Thursday, March 25, 2010

MOTHERS - The Architects and Builders of Mankind

Good mothers are like gardeners that grow the beautiful fragrant flowers and most luscious fruits. Great men and women in all fields of society are created, molded and inspired by their mothers. Acharya Vinoba Bhave, therefore, said that if you want to see God look at your mother. About the mother’s role in molding the child’s character Havelock Ellis says : ‘The mother is the greatest of all teachers.'

The first psychological relationship between the mother and the child is built when the child is four months old in the mother’s womb. The mother forgives all the kicks and jolts given by the fetus and thereby implants the virtue of forgiveness in the child, right before its birth. When the fetus is seven to eight months old, the sense of hearing is fully developed. So, holy narrations, presented or heard, devotional songs heard or listened to and all holy talks by the mother are heard by the fetus in the mother’s womb. That is how the sage Ashtavakra was reported to have learned the holy Vedas. All good or bad thoughts of a pregnant woman are imprinted on the brain of the fetus. The recognition of the mother develops before the child is born and that is why the child recognizes its mother 36 hours after the birth. Children develop their likes and dislikes, tolerance or intolerance for any phenomenon before the birth.

So, whatever a pregnant woman thinks, speaks or does has great significance for the development of the child. The child inherits certain qualities from the mother. Padma Puran declares : A woman must have or must develop these qualities : Beauty, character, truthfulness, gentleness, religious observances, sweetness, cleanliness – internal and external, love for parents, love for service, tolerance, love and chastity.

Apart from these permanent virtues, during pregnancy she should neither remain idle nor should she overwork. She should maintain a pleasant mood, take normal sleep at normal time, should not under eat or overeat, should not undertake rough travel, should take a balanced, light and nutritious diet.

After the birth, the mother should recite Shikshapatri daily while keeping the child on the lap or in the cradle. She should chant the Mantra Swaminarayan in the ear of the child and sing devotional songs and read Vachanamrit before him/her. By the time the child develops speech, he/she would remember all this by heart. That would mould his/her personality.

Madalasa, the queen of the king Ritudhvaja sang highly philosophical lullabies of Vairagya (aversion to worldly life). One by one, her three children became saints. The lullaby contained the verses quoted in Vachanamrut.

Tyaj dharmamdharma cha ubhyo satyanrute tyaj,
Ubhe satyanrute tyaktva yen tyajasi tat tyaj.

(Markandeya Puran CH-23)

Give up (so called) religion and what is not religion. Give up the (so called) truth and falsehood. After giving up truth and falsehood, give up those things and persons who are going to leave you (Also in Moksha Dharma).

But to the fourth son Alarka she taught Karma Yoga since childhood; then she taught him politics etc., and Alarka became a great king and finally a disciple of Guru Dattatrey.

Sati Anasuya taught her son Durvasa to revolt against the evil and put to test the great men and gods. She taught her son, the Moon to nourish vegetation. Her third son Dattatreya was god-incarnate.

And lastly, we cannot forget Bhakti Mata who brought up Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan.

So, women are the real architects and builders of mankind.

Design & Concept : Jnan Baug, Vadtal

Shikshapatri - The Gospel

All those persons who observe these rules of good conduct as prescribed by the authorized scriptures always attain utmost happiness in this world as well as in the other......(8)

And those wicked persons who violate these rules and behave capriciously, suffer great distress in this world as well as in the other......(9)

Q. How can authorized scriptures create the code of good behavior ?

A. The authorized scriptures present the code of good conduct which has been followed by numerous persons over thousands of years in different parts of the world and their good results are properly observed, evaluated and recommended by sages through authorized scriptures.

Q. What is exactly meant by Sadachara (good conduct) ?

A. The word Sadachar etymologically means – all our behavior that would please God. Sat-sad means God. Achar means conduct. Right, good conduct is that which gives maximum true happiness in this life and blissful eternal life in Akshardham.

Q. What are the types of right conduct ?

A. The types of right conduct are described in authorized scriptures such as Shreemad Bhagwat thus:

RESTRICTIONS: Non-violence, truth, honesty, dissociation from shameful conduct, avoiding undue acquisitions, belief in God, celibacy, silence, steadiness, forgiveness, fearlessness.

OBSERVANCES: Cleanliness, Mantra-recitation, austerity, sacrifice, faith, hospitality, worshipping God, pilgrimage, desire for redemption, contentment, serving the spiritual teacher and following Pancha Vrataman.

Design & Concept : Jnan Baug, Vadtal

Grace abounding

During His holy tour Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan visited the town of Botad in order to redeem the fallen and to please the holy ones. The enthusiasm of the residents of this relatively small town was so great that His visit electrified the whole town. Wearing the best of their clothes and ornaments the residents formed a long serpentine queue to pay their respects personally. The ruler too, with his royal family stepped out of the palace. Following the custom each and every person in the queue had brought with him presents and offerings consisting of flowers, garlands, dresses, ornaments, crystal-sugar, coconuts, coins and many such presents as they could offer according to their financial condition. Shree Hari evaluated all these gifts with the faith and affection behind them and not by their financial worth.

The grocer of the town, a Bania by caste unwillingly closed his grocery shop as he was sorry to lose a day’s income but he was afraid about his absence in the queue as he feared the wrath of the townsmen. Before locking the shop he had picked up an internally rotten coconut to present it to Shree Hari. He thought none would know the inner content of the coconut and he would certainly secure the blessings of Shree Hari. What a profitable transaction!

Click on the image to get full view.

With the rotten coconut he joined the queue and when it was his turn he offered the coconut at the holy feet of the Omniscient Lord! Shree Hari cast a meaningful smile at him who shivered as if he had malaria!

Shreeji Maharaj remarked: “Have you brought a good water full coconut or a worthless rotten one?"

The grocer who had falsehood always flowing in his blood was unable to hide the fact. Telling the truth for the first time in his life he said, “My coconut is as rotten as my mind but the divine light of the moon falls equally on a palace, a cottage or a dung hill! I have no doubt about Your capacity to raise even the greatest sinner. I pray You to carry my soul to Akshardham when I cease to breathe!"

Such sincere confession by a professional, sophisticated liar, a Bania – tradesman moved the heart of our Lord Who promised to fulfill his greatest ambition of life.

That day brought a turning point in the life of that grocer, who became a great devotee while carrying on his trade of grocer in a fair manner.

Years rolled on and the time was up for the grocer to say goodbye to the world. His bedroom was suddenly brightened up with divine light as Shree Hari personally arrived. He had that rotten coconut in His hand. He said: “Look Shethji. Here is the rotten coconut offered by you but your confession about it earned My grace to change your life for the better. So I have come to fulfill My promise to take you to My divine abode – Akshardham."

The grocer together with Shree Hari flew away to Akshardham, leaving behind, the rotten coconut as a proof of this inspiring episode. We have reproduced the photograph of that coconut here.

Design & Concept : Jnan Baug, Vadtal