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.
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August 16, 2009
Nama Alone Can Lead to True Contentment
Man commits an error or sin, and implores God for pardon. It is evidently futile to expect such pardon if the sin is persisted in. Pardon is almost taken for granted; if the significance of the word pardon is properly understood the word would not be used so lightly. It is plainly an attempt to cheat God, who, however, sees everything, including our innermost thoughts. God is so great, indeed, that He cannot be encompassed by our logical argument nor our puny intellect. He can only be propitiated by utter submission; and I would exhort you to adopt such submission. Contentment is entirely independent of external circumstances. Reading the scriptures, committing book after book to memory, listening to learned discourses, none of these can give contentment unless put into practice. Nama is a necessary complement. So, completely surrender yourself to God, and repeat His name with love and persistence. A moneyless pilgrim of Pandharpur was trudging wearily on the way to that place when a motor car drew up. Seated inside was an obviously rich man, with liveried servants. The party, it seemed, was also bound to the same place. The poor pilgrim thought to himself, ‘Here I am, devout and sincere, making my way with difficulty, while this man, grown rich with his dishonest dealings, rides in a luxurious car! How unjust of you, O Lord!’ Just then the car door opened, and out came the ‘rich’ man, supporting himself with great difficulty, leaning on two of his servants because he was lame. Then it occurred to the poor pilgrim that it was better by far to be poor and to have two sound legs to trudge on, rather than be rich and lame and drive in a car. Generally we fancy that a man who has something that we lack must be happier than ourselves. This is evidently a fallacious fancy, for the other man may be having a handicap unimagined by us. And if the other man thinks that he is happy with his possession, he may well be under a delusion, like a drunken fellow. To be contented with the prevailing situation is the only way to loosen the grip of the attractions of the world. Let us therefore accept whatever situation it pleases God to keep us in; this will definitely hold the upsurge of both pleasure and pain in check. * * * * *