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Venerable Gurudev Upadhyaya Amar Muni was a great seer and enlightened thinker of the spiritual world. His exceptional life-vision, heightened intuition and compassion kept him forever alert. An analytic mind, extraordinary qualities and the initiative to awaken the dormant potential made him a spiritual revolutionary of the highest order.

If complete detachment towards life made him a Yogi, then keen comprehension of the ancient religious texts and a true understanding of reality made him a super saint.

Whether he was dealing with a familial context or social institution, industrial development or spiritual pilgrimage, a conflicting world of political policies or religious laws – his inner capacity, creativity and energy to reach the deeper truths of all fields made him a literary genius. His literary masterpieces are but a peep into his holistic understanding and potential.

“Aparigraha Darshan” is one such literary work which has the dual power to cross over centuries and ‘see’ Tirthankara Mahavira and at the same time, give us an insight into our present lives.

Wealth is not an obstacle to spiritual life. Rather, it can well be a means to progress, he said. If one could only place one’s feet firmly on the steps of the ladder of life and move on upwards, then one can be said to have traversed and conquered those steps, those ‘means’ towards upward progress . In the path of Sadhana, one ought not to cling to the ‘sadhan’ or means – this is the path of non-possessiveness.

Non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and nongpl aparigatha 200607.indd 7 gpl 6/21/2007 2:40:40 PM possessiveness constitute Dharma (the real path). These five are to be adopted as the Smaller Vows of the layperson’s religious endeavors and the Greater Vows of that of the monk’s path. Violence and possessiveness have to be given up so that nonviolence and non-possessiveness may be embraced as a way of life. Possessiveness means attachment for objects and wealth. To give that up is defined as an essential part of the aspirant’s life. But such an object-focused definition of religion coupled with pressure to incorporate that into life has made religion impractical. When these ideals cannot be incorporated from within one’s inner being, then religion remains at a superficial level. According to Mahavira, possessiveness does not arise from the object itself; rather, it is attachment for the object which is the root of possessiveness. When attachment diminishes from life, when clinging to objects is effaced from life, then Mahavira’s path of non-possessiveness shines forth.

In fact, non-possessiveness is an inner calling rather than external behaviour. In Mahavira’s vision, the amassing of objects is merely a collection which is important for family and society, as well as for the religious congregation. But the difference between collection and possessiveness is that collection in itself is considered a punya or noble deed where as possessiveness, a wrong deed. Rightful discriminative distribution of collectibles is not possessiveness. However, everyone does not have this right vision of distribution. Mahavira’s message to those who had the potential to develop this quality of non-possessiveness was to stay focused on their goal of productive increase of wealth so that the society at large may benefit from their punya, “Remain focused. Your focus lets others find a vision. Your vision is the pillar of the economic system, as well as the guiding light of families, societies and, in fact, for the entire nation”.

And those devout followers expressed their devotion to the Lord by saying “Chakhudayanam” – “Lord! You are the giver of vision”. The Lord lessed his disciple Ananda by saying, “May you become a visionary. May you become the centre. May you hold the central axis of society. Remain detached and be alert towards the prescribed goals which will bring wealth, peace gpl aparigatha 200607.indd 8 6/21/2007 2:40:40 PM and protection to the country.”

Sacrifice devoid of detachment gives rise to darkness. How can a gloomy vision give light to Sadhana? It will only propel it towards darkness.

Know your responsibility. This will give rise to strength. A wealthy person must propel his means towards progress and revolutionize the country’s energy with his Right Vision. Our future depends largely on energy which is ignited with detachment. History is witness to the fact that healthy, wealthy & peaceful societies are those that are born from great religious acts.

The Great Saint of Veerayatan, Amar Muniji, expounded three tenets for a good and pure life – Service, Education and Sadhana.

Service: Developing a healthy, clean life system. A life of non-violence.

Education: Constructing one’s spiritual intelligence, and support towards such an act in the life of others as well.

Sadhana: Right distribution of acquired wealth by detachment. Non-possessiveness in life’s sadhana.

Gurudev Amar Muniji’s book “Aparigraha Darshan” is an inspirational work. It is a transcript for a successful householder’s life.

Today, the entire world, and progressive India at large, is in need of a spiritual, intellectual, and conomically strong society, for the emergence of enthusiasm in the youth and enterprising leadership. I believe that this book will be the guiding light for such an endeavour.

Acharya Chandanaji
Vasant Panchami 2007

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