Can we have true devotion for God while we remain deeply interested in worldly matters? Assuredly not. The two are simply incompatible. A devotee is one who gives himself up unreservedly to God. This is impossible while retaining ego; so we should see how the ego can be conquered, and should conduct ourselves accordingly.
We go about in family life in the firm faith that our wish will prevail. Even at the fag end of life we speak with unshakable assurance, asserting that we will do this and that. What an arrogance, pride and ego! So I exhort you, discard the feeling that you are the doer; ascribe everything to Him, telling yourself that your success and achievement you owe entirely to His will. This will automatically diminish your attachment to worldly interests. You cannot walk in the way of God unless all feeling of doership dies out.
Some people argue that the vedas enhance our attachment for worldly matters when they promise a certain fruit for a certain action. However, this is only like holding out a candy to coax a child to take medicine. The idea is that a man should be induced to righteous acts with the bait of an alluring result, and when he continues to perform righteous acts his attachment to the result steadily diminishes; finally, with his ego attenuated, he comes to the realization that God is the doer. He then sheds all ego, and comes to feel that he is a mere tool in God’s hand. Thereby, whatever he does automatically becomes dedicated to God.
The common man offers vows to God for deliverance from distress; and when he is not requited as desired, he concludes that it is futile to pray to or please God. But can one hope to dupe or bribe God? Being immanent in our heart, He knows our innermost secret feelings; He says, ‘This cheat never thought of Me while things were after his heart; and here he is, now that he is in difficulty. ‘What, indeed, have we done to deserve His granting of what we desire? We should never seek to deceive God, for He is beyond deception, and we may only be rewarded with frustration. We toil so much for worldly and family matters, but just consider, do we spend even an hour a day for Him?
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