Acharyas, tyagi saints, brahmacharis, gruhasth
elders, elders from social point of view like kings, officials, wealthy
and prestigious persons are all included in the category of elders.
Shree Hari has written in a letter that when elders arrive in a sabha,
the young should stand up, give them seats, do namaskar and welcome them
with smiling face.
One must speak politely with elders. One may speak as instructed, but
never argue with them.
The young should sit after the elders for meals in a bhojan samarambh
and get up only after the elders finish.
One must sleep only after the elders go to bed and should wake up before
them. One should wake the elders with the name of Shree Hari.
One should treat the elders as gurus and serve them. One should not listen
to the criticism of the elders. One who disrespects the elders lose the
strength gained from penance.
All My followers shall raise up, bow down, give a comfortable seat and
say pleasant work to a Guru, a King, a senior citizen, a saint, a learned
man or an ascetic, on their arrival.
We know the consequences of King Parikshit’s insult in the Rishi
ashram and the insult of Daksh Prajapati by Shivji in the sabha of Brahma.
Therefore one should not insult elders in sabhas. When one insults elders
it not only leads to misery, but also comes in the way of bhajan and meditation.
(Vachnamrut, Gadhadha Pr. 61)
When one serves the devotees of God with mind, heart and soul, one achieves
great spiritual benefit and happiness. NO other means can provide such
happiness. Thus, one should behave in such a manner that one does not
disrespect the devotees of God. (Vachnamrut, Gadhadha madhya pr. 40).
I do not like if one disregards my words inspite of one’s faith
in me or interrupts me when I am speaking with someone – Shree Hari.(Vachnamrut,
Antya pr. 25)
I do not also like if one is egotistically vocal about one’s sacrifice,
devotion, service or humility.
I do not like if one who enters last into a sabha does not sit where
he is supposed to. (Gadhada Antya pr. 25).
If a discussion with God or great saints results in argument, and even
if one is on the verge of winning, one should give up the argument in
favour of the elder. One should not put the great saints in an embarrassing
situation in discussions in sabhas. One should always accept defeat against
God and great saints. (Vachnamrut Sarangpur – 2).
One should readily accept the words of God and great saints even if one
thinks they are appropriate or inappropriate.
If one does not agree with the words of God or great saints, one should
with folded hands humbly and devotionally tell them if they permit you
"O Maharaj, I have heard your words but I have some questions."
If God is not willing, one may say so to a great saint or devotee staying
close to God. Later on, the great saint may put your doubts to rest and
also take you to God for reassurance on the subject , but one should never
instantly counter the words of God whether one thinks they are inappropriate.
One should patiently put off argument, but should never impulsively oppose.
(Vachnamrut, Sarangpur pr.2).
One should never be proud in front of a great devotee of god no matter
how poor he is. (Vachnamrut, Loya – 6)
One should address the elders as ‘aap’ amd not ‘tame’.
One should always remember to say ‘Jai Swaminarayan’ to elders
at the first meeting in the morning and before going to bed.
One should always answer saying politely ‘jee ha’ when one
is called by elders.
One should address elders in letters as either ‘Param bhagwadiya’,
‘Satsang shiromani’, ‘Haribhakt shiromani’, ‘Pandit’,
‘Shastri’, or ‘Sadguru’, whatever is appropriate.
One should never write the courtesy title ‘Shree’ or any such
other titles before one’s own name.
One should never sit with one’s back towards elders.
One should walk two steps behind one’s guru while walking together.
If one’s guru is walking behind, one should stop to let the guru
go ahead. One should lift the guru’s luggage for him and also open
the door for him.
One should not get up or talk in the middle of a katha, vyakhyan or bhajan.
If one arrives late, one should sit at the back and not try to find a
seat in the front. One should not cough and disrupt the katha or sleep
while the katha is going on.
If one is on a parapet and wishes to talk to an elder, one should get
down and do so.
One should stand up while talking to an elder, particularly if he is
standing. One should also step out of a car to talk to an elder.
One should stand up and welcome an elder and go to the door or car to
see him off.
One should serve food to an elder with one’s own hands and sit
for meals only after he has finished.
One should always sit in an appropriate place in a sabha or a bhojan
samarambh so that one is not asked to vacate the seat.
One should be courteous in a sabha and should not laugh loudly if there
is something to laugh.
One should speak politely with others who are higher in wisdom, age and
One should not sit on the asan ( chair, gaadi, seat) of one’s guru,
an elder or owner, even in their absence.
One should not reply to a king, wealthy person, child, aged, scholar,
woman, or fool so as to give rise to an argument.
One should even if one is angry with someone, consider him to be Shree
Narnarayandev’s devotee and immediately do namaskar. One should
do shastang dandvat to an elderly saint. Sankhya-yogi women should also
do namaskar while sitting to other women. We all devotes of Shree Narnarayandev
should avoid anger and pride. (Vachnamrut, Ahmedabad, 8).