Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.1.

Object of a Festival is to Promote Love for God

In weddings, while the main ritual itself takes very little time, the other incidental ceremonies are extended over four days. These several ceremonies serve to highlight the importance and solemnity of the marriage itself. Similarly, in a religious festival, the main object is to emphasize awareness of God; the celebrations are intended to promote this object.
In Diwali, the fireworks, sweet dishes, many snacks, are all intended for us to forget miseries and displeasing things of yesterday. Similarly, festivals, religious feast days, religious performances, pilgrimages, etc., are all intended to stimulate a theistic feeling, to promote love for God, to create awareness that God exists everywhere, all the time. There should be an abiding conviction that we do everything at His prompting. This will gradually inculcate love for Him and mitigate pride of doership.
We disclaim faith in the existence of ghosts and spirits, but are inwardly frightened when in the company of a “possessed” person. If we look on God with awe as we do on a ghost, evidently we shall be unable to feel affection for Him. So first of all, disburden your mind of fear for God. Be sure that God will not award you punishment or do anything against your interest. He is a veritable ocean of mercy. Like a mother, He will never think of harming you. The trouble is that we do not call on Him with the implicit faith of a child for its mother; that is, we never bring to nama-smarana the earnestness which it deserves; and this is where we err.
So, having taken the trouble to come to Gondavale, stand before my Rama and pray to solicit nothing but His love. If you acquire devotion for Rama, you can be sure that your prapancha will be happy beyond imagination.
Never relinquish nama. Nama alone will ensure for you company of and love for Rama. Nothing is closer to God than nama. Associate with nama constantly, guard it carefully like your very life; rest assured that it will ultimately lead you to God Himself; for, where there is God there is nama, and conversely, where there is nama, Rama will invariably be found. If you lose your awareness of yourself as a separate entity, you will find yourself face to face with Rama.
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