"Aptavani 2" is the second in a series of spiritual books titled "Aptavani". In this series, Gnani Purush (embodiment of Self knowledge) Dada Bhagwan addresses age-old unanswered questions of spiritual seekers.
Dadashri offers in-depth answers to questions such as: "What are the benefits of the different types of religion?", "How do I understand spirituality vs. religion?", "What are the different types of yoga, and how are they relevant to spirituality and practice?", "How can I experience a spiritual awakening, and attain spiritual enlightenment?"
Dadashri also provides spiritual clarification on the topics of: "What is the meaning of ignorance?", "Who am I ?", "How can I experience my own pure Soul?", and "What is moksha, or liberation?"
Ultimately, Dadashri describes that knowledge of Self is the beginning of true spirituality. Having attained Self knowledge, spiritual development begins, after which one may attain ultimate liberation, or moksha.
Dadashri explains that the knowledge of Self is the beginning of true spiritual development. From then, along with understanding the law of karma, one learns to remain with inner peace in daily problems of life.
For those wondering how to live in peace in the midst of life's challenges, this book is precious.
The reality of this world
What is this world all about? Who created the world? Why was it created? Who runs it?
The Christians say, 'God is the creator of this world'. The Muslims say, 'Allah made this world'. The Hindus say, 'God made this world'. Many Jains too, say that God made this world. If someone created this world, then he would be called a creator, and a creator means a 'potter'. Which sons of God were going to remain bachelors that he had to create this world? When even factory owners delegate their work to their secretaries and sleep peacefully, why would God have to work so hard? God is not a laborer that he has to toil with his hands or fix people's marriages. God is not crazy that he would sit inside the womb of a water buffalo and create a bull! Besides if there were a creator of this world, people would have killed him a long time ago, because what kind of a person would create a world in which no one is happy? Indeed if such a being did exist, people would have gone looking for him and they would have searched him out and sorted him out. But how can they find any such being when he does not exist.
There is no creator of this world. The world is the puzzle itself. It has become puzzle some and that is why we call it a puzzle. The one who solves this puzzle attains the state of the supreme Self (parmatma pad) and the one who cannot, becomes dissolved in the puzzle. Prominent sages, ascetics, monks, nuns, preceptors etc, have all become dissolved in this puzzle, just as sugar dissolves in water. Someone may ask, 'Where is the sugar in the water? Why can't we see it? We can assure him that there is sugar in the water but it is dissolved within the water. In the same way the soul (chetan) is present in everyone, but it is as a lifeless living element (nischetan chetan). When it becomes pure (shuddha chetan), then the puzzle will be solved.
How alert are you of your own digestive processes?
A retired chief engineer of a big chemical company once came to me and told me, "Dada, my company would not run without me". 'We' asked him, "What is so special about you that your company would not run without you?" He said, "I am very alert in my business. The work would stop if I did not go in for just one day." So 'We' asked him, "When you eat some handvo (a baked Gujarati dish) at night, do you go to investigate within to see how it is being digested as you sleep? Do you check to see how much bile is secreted, how many other digestive enzymes are produced? And by the next morning, all the end products from that handvo will fall into their appropriate places; blood will go where the blood is, urine will be in its place and feces in its place. Do you go to check within how everything falls into place? How alert are you when it comes to your own body? When you can't do anything for your own self, what makes you think you can do anything in other matters? So many powerful kings have come and gone and yet their kingdoms continued, so what makes you think everything will stop in your absence? What alertness are you talking about? Even the Gnani's shoe is more alert than you are! It gets the constant attention of the devotees who keep it shiny. When you were born, did you have to worry whether your teeth will grow or not? Do you worry whether the sun will shine tomorrow or not?"
Who is the creator of this world?
'The world is the puzzle itself'. Christians, Muslims, Hindus all say that God is the creator of this world. They are correct by their viewpoints but incorrect in fact. If you want to know the facts, you will have to come to 'us'. 'We' give you assurance and a guarantee that no one has created this world. There is no one up there in the sky or the heavens, running this world. Only 'We' (the Gnani and the fully enlightened Lord within) know how this world runs and who runs it. There is not a single parmanu (subatomic particle that cannot be further divided) in this universe that 'We' have not traversed through and experienced. From the vantage of both in and out of this universe, 'We' can tell you from all the viewpoints and perspectives, that there is no one up there running everything.
'We' will tell you how this world runs in one simple sentence. Later you may understand it in complete details. This world is run by only scientific circumstantial evidences; no individual entity is running it. Everyone and everything is merely instrumental in the process of its functioning; no one or thing controls it independently. Furthermore, God can never be the doer of anything. If God were the doer, then He would bind karma and therefore He would have to suffer the consequences of those karmas. If God too is subject to bondage of karma, then how can we call him God? Then what difference would there be between you and God?
Everything you hear is nothing but humbug! People act according to their own understanding. People think there are no consequences for their actions and so they continue with lies at will. This world is not haphazard by any means; the world is a fact, but it is a relative fact and the Self is the real fact. When the Gnani Purush places you in the real fact then it becomes your abode of freedom (muktidham). People believe this world is without any basis; they think they can enjoy themselves in any way they want and that no authority is going to question them.
The fools! This world is not like that. 'You are whole and sole responsible for yourself.' You carry the burden of your previous life and responsibility of your future life. Make sure that you do not make even the slightest mistake. God does not interfere in this at all.
Will you not have to understand this world? How long can you go on living and perpetuating this falsehood? Will you not have to solve this puzzle? How long will you go on being trapped in this entanglement?