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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
Devotion is a very general concept and practice. Therefore most of the people are devotees in one manner or another, to some extent or more. But the devotion does not yield the desired result either for themselves in the way of fulfillment… “I am a devotee of God and I have attained whatever Godliness I wanted to attain.” This kind of a fulfillment they may not have, they do not have.
In the same manner, a devotee when others look at him, they are also not happy about that devotee. Either about his character, behavioral qualities, interactions, the manner in which he lives, if they contact him and interact with him, they don’t have any feeling that he is a devotee. So personally himself as well has interactionally in front of others, devotion does not become pronounced in him. What is the reason for it? I think everybody should take up this subject of enquiry and study. This is where our śāstras become greatly relevant.
In all our śāstras you will find there is a lot of ethics discussed, the inner qualitative enrichment that one should have and the behavioral and interactional display of it. The second part is far more complex than the first part. Everyone can perhaps sit in a place, close his eyes and then be engaged in his inner association with God. How long will he do it? Normally people can do it only for half-an-hour or one hour. In the remaining part of the day, you will find all of them are interacting with people, with the world.
I always say we have to interact with persons, places and events. Out of these, the interpersonal interaction, relationship, it is most complex. There people will come up with various comments. Actually this is what is discussed in our epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and also in a way in all the purāṇās. In Ramayana and Mahabharata, the characters are human but the purāṇās generally depict superhuman characters. But the message they want to convey is always very human and relates to human character, behavior and interaction.
Hanuman makes a statement before Sri Rama which is wholesome in the sphere of devotion.
Oh Lord, when I consider me and also you and try to strike at a relationship in which we are connected to each other, this is what I have to say. Deha-buddhyā tu dāsosmi, when I feel I have a body and I live and move with the body, then the only thought that comes to me is I am here to serve you as a humble servant without asking for any remuneration or compensation. I am your dāsā, deha-buddhyā, when I think of me as the body.
Jīva-buddhyā tvad-amśakah, when I consider myself as life or jīva in the body, then you represent the whole and I represent a part. So I am your part. As Jīva, I am your part like a spark of fire is exactly like the mother fire but the spark is very limited, it may not be able to ignite and burn the others. But the source fire can even destroy whole forests.
Ātma-buddhyā tvamevāham, what does it mean? Suppose I consider myself to be ātma, means jīva is generally considered to be somewhat individualistic in character, personal etc. but when we go beyond that and try to understand the real essence of the jīva, it is the all-permeating self. Permeating everywhere, it does not have a constriction called the body, limitation. It is pervading everywhere. As it pervades everywhere, I am also pervaded by it, you are also pervaded by it, it becomes one all-pervading one, single factor. So ātma-buddhyā tvamevāham, when I think in terms of selfness, then you yourself are I. I am not different from you. Now, "Three parallel perceptions or attitudes I have about me in relation to you, my object of devotion", he says.
All of you will do well to reflect upon this statement. We are after all embodied. In the state of embodiment, everything is separate from us, different from us; every object. Similarly we also feel God is different from us. I am a humble servant of God and I would like to serve my Lord throughout. Then when you think about what is this ‘I’ etc. initially the idea of jīva or jīvatva arises. There you find I am like a spark from the source fire. At other times, when you can think yourself deeply or listen to or read the scriptures you will find the essence of jīva and the essence of God are the same. So there is a feeling of oneness about God.
I have already started discussing the tenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita for Muktisudhakaram. One verse has always struck me as very singular.
Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate – I am the source for all. From me alone everything is activated and is able to act. Behind all actions, good or bad, inner or outer, anywhere, anytime, I am the one who is the activator. From me proceeds all kinds of activities.
Iti matvā bhajante māṁ – Thinking in this manner, reflecting in this manner, contemplating in this manner, budhāh bhāva-samanvitāḥ bhajante, intelligent people, wise people connected with me through their bhāva, attitude of the mind, worship me. So the process or manner of worship is not external with flowers, idols, pudding, milk, honey, incense stick. No, that’s not.
Bhāva-samanvitāḥ bhajante, they simply sit and think, everything is originating from God, everything is propelled by him. Any idea to the contrary is not entertained, it is eliminated. And this idea becomes stronger, deeper, more and more wholesome and finally ever present and always present and all-fold. This kind of a notion comes.
Budhāh bhāva-samanvitāḥ. This is called bhāva-samanvitatva, not pushpa-samanvitatva, pāyasa-samanvitatva, (but) bhāva-samanvitatva. Budhāh bhāva-samanvitāḥ. That is why you will find good sages and saints will not have any particular routine in their life. Just like every other person, they also go to sleep, they wake up but in their mind, in their intelligence, in their actions you will find always they will be revolving around this God or the self. Invariably they will be exponents, they will be writers, they will be speakers, may not be platform speakers but always they will radiate the message that all are God, always it is so, never becomes otherwise, this kind of a feeling. So this worship is very important and such people, they progress and reach me and come to me. Remember this verse,
Iti matvā, one has to reflect in this manner, reflect, think about. Then this bhāva-samanvitatva comes and that is the manner in which they worship me mentally and intellectually.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.