What God gives is never exhausted and what man gives never lasts !

The main objective, purpose and aim of this blog is to spread, educate and promote the principles, beliefs and teachings of the Sri Shirdi Sai Baba based on humility, devotion, service and equality among one and all.

“Baba has the perfect timing – never early, never late. It takes a little patience and faith, but it is worth the wait.”

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*** ... Sairam Sairam Sai Sairam ... ***

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Paths of Devotion

Pada Sevana, i.e., resorting to the feet of the Guru is a means of spiritual development. If this is not physically possible, we must mentally prostrate ourselves at the feet of the Guru with reverence and humility.

Archana, i.e., worship of God is another type of devotion. This is real or mental worship of the various images of God and offering Him the best things of life, with deep yearning after God realization.

Namaskara is the same as archana, i.e., bowing down or prostrating ourselves before God or God-like person. This entails such noble qualities as humility, dedication, total surrender and patients waiting with hope and faith for the grace of God.

Dasya, i.e., service of God is possible in two ways, either through doing service which will turn the people towards God or rendering service to bhaktas is really service to God.

Sakhyata, i.e., friendship of God is a type of devotion which is most difficult to practice. Human friendship rests on a compromise of give and take policy, whereas friendship with God is uncompromising determination to give all and lose all, if need be. Our human friends may desert us in times of need, but God, though he appears indifferent to our sacrifices, really watches over us with kindness. To an impatient devotee it would appear that God does not reciprocate our love. He leaves us uncared for and disappointed. Such a devotee will become angry with God and even hate Him because our little desires are not fulfilled. God's friendship is undying, enduring and everlasting.

His grace is perennial. If there are disappointments and difficulties, we must suffer them calmly and courageously. Suffering and disappointments form an integral part of spiritual life. Without them spiritual life is not tested. The key to achieve the friendship of God is with the devotee alone. God, being the innermost reality, is enshrined in our heart and is the breath of our life. We must have firm faith and love towards God. All our thoughts, feelings and actions have their reflection in God. The more sincere and truthful we are, the more are we drawn near and bound to God. Then God becomes more than Mother, Father or Friend to us.

Atma nivedana, i.e., the annihilation of the self or ego and achieving unity with God. This is the crowning glory of devotional life. Though there are several ways to gain this unity with God, the best means is through constant meditation on pure ideas about God. Impure ideas are got rid of. Then dualism yields to the dawn of advaitic experience. Through this intuitive perception the Sadhaka is drawn towards God with magnetic fascination. Every moment of his life he will feel the compelling and dominating influence of God and will ultimately merge in him. Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi was one such saint who lived in holy communion with God every moment of his life. May he inspire us to tread this righteous path of devotion with concentrated vigour, fearless integrity and dauntlessness !