As I look around me I see that most human beings love God. Even people who are otherwise tyrants or bullies actually go to their places of worship and offer their love and regards to whomever they call their God. It is interesting to see how the love for God is expressed in different ways by different people. Some would keep long fasts, others would walk bare foot on hard mountainous terrains to where the shrines of the Holy Lord may be situated while yet others may be ardent temple goers who spend hours there serving God.
I have been following a spiritual path under the guidance of my divine Guru. Interestingly in a short span of time, with the blessings of my Guru and the grace of my God, I was able to have some very tangible experiences of my beloved God. These beautiful experiences almost came like blessings from God Himself because I do not think in the least that I deserved any of those at all. So this question always bothered me as to why my God has this special mercy on me and not others. Why is He becoming known to me and yet continue to remain hidden from others.
Yesterday on the auspicious occasion of Janamasthami I visited the temple with my family members. I was so touched to see the amount of labour that went behind the organisation of the festival. I thought I called myself a devotee of Krishna but was overwhelmed to see how so many other people had offered their time or their money to ensure that the birthday of Krishna was well celebrated and the auspicious name of Krishna was chanted through the night. I am sure that in time they will be rewarded for this good karma as not an ounce of love for God ever goes waste yet I could see how most of them remain stifled by some or the other active annoying karma. I was trying to see what is the difference between them and me- They seemed to love God more than me, devoting so much to Him. I hardly find the time for the temple and I somehow do not seem to have too much inclination for helping/volunteering in old age homes, or orphanages or doing those cancer awareness walks and so much else that people do for the good of others. Then why did God have His special mercy on me and not them? Why while hours of toil in the temples does generate good karma for a later reward yet God remains hidden to most of these people. Why was He getting “known” to me? Why was I beginning to experience Him? Why was He getting closer to me every day until I was beginning to “hear” His divine voice within me while most of these other very good and wonderful human beings who also loved God were still deprived of this most beautiful experience? Why was He “coming down” to assist me in every way possible while most others kept feeling that He is “high up” there?
The answer actually came from deep within as I was looking at all the worshippers of God in the temple. I realised that probably most good human beings love God. Loving God encourages them to be nice in this world, to do good things in this world generating good karma which in turn rewards them with good events at some time. Good karma sows seeds for other karma and they remain in this cycle of experiencing the good and the not so good impacts of their karmas. When good karma causes good events to happen in life there is this “wow” moment in life. When the not so good karma causes the not so good events to be experienced then most people blame God for not listening to their prayers. Loving God causes them to believe that their lives will be better lived and the beautiful God indeed responds to the love showered by them upon Him.
Yet notice how while most people love God….only a handful desire God. I have understood and felt a difference between loving God and desiring Him. Loving God is supported with a lot of logic but desiring God is above all logic….. where logic ends and an inner force begins. When you desire God you suddenly begin to love the one who hitherto existed in books and temples as a force right within you and without any logic or any reasoning you feel this pressure of wanting to be with that force that can be felt within. When you enter into such a relationship of love with God that is inspired by the desire for Him alone it’s a much more pure sentiment… coming from the deeper layers. In the deeper layers logic stops to work after a while. You desire Him deeply without even knowing or wanting to know the benefit of desiring Him. You desire Him for just being with Him. And the love springing from such desire for God is probably what God is waiting to see. When one begins to desire God and starts to desperately want Him in his life then this desire for that Unseen One causes one to take steps to start to realise the force that he feels within. This is when God knows that it’s time for that soul to come back Home to Him and then He, gradually, starts to reveal Himself to that soul in different ways, always wanting for him to return to Him.
Simply loving God without desiring Him or wanting deeply to have Him always as a constant companion is very superficial. Such a love for God is an incomplete emotion where God is being worshipped as a Supreme force mostly because the devotee has many earthly desires that he knows could only get fulfilled with the blessing of God. Such a love for God is not the purest love because the devotee loves God in return for fulfilling his needs. He does not love God for only God Himself. He does not love God because he desires to be with God. He does not feel that burning force within him that compels him to sit down, close his eyes and say to God, “Come to me now and be with me forever. Allow me to open up to You. Allow me to live with You.”
I think this is the difference between them and some others like me. They are very good souls who love God and want to spread the name of God and yet they have little or no desire for God, desire for attaining Him, desire for returning Home to Him, desire for floating in His Bliss without rationalising what they will “get” by floating in such bliss.
My dear friends, God is the sum total of all that exists. By desiring God you have actually desired everything! Don’t desire your desires – desire God. Once you have made Him real in your life all desires will automatically be fulfilled! This simple truth was so beautifully exhibited by the Lord in the battle of Mahabharata where Krishna gave a first chance to Duryodhana to choose between Him or His mighty army. Foolish Duryodhana could not see that by having Krishna by his side he would have EVERYTHING despite the fact that Krishna promised never to pick up His weapon in the battlefield. His presence alone means victory. Most of us are like foolish Duryodhana. We feel that fulfilling our needs and desires is more important than having the presence of God in our lives. God is worshipped with the motive of getting His help in time of need – like Duryodhana got His army when he needed. In the end such people succumb to their own karmas and despite best intentions God is unable to help them! My dear friends, don’t fall prey to your own karma. The karmas and their onslaught are only meant to be reminders of the Truth that is above the karmas that needs to be attained to get rid of the karmas.
My own Guru had beautiful experiences that pointed towards the same truth. On realising Krishna, He became so intimate with Krishna that the line between Him and God collapsed. So when He was trying to set up an altar for Krishna in His house so that He could worship Krishna, Krishna stopped Him from doing that! Krishna explained to Him that the whole reason for worshipping God was to try and make God “real” in our lives so that He can become our constant companion and take on our worries and guide us safely through this life- just like He guided Arjun in the battle of Mahabharata. With His guidance alone the battle was won… and so with His guidance alone can the myriad battles of life can be won.
Give God a chance to guide you. He is standing by your side waiting for you to transfer the reigns to Him. Don’t let your mighty egos prevent you from doing so.
This, I have understood, is the difference between the majority and some others like me. Some others like me have desired God from the bottom of our hearts, have mentally transferred the reigns to Him to become our eternal “sarathi” like He became to Arjun. He will navigate our carts to safety and there is no safe place other than His own abode.
Only loving God is not sufficient. Start desiring God – He will initiate all the changes necessary to make your life a heaven on earth.