Faith in God is rooted in theism. Theism means acknowledging the existence of God, soul, vedas, reincarnation etc. 'Asti' in Sanskrit means to exist. A theist believes that God always exists. He resides in every atom in the universe. Thus the Ishavasya Upanishad states 'Ishavasya midam sarvam yad kinchit jagatyam'. The Earth is part of Trilok [The three planes: Heaven, earth and the netherworld together are known as Trilok]. It is pervaded by Brahm and Parabrahm, who regulate and support it. The Kathopanishad too teaches us that 'anoraniyan mahto mahiyaan atma, asya jantoh nihito guhyam'. He (Parabrahman) is greater than the greatest of elements and subtle than the subtlest of elements in the entire Creation. He dwells in the deep recesses of the heart in every soul. In the Gita too, Lord Krishna preaches to Arjuna that: 'Vasudeva: Sarvamiti sa Mahatma Suduralbha' meaning that the mahatmas who believe that everything is pervaded by the Divine are indeed exceptional.
Sant Tulsidas sang 'Siyarammay sab jag jani karhun pranam jori jug pani' meaning, every living being is a form of Lord Sitaram and I prostrate to each form in all humility. A Gunatit saint(one who is above the three attributes of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) like Pramukh Swami Maharaj too saw God in everyone and beheld His glory in every being. Just like the saint Narsinh Mehta sang in his bhajan, Swamiji's too held the same glory of God in his heart.."You are the wind, it is You who is the water, and You make up the earth, which in turn is also supported by You. You are the flower, the tree that blossoms right into the blue sky; it is only and only You, who pervades the entire universe, Srihari! existing in the infinitude of forms."
On the 19th of February, 1985 Swamiji was in Moti Bej, a village in Gujarat. A large public meeting of the tribals was being held then. More than four thousand tribal brothers and sisters had gathered in the assembly. The event was going on in a very uplifting manner. Everyone was in elation. The discipline in the meeting too, was exemplary. After many saints and devotees had conducted their discourses and sung kirtans, soon it was the turn of Pramukh Swami Maharaj to bestow his words of blessings on the assembly. As if inundating all in a divine shower, Swamiji said, 'Even though others may call you backward, I see God in each of you.' On hearing such words of divinity, each and every person was overjoyed. And in that very moment all felt deeply blessed and truly elevated.
Swamiji always saw and felt god’s presence everywhere. The words of Muktanand Swami's bhajan were ever singing in his every heartbeat..."jya juvo tya Ramji, biju na bhase re..."...I behold Lord Rama everywhere and nothing else.
On the 8th of February 2004, Swamiji was in Gandhinagar. The golden jubilee of BAPS organization's global children's activities was being celebrated. Hon’ble President Shri Abdul Kalam too, came specially from Delhi to attend this marvellous event. At the end of the program Pramukh Swami Maharaj asked President Abdul Kalam, 'Sir, will you perform the aarti?' To the delight of Swamiji, the president happily consented and participated in the Aarti.
Thousands of lamps lit up simultaneously. Everyone offered aarti. Swamiji said to president Kalam, 'Aarti is performed for an idol of God, but all these children are like idols of God before you. Children are innocent and God resides in their hearts. So, the aarti that was performed by you was actually aarti performed for the Lord in the children.' President Kalam said he was extremely delighted to see that Swamiji always saw the divine not just in each and every child, but in every atom in the universe, which was testimony to his divine vision and faith in God.
In the year 1999, Swamiji's 79th birth anniversary was celebrated in a grand and divine atmosphere in the village of Tithal. On this occasion, one and a half lakh devotees started performing collective aarti for God and the Gunatit saint. At that time, Swamiji told the attendant saint that he too wanted to participate in the aarti. Everyone was astonished hearing that, 'All the devotees will perform the aarti for Sahajanand Swami and Swamiji, but whose aarti does Swamiji want to perform?' Then Swamiji performed the aarti of God and all the devotees present there. In his blessing after the aarti, he said, ‘Bhagavan Swaminarayan, Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj dwell within you all. So I too should perform your aarti and prostrate to you all. This too is a form of my devotion to God.' Everyone was speechless on observing Swamiji's extraordinary spirit of devotion.
Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita:
'Yo maa pasyati sarvatra sarva cha mayi pasyati.
Tasyahan na pranashyami sa cha me na pranashyati.'
He, who perceives only Me as the soul of all souls and one who sees and realizes that I am the cause and the basis of the entire creation, I am ever close to him.
Swamiji's faith was paramount. He saw the whole world as a form of God. He had the vision to see and recognise God in every atom of the entire Creation. Therefore, always beholding the all-pervading, all-doer, all-merciful God in everything, everyone and everywhere, Swamiji had attained unison with God. Thus it won't be an overstatement to say that he was a form of God.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.