The evening sabha on Thursday 24th August commenced with Sandhya Aarti and Niyams at 6pm followed by Kirtan Bhakti and a reading of the Swaminarayan Gadi Granth.
In Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj's Divine Ashirwad today, He taught that much like a bird needs two wings to fly, this Satsang needs both a strong ascetic (tyaagi) and householder (gruhastha) fraternity to flourish - the stronger those wings are, the higher the height a bird can reach. Each of these fraternities has their own embellishments.
For householders, those embellishment are their families, properties, cars, jewellery, fine clothes, etc. Those very items, however - even thoughts about them - are detrimental to ascetics. For ascetics, those embellishments are their pacifist natures, uniform and simple robes, etc. Those things do not suit householders. Any single item suits and embellishes, or causes detriment to a person, based on whether they are an ascetic or a householder. Thus, each of these fraternities should consider which ashram they belong to and have embellishments accordingly, but never look to replicate the other’s paths.
A truly intelligent person takes the learning, accepts their shortcomings, and corrects themselves when they are told off or advised by someone, or their faults are pointed out to them. A fool takes offence, argues and gets agitated at receiving the very same beneficial advice. The Lord is clear that He likes that former kind of person, and explains that the latter kind is like a glass bowl: no matter how well you look after it, eventually a small knock will soon shatter it.
The Lord explains that there are two kinds of disciples - those like goats or those like buffalos. Goats need looking after very well, they are not very tolerant to even slightly challenging conditions, etc, and yet they yield only a small amount of thin milk. A buffalo is far more robust and tolerant to many conditions, requires little maintenance, and yet it yields an abundance of creamy milk. The Lord says that we should all be like buffalos - no matter what offences or challenges someone throws at us, we should still be able to go about our lives unaffected.
Lord Shree Swaminarayan states that He likes disciples who perform devotion with enthusiasm, but not those who do so without such zeal, or worse still, those who serve Him for the sake of being seen to do so. Those who serve to receive compliments or praise, attain no further fruits for their service than that praise. Those who serve selflessly attain the bliss of God. One should serve solely for the purpose of pleasing God, and only in line with their true sentiments. Unlike the previously explained different embellishments for each ashram, this advice is common and identical for both householders and ascetics.