Monday, March 23, 2020
We must Feel a Dire Need for God in Worldly Life
Every person wants to be happy, to live in the grace of God, to have love for the divine name. Why, then, do we not experience these? Why do we not come across anyone who is happy and contented in life? We all think we lead a righteous life, worship God, say our prayers, and yet we do not experience perfect, ideal contentment. The real cause is that we do not feel a real, urgent need for God, we never feel from the bottom of the heart that we cannot do without Him, that His presence is indispensable, is a prime necessity, for real contentment. We feel that our primary needs are money, wife, children, property, service or business, and also God as one among them. We do not feel earnestly that, whatever may be the circumstances of life, God is the first essential thing for us. We labour for worldly things in the firm hope that it is these that will make us happy. Has this hope been realised? Retire into deep solitude, ponder deeply, and honestly assess how much real happiness you have achieved from all the effort you have put in. You will inevitably come to the conclusion that it has been of no avail. The marvel is that we admit this failure, and yet do not feel like getting free from it.
We must therefore first disabuse our mind of the notion that worldly life can ever lead to permanent, unalloyed happiness. Once we come to this conviction after mature thinking, we shall feel the need for God; we shall then make a determined effort to reach Him, despite all circumstances. We shall realize that we must cultivate deep, devoted love for Him; and it is this that is our real need.
There are three ways to cultivate love for God: living in the company of the godly; the cultivation of noble thoughts; and ceaseless repetition of the divine name; of these we may practise anyone that suits us.
If we keep a lamp in the doorway, it lights both sides. So too, nama-smarana lights both pathways: the one to good worldly life, and the other leading to God. If we want a lamp to keep burning, we must constantly add oil to it; similarly, constant nama-smarana will maintain constant awareness of God.
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