||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
Aum Namo Narayanaya
If there was ever an inkling of a doubt that God listens to our every prayer, it was totally annihilated today. When Sri Ramakrishna said that God listens so attentively to our prayers, that He can even hear the footfall of an ant; He spoke from a point of guarantee because He personally attends to all prayers from His devotees. As my normal morning routine sadhana progressed, I slipped in a little distress signal to Him. At that point, I was totally clueless as to the subject matter for the blog. Before I opened the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna for morning read, I said to Master that whichever page I open to will be the central idea for discussion. I was dumbstruck when Swami Vimokshananda took the very same page up for discussion at satsangh yesterday.
It is rather fascinating how social conversations over dinner or even at functions are somehow seasoned with either political or spiritual discussion, despite the cardinal rule being to avoid these at any cost. However, the circle of friends that I mingle with ensures that even if such topics were pursued, the final result was not catastrophic.
One of my good friends who regularly reads the blog raised a doubt during one such gathering. He said that we always downplay the world in relation to spirituality. He claimed that the world brings great joy and thrill, and went a little further to say even sometimes more than sitting at a satsangh.
I don’t think that anybody can argue with his statement if one takes a short term view. I said to him I agree with him totally, but he is regarded as a miner; and those who follow the spiritual path are the farmers. Yes both will definitely achieve joy and excitement - however the miner will achieve a quick unsustained burst of joy; whilst the famer although will need to wait, will enjoy a sustained joy.
Those that extract their happiness and joy through the world via sense pleasure are like miners. When a gold mine is discovered, a person is over ecstatic that his worries are over. He is rewarded with immediate satisfaction as gold fetches a huge sum at the market. As he mines, his lifestyle increases and he enjoys the best of the world. All this continues only as long as the mine remains open. He fails to realise that a mine is a limited resource with a limited lifespan. When the gold stops, his joy stops.
A farmer on the other hand, has a vast tract of land. He cannot gather any instant joy from his land, apart from the fact that he has an appreciating asset. The farmer takes a few years to remove all the weeds from the farm, then another few years to prepare and fertilise the soil before ploughing. He will wait for the rains to come before he plants his mango seeds. A further 12 to 15 years may pass before he reaps the first fruit. But that is the start of his sustained joy, as from here on, he is guaranteed fruit at regular seasonal intervals, with the least maintenance.
Yes indeed, at first, the prospect of being a miner might be appealing, but who wants to experience just a burst of happiness and return to a state of despair? This world gives nothing but transient happiness. So long as joy comes via the senses; class it immediately as poison and reject it.
A spiritual life may initially take long to setup. Today as Swami Vimokshananda said, our minds are full of cob webs. A lot of preparation work is necessary. We must weed out all the bad vasanas that occupy our mind. The next step is of vital importance and forms the bedrock of a spiritual aspirant. It is what I read in the Gospel yesterday. In His conversation with Vidya Sagar, Master explains that God cannot be realised by just scriptural knowledge. One needs to fertilise the mind and heart with immense faith and devotion. These two composts generate immense love which is the key ingredient to invoke the Lord’s fruit of grace.
Once that grace starts to flow, it will continue like the eternal Ganga which has never failed to provide sustenance to India since the beginning of civilisation. A wonderful song that Sri Ramakrishna sang, beautifully encapsulates this.
As is a man’s meditation, so is the depth of his love. As is the depth of his love, so is his gain; and faith is the root of all. If in the nectar lake of Mother Kali’s feet my mind remains immersed - of little use are worship, oblations or sacrifice.
|Mother Kali at Dakshineswar|
Swamiji explained that these songs were composed by Ramparsad who was extremely devoted to Mother Kali and the depth of his devotion can easily be gauged by his poetry. When one is immersed in total devotion and faith to God, has found refuge at Her feet, all acts of worship and other ritualistic practices become insignificant; then what of this fleeting transient world which can only be enjoyed through our senses?
Dependency on sense pleasure will only produce a quagmire of problems. Although the search for the truth and ultimate bliss may be the road less travelled, it is however a road with a destination that is sought by all. It is only the intrepid traveller who will enjoy this.
May we all invest in that long term sustainable goal of bliss, than the short erratic bursts of transient joy is my sincere prayer.
With love and prayers always