In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion owing to the “awareness” factor that is a big hinderance in today’s Kali Yuga that is preventing all of us from walking the path of spiritual growth. In fact, there are so many small aspects that are completely doable by all of us in our daily lives, that directly contribute to our spiritual growth. For instance, many of us might be performing the Sandhyavandanam, Shraadham, chanting our Mantra, Vedas, etc. regularly in our lives. All these will contribute a lot towards our spiritual growth.
Thus it is important that we meticulously follow all of these without a break. What might happen here is that, owing to various worldly reasons, we might somehow start getting the feeling that performing all of these spiritual practices is a mere waste of time and energy. In today’s world of course, there are innumerable people, ways and means that keep propagating such things every now and then. If we start lending our ears to such people, we would definitely start having doubts about ourselves and what we’re doing. Hence, it is important that we do not fall into these traps and that, we continue doing whatever spiritual practices we’re doing. It should always be remembered that these spiritual practices are slowly and steadily making us walk the path of Dharma. We might not be able to see a tangible outcome at that moment, but surely, Bhagawan is watching all of us and He would ensure that we get the benefits of doing them at a time when we really are in need. We should always have this in mind that the effects that we receive out of performing spiritual practices and following the path of Dharma is intangible in nature. These would give us the fruit when the apt time comes.
Thus the point here is that, “awareness” on all these aspects are of paramount importance amongst all of us in this Kali Yuga. It is not that all of us are atheists. It is not that nobody has the intention to follow the path of Dharma. But the problem here is that, we lack awareness and understanding that this is the correct path of Dharma that leads to Moksha. Once we reign in this awareness within us, every action of ours can be transformed into actions of Dharma! 😊 This statement might be a bit fancy to read, but this is possible, if all of us can join hands and work together towards the goal. It is not a difficult task at all – All we require is focus, sincerity and a pure heart. If we can bring these three factors to the table, following the path of Dharma is just a cakewalk! So let us meticulously start from this moment onwards!
As we spoke yesterday about “awareness”, we discussed another angle to it as well. Readers might remember the question that we asked yesterday – How does “Bhakti” or “Devotion” grow within a spiritual seeker? We also gave a brief answer that Bhakti grows only as we gradually get to know and understand about Bhagawan. Just like how we fall in love with a person while we are teen-agers – How does it happen? If we have a crush on someone, we tend to ask many people around and try to understand who that person really is. Additionally, we try to have a glimpse of that person every now and then! The more we know about that person, the more we start developing the feeling of love for that person, isn’t it? 😊 “Bhakti” is very similar too! If we’re developing the feeling of deep longing and affection for another human being in this world, we term it as “Romance” or “Love”. Whereas if we’re developing the feeling of deep love and longing for Bhagawan, it is termed as “Bhakti” or “Devotion”. This is the only difference between the two.
Hence, the point here is that, just like how worldly love would prosper more and more as we would try to know about a person in and out, “Bhakti” would prosper more and more as we try to know and understand about Bhagawan and His significance. It is for this purpose of knowing about Bhagawan, we try to have discourses, writings about Bhagawan and His divine activities, etc. Hence, as ardent followers of our Sanaathana Dharma, we should make it a point to go into this groove of reading, listening and understanding about Bhagawan, for Bhakti to prosper!
But having said that, there is a problem here! I’m warning all of you straightaway – If we tend to spend more and more time on Bhagawan every passing day, our interest in the worldly activities would start reducing automatically. We would slowly start developing the sense of “detachment” that Bhagawan Krishna has elaborated in detail in His Bhagawad Gita. Although this is a good aspect and a perfect start-point for our spiritual growth, this might not go very well with people around us! There might be people who would pass cheap comments on us! There might be some people who may abuse us verbally for not keeping ourselves on track with the regular worldly activities! There might be friends and relatives of ours who might even go to the extent of abandoning us completely! But as a true “Bhaktha” (Devotee) of Bhagawan, we should never give into all of these things! Of course, it is easier said than done, we should understand here that these are the sorts of “distractions” we would come across while following the path of spirituality and spiritual growth. In this Kali Yuga, this is extremely common, and this is exactly what Sage Pauraanika is also talking about in this context! Now can we feel the relevance of what Sage Pauraanika was mentioning in the last episode? We spoke about “something” that might deter us from taking the path of Bhakti. This is that “something” that we’ve to go through in this world as an ardent spiritual seeker in this Kali Yuga!
Thus, the point that we’re trying to emphasizing here is that, in this Kali Yuga, things are bound to be this way and we can’t do much about it! However, rather than buckling down, we should find our own ways and means to come out of these situations and still follow the Dharma. It is just like a person unaware of swimming, being pushed into water. Just like how this person swims and struggles his way through water by trying his best to survive, we should also try our best to survive and still walk the path of Bhakti. Of course, it is not easy to do it, but it is still possible. If we look at the lives of many “Mahatmas” – For instance, Shirdi Sai Baba, Sadguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, etc. all of them had a terrible time during their young days. However, they never gave up on their pursuit towards Dharma. They still walked the path of Dharma with all of their struggles, trials, tribulations, physical abuse, verbal abuse, etc. and this is the reason why they’re highly respected by people across the world.
So the message from today’s episode is that, following the path of Bhakti in this Kali Yuga is tough, but is possible. We need to put in the right effort in the right direction, according to the guidance of a Guru and if we’re able to do this, we can reach our ultimate goal, irrespective of whatever happens around us. So for today, let us ponder over this important point and let us join hands and work together to achieve this goal. We shall wait till the next episode to continue the discussion on Sage Pauraanika’s reply. Stay tuned! 😊