Finding Divine Support

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Finding Divine Support

Thursday, 15 February 2024 | Ajit Kumar Bishnoi

Finding Divine Support

Embracing the shelter of God's grace offers profound benefits

God has to help in this. Why? The odds are heavily stacked against us. Why? Sample these. Our entire being will oppose it, even if we, souls, wish to do so using our free will. First of all, we must develop a deep desire to pursue this ultimate goal for a human being, which brings everything desirable in our lives. Briefly, we qualify for opulence, victory, wealth and morality, as indicated by Sanjay of the Mahabharata fame in the Bhagavad-Geeta verse # 18.78. This is nothing compared to what we qualify for, which is, “We will cross all impediments by God’s ‘kripa’ (grace).” (18.58) Can you imagine being able to successfully negotiate all kinds of troubles we all face throughout our lives? God even promises help in getting what one does not have and provides security of what one has if we make progress. (9.22) We get the elusive peace also. (18.62) To top it all, we will get liberated in a few births of practising God-consciousness. (6.45) Taking shelter from God is that wonderful.

What are our hindrances in achieving this noble goal? Beginning with the mind, ‘kama’ (lust) is seated on it. (3.40) This is not all, this faculty of ours shows us fearful dreams if we try to control them. Our intelligence is no better. It is also a seat of lust. (3.40) To make things worse it is mostly material, whereas it should ideally be spiritual. Surely, our consciousness is almost entirely material. Senses, which are also seats of lust, keep on troubling us with thoughts of a sense of enjoyment. Our ‘ahankar’ (ego) never tries to tell us that it is I who is all-important; who else? All these tendencies are from time immemorial, deeply embedded in our psyche. Finally, shelter-taking is a ‘tapastya’ (austerity), not easily acceptable to us.

So, are we lost? No, we are not. God is too kind to leave us helpless. We just have to get started. We should be determined that we are going ahead, period. I will practice even though I don’t see much benefit. We must take inspiration from great people, who also struggled at the beginning of their spiritual journey. Once God is convinced that we are sincere, He steps in. This is the inflexion point; we are on our way. God begins to provide hints of His involvement. These hints though subtle, cannot be missed. In creation, nothing happens by chance or coincidence. Every occurrence is destined. The mind will not be so obstinate. Because God, sitting in our hearts, will give us intelligence to control the mind. (15.15)

With the mind and intelligence under some control, the senses will begin to behave better too. Habits will gradually become simple and steeped in goodness. Groundwork will be getting prepared for serious shelter-taking under God’s supervision. Troubles will come and mysteriously disappear. We might feel that suddenly we have become great. We didn’t in the real sense but did because we have come under God’s protection. We will be inclined to do simple spiritual processes like spending time in God’s presence, i.e. in front of a photo of God or a Deity in a temple. We will be inclined to sing a bhajan or chant a mantra. These are most important because God can only reward us if we become deserving. Just like there are pious acts, there are spiritual acts also. Fortunately for us, God will somehow manage to make us do them. I will cite a simple example. I teach my two granddaughters. Through constant encouragement, I have brought them to a stage where they are no longer afraid of studying. What is the conclusion? Let me refer to a popular saying, which is: “What man has done; man can do.” This is very inspiring. Now consider: “What a devotee has done; a devotee can do.” A non-devotee is extremely limited being one in eight billion. And a devotee? He will be helped by the unlimited God if we get started in shelter-taking. I have already started and gathering speed.

(The writer is a spiritual teacher, views are personal)

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