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Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Father's Arduous Task

by The Father's Child

I was struck with remorse to look within myself. So much dirt of anger, jealousy and hatred; a strong feeling of greediness for all that's good in the world to be mine. And what's worse, to know that all my ill-feelings arise for objects of the world that isn't permanent. Why, I do listen to Swami's lectures, and am not quite sure where all of that goes in me. May be there's really no point for me to sit and listen and read the various scriptures. What's the feasibility of me developing a love for God in this birth? Despite knowing me for all my worth, my Father says, "Believe that you WILL reach God in this very birth"! He doesn't speak a lie, but here, is he talking sense?

Just as I was spiraling down into the abyss of no-hope, a flickering spark arose in the same dirty mind - how am I able to see the dirt that's covering ME now, whereas I've had many moments in life to contemplate when I sat and fooled myself? How did I not see these flaws, or well, the true colors of my mind, earlier?


Maybe, just maybe this in itself is the grace of the Satsang I get? Both weeds and plants may grow on a patch of land. The land nourishes both the varieties with all that it can offer, not differentiating except until the weed is rooted out. After that, although the weed may be lying on the land, so to speak, it is not nourished by the land anymore. Similarly, Thank God for the little bit of good within, that I was blessed with Satsang, the process of weeding out the dark side I guess must have begun, Hooray! Now that I see the weeds as they are getting pulled out one-by-one, I pray that my Father will protect from any weeds to grow in me again. I can't wait for the day when my Father will turn me into the fertile land where God alone will blossom.

Now, that gives me some hope, and I can feel that little spark of hope fill my bosom with joy, knowing that it's not so bad after all. Father, keep singing the Holy Name in my ears as you weed out all that's a blockage.

With hope and joy, I light the diyas for Diwali and my heart sings,  "Jai Guru Maharaj Ki." And I can see my Father smile, all the while continuing his hard work!


10 comments:

  1. Dear Child,
    your post is very nice. However, it seems to me that there are some wrong assumptions. Do you mind if I point these out?

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  2. The Father's ChildNovember 30, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Please do, Friend!

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  3. I agree with the idea that God generally makes the first step and enters into our life. Then, we realize how weak and sinful we are and what a long way we still have to go to reach His kingdom. Of course, God is with us and helps us again and again. But still, it is us who have to walk. Thus, we must not recline and wait for the Father to take out the weeds all while chanting His name in our ears! In fact, if we do so, we will gradually develop a dull mind and get extremely angry with the people who come to take out the weeds. We might even fall back into a state of mind that is worse than the one we were previously in, clothing our sinful dullness into a spiritual garb and abusing God's gardeners whenever they happen to come by, “What are you doing, who are you to tell me what mistakes I'm making! Do you believe you are God? Shut up, so that I can listen to God's Holy Name again!”

    In order to avoid this terrible fallback, we must always be up and doing, taking out one weed after another and thanking God if someone gives us company in this arduous task from time to time.

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  4. The Father's ChildDecember 3, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Thank You, my Friend! I fully agree with what you have pointed out, and thank you for bringing this important aspect to note and remember. So, apart from listening to Swamiji's lecture on Karma Yoga, I should remember to keep moving with all those salient points in my heart and head and continue doing my bit in the right spirit !

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  5. You are welcome!

    "Arise, awake and STOP NOT till the goal is reached!"
    As far as I understand, according to Swami Vivekananda, "Karma Yoga" tries to prevent us from wandering off to bad thoughts by keeping the mind engaged. To some extent, I agree that this can purify the mind and prevent us from sinning again.

    However, there is more to do. Wherever there is sin there are also victims. We should apologize and try to make good whatever damage we may have (perhaps inadvertently) caused. Since it is not possible to fully compensate someone for his or her suffering, we at least have to forgive all those who sin against us, even if they don't apologize. But here again, we have to be very careful with our own mind. Sometimes, we fool ourselves in such a way that we accuse someone wrongly just in order to practice heroic forgiveness... In the end, we believe we are victims of the entire world although WE are the real culprits.

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  6. I don't like talking so much about sin. According to Sri Ramakrishna this the attitude of a beginner. Vivekananda said, 'The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest
    error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a
    sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot
    do this and that.'
    When I suffer from other people's mistakes that's my karma, and when they suffered from me, it is theirs.

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  7. I don't agree with Vivekananda, or maybe the quotation is taken out of its context. Human nature is weak and, I'm sorry to say, sinful. That is why we need God. However, God is mercyful and able to show us the way to overcome our (sinful) nature. It is essential that we do not forgive us ourselves, but ask someone else - God - for forgiveness and help.
    In my opinion that's exactly what the doctrine of karma is meant for. It does NOT mean that if people suffer, they themselves are to blame. NEITHER does it mean that if I suffer from other people, these people are not to blame, whereas I myself am responsible for being a victim. All this would not make sense at all, such a 'religion' would be worse than Manchester capitalism! What it means, to my mind, is simply this: In my day to day life, I should always remember that all my actions have consequences, nothing will remain hidden forever. God forgives, but I should not expect Him in advance to do so, saying 'I will ask Him for forgiveness later, now I do as I please'. Christianity needed a Luther to stop this wrong type of thinking... In the end, I don't see much of a difference between the doctrine of karma and of the concept of heaven and hell.

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  8. To begin with, it is not bad to be a beginner... So what does Ramakrishna say about the advanced spiritual aspirant and how do we know to which stage we belong?

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  9. The advanced spiritual aspirant is filled with ecstatic love for God and cannot sin anymore. If you are in ecstasy, I guess you wouldn't ask such questions any more...

    Here are some quotations:

    MASTER (with a smile): "Yes, that is true. It is God alone who acts through us. He is the Doer, undoubtedly, and man is His instrument. But it is also true that an action cannot fail to produce its result. Your stomach will certainly burn if you eat hot chilli. It is God who has ordained that chilli will burn your stomach. If you commit a sin, you must bear its fruit. But one who has attained perfection, realized God, cannot commit sin. An expert singer cannot sing a false note. A man with a trained voice sings the notes correctly:
    sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni. http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/chapter18.htm

    "But to feel that one is a free soul is very good. By constantly repeating, 'I am free, I am free', a man verily becomes free. On the other hand, by constantly repeating, 'I am bound, I am bound', he certainly becomes bound to worldliness. The fool who says only, 'I am a sinner, I am
    a sinner', verily drowns himself in worldliness. One should rather say: I have chanted the name of God. How can I be a sinner? How can I be bound?'" http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/chapter13.htm

    MASTER: "Now and then I reflect on these ideas and find that I do not like them. In the beginning of spiritual life a man should think about sin and how to get rid of it. But when, through the grace of God, devotion and ecstatic love are awakened in his heart, then he altogether forgets
    virtue and sin. Then he leaves the scriptures and their
    injunctions far behind. Thoughts of repentance and penance do not bother him at all.

    "It is like going to your destination along a winding river. This requires great effort and a long time. But when there is a flood all around, then you can go straight to your destination in a short time. Then you find the land lying under water deep as a bamboo pole. "In the beginning of spiritual life one goes by a roundabout way. One has to suffer a great deal. But the path becomes very easy when ecstatic love is awakened in the heart. It is like going over the paddy-field after the harvest is over. You may then walk in any direction. Before the harvest you had to go along the winding balk, but now you can walk in any direction. There may be stubble in the field, but you will not be hurt by it if you walk with your shoes on. Just so, an aspirant does not suffer if he has discrimination, dispassion, and faith in the guru's words." http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/chapter20.htm

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  10. About the Christian concept of sin, Sri Ramakrishna said the following:
    "Once someone gave
    me a book of the Christians. I asked him to read it to me.
    It talked about nothing but sin. (To Keshab) Sin is the only thing
    one hears of at your Brahmo Samaj, too. The wretch who constantly
    says, 'I am bound, I am bound' only succeeds in being bound. He
    who says day and night, 'I am a sinner, I am a sinner' verily becomes a
    sinner."
    http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/chapter05.htm

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