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.
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August 13, 2009
Bodily Pleasures and Pain, and Spiritual Joy
You should, in your own interest, try to help others whenever you can. It will be fallacious to argue that you had rather leave them to suffer whatever God has ordained for them. That you cannot go contrary to His will is always fully true, but your attempt to help him is beneficial for your own self, because to that extent it wears down your ‘body-am-I’ feeling. What you do may or may not avail to the person concerned, according to God’s will, but it will definitely count as your service to God. Suppose I ask you to nurse a sick person, you will do it very willingly, probably even enthusiastically, in obedience to your guru’s behest. Why should you not take in the same light the illness or other troubles which God sends for you yourself? The difficulty is that you do not have the conviction that whatever He does is bound to prove good for you. Is it not highly improper to ask Him to remove the troubles that He has Himself sent to you? Also, since prarabdha cannot be by-passed, is it not wise to square the account right now rather than wish it to be merely deferred? Again, bodily pain and mental suffering being distinct from each other, the former should not detract from the mental or spiritual joy. Only he can live in peace who lives in God, that is, in nama-smarana. Therefore, one who wants contentment and joy should remain in ceaseless nama-smarana and anusandhana, that is, awareness of God. What is anusandhana, in essence? It simply means relating all your actions and thoughts to God; sleeping, sitting, rising, doing nama-smarana, reading, talking in earnest or joking, everything, in fact, including even breathing; this will bring you closer to God. One whom I have accepted as mine, I may help even in his prapancha, but certainly not to the extent that prapancha will engross his interest and strangle his ardor for paramartha. If I don’t fulfill all his expectations, he may complain, may whine and whimper, even his faith in me may be shaken, but he will survive it all, and eventually come back to nama. The seed of nama-smarana is bound to sprout and flourish sooner or later. Awareness of God nullifies the snares of maya. Where there is maya, self-pride, God will not be found. * * * * * AUGUST 13
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August 9, 2009
Fortunate is He who is ever Contented
A person who has minimum wants is really rich; while one who always wants this, that, and the other, is in reality poor. The spiritual seeker is never a beggar, though his possessions may be few; contentment bespeaks immeasurable riches in the true sense. We treat money as our mainstay; it is, actually, so volatile, so undependable. How can we raise a durable edifice on shaky footings?
The financially rich should always remember that one cannot be truly rich without faith in God, and that contentment of soul is true wealth, true good fortune. The more stable the contentment, the more fortunate the person. Contentment cannot be given by one person to another, it has to be cultivated by each one himself. When one eschews all anxiety, one automatically gets peace of mind, contentment, and bliss.
The splendour obtained by the possession of mere money is only apparent, like the plumpness of a diabetic. True contentment can only come from complete trust in God. It cannot exist in a royal palace, nor may it be found in every hovel. The disease of dissatisfaction is so universal that it does not even figure in the list of diseases. There has undoubtedly been a tremendous advance in the amenities of life, and yet human life continues to suffer from the pestering of mental dissatisfaction. What is the good of all this, ‘advancement’ if it cannot make man contented? Peace and steadiness of mind should be the objective of all advancement, and this can only be attained by faith in the Divine. The present way of thinking is only speculative, not based on true experience, and is sterile in imparting contentment to society and the individual.
Every person should yearn to rediscover and recover his true self. Anyone who lives without faith in God is bound to be caught in the maelstrom of pain and so-called pleasure; for, what we term “pleasure” is not genuine happiness but only a small and temporary lessening of pain. From pauper to prince, every person seeks gratification of one desire or another; that is to say, everyone is in want of one thing or another. No one stops to recall that what he has today is something that yesterday he was hankering for to complete his happiness. The only thing that guarantees contentment and genuine happiness is surrender to God and nama-smarana.
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August 6, 2009
God is Unalloyed, Changeless Bliss
Everyone seeks permanent joy, that is God, for God and bliss are inseparable, identical. God is indeed, the source and home of everlasting happiness. Happiness is a sine qua non for the very survival of every being.
What we style as ‘joy’ today is really only ‘hope’ of joy, an illusion never realized in practice. If everyone lives for joy, why is it that it is never obtained? Evidently, the goal and the means are at cross purposes. The fact is that we seek joy in the ‘pleasure’ we get through the medium of the senses. Now such joy can neither last nor be free from accompanying or eventual pain, like the ‘kick’ one gets from the use of liquor or other narcotic. The joy of all sensual pleasure is severely limited in degree and duration, and invariably accompanied by immediate or eventual pain, misery, disappointment, etc. All palpable things are impermanent, nonsatisfying, and consequently, incapable of giving lasting happiness.
We expand, proliferate, and diversify our activities and interests, all for deriving happiness, but fail to achieve the objective. The bliss that is God is, like God Himself, permanent, unchangeable, independent of external cause, limitation, or interference. Consequently, to strive for acquiring mundane things as a means of happiness, is doomed to failure.
A smile or laughter is the outward expression of a joyful spirit. Joy independent of external cause shows the presence of God. Vairagya consists in abstaining from anything that would mar that pure joy, while vivek consists in doing that which will bring about, strengthen, or augment such joy. This pure joy is the mark of a mind which is happy and contented owing to deep pondering on and merging with the Universal Soul. Such pure, unruffled joy invariably stamps the life, talk, and behaviour of one whose love is universal and selfless; such a person delights in giving without even the thought of a return of one kind or another.
Truly speaking, divine bliss is innate in every heart; we have to rediscover it by removing the heavy pall of maya, or attraction of the mundane. Rest secure in the reassuring thought that you are insignificant, nobody, that Rama is all in all, and commit yourself completely to His caring, protecting hands.
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