we must realize the extent of the glory sung of the Gunatit Sant. He was able to constantly hold Shriji Maharaj’s murti in his heart, and thus understand Maharaj’s full glory. Although this is the highest possible level one can hope to attain, Gunatitanand Swami still found room for improvement in his life on a worldly level. This, of course, was also done for our sake. The Gunatit Sant is perfect; he does not have to improve in anything, as he is eternally perfect. However, for our sake, so we can learn from him, he appears to also improve in his life, so we can and know how to as well. It is important to understand that as the mediator between us and Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the Gunatit Sant sets an example for how we should strive to shape our lives. Imagine that the most sophisticated piece of technology today is set in front of us—perhaps an electron microscope or an advanced satellite—and we had to figure out how it functions. If we were to work...