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From: Shree (
Date: Mon Dec 29 1997 - 03:17:58 PST

Devotion alone matters to God 

              Date: 29-12-1997 :: Pg: 24 :: Col: c 

              Cl: Religion 

              CHENNAI, Dec. 29. 

              The path of devotion has been hailed in the
              scriptures as the one which can be followed by
              all. A perusal of the lives of saints shows that
              great devotees of God have appeared in all walks
              of life. Like the honey bee which is attracted only
              to the nectar of the flowers, saints remain steady
              in their devotion to God and the goal of
              liberation. This is the reason that Satsangh
              (company of the God-realised) has been
              recommended for spiritual aspirants to develop
              one-pointedness of mind. 

              For those on the spiritual path the guidance and
              grace of the Guru is the turning point in spiritual
              life. Even though the devotee has to follow the
              spiritual practices and do his best to progress on
              the spiritual path it is the Guru who can really lead
              the aspirant to the summit of spiritual experience. 

              The spiritual tradition asserts that there is no
              necessity to go in search of a Guru. The Guru
              appears in the life of an aspirant at the right time
              when his mind has become pure enough to merit
              the grace of God. It is enough to abide by the
              scriptural injunctions prescribed for one's station
              in life which will ensure steady progress spiritually
              and the Guru will appear at the appropriate
              moment to guide him along the path to realisation
              of God. What is most essential is absolute faith in
              God and the yearning for His grace in the form of
              the Guru. 

              In his discourse Sri Muralidhara Swami said that
              God Himself interceded in the life of His devotee
              at the right time. Kabirdas, a great devotee, was
              greatly attracted to the Hindu spiritual tradition
              though by birth he was not one and was drawn to
              saint Ramananda, whom he recognised as his
              Guru. Every day he used to stand outside the
              gates of the saint's Ashram since he could not
              muster enough courage to enter the premises with
              the fond hope that his presence would be noticed
              by his disciples who would convey the matter to
              the saint. 

              Days rolled on and his wish remained unfulfilled.
              At last God Himself decided to intercede. The
              saint while going out for his bath overheard the
              idols of Rama and Lakshmana in his worship
              speaking to one another, to the effect that they
              should leave the Ashram because a great devotee
              had not been welcomed there. 

              The saint who was not aware of Kabir's daily
              visit to his Ashram found him weeping on the
              banks of the river and in the darkness of the
              morning hour stumbled on him and invountarily
              utterred ``Rama''. Kabir fell prostrate at his feet
              in gratitude for he received this utterance as his
              initiation and the touch of his Guru's feet as the
              greatest blessing and became a great saint in due
              course. Such was his devotion and faith. 

Happy Holidays,