The joy in which a real devotee lives defies description in words; indeed, the word ‘joy’ ceases to signify anything where the very idea of pain or sorrow does not exist. That joy has to be experienced to be believed. The true devotee sees God in all creation, animate and inanimate; that is, sees himself everywhere, like a person standing in a hall of mirrors. In other words, one who is one with God, that is, with all creation, never experiences anything but joy; sorrow or pain can only exist in plurality. A devotee may be an ordinary human to all appearances, but he lives continuously in a state of joy. That is how Saint Tukaram lived, outwardly as a common householder, and Saint Ramadas managed national matters politically; both of them were, at heart, completely detached from the pains and failures of life, raising their followers to their own level.
We common persons have never seen the path of pure joy. If we now want to walk along that path, it is evidently profitable to follow the advice, the guidance, of one who has traversed that path, and who, in fact, basks in that joy; in other words, implicitly follow the sadguru, just as we meekly follow a reliable guide when we meet one along an unfamiliar way. That, evidently, is the easiest and safest thing to do.
A person may eat salt, mistaking it for sugar; he will, nevertheless, get the taste of salt. Similarly, we erroneously imagine that worldly things lead to lasting joy, and invariably land in trouble. We imagine that the more numerous the amenities and belongings, the greater the happiness of life; this is a delusion never realized in practice. True happiness is that which is eternal, undisturbed; it rests only with God, who is Himself eternal. We can become truly happy only if we live in God. Just as one has to eat sugar to obtain a sweet taste, one must repeat nama to realize happiness.
All through life we pursue the mirage of happiness, and it never becomes a reality. We strive for the wherewithals rather than for happiness itself, like spending everything for elaborations of the fencing rather than on the farm itself. We strive to obtain this, that and the other, all of which, in the hour of final exit from the world, we have to leave behind.
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