Aandavaney , Unnai Nambinen ( God ,it is in u I trust)
Fellow blogger souls,
One of my dear blogger friends,Arjuna asked me these questions pretty recently
" how do we love GOD as we love our mothers? Forcing love is not love..Is there any natural way to love GOD?"
I would like to thank him for giving me the chance to express my opinions on the questions raised. Please kindly pardon if I err at any instance..after all I have never been a parent of a child or 2..:)
Before attempting to describe the means to develop that natural love for God, who is situated in a higher spiritual plane, I would like to write a bit about the love that one has for his/her parents.
Reasoning- 0: On the nature of CHILD-PARENT love
Truly, agreeably. Mother - Son/daughter and to an extent Father- Son /daughter can said to be the greatest and most natural forms of love. Any exceptions here???? let's see
The following are the different cases under consideration, which are quite common in the current day world.
1. Parents who love their children more than what they do themselves ( a great family, blessed indeed are they)
2. Parents who love themselves more than their children ( like many of those parents in USA , couldn't avoid that:( (more of a disintegrated family)
3. Parents who don't love their children ( no family here).
Depending upon the quality of the subject as mentioned above , one can expect the love to be shown back by their children accordingly. ( ref. law of karma)
Of course , one might expect things not going the way they are supposed to . For some reason (tho not in many cases) , no matter how much kind the parents are, the child doesnt seem to have an equivalent love for them (or vice versa). Some of the reasons may be
1. Qualities acquired from last birth ( if one believes in re-birth)
2. Influence of Maaya ( this can lead to the child/parent developing a love for unreal/ less noble things like falling for bad company, money, fame etc)
The same kind of analysis could be done on love beyond the walls of a familly , which complicates and rarifies the chances of finding a nobler form of love between 2 persons.
So, it can be obseved that it is because of our past association and /or experiences with our parents has a lot to do with the kind of love that we have for them today. If suddenly a child is told that he/she is his father/mother, how much would he love his new parent???
Reasoning -1 On the path towards that Divine Love
Having established the basis for the parent-child love , let me steer forward into the path towards that mystic and blissful love for God.
The first requirement for any kind of relation to exist is having faith . One should be aware of the existence of God. Having established the faith, one should have fewer thoughts like "my life" , "my wife", " my children" , " I like this /that" etc .Those ,thoughts can only delay the thoughts about the more important things ..like " How I became what I am today? He thus becomes a thoughtful enquirer (jignasu). This kind of enquiry allows a person to realize what is true and what is not .thereby re-establishing and re-vitalizing his/her faith in God. Many of the conditioned souls would not normally prefer to do this kind of vichara.They are quite content with their limited life ignorant of this very vital beginning.
For aiding those kind of totally ignorant people , it would be interesting to note how mother nature keeps reminding the presence of the great force behind every thing that exists through her forces like wind, water etc. Hurricanes like katrina and other forces seem to symbolically convey this message to the ignorant people and atheists .
After becomming totally convinced of the existence of the paramaathma after vichara, it would be quite obvious for that person to crave for the realization of the truth. He comes to know that nothing else would get him closer to his wants. This kind of craving or bhakthi can be traced to as long as 5000 years in the Rig vedas, which say
"longing prayers are said to touch Indra who is Longing just as a wife with desires gets her husband""
According to the son of Vyasa, bhakti is attachment to worship of God, etc.
According to Garga, bhakthi is fondness for hearing the stories of the various sports of Lord
According to Sandilya, bhakti is such attachment to God which is opposed to self
According to Narada bhakti consists of offering all activities to God and inducing a feeling of extreme restless ness and misery at the slightest lapse in rememberance of God
According to Adi Sankara's commentary on Gita,worship is bhakthi ( bhajanam bhakthi) , and ananya bhakthi is non-experience of anything except vasudeva.
According to Sri Ramanuja, bhakthi is dhyana , just likethe un-interupted flow of oil.
For some people, because of their previous birth karma , getting to this state wouldnt take much time. They would immediately jump into the bhakthi stream with no or very little enquiry.
How to develop that kind of self-less bhakthi , that ananda state ? Having known those ananthakalyanagunas of the lord , one can easily fix the mind upon him . There are 9 types of bhakthi according to Srimad Bhagavatham
Shravanam keerthanam vishno: Smaranam Paadhasevanam
Archanam Vandhanam Dhaasyam Sackyam Aaathma NivEdhanam
Listening , singing, remembering god, serving his holy feet, anointing god with sandalwood paste etc, bowing before god , behaving as a sevant , behaving as friend and uncondtionally offering oneself to him.
When Tyagaraja sang in praise of SitaRama , he got trasferred to a differnt world , In his bilahari krithi Inthakaananda memi, he says
Whenever I utter your name again and again
These worlds seem to shine with your presence
Like this, Unconditionally offering oneself to him is one of the deepest forms of bhakthi just like offering oneself selfllessly to the parents/children for their well-being. The residents of Vrindavan were like that. All their activities were offered to Krishna. They lived their lives for him. They didn't have any ego. The gopikas had that kind of madhura bhakthi as narada has said (exteme restelessnes in the the slightest lapse of god). Arent they gifted souls? Of course, only a very few people can have such unconditional love for god in this kali yuga . But should one give up? No. That is the goal that everyone should long for just like the chathaka bird that never gives up its try for getting the slightest bit of water through its hollow throat. At least , our state is not as bad as that of the bird:)
To conclude , I guess one should always consider the parents as Gods always trying his/her best to show the self-less love for them and consider God as ones parents so that the love/bhakthi can be easily developed.
I am not sure if this post made any sense to the interested reader and my friend . Hence , I encourage the reader to start a related discussion by commenting back:)
(What joy could there be beyond this ecstasy?, O Rama O Rama