Blessings to all. Observing you carrying out the week-long festival, I feel that there is now nothing that you need to be told. We worship a person only when we understand his views and subscribe to them. Whatever I have been telling you has been related to what should be done under the circumstances in which you are living, have to live. And I believe you are making a sincere effort to put the precept into practice. It must be admitted that we cannot abandon prapancha or do without it. Man begins his life in a completely dependent condition, and also ends it in helplessness; this is a matter of common experience. Man being thus a slave of circumstances, by what means can he still march towards the goal of attaining to God?
We naturally seek from God what is most desired by the heart; and that strangely enough, is exactly something that leads to our ruin. All that I have to tell you, under the circumstances, is that, instead of asking something of God, pray to Him thus: “O Lord, You are the prince of donors. You have my interest at heart. You always do the correct thing; so, rather than my asking for anything, give me something that You think is good for me. In my ignorance I may ask for the very thing that is counter to my interest; so, O Lord, I shall feel contented with whatever You think fit to grant me.” Let us solemnly promise this to God on this important day. A beggar begs for something befitting his own lowly station in life. He will, for instance, expect some food, or an old piece of clothing, or a few coins; but he will not dare even to dream of asking for, say, the mansion at whose gate he may be begging. But the Lord is so rich and so munificent, He may grant you the whole world; nay, He may grant a spirit of perfect contentedness irrespective of any tangible thing. The best thing to do is to say, ‘Lord, give me what You will;’ there can be no better prayer.
There are two classes of devotees. One, to which we belong, says, “God, when will You become mine? Be You mine, so I shall lack nothing.” The other type says, “Lord, I surrender my ego to You, and will henceforth live as Your slave, Your pawn.” You understand the significance of these two stances. What is signified by asking God to become ‘mine’ is : I shall not change; do You provide me with whatever I may desire. The other kind of devotee says, in effect, ‘O Rama, I now want nothing but You; I am henceforth wholly Yours, at Your command.’ Look into your heart to discover what it really holds; if you find that you belong to the first category, which retains its ego, you must perseveringly strive to rise to the second variety, and say, “Lord You have been gracious to me and granted me everything I asked for. And yet I continue to ask; this evidently means that desire is endless, insatiable. Am I then going to die with desire still in my heart? Do, therefore, one thing, O Lord, end my desire, once for all, so that I no longer ask for anything.
God is kindness par excellence; therefore, let us surrender to Him as an infant to its mother; it lies in her lap, with all trust; whatever she may bring to it, it simply opens its mouth and gulps it, unquestioningly, never suspecting that it is going to be anything harmful. It is similarly fitting for us to accept without demur the situation in which He pleases to place us.
Today, however, we do not have that spirit of implicit surrender; all the same, we want to attain to God. The best thing to do, under the circumstances, is to put forth the best effort for the worldly things we desire, and leave the result to God’s sweet will, accepting cheerfully, contentedly, whatever comes. It is only this study that will take you nearer to the goal. Rest assured that God will back up such study.
Human life, as experience shows, is so transient, so unpredictable. Great men, even divine incarnations like Rama and Krishna, had, for one reason or another to quit the human frame. The fact is that their form is no longer in physical existence. However, these great people have left behind something which is as efficacious as themselves. It is a kind of invisible power or influence which works with the same effectiveness. The divine incarnations may no longer be visible, but they have left behind a blessing, and assurance, for all time, that whoever earnestly abides by it shall be blessed with beatitude. The Lord has said, in effect, “Do you really, yearn, aspire to become mine? Then listen to me : pursue prapancha with all sincerity, never stint effort therein; but never for a moment forget that I am the arbiter, the judge to award or deny success. Remain contented always; and never forsake the potion I prescribe;” and nama is the magic potion.
I do not even have the shadow of a doubt that you do not chant nama, for in that case you would not have cared to come here this day. But I would repeatedly exhort you, never for a moment forsake nama. Indeed, if you ask me, one should not exist without it. Make it a habit to chant the nama; then, one day you will chant it with such earnestness that God Himself will be thrilled and seek to meet you, will manifest Himself. Do not for a moment imagine that I am merely bluffing, I am saying this in all seriousness. Go through life with full faith in nama. You will experience for yourself what miracle this faith works.
I would particularly say: you should consider this Pooja as accepted, effective, only if you practise what is preached. If you do this much, God will not fail to extend His helping hand to you. He never likes to see His subjects, you and me, to live in misery. In order truly to become His, let us beg of Him only for love of His name. One who gets such love, will certainly get His help; this assurance I give repeatedly, confidently. It is such love which is the reward of true Guru-pooja.
I again exhort you to chant nama as much as you can. It needs no special procedure or rite; all that you need to do is to chant nama with sincerity and love; call on Him in such earnestness that God should feel that He must answer your prayer and hasten to meet you. Do this much, and Rama is sure to look to your welfare and interest.
I repeat while taking your leave. Carry on your family life as best as you can; attend carefully to the demands of duty; take care, while doing all things, that God is always in your sight and memory; and chant nama; Rama will shower His grace on you. May you ever be happy, Lord bless you.