MONEY vs DHARM – Lakshmichand Sheth from Ghoghhla
Here is the blog of a brave and determined devotee named Lakshmichand Sheth.
Supreme Godhead Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan had given the Five Spiritual Disciplines for a householder devotee commonly known as Panch Vartman.
Among the five spiritual disciplines let’s go ahead with the second vartaman which is 02. Not to Eat Meat.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has strictly commanded in Shikshapatri describing the shloka below:
कस्यापि प्राणीनो हिंसा नैव कार्यात्र मामकैः
सुक्ष्मयुकामत्कुणादेरपि बुध्या कदाचन (15)
My followers shall never kill any living being,
Not even small insects knowingly.
Let’s dive into the history and know how a devotee stood with this second vartman of Not to Eat Meat even in the difficult times and this blog is to inspire all who face difficulties in life.
Once Vrajanand swami, Raghvanand swami along with a group of twelve saints arrived at the outskirts of Ghoghla village near Deev Bandar port. Saints had a bath in the nearby stream, & sat doing Mansi pooja(Mental worship) under a tree.
At that moment, a person named Lakshmichand Seth saw this peaceful scene.
He was attracted by the fragrance of flowers, scents..in the surroundings. As he got closer, the fragrance became stronger, yet he saw no evidence of such a pleasant & powerful fragrance. He got confused & a bit shocked that these saints are not applying Chandan,offering garland, eating fruits but still the source of the smell is coming from them?
The saints were all involved in doing Mansi-pooja, yet there was an intensely attractive scent comming from them.
Lakshmichand Seth sat before the saints & waited. Then Vrajanand Swami opened his eyes from Mansi-pooja. He saw Lakshmichand Seth & greeted him,saying “Jay Swaminarayan”
Lakshmichand Seth replied “Pranam, Maharaj,”
Unable to hold his curiosity any further, Lakshmichand Seth asked, “Where is this wonderful fragrance coming from?” Smiling, Vrajanand Swami answered, whatever is dedicated with love & affection to God in Mansi pooja, God accepts it as physically present, as these saints were completely engrossed in mansi-pooja offering sandal paste & scent to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. That is why you experienced the wonderful fragrance of sandal paste & scent.
This was quite new to Lakshmichand Seth, he was highly impressed & still wished to know more. So, he further asked, Who is that God? Vrajanand swami replied He is Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For the ultimate salvation of innumerable souls, He has gracefully incarnated on the earth & presently resides at Gadhpur.
Vrajanand Swami then said the glorious charitra of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Listening to this Lakshmichand Seth was spiritually enlightened & he requested Vrajanand swami to accept him as a devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Swami initiated him with Panch Vartman Diksha & instructed him to follow Panch Vartman, the Five Spiritual Disciplines.
A short while later, Lakshmichand Seth got an opportunity to go Africa to earn money. Before leaving he taught let me approach to Vrajanand swami & have his blessings. He approached Swami & said Swamiji for my better earning I am wishing to go to Africa. Kindly bless me!
The way Lakshmichand seth approached Vrajanand swami Similarly before taking any major step in our life we must take blessings from the true saints. That makes our path happy & safe. Then Vrajanand Swami blessed him & said
Do five mala with chanting Swaminarayan Mahamantra everyday & remember Bhagwan Swaminarayan in all activities & never compromise with Panch vartman and Once you earn enough money, don’t be greedy and return back to India. We pray to Bhagwan Swaminarayan to protect you & bless you with a better future.
Lakshmichand Seth promised to swamiji & a few days later he boarded the ship set for Africa. Everything went smoothly, until mid-ocean, suddenly they caught in a violent storm. Everyone panicked and lost hope of survival.
The captain declared everyone that we have lost our control over the ship. Now everything is up to God, better start praying to your beloved God. Lakshmichand Seth started chanting Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan… & prayed for the safe passage of the ship & the passengers. Everyone went deep into devotion because in sorrowful situations God is easily remembered isn’t it?
Soon, by the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the giant waves stopped & the winds calmed down. Everyone breathed a sense of relief. The captain navigated the ship & soon they reached Africa around a month later. In Africa, Lakshmichand Seth secured a job in the company as a manager.
He worked sincerely & honestly. The reputation of Lakshmichand Seth grew gradually. Amid all this, he never forgot the words of Vrajanand Swami. He was feeling grateful that due to the blessing of Vrajanand Swami my life is well settled here So, instead of Five mala every day he used to rotate fifty mala everyday. In this way, almost one year passed.
Lakshmichand Seth had earned sufficient money. But, now he forgot the words of Vrajanand swami to return back to India.
“Money is such a thing that no one gets satisfied with it. Money will always look lesser & lesser whether you are earning 10,000 , 10-lakh , 10-crore, 100-crores or more than that it always seems lesser and lesser.”
Here Lakshmichand Seth also wished to earn more and more money..
Well once Lakshmichand Seth fell ill being still ill, he used to go to the shop & continue his work & he didn’t let his boss come to know about his illness.
But soon, he became so weak that he was unable to stand and walk anymore and had to stay away from his office. Boss came to know about the illness of Lakshmichand Seth he was worried a lot because Lakshmichand Seth was such a loyal & honest manager in his company. So, he purchased the medicines & reached Lakshmichand’s house & said lakshmichand why didn’t you tell me about your serious condition?
Have you taken the medicine? lakshmichand replied no! Boss said don’t worry, I have already brought medicines for you. “It will make you stronger”. It contains high-quality alcohol and animal bones. This is why this medicine gives instant power to the body. Please take it, you will be fine soon!
Lakshmichand Seth replied with politeness, “I will not consume this medicine because it contains alcohol & animal bones & I am a devotee of Bhgawan Swaminarayan so at any cost I don’t disobey the commands of my God.”
Many ways his boss tried to convince Lakshmichand Seth & also warned him That if you do not take this medicine you will lose your health & become weak & it will be difficult to return India & meet your family. But Lakshmichand did not agree to accept the medicines. Finally the boss left his house. With pain laying on the bed Lakshmichand Seth thought That I got this illness because I neglected the words of Vrajanand swami & didn’t return India even after earning enough money.
“No matter how good the medicine is, I will not consume it. Even if this body falls it’s okay, but I will not displease Maharaj by breaking his commands.”
Lakshmichand Seth started praying to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, O Maharaj Now everything is in your hand & started remembering Bhagwan Swaminarayan with chanting Swaminarayan,Swaminarayan.. Likewise he prayed to Bhagwan Swaminarayan the whole night. In the early morning around 4’o’ clock, he was still chanting Swaminarayan.. & all of a sudden the divine light spread over the entire room & there appeared Supreme Godhead Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Lakshmichand Seth surprised & got up from the bed & asked “Who are you?”
“I am the one to whom you have been praying for all these moths I am Bhagwan Swaminarayan.”
Immediately Lakshminchand seth stood up from the bed & fell at the feet of Bhagwan Swaminarayan & did dandvat pranam. Maharaj said I have come here because I am pleased with your faith on my commands. In this troublesome illness also you didn’t disobey my commands. But now you don’t worry, take this medicine It will make you well.
Saying so, Maharaj gave Tulsi & salt as a medicine to Lakshmichand seth & Showering his blessings & grace on Lakshmichand seth Bhagwan Swaminarayan disappeared.
Lakshmichand Seth had the divine medicine given by Bhagwan Swaminarayan & in no time he was completely fresh as before & started preparation returning to India. His boss tried a lot to make Lakshminchand Seth stay in Africa. He offered him a share of the business, double the salary, also offered a free rent house, & many other benefits, but Lakshmichand Seth was not at all tempted by these materialistic offers.
One who realizes God never gets tempted to worldly pleasures.
Finally, Lakshmichand Seth returned to India. Before going to his home he directly went to Gadhpur (Gujarat) & had darshan of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his guru Vrajanand swami and he further asked for forgiveness from Vrajanand swami where tears of joy overflowed from the eyes of Lakshmichand’s Seth at this first glimpse of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
After taking the blessings from Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Vrajanand swami Lakshmichand Seth went back to his home.
What do we learn from this charitra of Lakshmichand Seth?
There are three major learnings from this charitra:-
- We should be attached with the true saints of God & in our life before taking any big decision we must take their blessings & guidance of the saints.
- After all, being a devotee of Bhagwan Swaminarayan if we still face some miseries in our life, then we must remember that somewhere we have disobeyed the command of Bhagwan Swaminarayan & his true saints.
- If we are committed to follow panch vartman in any situation then Bhawan Swaminarayan is also committed to protect you in any situation.
In this charitra you know that even in the worst situation Lakshmichand Seth did not consume meatful medicines, so Bhawan Swaminarayan had to give darshan & give him a Devine medicine.
“If we are committed to Bhagwan Swaminarayan then Bhagwan Swaminarayan is also committed”.
Commitment is not just a word, but it’s an act.
So, let’s be committed to Panch vartman and please Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
To Know more about all the Panch Vartaman (Five Fundamental vows of a devotee) click the link below: