There is the story of a rustic who sat among a gathering of devotees and listened to the exposition of the Gita by a great scholar. All were wonder-struck by the scholarly commentary the learned disquisition on each word and phrase. The rustic, though the exposition was very much over his head, seemed to attend very closely for he was all the time in tears! When at last the scholar asked him why he was weeping, he surprised everybody by the sincerity of his devotion. He said that he wept at the predicament of the Lord, who had to sit at the head of the chariot and, half turning his neck, hold forth so long to convince the dull-witted Arjuna. “How much pain must He be suffering in His neck?,” he asked and wept.
Shravanam (hearing the Glory of the Lord), Keerthanam (singing the name and Glow of God), Vishnu Smaranam (allowing the mind to dwell on that Glow), Padhasevanam (adoring the Feet of the Lord), Vandhanam (experiencing gratitude and joy at His Grace), Dasyam (feeling oneself as His instrument), Sakhyam (awareness of his being one's constant and closest companion), and Atma Nivedanam (dedicating one's full being to Him) - these are the nine steps In the path of Devotion.
"Listen, O people! Revel in this iron Kaliyuga, for there is none so propitious for liberation such that mere remembrance of the Name of the Lord and adoring Him thus are enough to win His Grace and set you free."
"This is bad, this is good - can such judgements ever be made about anything in God's creation when all are manifestations of His Will."
Sankeerthan is manifestation of inner ecstasy
Embodiments of the Pure Atman ! Last November, on the 23rd, people from all parts of the world had a...
The story of Mohajith, a prince, is a good example of this highest type of detachment. Mohajith went to a sage in the forest and sought guidance in the spiritual path. The sage asked him whether he had conquered attachment, as his name indicated. The prince said that not only he but everyone in his kingdom had!
So the sage started to test the truth of this claim. The sage took the prince’s robes, soaked them in blood, and hastened to the palace gate with the gruesome story of the murder of the prince by some ruffians in the jungle.
At nightfall the moon is the illuminator;
At dawn it is the Sun who illumines;
Righteousness illumines the three worlds;
A virtuous son is the light of the family.
EMBODIMENTS of Love! At night the moon is the source of light for us. During the day the sun sheds light and serves mankind. The three worlds are illumined by Dharma (Righteousness). A virtuous son is a beacon for the family. From ancient times, Bharatheeya culture has been illumined, fostered and inspired by didactic sayings of this kind. It is purity of mind that helps to sublimate mankind, directs it towards God and enables it to manifest the inherent divinity in man. “What is perceived is liable to perish” (says an aphorism). That which is seen, that which appears to be real, is bound to pass away in the stream of time. All that is apparent in the phenomenal world is bound to disappear sometime or other. We should make every effort to know that which is invisible but imperishable. All external objects seen with...
God draws the Individual toward itself; it is the nature of both to have this affinity, for they are the same. They are like the iron and the magnet. But if the iron is rusty or covered with layers of dirt, the magnet is unable to attract. Remove the impediment; that is all you have to do. Shine forth in your real nature, and the Lord will draw you into His Bosom. Trials and tribulations are the means by which this cleansing is done. That is why Kunthi prayed to Krishna, “Give us always grief, so that we may never forget Thee.” They are like the dietary and other restrictions that the doctor prescribes to supplement the effect of the drug of remembrance of God (namasmarana).
The Lord is a Mountain of Prema (Love); any number of ants carrying away particles of sweetness cannot exhaust His Plenty. He is an Ocean of Mercy without a limiting shore. Devotion is the easiest way to win His Grace and also to realise that He pervades everything — in fact, is everything!
Total surrender, leaving everything to His Will, is the highest form of devotion.
Once a brahmin was crossing a river bed near which some men were washing clothes. Finding a nice new silk shawl on his shoulder, they fell upon him in a group, shouting that it belonged to the palace and had been given to them to be washed but had been stolen and had not been traced.
The first type is a sadhana which the monkeys practise and is called the Markata sadhana.
The second is called Vihanga sadhana and is typical of sadhana practised by birds.
The third is called the Pipeelika sadhana or the sadhana practised by the ants.
So far as the monkey is concerned, it goes to a tree, plucks a fruit but does not eat it then and there. It then jumps from one branch to another. In this process it loses this fruit altogether! This is a kind of sadhana where we want quick results. We want to see God quickly and in this process we go on changing the objective of our sadhana every day and change from place to place like a monkey.
I remember telling a questioner in Maharashtra, while in the previous Body, that there are three types of devotion:
The bird method (Vihanga) where, like a bird swooping down upon the ripe fruit on the tree, the devotee is too impatient and, by that very impatience, loses the fruit, which falls from his hold.
The monkey method (Markata) where, like a monkey that pulls toward it one fruit after another and by sheer unsteadiness is not able to decide which fruit it wants, the devotee hesitates and changes his aim much too often and thus loses all chances of success.
The ant method (Pipeelika), where like the ant that slowly but steadily proceeds toward the sweetness, the devotee moves direct, with undivided attention, toward the Lord and wins His Grace!
Manasa bhajare — Worship in the mind! I do not need your flower garlands and fruits, things that you get for an anna or two; they are not genuinely yours. Give Me something that is yours, something that is clean and fragrant with the perfume of virtue and innocence and washed in the tears of repentance! Garlands and fruits you bring as items in the show, as an exhibition of your devotion; poorer devotees who cannot afford to bring them are humiliated and feel sorry that they are helpless; they cannot demonstrate their devotion in the grand way in which you are doing it. Install the Lord in your heart and offer Him the fruits of your actions and the flowers of your inner thoughts and feelings. That is the worship I like most, the devotion I appreciate most.
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