Sunday, 30 October 2011

My broadband link to God

||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
Aum Namo Narayanaya

The week that passed was decorated with a mosaic of activities which added much flavour to my birthday which I celebrated on Wednesday. I cannot but smile to myself as it unfolds in my mind as a festival. The festivities galloped over six days starting with Swamiji’s visit home, Deepavali and culminating with the South Africa vs Australia cricket match at the Sahara Kingsmead Stadium. Indeed these activities released much joy and colour into what can be termed a memorable and blessed birthday.

It was rather disappointing that South Africa could not capitalise on the atmosphere and support created by the “die hard” fans who went to all extremes to cheer South Africa to victory. As the match progressed, I observed very intently a group that were seated in front of me, whose dedication to South Africa was very admirable. My mind at once trounced for a six out of the ground to the Indian Premier League which was played recently. I recalled how one very devout fan of the Mumbai Indians was engaged in prayer for the entire duration of every match for them to win.

I noticed the gaping lacerations in the hearts of these fans who were also engaged in communication with God for South Africa to emerge victorious on Friday. The questions that barge into my thoughts as I relay this incident are: “Is it okay for one to pray for such things?”; “What is the purpose of prayer?” and “Is it a bargaining tool to satisfy our desires?” 

 I recall a beautiful incident from the life of Swami Vivekananda. After the death of His father the family was thrown into financial difficulties due to poor financial management by His late father. In this state of despair, Swamiji approached Sri Ramakrishna for assistance. He asked Master to advocate to the Divine Mother on His behalf to mitigate the difficulties that plagued Him. Master explained that He should ask the Divine Mother Himself as She has never failed to please Her children.

On three occasions Swamiji failed to ask the Divine Mother for material wealth but instead asked for divine knowledge. We should not falter in our understanding that at the level of devotion that Swamiji was constituted in, even if He asked for money the Mother would have poured fourth unceasingly unto Swamiji crores and crores of Rupees.  Swamiji’s life therefore comes to us as a compass to navigate the stormy seas of life in search of the calm waters of moksha.

Sri Sri Swami Yogananada Paramahansa very authoritatively explained that our lives are a dream of the supreme consciousness.  If the Lord is the creator of the dream that is this world and life, then it is He alone who is in control of all activities in the dream. The dream cannot be changed or interfered with by anyone of us. As much as you may try, it will be impossible to alter any part of this dream.

Logic then tells us that the only way this dream can be altered is through the dreamer itself. But we are faced with a severe dilemma – because through our own actions we have marooned ourselves by not maintaining our connection to God through constant prayer. We have neglected to maintain this link on account of material and worldly pleasures.

Swami Chidanand Saraswati of the Parmath Ashram beautifully explained that when someone breaks his arm, wherever you touch on that arm will induce pain. Likewise when the connection to God is broken, whatever you do devoid of this connection will induce pain.

We need to reconnect this link with God immediately by invoking prayer for His love and grace alone. By calling His name and singing His glories every moment, and constantly inundating our mind and thoughts with His form, there is no doubt He will respond to the sincere prayer of His devotee as declared by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavat Gita:

Mam mana bhava mad bhakti.
Mad yaji mam namaskuru.
Mam evaishyasi satyam te.
Pratijan priyo si me.

Always think of me become my devotee, worship me and offer your homage unto me, you will come to me without fail. This I promise thee.

The Lord always protects His devotees
 Like how a DSL connection gives you access and freedom of the internet, the connection of prayer will allow you the access to God’s grace and love. He will then alter His dream to ensure that you have a life that is free from pain and suffering.

This can be seen in the life of Prahalada who because of His intense devotion to Narayana alone, felt no pain or misery of this material world. If this may seem a bit puranic for you, we can look at the life of Swamiji who lived in our era not so long ago. While Swamji was wandering through India he felt the ignorance and arrogance of a man who ridiculed him at renouncing the world. The man thought ‘why couldn’t He just work like everyone else to feed Himself and not resort to begging for His food.’ Through all this, the man did not find any compassion in his heart to offer Swamiji even a morsel of food. 

When the train had stopped, Swamiji alighted the train and sat on the platform hungry and tired. It was then that a man ran towards Swamiji saying that he had a dream that he must provide meals for Swamiji. It was at that point that the ignorant man realised that God provides all the needs for the devotee who has surrendered to Him.

We must realise that our prayers should not be for specific material things in life. Our prayers should be solely for the grace of God. Then, He alters the course of life to ensure that your life is comfortable, free of pain and miseries and conducive for the attainment of liberation.

May we all restore this connection is my sincere prayer.

With love and prayers always.

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