Supremacy of Devotion
The Upanishads have described the Absolute (Parabrahma) beautifully. The Sanskrit words that explain His form are very attractive and pleasant and include सुधामूर्तिमीळे, चिदानन्दरूपम्, चिदानन्दम्, आनन्दकनन्दम्, स्वयंज्योति:, स्वयंप्रकाश:, etc.
God’s supreme subtle form is incomprehensible and cannot be seen with the human eyes. However, His more moderate yet Divine forms are more accessible. These forms are very pleasing to see and bring as much joyfulness and bliss as His subtler form. He is seen as Shri Hari, sometimes holding a conch, disc, mace, and lotus in His Shri Vishnu form or in the form of Rajrajeshwari Shri Lalitamba Mahatripursundari.
Disciple says, “Gurudev! I have a doubt that I am unable to resolve.”
Gurudev asks, “What is it? Tell me.”
Disciple says, “We should be able to see God if he existed. It should not matter whether we believed in Him or not. Say, there is a king. One way or another, we will see him, and this would not be dependent on whether we respected him or not. Similarly, we should be able to see God. How are we to believe His existence, when we don’t see him?”
Gurudev says, “You may often doubt God’s existence, but your doubt is irrational.”
Disciple asks, “How so?”
Gurudev says, “Let’s critically think about this and resolve the doubt.”
Disciple asks, “How so?”
Gurudev explains, “When we are unable to see something, it does not mean that it does not exist. See, we are unable to see the stars in the sky during the day. Does this mean that the stars don’t exist during the day?”
Disciple says, “Gurudev! The sun’s rays are powerful and hence I am unable to see the stars. However, I do see them in the night. But I never see God.”
Gurudev says, “Look here. Your energy of perception is weaker as compared to the energy of illumination of the Sun. As a result, you can’t see the stars. Similarly, ignorance, greed, and ego cripple the intellect. You are unable to see Him even when He stands in front of you. However, His existence is undeniable.”
Disciple says, “I am still unable to understand.”
Gurudev says, “Are you able to see the treasure that is buried in the ground?”
Disciple answers, “No.”
Gurudev says, “But with the use of special agents that enhance your vision, you are able to see below the ground. Isn’t it?”
Disciple says, “Yes.”
Gurudev explains further, “Similarly when our vision is aided with the discerning intellect, knowledge of the Shastras and blessings from our Sadguru, we are able to see the Divine and His omnipresence. Thus, it is inaccurate to state that God does not exist just because we don’t see Him. See here, milk contains ghee and firewood contains fire, don’t they?”
Disciple answers, “Yes.”
Gurudev says, “We can neither see the ghee nor the fire right away. But, because we don’t see them, we cannot deny their existence. When we curdle the milk, churn it, extract butter and boil it, then we get ghee. Similarly, when the right agents are used, the fire hidden within comes to light.”
Disciple says, “Guruji, how do I become that light, that special agent?”
Gurudev says, “Knowledge of the higher Self, detachment, and devotion are those special agents. Sadguru’s blessings, studying the scriptures, meticulously following the rules of spiritual practices and intense repetition of meditation practices purify the mind. A completely purified mind allows God to manifest within you.”
Disciple says, “Guruji! Since we can’t see him yet, who should we offer our devotional services to?”
Gurudev says, “Focus the mind on listening to His innumerable qualities and glories. Sing his bhajans. Meditate on Him and worship Him. When we do this sincerely, our mind begins to purify. God eradicates all our negativities. This further purifies our mind and true devotion begins to blossom within us. We begin to experience joy. The devotee ultimately reaches a stage where he is free from all attachments and experiences the Divine within him. Love for God is Devotion. Without devotion, life is unproductive and dull.”
Disciple says, “Gurudev! I now understand the supremacy of devotion. I want to purify my mind so that I can see God. What efforts do I need to take? I would like your guidance.”
Gurudev says, “Do you want to experience Him right now? Then will you listen to me? My Sadguru showed me how to gain this experience. I will narrate his very words and you follow them.
‘Sit calmly. Close your eyes. Relax the body and imagine that it no longer exists. Focus your attention on your breath. Observe the inhalation and the exhalation and just be a witness to whatever happens. तदा द्रष्टु: स्वरूपे अवस्थानम् |’.”
The disciple followed his Gurudev’s instructions. He began experiencing something wonderful. After quite a while, he opened his eyes.
Disciple says, “Gurudev, I feel extremely peaceful. I had a wonderful experience. I feel everything around me is Divine light. I feel that a fountain of unconditional love is flowing in my heart.”