Guruji on how to Try and Inculcate Love for God.

For all believers, it is very easy to call out to God in the hour of need. It is also very easy to follow ritualistic practices of lighting the lamp, offering ‘naivedyam’, singing bhajans, all with an eye for maintaining one’s image in the eyes of others, or for pleasing one’s near and dear ones, or out of fear that if one does not pray God will not help. All ritualistic actions are good no doubt, but they are terribly lacking if one does not try and inculcate love for God. You may pray to any God of your choice. Yet, the question that appears before us is: “How can one fix the mind upon God with complete love and devotion?”

The answer is really very simple. If you have realised the importance of God in your life, if you know that all that happens in your life is due to an intelligence which is beyond your limited ‘I’, then the first battle has been won. All that you have to do is think of God during your waking moments – when you do your daily chores, when you interact with others, when you are alone by yourself, when you are faced with a difficult task, even when everything in life is moving smoothly, all the time – keep the thought and image of God in your mind. Select your ‘ishta devi or devata’ and keep repeating His or Her name all the time. This is what our Sanatana Dharma has taught us… dedicate every thought to God, every word to God, every action to God. There is a story from the Bhagavata Purana which shows how being absorbed in God is being one with Nature.
One day, some beautiful apsaras (celestial women) were bathing in the Manasa lake in an unclothed state. Just then Suka, the son of Vyasa Muni passed along the shore of the lake, followed by his father. Suka was a Digambara – a saint who wore no clothes, but none of the apsaras even took note of his passing along the shore. However, when the fully clothed Vyasa passed by, all the apsaras rushed and put on their clothes. Vyasa Muni was surprised by this, and questioned an apsara, “Ma, when my son Suka passed by the lake in a fully naked condition, you were hardly bothered. In fact, he is young and handsome, yet you continued to play in the water. But when I came near the shore, though I was fully clothed, all of you rushed off to wear your clothes. Why this discrimination?”

The apsaras replied, “O! Vyasa Muni, in your mind you have a sense of distinction with regard to the sex of an individual being. Your son Suka has no such sense of distinction. His mind is fixed on Brahman, and only Brahman. He has no distinction between man and woman, and therefore we were not bothered when he came near us.” It is said that Suka Maharishi attained oneness with nature very early in his life. Such was his greatness that as a young boy when his father Vyasa Muni called out to him, it was not Suka who responded. It was Nature that responded due to Suka’s oneness with nature – with Brahman.

We are fortunate to have been born in this ‘Bharatavarsha’ – this land of Rishi-Munis who have shown us through examples that we are not mere beings on earth, that we are human beings born on earth in order to realise our true potential – our divinity within. Each one of us has the potential for realising Godliness. Spend every moment on earth repeating the name of God internally and externally. Sing the glory of God through ‘bhajans and kirtans’, keep satsang – satvik company, visit holy places and holy men. If the mind is immersed, day in and day out, in this mundane and commercial world due to one’s given circumstances, then aligning with God may have to be forcefully practised.

When one is immersed in duties and responsibilities without taking the name of God, life becomes extremely tedious. Take some extra effort to go into solitude from time to time, to think of God and to pray intensely. When a tree is young it should be fenced all around so that it is protected and cannot be destroyed by cattle. But as the tree grows strong and sturdy, the fence is no longer required because the cattle can no longer destroy it. In the beginning, keeping the thought of God all the time might appear to be very difficult, but by and by, when one makes extra effort and practises meditation, one achieves God-consciousness.

Do all your duties towards your job, your society, your family, etc., but keep your mind on God. Be loving to all, your wife or husband, your children, parents, etc. Serve them well, but do not become attached to them. Treat them not as possessions but as precious gifts from God that must be returned on demand. Train yourself to be attached only to God. Practise God-consciousness. This will require a great deal of practice, but it is a much-required ingredient for a sadhaka if he or she wishes to make spiritual progress.

So far, you may have been looking at yourself only through your thoughts. At any given time, there can be only one thought. In meditation, you can focus on the space between two thoughts. Only when you look at yourself without any thoughts will you be able to appreciate your spiritual presence. Be moderate in eating, sleeping and in engaging with the world. Choose your engagements, consciously. Spend some time every day, preparing your mind for meditation. Get into the habit of meditation, so that the grossness that is collected each day during interactions with self and others, can be cleansed through meditation.

In meditation, experience the silence within, and concentrate on the Self within. God-consciousness is of supreme importance for all who wish to progress in spiritual life.

My blessings to one and all. May you make the necessary effort to achieve your spiritual goal.

– Guruji

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