He who realises the Ultimate Truth becomes omniscient; those who hold fast to it are saints. They are ever eager to show us the way, but our self-conceit comes in the way. Some persons charge saints with making people unresisting and inactive by asking them to requite evil by forgiveness and even kindness. Actually, the saints have done such a great lot for humanity. However, there is a world of difference between their doings and ours, basically because they ascribe all doership to God, whereas we try to claim all credit for ourselves. The achievement of the saints is subtle, ours is only for show, and so ineffectual.
One may have a lot of book-learning, but it is evidently futile if it does not percolate into outlook and action. To understand the real nature of this world, we should go to one who successfully keeps himself free of the mesh of pleasure and pain. Such a person looks only objectively on the world, and is detached in outlook as well as in action, whereas we get enmeshed in the snare of pleasure and pain. Because a saint’s heart is pure, untainted by selfishness, even his harsh words do not hurt, but are blessings in disguise.
Saints are usually not erudite in the popular sense. One may quit home while still only a child, another runs away from the wedding altar, while yet another may be utterly illiterate. Yet their existence makes itself felt even after they quit the body.
A child playing outside the home suddenly thinks of its mother and runs in to her. This means that the child always has a subconscious awareness of her. We should have a similar loving longing for God, a similar devotion. When this longing becomes a maddening passion, a saint comes along to pacify it.
Saints are born for the sacred mission of reminding the people at large of the existence of God. The greatest obligation they have conferred on the world is that, to the invisible Lord, they have given a habitation and a name, a saguna form that we can imagine, remember, and serve; they gave us the simple sadhana of nama-smarana; wrote for us great guiding and instructive books like the Jnyaneshwari and Eknathi Bhagwat; and advised us to feed people. One who performs these things to the best of his ability will never feel want, and will ever enjoy contentment.
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