Q. How to know whether an activity is religious or not?
Ans. If you are carrying out any activity – you could be sitting in a temple or you could be sitting in a casino, if you are doing everything for your Deity, your activity becomes Spiritual and your activity becomes Religious. When you are doing a religious activity solely from the point of a ritual, with no Bhava (Sentiment), that is not a Devotional activity, that is not Devotional service, that is not a Spiritual activity, and that is not going to cleanse you, and that is not going to purify you! You will stay where you are, you will stay the way you are.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa worshipped Kali, a form of the Cosmic Mother, in the temple. But, He did so with His own sentiment, not in the most ritualistic fashion. Once established in that sentiment, in that devotional mood, then He carried it on to every activity He would do during His lifetime.
Q. So finally, please tell us what to do to become a true devotee, and progress on the path of Devotional Service?
Ans. It’s very simple :
- Seek Refuge
- Be Moral
- Be Pure
- Be Disciplined
- Discover your own Bhava, your own Truth
- Cry out for Him
And that is going to do everything. That is going to accomplish everything for you. It’s that simple, it’s no rocket-science! You just have to be His, and He will be yours! It’s reciprocal arrangement. If you don’t need Him, He doesn’t need you! If you don’t want Him, He doesn’t want you!
If you call out to Him, maybe He’ll listen to you. But, if you become His permanent employee (Earlier Swamiji explained the numerous benefits that a permanent employee of a company has, and how the company pays special attention to its permanent employees), if you become a permanent employee in the company of God, you’ll only ever get promotions! That’s how He works. He may give you projects where your skill, your aptitude, your talent, your knowledge, your experience will be tested, but if you just stay committed, He’s going to give the tools, the authority and all the rest, to accomplish the task as well!
And when you stay firm, and you do what you have to do, and you stay His permanent employee, and you stick with Him, through His thick and thin, He’s gonna bring you to the sea level, to the top level. And then, you’ll have a chance to meet Him! And trust me, He’s very very very Beautiful!
(Swamiji looks up in the sky) He’s so beautiful, that there is nothing that I know of, that can even come close to comparison. It is not possible to explain His beauty. The Four-Armed form. The Two-Armed form. The blue light emitting from Him. His most glorious ornaments. His most charismatic smile. Once you see Him, there is absolutely nothing in the world you would like to see. Nothing! There is nothing! Nothing even comes close! Absolutely nothing! And I hope I said it – Nothing! I am saying it again – Nothing at all! And why would you even want to pick rocks, when you have just discovered the diamond mine!
The most attractive. The supremely attractive. The supremely pure. The supremely beautiful. The most gorgeous. The most enigmatic. The most charismatic. The most beautiful. And the most kind. Most kind! The most caring. The most sensitive. The most intimate. The most of everything. The most of the most. The Supreme!
If you can take my word for it, His Vision is not only just worth working for, His Vision is worth anything! My last breath, I am happy to give it up for Him. He’s worth – Everything you’ve seen, put all that together, and multiply it by a figure too large that you cannot write on a billion pages – He’s that beautiful!
And if you don’t believe me, why don’t you experience it yourself!
Be a Devotee. There is nothing like Devotion. And it is only because of His Divine Grace that it is possible for one to even tread the path of Devotion. Otherwise, the one who’s doing all the thinking from here (pointing towards head), is simply going to reject and discard and forsake the path of Devotion before even getting on it. Don’t make that mistake! Life is a lot more beautiful with your God in it. You have suddenly somebody supreme by your side. Not only that. You feel Him by your side. Not only that. You see Him in front of you. That’s Krishna for you. That’s Jaganmata (Cosmic Mother) for you.
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