September 3, 2009
Full Faith and Earnest Longing for Nama
Everyone can attain the experience of God by some means or other, according to one’s temperament. Maruti devoted himself to God as a servant. Dasharatha loved God as a son. Our only thought should be, ‘how shall I attain God?’ Devotion has been considered to be the highest means to attain God. If the obstinacy and love of an addicted person towards his addiction could be transferred to God, the result is spiritual uplift. When I dedicate my good and bad qualities at the feet of God, the result is total surrender or ‘arpanbhakti’. We practise devotion but it is devoid of real love; this is because our mind is scattered in all directions. Therefore, concentrate your mind first; practise a little on contemplation but with single-minded devotion.
Do not practise spiritual means while under depression, or with a tired mind. You should consider how your spiritual attitude will get the proper direction to manifest itself. All saints have told us that God is residing in Pandharpur; however, if we see only a stone there, is it not the fault of our spiritual attitude alone? Have full faith in God. In a dark night, if the lamp is taken aside a little, you lose your way. Therefore, keep your attention fixed on God and concentrate without break on nama, the spiritual means. When I sing with devotion before God, I must earnestly feel that he is listening to me; love for God does not depend on rhythm or tune. Have a firm conviction that you belong to God and earnestly long for His grace; whatever you do should be with single-minded devotion. Have no grief over whatever has happened, have no worry for tomorrow, and do not lose the present awareness of God. Practise nama-smarana with a feeling that God is personally present before you. Every utterance of nama should remind us that ‘God alone is the doer’, so that pride of doership will not stand in the way. True progress in the path of devotion is not to feel pleasure over gains or grief over losses. A person who is most narrow-minded and selfish, and who feels that the entire world is meant for his pleasure, should be considered an egoist. The more the selfishness of a man the more dependent he is on others.
* * * * *
August 17, 2009
Firm Faith is a Powerful Force
If we keep firm faith in God while doing our duty conscientiously, we need never have any occasion for pain, sorrow, or regret. This firm faith has helped so many people and seen them through trying circumstances.
The greatest advantage of saguna-bhakti is that the approach being through love, our emotions experience an upsurge when we bow at the feet of Rama. At such moments we should earnestly pray to Him, saying, “O Rama, I now have no ally, no support, but You; so now call me Yours. Doubtless I am the home of drawbacks and defects, but pray do not discard me on that count, for, unworthy as I may be, I approach You with utter surrender.”
We must possess the patience, the tolerance, that can only come from firm faith in God. Such a person will ever be trusted by the whole world. People will even set God aside and adore such a person. Worldly life led in firm faith in God is bound to be replete with happiness. Grieve not about what happened yesterday, nor worry about what may come tomorrow; live joyfully, unconcernedly, in the present, doing your duty; whenever you can withdraw your mind from the humdrum of life do so, and devote yourself to nama-smarana, eschewing idle talk.
For one who is immersed in love for God no advice or precept is necessary. Nowhere in the puranas is a mention of Lord Krishna having delivered to the gopis any philosophical discourse. There was never a need, for the gopis were steeped in the love of the Lord. Such love can be obtained only by nama-smarana. So, I say, live in nama and enjoy contentment and bliss in life. Take my word for it, God will shower His grace on you.
The activities we indulge in pursuit of worldly pleasures only yield mixed happiness and pain. Progeny, wealth, prosperity of various kinds, respect in the world, acquisition of material knowledge – these and such other things can never yield unalloyed, permanent bliss and contentment. The twin-sided coin of pleasure and pain will be our invariable lot. One who lives in ceaseless nama-smarana, one who is unaware of anything else, is ever supported by God. He alone can be called a true theist who is entrenched in the firm conviction that God is the real doer.
* * * * *