Daily Devotion - I
(as heard from Baba)

Reproduced from Niladri magazine - Guru Purnima July 2009 issue

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

By Dr. P.K. Samantaray, M.D.

The devotional path is extremely easy for those who strongly believe, otherwise it may look difficult at casual glance.

Jin khoja tin paya, gahrey pani paith
Mein bawree dhundane gayee, rahee kinare baith

Those who jumped into deep waters, they found It
But I, foolish one, kept searching sitting on the banks

The path is decidedly simple and easy. Only one deliberate and mad jump is required.

Question: What you are saying is sweet to listen, but what can be done by people like me, common man attached to family and home, engrossed in the material world. In my mind there are multiple desires; lot of attachment to wife, children and money. Repulsion to person, place and events… How can I follow this devotional path? It seems impossible for me.

Answer: The objections you have raised are totally right. Almost all are worldly-attached persons. Very few, rare ones are genuinely detached in this world. Your argument is very apt for the paths of karma yoga (action) and gyana yoga (knowledge). From that perspective, the devotional path is very, very exceptional. Here, the candidate’s qualifications, achievement, virtues, vices, strengths and calibre are not the eligible criteria. What he can do is not at all the consideration or subject of discussion.

Your vision must be fixed on God, i.e. Sri Radha Krishna. Infinite compassion, infinite mercifulness, infinite kindness of Sri Radha Krishna is the only issue of paramount importance here. The only indispensable in the path of devotion is ABSOLUTE FAITH and belief in Sri Radha Krishna. Well may you harbour millions of negative and debased qualities, embroiled in millions of sinful activities, it does not matter. These are not obstructions for proceeding on the devotional path.

Question: But the average person has bias and prejudice against one or the other; attachment for some, dislike for others; expectation from some, personal prejudices, individual sorrows and sufferings; fear from some quarter and strong familial and/or social problems to overcome. How can he ignore the worries of the world and follow the devotional path? Day and night, 24 hours seem not enough for addressing the problems of making a living and maintenance of home and family. When time is passing so fast, he is unable to keep a watch over it… How can he be expected to find the leisure hours to follow a devotional regimen?

Answer: Very well said! You have very succinctly summarized the feelings of millions of people in a few words. Everyone has the same problem. Time is in short supply for all. This is all the more evident in the big cities. The incessant flow of traffic, cars, busses, scooter and bicycle and people rushing about all point to the genuine scarcity of time. If the days could be of a hundred hours, then perhaps it might suffice! Everyone is trying to squeeze a hundred hours into that harsh and unchangeable 24-hour limit!

Exactly for these reasons, the path of devotion is the one and only answer. The responsibility for fulfilling your desires, alleviating all your sufferings and even solving your daily maintenance problems, including the needs of here and hereafter, are vested in VISHWAMBHAR (God).

The only thing you have to do is to wholeheartedly – with mind, body and words – put everything before the all-merciful GOVINDA and pray. That’s all.

Sri Krishna affirms in the Geeta: “the total responsibility is mine”. (9-22)

Ananyo chintayetoh mam jey janah paryupasaftey, tesham nityaviyuktam yoga khyemam vahamyaham.

I will tell you a funny story. There was one Jagannath Mishra, a poor Brahmin, living in Puri. He had undertaken the daunting task of simplying the Bhagawat Gita. Midway through his work, he came upon this verse and was a bit confused. He thought that there must be some mistake in copying down the original text. Sri Krishna cannot be the ‘bearer’ of the burden or baggage of the devotee. The word should be dadamyaham – the giver, and not vahamyaham the bearer. He corrected it and then went out to beg madhukari for the day.

Unfortunately, that day he could not get enough foodgrain and returned late to his house. His wife was waiting for him at the door anxiously. As he started explaining that he could not get enough, she told him that he must be joking. Shortly after he left, two young boys, one dark and the other fair, came and delivered foodgrain and groceries at their house. The Brahmin was amazed. His wife then asked why he had beaten them so harshly as they could not even lift the goods. Tears flowed from the eyes of the Brahmin. He rushed to his writing and immediately restored the original text to ‘vahamyaham’ . Then he explained everything to his wife and praised her good fortune for having had darshan of Sri Krishna and Balaram, and prayed for forgiveness at their lotus feet.

Actually in fact, we are all devotees whether we know it or not. That is what Sri Krishna told Arjuna explicitly.

Chaturvidha vajantey mam janah sukrutinoh Arjuna,
Aarto, jigyasu, artharthi, gyani cha varatarshavah (7-16)

Four types of people approach Me – the scared, frightened one; the knowledge seeker, the one with desires to fulfil and the knowledgeable one. Among these, the devotion of the knowledgeable is without quality, colourless, directed towards a single entity of invisible infinite ANANTA. While for the others, devotion arises if troubled by some difficulty or danger, or desire for some benefit or even out of simple curiosity.

The Hindu scriptures describe this world as composed of three gunassatwa, rajas and tamas. The pure, the mixed and the impure. Various combinations of these three make up our world. Someone may have more of satwa in him and others have either rajas or tamas predominating in them.

Thus the practice of devotion follows according to the predominating influence of these qualities. Whatever quality has the commanding influence and whatever may be your resultant behaviour, practicing devotion is extremely easy for all.

Only you have to always remember the key trick (principle). By applying that omnipotent principle to every situation and everything in your life, you can easily tread the path of devotion to great benefit.

Suppose you are very much envious of everything around you – be it person or product. You pray to Sri Krishna for destruction of your ‘enemy’. This is tamasik devotion. But if you pray for disappearance of enmity itself, than that is saatwik devotion. If the aim of prayer is to only punish or teach a lesson to someone, then that is rajasik devotion.

Perhaps you have a great desire to obtain something, a new car, a mansion etc. For its fulfilment, you prayed and worshipped daily to God, then that is rajasik devotion. Then after continuing in this way, gradually you get the desire to serve Sri Radha Krishna. This is saatwik devotion. If this habit of service to God matures and you become engrossed in it, then it ascends to the height of prema bhakti (God as beloved).

Therefore even if you start doing tamasik devotion, it will gradually lift you up to the stage where Sri Radha Krishna become your Beloved. You are wondering how this happens? It is not through your strength or capacity; but by Sri Radha Krishna’s grace.

But why do you worry so much? Do you feel guilty because your see yourself as a sinner. You are a mine of bad qualities. You indulge in so much misguided, faulty behaviour. Don’t worry about it. Whatever you have, present it to Sri Radha Krishna. He has given you this human form. He will arrange to remove the bad qualities in you and give you the status of a Lover. On the path of devotion, everything is done by the Lord. You don’t have to labour or put any great effort as in yoga and gyana margas.

To be continued...

Jai Guru

Jai Sri Radhey