(Translation of the Hindi Discourse – continued from the previous issue)
Meaning and Purpose of Worship
Why do we worship
the divine? To condition and remind our minds of our divine origin. True worship
of God means only one thing –the cultivation of nobility in thoughts, motives, speech and action. If you think that by worshiping a particular God you will gain material success or fulfill a specific desire–– then it is a wrong delusion. Worshiping God with sincerity results in enhancement of virtues like generosity, compassion and warmth in your psyche. It brings about a positive change in the attitude of the devotee towards life. If you have not performed worship
in its true sense, then you are likely to be lost in a maze of lifeless mechanical rituals.
You should worship
in such a way that you also get the gifts of grace bestowed on true devotees present and past. Your virtues, character, actions, behaviour, thoughts and sentiments must improve as a result of worship. This is what shows the activation of divinity
in life. If you attain this state, great opportunities will knock at your door. Glance through the cultural history of India –– all the great names in it are of those who served the noble cause for the good of all and not of those who earned scholastic laurels. Have you heard of Mahamana Malviyaji? He was an ordinary person who became a great personage through sincere worship
as he conceived it.
Friends! When God is pleased, He does not give you the petty worldly things you hanker after. Rather, He bestows on you godlike qualities which elevate your soul. The lives of world’s really great personage demonstrate this fact. None
among them was such who did not receive God’s grace, guidance and cooperation of the masses they served. Give me one name of a great personality who was not endowed with any godly qualities of compassion, love, faith and service and who did not elicit spontaneous and loving cooperation from those who followed him. The noble values and principles of morality, ethics and spontaneity when adopted in conduct, help in enhancements of talents and resources. Saints adhere to great ideals of god like lives. They are never poor; required resources arrive at their doorstep. But they do not accumulate them; they generously share them with the needy.
When our minds are cleansed of all impurities and perversions, our material and inner resources are augmented. How many examples should I mention? The life of everyone who followed the ideal path of love-in-action and selfless service exemplifies this fact. They are true devotees in my view. I consider the worship
and devotion of only those as true and worthwhile who could attract divine energies of their deity by the nobility of their character, by the magnetism of their virtues and by their single-minded determination at self-refinement and self-effacement When deities are happy with your worship, they bless you with the attributes of a divine being: enlightened wisdom, compassion and selfless service. My concept of worship
and divine blessings is somewhat different. I can say that a true devotee can attract divine energies by the force of his nobility; he can compel deities to help in pursuit of his noble aims. A true devotee in this sense is much stronger a deity; he can get God’s help whenever he asks as his right. God cannot ignore his call.
Those who worship
god begging for a few worldly possessions or for fulfillment of ego-centric desires can’t be true devotees even if they spend all their time in prayers and rituals. Glad consent to God’s will is the real spirit of devotion; it is the prime condition to be fulfilled for being a devotee in its true sense. God has inalterably assured His devotee, in the Gita- “yogakshemam vahámyaham” I will provide for all your needs. True, God does take care of his devotee but He has not promised to satisfy his cravings. “Yoga” and “kshema” mean taking care of your physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual well-being.
There should not be any confusion that it (God’s arrivance) includes the fulfillment of your gross sensual hunger. Don’t chase the mirage of passions and desires; it devalues the dignity of devotion and the pre-eminence of God’s grace. The relation between the deity and the devotee is graceful and dignified only when the devotee doesn’t beg for anything but rather offers to entirely give himself to the divine. God has already given you so much! He has created you. He is always taking care of your yoga-kshema, without your praying for it.
God is not a particularly embodied being. It is we who have conceived Him in various forms. If it is a must to give a definition, God could only be vaguely described as “an infinite ensemble of supreme moral principles, saintly ideals and nobility”. Faith in divine values and ideals and a self-disciplined endeavour to live for high principles is true devotion and enlightened worship.
All you really need will be provided
Transparency of character is a great asset of a person through which he gets abundant support, affection and co-operation from all quarters.
This is real prosperity. Can any monetary or material resources ever provide it? People donated unasked all their wealth and resources at the feet of Buddha, moved by his compassion and absolute selflessness. Gandhiji’s benevolence, his missionary zeal, his aspirations were all aimed at the welfare of the lowliest and the lost. This, together with the impeccability of his character, made him a universally acclaimed mahatma.
People from all strata of the society stood by him, cooperated with him and followed him. Millions of people voluntarily went to jails and sacrificed their lives for the noble cause of national freedom
upon his call. Is such ethical and spiritual eminence attainable by us all? Yes, indeed, subject to only one condition – you too like mahatma, should be ready to be led by truth
dwelling light of the spirit. Light, your shadow will follow you. But you seem to be chasing your own shadow, the shadow of máyá – illusive worldly attractions and attachments – that seem to have overwhelmed you. You should learn to walk towards the light, towards God, noble aims and ideals. Such ideals are the attributes of deities like Hanuman and other emanations of God.
Friends, turn away from the mirage of cravings, passions, greed and discontentment, and let your prayers and worship
reach the stage where your personality would be illumined by God’s light, by the glow of divinity. This is true devotion. If you have cultivated virtuous tendencies and conduct, I assure you that you will get support and cooperation from people around you. Boons of enlightened progress will be showered upon you from all directions. This is what has been, and will continue to be, the source of God’s blessings, the blessings of divine mother Gayatri. This has been the great tradition of devotion and of devotees and will be so in the future too. If you understand this secret and learn the true meaning of worship
and devotion, your Gayatri
Anushthan here will be accomplished in the truest sense.
The self disciplining practices of this Anushthan sádhaná are meant to refine your personality so that virtuous tendencies flourish in you. If this tapashcaryá of yours is sincere and one-pointed then at the end of this Anushthan you will feel inwardly endowed with godly attributes of an authentically virtuous and noble person. When a person imbibes an attitude of loving service, he sees his own good in the welfare of others and experiences happiness in it. If you find them elevated in this state of nobility, I would say you have attained true devotion and grace of the god.
You would be blessed by God, just as the great devotees of the past have been. I have tried and followed this path and have been blessed with sublime gifts in my life. I want all of you, who have come for this sádhaná course of a condensed Anushthan, to get inspired and be blessed by divine grace. If this inspires you and you begin to practice it, I assure you that the result will be so fulfilling, so majestic that you, your country, your life, your God, this sádhaná course and I myself will be glorified. May God bless you with his grace.
|| OM SHANTI ||