Satsang and Fear of the Good
God is a great rasika (one who enjoys beauty)! God has created this world with great relish – taking loving care of every single detail!
How beautiful is the parrot! How beautiful is the paarijatam flower! It has white petals and an orange stem. The combination of white and orange is so beautiful. How many are the varieties of jasmine! Flowers are of different colors and fragrances. The smell of the rose is different. What a colorful world the Lord has created!
God has created every bit of the world with such great loving taste!
When I go to the seashore in the evening I find children playing there; some of them fly kites.
Husband and wife sit there talking. Elsewhere in the beach you find a big family coming together. I started musing on this scene….
Do these people stop to think what the name of this sea is? How deep it is? What all this sea contains in its secret depths? They stay for a while and get back home. Likewise, a farmer looks up at the sky anxiously for the rains to come down. When he sees dark clouds he is happy; and there it stops. He does not stop to wonder about the stars in the sky. A traveler enjoys the shade of a tree but does not bother to even know the name of the tree.
Everyone is interested only in the fulfillment of his/her own selfish desire. But no, this should not be the case. We should know to enjoy the Lord and His creation.
If only we are able to enjoy God, God becomes easy (to attain).
What is Bhakti?
Not wondering what one can gain out of the Lord, but instead, thinking in what ways one can be of some service to Him. When you contemplate thus, you will realize that there is nothing that you can do for the Lord.
The moment this thought arises in you, God gets ready to offer Himself to you.
He is a Prabhu of such great glory! He is ready to give Himself to you!
And, the first step towards this is that the Lord gives you a Guru.
By sheer coincidence you enter a satsang one fine day. The Guru looks at you. You then leave the place. After a few days the thought of visiting the satsang arises in you. You think “Why not go to thatsatsang?” But you feel scared at the same time, “Oh, why do I feel like going there and meeting him? He speaks of moksha repeatedly and seems to condone rank selfishness!”
But how is the Guru?
To bless unconditionally and shower love towards one and all seems to be Guru’s very nature.
The Guru – who-bestows benediction unconditionally – had seen you in the satsang one day but you were not to be seen after that.
One day, when the Guru was moving on the street doing bhajan, he happened to see you. He called out to you “My child! Come here!”
The Guru comes close to you. He enquires of you, “Young man, you came to the satsang the other day. After that you are not to been seen at all!”
The Guru enquires as would a mother, “Are you angry with me?”
You are powerless to explain and simply utter, “No, no.” You are unable to speak out your fear.
What fear? Moksha! You are scared of Moksha! You are scared of God! You are scared of satsang!
Once Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was going on Giri pradakshina (circumambulation of the holy Arunachala hill). A big group of devotees followed him. As they walked, a snake crossed their path. The devotees cried out in horror, “Nalla paambu! Nalla paambu!” and backed away from there!
In Tamizh ‘nalla’ means good and ‘paambu’ means snake. The water snake is called nalla paambu(good snake). Bhagavan stood his ground and the snake went away after a while. The devotees also returned.
Bhagavan asked them, “What did you call it?”
They said, “Nalla paambu (good snake)!”
Bhagavan said, “You call it ‘nalla paambu’ (good snake) but still you ran away. Why you should be afraid of a good snake!”
The devotees looked down sheepishly and did not answer.
Mahans’ words are verily upadesa (advice).
Bhagavan at once said, “It is only because we fear all good things in the world that we come to face dangers in life.”
We are scared of all good things. Aren’t we?
The Guru asks, “Why didn’t you come?”
You are silent, but think, “Regular visits to satsang (holy association) would create interest in moksha. I will lose interest in all worldly things. I may not strive for promotion to higher posts at work, and remain content with whatever I have. Oh, my worldly desires are already taking a dip!”
Seeing fear writ large on your face the Guru thinks, “Japa, dhyana, Naama will not suit him.”
And, the Guru casts his benign glance on you. Just a glance.
With just that glance, the Guru has given you prema nidhi — the treasure of divine love!
There is no more need of the Guru coming to you physically. The grace of the Guru will do whatever has to be done. Well! How does Guru’s grace work?
It will give you Bhagavatam, bhajan and frequent satsang!
Not only this. Above all, the grace will also bless you with the fortune of serving genuinesadhus!
This is the jewel in the crown of Bhakti devi!
Based on a discourse by Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji at Guruvayur.