Panch Vartaman – Ideal pathway to enhance spiritual elegance towards God

Spirituality

Published on : February 28, 2020 Updated on : February 29, 2020 Panch Vartaman – Ideal pathway to enhance spiritual elegance towards God
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If you think of living a life without following any regulations or any discipline, then it is very easy but has no essence into it. Looking at such people will also deteriorate your faith and off-track you from all your self-motivated inner thought-process. For this reason, it’s always better to follow rules which devotees, saints and ultimately Lord Swaminarayan like the most. So, what can be done physical or even spiritually to please God?

Well, the answer is simple but very straight-forward in doing it practically. Lord Swaminarayan have briefly explained five sacred vows that will help each and every individual to live a peaceful, successful and an ideal life. Understanding the true meaning of Vartaman gives overview as

Varta + Man = Vartaman

Varta – To follow or observe,

Man – to be.

Let us throw some light on five sacred vows which is a golden key to salvation and path to divine abode of Lord Swaminarayan and mentioned in the Holy Shikshapatri

1.My devotees shall not consume alcohol.

With regard to consuming alcohol, Lord Shri Swaminarayan has written in Shikshapatri

      न पेयं सुरामद्यमपि देवनिवेदितम् ।
द्युतादि व्यसनं त्याज्यं नाद्यं भञ्गादि मादकम् ॥
One should not drink Alcohol or any other
Intoxicants like Cigarette, Tobacco, etc.

(Shikshapatri – 15 & 18)

Since ancient times many people consume alcohol (earlier called as “Madira”). During churning of ocean (Samudra Manthan) along with the nectar that came out through it, alcohol was also another element that came with it. This alcohol was taken away by Demons into their kingdom, thereby alcohol is always considered as Drink of the Devil.

Alcohol has been badly affecting every parts of the body since ages. Today, even Melbourne University has proved that there is no body part which is not affected by consuming liquor.

Knowing the facts and adverse effects there are always cloud of questions revolving in mind as to why do people still consume alcohol? What do you get in positive way while you drink alcohol?

 

Taking a look of how alcohol is deadly affecting the society, India having fewer vehicles compared to other countries, unfortunately, the rate of accidents that take place every year speaks a lot about how alcohol badly affects our lifestyle and may be deadly at odd times.

If you take a look of history there are so many examples where consuming alcohol have wiped out the whole dynasty. One such example is of Yadavas who were so involved in alcohol and as a result, killed each other. If you take the example of later Kings like Dhananand during Chandragupta Maurya period was whole time drowned into alcohol due to which many of them would take advantage of that.

Even today, consuming alcohol has been a symbol of status in businesses, corporate events, and many other places. These facts are highly alarming and as the days are passing by the numbers keeps on increasing. The bitter truth about the adverse effect on health is it totally damages the liver, kidney, intestines, and brain as well. When someone consumes even a little sip of alcohol that person completely losses control over the body and the attraction towards alcohol always deepens rather than decreasing. Consuming alcohol for longer period invites heart diseases, brain hemorrhage, liver collapse, and kidney failure.

Liquor is the main source of damage to everything in life. For that reason, Lord Swaminarayan has strictly commanded in Shikshapatri to stay away from such drinks. Today, if you see all the soft drinks, medicines and in many other such drinks alcohol is used as one of the ingredients.

2.My devotees should not non-veg food

One of the most sinful act is eating non-vegetarian food. The reason being many innocent animals are killed down to use their flesh as food. According to Vedas, it is said that no human being is supposed to take the life of others for their fantasies.

Lord Swaminarayan has strictly commanded for not eating non-vegetarian food or meat in Shikshapatri describing with the shlok below:

कस्यापि प्राणीनो हिंसा नैव कार्यात्र मामकैः
सुक्ष्मयुकामत्कुणादेरपि बुध्या कदाचन
My followers shall never kill any living being,
Not even small insects knowingly.

 

Understand the gist of the above shlok quoted means “Not to eat Meat”, this clearly refers to the principles of Non-Violence. When you try to consume non-vegetarian food, it is impossible to prepare without killing animals like hens, goat, eggs, fish, cow, pigs, etc.

As per the classification of animals with respect to Science nomenclature based on their behavior and eating habits, animals are further divided into two categories –

  • Vegetarian (Herbivores) animals – Elephant, horse, cow, sheep, goat, etc which do not non-vegetarian food.
  • Non-vegetarian (Carnivores) animals – Lion, Leopard, Crocodile, Snakes, Bear, etc. which largely consume meat or eat non-vegetarian food by killing other animals.

While we discuss the vegetarian or non-vegetarian creatures on this planet, let us discuss human beings in what category do they fall.

During this research, the scientist came across a lot of researches and facts about animals whether they eat vegetarian or non-vegetarian food and further classified into such categories.

Looking at the behavior of animals we are able to defer them into meat eating and non-meat eating animals.

But, as we conclude with the fact that are human beings vegetarian or non-vegetarian? The answer to this is very straight-forward that they are vegetarian naturally. So, now the question arises if human beings are a pure vegetarian then why do some of them eat meat?

While we list down reasons it might be eye-opening that there is no logic behind consuming meat from any perspective.

 

 

When we look at the above reasons for eating meat so naturally, we can think of vegetarian animals to be weaker than non-vegetarian animals physically, mentally and in strength.

No, the fact tells something different than what we assume here. Look at horse how fast it can run even more than a cheetah can you believe? And yes it is completely vegetarian in nature. In the same manner, if we look at the strength of an elephant to whom even lion cannot chase are pure vegetarian.

Even when we research on some of the eminent leaders in the past like Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Sir C.V. Raman, Leonardo Da Vinci, etc.

So, far we discussed the human tendency for consuming meat and reasons why some people consume it. Let’s discuss further disadvantages of eating meat.

  • In the recent research, 51% die of a heart attack in Britain just by eating non-vegetarian food. In the year 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association published insightful studies in which 90-97% heart disease can be avoided just by following a vegetarian diet.
  • Secondly, due to the intake of meat also badly affects intestines and lungs with deadly cancer.
  • It is unfortunate and alarming that about 50,000 liters of water are wasted just to prepare 1 kg of beef.

As defined in the Vedas there are 5 major sins which are a highly punishable offense but out of that killing of a cow is considered to be one of the biggest sins among other 4 major sins.

Those 5 major sins are:

  • Killing of Brahmin
  • Killing a Cow
  • Adultery with Guru’s wife
  • Stealing of Gold
  • Company of such sinner.

Killing a cow is offending 33 crores deities that reside within cow’s body as mentioned in Vedas and scriptures. To avoid such sinful act never eat meat or kill any animals for food. Always be in the company of saints who show you the right path of living an ideal life.

3.My devotees shall never steal anything even in the worst situation.

One of the sinful act is stealing money, things from others intentionally. The path of stealing for any individual is very devastating if not stopped at the right time. According to Shikshapatri, Lord Swaminarayan also forbade from stealing anything from anyone.

स्तेन कर्म न कर्तव्यं धर्मार्थमपि केनचित
One should not commit stealing even for the sake of religious purpose. Not even plunk a flower without the permission of the owner

Understanding the meaning of “Stealing” refers to occupying someone else items without the permission of the owner is called “Stealing” in clear terms. Many times we might see people stealing other’s items without their permission or sight on their belongings. Especially, when you go around in particular areas where the mass public is present in such places stealing occurs multiple items. During this many people lost their watches, smartphones, jewelry, wallets, etc. and when they realize that the item is missing it is too late to acknowledge.

Let us briefly classify types of thefts that often occur in day to day life:-

  • Stealing of gold, watches, property, etc.
  • Theft of work or wages
  • Stealing of property, gold ornaments, watches, expensive items on the excuse of Religious purposes
  • Even in businesses also many people try to cheat with their customers in term of service, money even this is considered as stealing.
  • Theft of credit.

Now, that we are aware of the meaning of stealing and its types that usually we hear in daily life and which has got no solution than to catch such people having the least chances of identifying them. The prime question arises even today that when such an act is considered a sin then why do people cheat or steal from others?

If we try to understand in detail we will come to know the exact reasons for stealing:

  1. Poverty & scarcity – Even today so many people suffer from poverty or scarcity of food to feed their family. For them, the only way to get food is to steal the food from different places for the purpose of living and also they do not have enough money to buy food to eat. This is not new to India because such cases are always heard in different parts of the world where stealing is the prime source of living.
  2. Greediness – Without the true company saints you never get an understanding of feeling satisfied for what God has given them. Due to this many people commit stealing to satisfy their greediness of getting more & more. Sometimes it is seen that some people are not able to see the progress of others and the way the money is spent. So they identify such people and steal their wallet for instant cash which they consider to be a very simple thing.
  3. The passion of More Self-Indulgence – In the race of becoming rich in short time and doing nothing some people are passionate of stealing other’s items for the sack of their satisfaction and to live a luxurious life which is actually a sinful act.

In Vedas, scriptures, saints and even Lord Swaminarayan has described that always earn money with pride, doing hard work and by any means of stealing.

4.My devotees should not commit any type of Adultery.

Adultery is also considered to be one of the sinful act where such act not affects your soul but also mind, body and self-beliefs. When an individual is involved deeply into such an act it is very difficult for a person to reverse back into a normal human being because the sin is so evil-minded. You never have control over it and it drags you into hatred, committing suicide, murder, or even damaging the lives of others.

For that reason Lord Swaminarayan in Shikshapatri has commanded his devotees not to commit adultery by any means through the shlok:-

व्यभिचारो न कर्तव्यः पुम्भिः स्त्रिभिश्च मां श्रितेः
My followers, male or female shall not commit adultery

(Shikshaptri – 18)

In simple terms, the word “Adultery” means keeping sensual relations other than own wife. It is also an offense to look at other women intentionally. One should always consider all women on earth as a sister, daughter or mother except a wife. This helps an individual to attain self-control over mind, body, and soul.

One may think that what will happen if committed adultery once as people never overlook its consequences.

When you do adultery there are high risks of getting HIV Aids, other skin disorders, cancers which are incurable and shorten the life span of a person. One of the major adverse effect adultery may have on one’s life is marriage break up or bitterness in present relations with a wife that deepen gaps between husband and wife. Many people do adultery for personal pleasures, satisfaction and so many such intentions which according to Vedas is a sinful act.

Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to perform adultery or even look at other women intentionally because this gives birth to the evil-minded personality and this badly destroys the life of a person if not stopped before it gets too late.

 

5.My devotees should never eat outside food.

There are specific reasons when it comes to prohibiting outside food. It is commonly said that you behave in the manner the food you eat. If you consume healthy and home cooked food offered to Lord this purifies your mind and soul also giving you positive thought-process. But if you eat outside food where the cleanliness is never taken care of or the food served is cooked 4-5 days back. This certainly affects your health, internal organs, mind, and soul and also in no time your mind may turn into devilish thought-process.

Lord Swaminarayan has clearly forbidden the intake of outside food in holy Shikshapatri in one of the shlok:-

 

अगालितं न पातव्यं पानीयं च पयस्तथा
My follower should use milk, oil, ghee, water, etc. after filtering them

Here, Lord Swaminarayan commands to filter water, ghee, and liquid foods before eating them. Even the food prepared at home first need to be offered to Lord so that by the sight of him the food is free from all the negative effects. This practice is being performed for thousands of years. We are fortunate to have such a tradition where we cook food with positivity and stay healthy for years.

It is obvious that we may attract towards the food served in the hotel which is full of decoration and taste. But do you know the deep dark secret behind the food prepared or how they manage food? Certainly not because they always intend to see the good side but not the negative side of what is going in our absence or in their kitchen. Never they wash their hands after using the toilet and directly start preparing food. They never wash any vessel in which the food is cooked or even kept for days. For this reason, it is mentioned in Vedas that it is always advisable to keep extra cleanliness into our kitchen because that affects our mind as well thinking.

So, always keep surroundings in the kitchen very clean and regularly wash all used empty vessels to avoid any diseases prevailing further.

 

In Christianity also there are important rules that are mandatory for its followers. This showcases the importance of vows in one’s life.

 

 

Now, that we took an overview of vows prescribed in different religions that purifies inner soul, mind and ultimately attains to salvation. The real question always rattles everyone’s mind as to why should these 5 vows followed throughout life on daily basis.

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