To forget one’s own existence, and to be aware of the existence of God everywhere, at all times, is the essence of devotion. With devotion as the ruling passion, everything else fades into the background. It goes without saying that in the case of such a person God is such paramount awareness that sensory pleasures have no attraction.
Devotees of God have come from all classes of people and all kinds of circumstances. If the Lord rewarded them all with perfect contentment, why should we, too, not hope to be similarly rewarded? We accept the notion that the world is progressive; but to think of progress as consisting of children, money, public esteem, and other physical matters is not correct. Real progress relates to devotion. This progress may not be palpable. Success without God has no value, and may be classed a failure. On the other hand, an apparent failure may eventually turn out to one’s advantage; so never feel daunted by a failure; patiently bear with it as God’s will.
To think or say that ‘the Lord exists’ amounts to believing that the creation has emanated from Him, that He protects and supports it; we are part of the multitudes created by Him, so we, too, receive His protection and are sustained by Him. He who throws himself on God’s mercy is truly independent. One who yearns for Him becomes His. Intense love for Him is devotion. True upasana consists in loving God with even greater intensity than loving one’s own self. This is the crowning achievement of life. He can be truly said to have faith who seeks no other support even if calamities come in battalions.
Before one can grasp the concept of an attributeless Divinity, one must go through the medium of idol-worship. This can be likened to a man’s village which is hidden beyond a knoll, and therefore cannot be seen until one climbs to the summit. A bugbear is not living but, made in the likeness of a man, it keeps the birds away in the absence of a guard, and preserves the ripening harvest from their depredations. Similarly, Worshipping and loving an idol of God leads easily to a realization of His subtle, attributeless entity.
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