Departure from Mortal body
Antardhaan Leela / Tirodhaan Leela / Swadhaam Gaman Leela
Lord Swaminarayan’s transcendental pastime of departing the mortal body is narrated in various Holy Scriptures of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. Reading and hearing about this event definitely brings tears to one’s eyes and we can only imagine what must have been felt by those devotees and saints who were present with the Lord at that time.
We must remember that any pastime the Lord performs is always for the benefit of the devotee and always a one to remember. Shree Hari Antardhaan / Tirodhaan / Swadhaam gaman leela took place on the Vikram Samvat 1886, Jyest Sud 10.
Swami Avinashanand has composed a 2 Verse (Pad) Kirtan in which he sings of the event when Lord Swaminarayan held an assembly of devotees and saints informing them of His wish to depart to Akshardham and the series of events that unfolded thereafter to the Lords departure.
This article contains in-order the Gujarati and transliterated Gujarati version of this Kirtan along with the meanings of each lines.
Through this Kirtan we aim to understand the Lord’s benediction upon His disciples during His time here on Earth in a human form and dilemma of the devotees during this difficult time.
Verse (Pad 1)
Shreeji spoke to the Saints…
One day Shree Hari called upon a congregation of saints and devotees and spoke regretfully, Shreeji spoke to the Saints - All saints and devotees, kindly listen as I wish to tell you the truth1 I have performed all there was according to My plans and now listen to My counselling words2 With affection, I have taught all disciples the ways of utmost pure spiritual practices3 I have performed several grand Maharuda spiritual sacrifices (Yagna) and given many alms to the Bhramins with respect4 Out of love, built grand Temples of NarNarayan Dev and other forms (of Himself)5Spread the fame and glory of devotion across cities and countries, everybody chants the name ‘Swaminarayan’ 24x76 Defeated various big irreligious practitioners and made rescued their spiritually aspirant disciples (granted them true knowledge)7 I have shown many, My prowess this time, ones which have neither be seen nor heard of upon which the sages meditate8 Uprooted all irreligiousness and established righteousness which the wise praise9Shown all the path to salvation which they attain after leaving the mortal body and gain ultimate transcendental bliss10 Established My forms in Temples and residing within them, I eradicate the fears of the messengers of death (Yamdoots)11 Called forth the clan of Dharma (Dharmakul), brothers Rampratap and Ichharam12 With affection, certainty and determination I adopted their sons13 Of elder brother, Ayodhyaprasad and of younger, Shree Raghuveer; the great and determined.14 I enthroned them unto their dioceses with affection15 Divided the cities and saints amongst these dioceses, know them as My successors in authority and serve them well16 Surely obey their commandments leaving aside all ignorance and ego17 Know the Shikshapatri as My form, read it and abide by the commandments within without fail18 Many big personalities have left their mortal body, Ram Krushna and various other infinite and immeasurable incarnations19 Similarly I too will leave this mortal body and depart for Akshardham20 Do not be disheartened at all after I am gone as I am ever-present in Satasang with joy21 If out of attachment anyone passes away after me (i.e. leaves their body forcefully), they will face great difficulties due to their disobedience22 All shall maintain harmony in Satang and with enthusiasm engage others in it23 One shall not leave Satsang for I will always reside with My humble disciples24 After some time I will take you in My company therefore do not be disheartened25 Thus spoke the Master of Avinashanand, words that felt like a thunderbolt, bewildering the whole congregation.26
Summary of Verse 1:
In this verse the Lord openly elaborates on His endeavours and their successful achievements for the betterment for the whole society. Through this pastime Lord wants to teach the society that whosoever takes birth upon Earth is destined to depart one day. In this case He is an inspirational figure and the Lord of all providing the necessary strength needed through spiritual counsel (Updesh). In only forty nine years of His age on Earth, He established righteousness and gave the society spiritual teachings for their uplift towards the road to Godhead i.e. Akshardham.
Verse (Pad 2)
The congregation spoke out…
After listening to the words of Shree Ghanshyam, all saints were disheartened and with deep breaths spoke to the Lord, Listen Oh! Shreeji – You are the life of the soul, the Master of the Universe, the nurturer of those who are at Your refuge, always the abode of transcendental bliss1 First you affectionately nurtured us with nectar, now please do not be merciless and give us poison2 It is better to die than to live without Your company in this world My Master, we plead with hands-folded3 My Lord Your smile is divine which we are unable to forget even for a second4In Your company we spend our days experiencing immeasurable bliss, You are our means of existence5 Hearing Your words our body is raging with heat and our minds are bewildered6 For if you definitely leave us, we will surely pass away in agony of Your separation7 If a fish is separated from water, it cannot experience bliss in milk as it will definitely pass away8 A chaste wife without her husband is widowed, her days pass away in sorrow without any peace9 Out of affection, the Chakor bird experiences great anxiety from separation of the sight of the moon10 An elephant is sorrowful without its trunk and a wingless bird afflicted11 Without eyesight one is blind hence the cause of bodily missery12 An all ruler King loses his only son, how would he feel13 Thirsty people come along a waterless river14 A climbing plant faces catches fire and is burnt, it never turns green again and its unworthy of sight15 One would be petrified in darkness of the night without the moon and in a house devoid of the light from earthen lamps16 Similarly daytime without sunlight, such will be our sorrowful state without You17 Without You the bliss of three worlds is like poison Oh wise Shyam; source of life for devotees18 If You depart for Akshardham leaving us behind, we will surely pass away instantly of jewel of Dharmakul19 But we are very scared of disobedience to Your commandment (of not passing away forcefully)20 You should not be leaving Your humble devotees at this time and depart for Akshardham, Oh wise Shyam21 How will we bear this separation and when will you grace us with Your presence Oh merciful One22 You are excellent uplifter of the three worlds, Shyam (dark complexioned One) the very pleasant ocean of transcendental bliss23 You are the doer and non-doer Oh Master, there is no one above You, we say that firm consciousness24 To bring upon bliss to Your devotees we humbly bow to Your feet for a remedy at Your earliest25 How much shall we request to You Oh Master, You are the very form of happiness, the incomparable all-knower26 The Lord listened to the request of the saints who were free of illusion (Nirmohi), then Avinashanand’s Master; Shreeji amidst the saints departed for Akshardham27
Summary of Verse 2:
In this verse the devotees and saints bewildered by the Lord’s words in verse one humbly plead the Lord not to go. They have used various real life scenarios of miseries faced by both humans and animals and put forward to the Lord a scenario of the state they would attain upon separation from Him. These saints and devotees accompanied the Lord everywhere He went, had sight of Him every day during His various daily routines. They were fully engrossed in His form. The plea to the Lord for staying is only just, however the Lord is free to do as He pleases for the benefit of the society. As mentioned before, He is always present in divine form within Satsang and continues to grant benediction to His humble devotees. In the 6th Kalash (Canto) and 27th Vishram (Chapter) of Harileelamrut, respected Acharya Shree Viharilalji Maharaj elaborates on where ‘Shree Swaminarayan’ reside. It is a text surely worth reading and remembering.
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