Online Magazines > Manav Dharam (April 2008)
Discourse - Param Sant Sadgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

THE FIRST STEP IN DEVOTION IS SATSANG

During his period of exile, Lord Rama, the ideal great soul, came one day to Bhilni's ashram. He could see her love and reverence and so he taught her the nine steps of devotion and said, " Mam darshan phal param anoopa, jeev paye nij sahaj swaroopa ": "The ultimate reward of seeing me is that a person easily achieves self-realisation." People create God with their own hands and they see God with their human eyes, whereas Lord Krishna says in verse 8, chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita, " Na tu mam shakyase drastumnenaiv swachakshusha. Divyam dadami te chakshuh pashya me yogeshwaram. ""Arjuna, You cannot see Me, as I really am, with your human eyes, so I grant you the divine vision by which you will be able to see my yogic might".

Photo: Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

St. Tulsidas writes in the Ramayana, "Ghat me hai soojhe nahi, lanat aisi jind. Tulsi ya sansar ko, bhayo motiabind." "It is a shame that people do not see the life force within circulating in the heart. St.Tulsidas says that the whole world is suffering from cataracts". If one is suffering from a cataract, his eye must be operated upon and treated to remove the cataract. Doctors can operate and treat the diseased physical eyes but, for treatment of cataracts which have grown across the inner vision, saints are required because only they can treat it. Unless one's inner vision is opened, he cannot have a glimpse of God, who is within. So, genuine seekers of Truth should serve true saints with sincerity, love and reverence and should please them. Only such aspirants can get Spiritual Knowledge. Those who do not possess deep love and reverence for the Master cannot love God. To reach God without spiritual Master is impossible. The love has to be indivisible and continuous. Devotion to the Master and desire for worldly things are opposite to each other. They cannot coexist. If one is estranged from the Master, he will have desires for worldly things and vice-versa. So, it is said, "Guru bhakti ati kathin hai, jyon khande ki dhar. Hale dole kat mare, nishchal utre par." "Devotion to the master is very difficult. It is like sharp edge of a sword. Those who are indecisive drop away and only a devotee with strong determination can succeed in the path of devotion."

This body will be abandoned one day and all the material wealth which a man craves for and for which he ignores the Master will also be left behind. Salvation is possible only when one does service. We always remember the one we serve. A man is called a devotee of whatever he always remembers. If a person invests his resources in serving his master, then he will always remember the Master. Someone who puts all his energy and time into serving family and friends cannot remember the Master. Only they will remember the master, who are dedicated and are ever eager to serve Him. Those who tread the path as instructed by the Master will always remember Him and only such people will experience the real joy of meditation. So, saints say, " Guru jo base Banarsi, Shishya samundar teer. Ek palak bisre nahin, jo guna hoy sharir." True disciples do not neglect the Name even for a moment, even though they may be thousands of miles away from the Master.

Once Lord Vishnu was resting on the bed of Primordial Power ('Sheshnag'). Goddess Lakshmi, seeing the Lord's eyes closed, asked, "My Lord, are you sleeping?" The Lord replied, "No, I am meditating." Mother Lakshmi exclaimed, "The whole world meditates on you. But on whom do you meditate?" The Lord said, "I meditate upon my devotees. Like a mother, who keeps an eye on her children lest they get burned by fire or bitten by a snake, I keep my eyes on my devotees and protect them from any bad actions. A cow does not allow anyone to go near her newborn calf and, likewise, I protect my devotees lest anyone harm them. This whole world has been created by me, I nurture all beings. Nobody is either my foe nor dear to me, but I tell you, whoever troubles my devotee, is my foe. At that time even heaven means nothing to me. I run, leaving even you, to save my devotees from trouble and to destroy the one who torments them." Those who remember the Holy Name of God, serve the saints and the Spiritual Master, are remembered by God.

There is a story in the Srimad Bhagvat that once the king of elephants, accompanied with ten thousand other elephants, went into a river to drink water. Suddenly an evil demon grabbed the elephant king's legs and started pulling him underwater. All ten thousand elephants pulled together to free their king from the demon's clutches but even so the demon dragged the king towards the deep current in the middle of the river. Ultimately, when all the elephants got tired, they abandoned their king. The king elephant thought to himself that, at such a critical time, all of them had deserted him and none was able to help him. The king and the demon fought for a long time but finally the king lost the fight. Just as he was about to drown, he prayed, "O Lord of Creation, the omnipresent, the knower of all hearts, please save me." When He is called from the inner core of the heart, then God does not take any time at all to come to the rescue, because He is already aware of each and everyone's mind. When the Lord heard the grief-stricken call of the elephant king, He immediately killed the demon with His 'Sudarshan charka' (wheel of light) and saved the elephant from drowning. It means that whenever a devotee calls sincerely from the depths of his heart, God definitely protects him.

Devotion is both easy and difficult. When divine vision is opened within, all the miseries of the world disappear like night. A person can get hurt in the dark, whereas in daylight he can protect himself from injury. Similarly, one becomes sad and miserable due to ignorance. When he gets Spiritual Knowledge and meditates regularly, he is liberated from all worldly pain and misery, but this Knowledge can be acquired only from the Spiritual Master and none else. Someone who does not put effort in the service of Guru Maharaj Ji and does not see him even once a year, cannot reach the Master even in a dream, what to talk of seeing him in meditation. It is written in the Bhagwatam, "Dhyan moolam Guru murti Pooja moolam Guru Paduka. Mantra moolam Guru Vakyam, moksha moolam Guru kripa": Meditation begins with seeing the Master, worship begins at his feet, his words are the root of all mantras and salvation comes from his blessings and grace.

Nowadays people want to grab blessings forcibly. Blessings are not something verbal. When the soul is pleased, blessings come automatically. The Spiritual Master is none but God in human form who wipes out all sins, meaning that He eradicates our ignorance. Ignorance is the root cause of all sins. When there is no ignorance, the question of sin doesn't arise. So, have true love for the Master. The Master wants nothing from you - rather He wants to give. The Master wants you to possess true love. Even in the marketplace, things are sold at different rates (bhaw), then how can one expect to acquire Knowledge and blessings from the Master without any true love and feeling (bhaw)? When you have the same love for the Master as you have for God, then the Master's Knowledge yields fruit.


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