February 28, 2009
Pray God Only for Love for His Name
What blessing will you pray God for? Ask Him only for love for His name and nothing else. Make no mistake in the matter. A teacher may have taught his students very efficiently during the year, and given them all the likely questions together with the correct answers; yet, at the time of examination, he cannot guide them even if he is present and notices that an answer is incorrect. I am in that position. After all, it is for you to pray and beg for the favour you desire, and I caution you in the matter lest you ask for something other than love for His name.
If you never let the nama of the Lord slip from memory, whatever the circumstances, your mind will not be agitated by pleasant or unpleasant happenings. A man gets frightened when calamities befall him. But at least those who believe in God should not get scared. When the father covers his face with a veil to pretend being a bug-bear, the child becomes apprehensive, but once it knows that it is only its father pretending as a bug-bear, it gives up all fear. So, too, everyone should remember that all happenings are the acts of God or our sadguru. This will remove fear and sorrow for unpleasant happenings as well as jubilation over pleasant happenings. For this, one should constantly meditate on the Supreme Being.
Sometimes we find that a thing does happen as we desire, but it does not result in happiness; conversely, it also happens the other way round. In other words, we cannot judge immediately whether a happening is ultimately conducive to our happiness or sorrow. So let us learn to wait and watch before we jubilate or grieve over anything.
When the body goes through suffering, which is the result of prarabdha we should be glad like one repaying a debt. To evade prarabdha is equivalent to evading a creditor. Prarabdha is nullified only when the ego dies out. Remember what Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, asked for from Lord Krishna: “Lord, I cannot blame you for what I suffer, for it is simply the result of my prarabdha; but if that suffering keeps me in constant awareness of your presence, then pray keep me always in suffering throughout my life.” Let us realise the wisdom underlying this request, and do our utmost to remain in communion with God.
February 27, 2009
Why We Fail to Develop Love for Nama
The names of the great saints such as Jnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Samartha Ramdas, have survived these long centuries. The reason is that they had intense love for nama. We have faith in the words of these saints. We also feel that we should have the same intense love for nama that they had. Why do we not succeed in this? This point deserves consideration.
The saints declare that nama surpasses even nectar in its deliciousness. Why, then, do we fail to feel love for it? Certainly there must be something that stands in the way. If sugar placed on the tongue fails to taste sweet, we say that evidently there is something wrong with our palate and health; similarly, since we fail to find sweetness in nama, there must be something wrong with us.
Almost all people put forward one plea or another. One says,” I do not feel love for nama because I am yet unmarried; when I have a wife and children and a family of my own, I shall naturally come to love nama.” But then, how many of those who are married and have a family, love nama? Some others say,” Because we are short of money, we have always to labour under anxiety, and this bars the rise of love for nama.” How many of the affluent millionaires can we show who have developed this love? Yet others plead preoccupation with worldly responsibilities such as the wife and the family, illness, management of farms and property, as the cause for the lack of love for nama. Yet others say, “I am fed up with the travails of worldly life; I shall now renounce all these and become a sanyasin so that I may acquire love for nama. “Yet others may be so disgusted as to be inclined to ending life by suicide. In brief, everyone blames the situation he finds himself in, for failure to acquire love for nama. We should give serious thought to this and find out whether the external situation is a real impediment to the generation and development of love for nama. To my mind, the true cause is that we do not sincerely desire to have God as the mentor and support. Indeed, to feel such a desire is a matter of rare good fortune. When such a desire arises, that itself will show you the way.
February 25, 2009
A Parting Message
As a farewell message, I would exhort you to bear love for each other. The whole world can be brought under sway with the help of love. You may learn from me how to get oneself endeared to others. I am very fond of this art, for he is bound to be liked by God who endears himself to others. Only he who is unselfish will be dear to others. He who accepts the dispensation of the Lord will be liked by all. The Lord likes one who does for others what he would do for himself. Everyone should covet our company. For this, it is necessary neither to do only what people like, nor speak only to please them. To love others does not depend on any extraneous thing, and needs no money, as my own experience goes.
I have gone through the direst poverty, and yet I could keep uninterrupted consciousness of God; why then, should you find it difficult? If there is any rule that I have scrupulously observed, it is: do not hurt anybody’s heart.
I exhort you to do the same. Whomsoever I met I treated him as my own. All that I did, I treated this as a sport, and merely played the game and therefore remained untouched by pleasure or pain, success or failure.
I reincarnated myself to fulfill my unsatiated craving for chanting nama. I look on all of you as Rama. If there is anything you want to tell me, you may narrate it to God Maruti wherever you may be, and it will become known to me.
One who belongs to me will be automatically drawn to me, wherever he may be. I dislike dejection and despondency. Those who slandered me know not who I was in reality, but, what is more, those who applauded me know me even less.
Repeat nama with all your heart; this will awaken you to your own short-comings, and then you can try to eradicate them. To achieve concentration, remember always that God is watching you. Stop thinking ‘I want this’ and ‘I don’t want that.’ Believe firmly that Rama is the doer. Apply your good qualities to His service. Approach Him with humility and childlike simplicity and trust. Do not get disgusted with bodily pain and suffering. Take care, but be not anxious. Rid yourself of fear and of your ego.
February 22, 2009
God Resides in Action which is Free of Desire
There is dire need to search and scrutinize our heart. Whether an action is righteous or otherwise is determined by its motive. It is futile to perform righteous deeds if the object is mundane pleasure. Even if you exert yourself physically, or abandon your wife and family, you will not meet Rama unless your heart is dedicated to Him, unless you become restless for Him. God resides in desirelessness, so all your actions should be devoid of desire.
Really speaking, the task of a sadhaka involves far less toiling than that of a worldly-minded person. Even a half of the householder’s drudgery will bring bumper spiritual returns. The situation God chooses to place us in, is always favourable for recognizing Him. However, we act for worldly objectives, and at the same time complain that we have not been able to attain God; who can help in this anomalous situation? The puranas tell us that the demons performed penance to propitiate the Lord; so did Samartha Ramdas. The former did it to acquire worldly power and sensuous pleasures; they did get them, but lost the Lord. Samartha, on the other hand, wanted God for His own sake, so he got Him, which was his sole goal. Intense love creates intense yearning for God. We must feel that on attaining the Lord we shall have no other desire; then alone will the ego die. God’s hand is ever extended to meet us; it is we who are not eager to take it.
Righteous behaviour is far more important than money and intellectual brilliance. If good conduct is accompanied by faith in God and a mind that remains contented in any situation, one can be happy in worldly life. Happiness is not a thing to be obtained from an external source, it is right there in our own mind. Just as I belong to God, so do all others; therefore, loving God is loving the world.
If we come across a bitter almond in prasada, we eat it without demur; why, likewise, should we not cheerfully accept the sorrow that God, in His wisdom, may occasionally send to us?
We should remember God, laying aside the questioning attitude for the while. One who is convinced that nama is the only truth, does not need to be told anything more. Under whatever circumstances you take nama, it will prove to be your saviour.
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February 19, 2009
Living in Nama is the Highway to God
A woman found it difficult to practise nama because her in-laws disapproved of it. I told her, “If one eats butter every day, maybe even surreptitiously, it is bound to show its fattening effect on the body. Similarly nama, even if practised without anyone’s knowledge, will certainly have its wholesome effect. So, if you cannot practise nama openly, you can do so in secret, with due caution, and derive its beneficial effect.” If the body is unable to take food by the mouth, it is introduced directly into the stomach through a tube; similarly nama taken with faith and feeling becomes effective very quickly.
A man travelling by bullock-cart fell in the road. A “good Samaritan” who reached the spot some time later found him lying there, took him home, and treated his injuries. Similarly, if we keep practising nama, a saint will come along some day and help us on; only, we must take care to be on the highway, that is, keep practising nama. To live engrossed in sense-objects and interests is like falling in an unfrequented by-lane.
How free of all conditioning nama is! We, who are grossly conditioned by the body-consciousness, therefore fail to realize its importance. It is the saints who truly realize it. England is several thousand miles away from here. We hear about it from those who have been there. We cannot go there on foot because of the long distance. Nor can we go there by a road-conveyance, because the wide ocean intervenes. We can, however, reach there without tiresome trudging, and without fear of being drowned, if we take a steamer. If, similarly, we take to nama, we can attain God in comfort and safety. We have not seen Him ourselves, but the saints have, and they describe Him. We cannot reach Him for the distance, and for the intervening ocean of worldly life. Under these circumstances, if we hold fast to nama we can comfortably attain to Him.
A person may be known by different appellations in different circles of his kith and kin, and he responds to any of them; so, too, will God respond, whatever name you call Him by. Just as a purchaser gets a property spread over different places merely by a single mention in the sale deed, the omnipresent God is comprehended in His name.
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