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Self-Test: II

From: "Ramlal Sharma" To: Subject: Self-Test: II Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 10:50:51 Baba "A'lo jhariye madhu ks'ariye a'ndha'r sa'riye tumi esecho..." (P.S. 1233) Purport: Baba, You have come and by Your divine advent You are showering effulgence, exuding nectar, and wiping away all darkness. Baba, You have come-- making the flowers blossom & graciously spreading happiness and bliss to one and all. Baba, by Your august arrival everyone's hopes and longings have been fulfilled. Baba, living beings were awakened by the deep yearning and pain of longing in their heart. And with this feeling, in the anticipation & hope of Your coming, they were awake, watching for Your arrival-- constantly looking towards Your path. Baba, this pain and longing of devotees resonated in Your heart and You could no longer remain distant. Baba, You have come and You are graciously pouring the basket of love-- satisfying everyone's heart. The sleeping humanity has gotten new life by Your grace. Baba-- that river which dried up and evaporated, and that song which was lost in the oblivion-- the current of that very river and the tune of those songs You have graciously brought along with You.* Baba due to Your august advent You have inundated each and every heart with the nectar of devotion. This is Your causeless grace... * The inner idea is that when Parama Purusa comes and He saturates the heart with deep devotion, then all those feelings of love and which had dried up start to blossom. In the above song, the river signifies the flow of devotion and the song and melody refers to that subtler expression of devotional feeling...
Note: The link for the first letter in this series is below the signature. Namaskar, The first letter in this series emphasized the importance of devotion and offered a self-test: "Am I a jinani or not?" This letter focuses on evaluating, "Am I truly a devotee?". In any discourse it states that devotees are the uppermost and their life will be victorious. So let's see, "Am I devotee or not?" Many live under the illusion that they are devotees, but in true sense they are not. None should fall into this hole. Thinking about being a devotee is not enough, one should test oneself according to Baba's divine teachings. Knowing what one's real status is very important. If you discover this truth at the end of your life, then that will invite misery and it cannot be fixed in that late hour. Now is the time to know: Do I have devotion for the Divine Entity or not? There is no external judge, court, or committee that is carrying out this survey. This is purely a self-test. Specifically, I should ask myself and you should ask yourself. There is no "other" involved and this is not the time to judge or classify someone else. This is purely a personal experiment for spiritual liberation Let's then investigate this important topic, "Am I a real bhakta?". Knowing the answer will foster progress along on the path.
Other schools of yoga may give huge credence to the paths of action (karma) and jinana (knowledge). But in Ananda Marga, everyone understands well that bhakti is the main thing. That is what Baba Himself emphasizes in so many thousands of discourses. Baba says, "It is a recognized fact that the way to salvation is three-fold; jina'na, karma and bhakti. All three of these roles are recognized routes, and I have nothing to say against any of them. But you know, those who are experienced in this life of spirituality say, after realization, that the path of bhakti is the best. Even the intellectual giant Sham'kara'ca'rya had to admit that “moks'a ka'ran'asamagryam' bhaktireva gariyasii” – bhakti is the best way to moks'a or salvation, the approach of bhakti is the best." (AV-6) Baba says, 'The path of bhakti is not only harmless, but the wisest one and is the approach of the most rational people. So my advice to you all is to move along the path of bhakti. It is the best route." (AV-6) Indeed, it is well known in our Marga that devotion is the most favoured approach and the best thing in life is to become a devotee - that is second to none.
When we all want to become devotees, there should be a sure-fire way to determine, "If I am a devotee or not". One should not live in the illusion that "I am a great bhakta" when in fact I have just tamasik devotion. That is like cheating oneself, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally. It is just like if I think to myself, "I am a great swimmer and I can swim across the river", when in truth I am not a great swimmer. Then when I try to swim the river, invariably calamity will strike. I will not make it - I will drown. All because I was living under the banner of self-deception & hypocrisy. Such horrors should not happen in one's devotional life. One must not think, "I am a top grade bhakta, I am a top grade bhakta', only to reach the end of their years on this earth and suddenly realise, "I have wasted my time, I do not have devotion, I do not know what to do." This type of panicked desperation due to living in an illusion should not befall anyone. All along they hypocritically think that I am great devotee, and they get happy announcing this to others, when in fact in their heart they have just tamasik devotion. That situation is not good, because Parama Purusa sees right into your heart and knows what you are. So one must not dupe oneself in this hypocritical manner. Then one will just feel empty inside despite getting praise from others. Nor should one live with the false notion that "I have no devotion", when in fact I have a lot of devotion. There should not be a miscalculation in either direction. So we should make a clear pathway to understand our own degree of devotion. That is what this letter is all about.
First we must understand and define what devotion is.
Sa para'nuraktriishvare
According to Baba, devotion is love for the Supreme Entity. Baba says, "One’s attraction for the Infinite Entity is called prema...And for a bhakta? Bhaktipremasvaru'pin'ii. For a bhakta, “bhakti is prema personified.” Bhakti is the spirit of prema." (SS-24) Having love for Parama Purusa is devotion.
The key principle then is how to measure one's love for Him. How can a sadhaka introspectively understand, "How much do I really love Baba." Here is one theorem that will help. Baba says, "Where “I” is, “He” is not… where “He” is, “I” is not. Remember, devotion is the pre-requisite of sadhana'. Maturity of devotion is love and maturity of love is He." (SS-3) What needs to be understood here is that the human mind is one. One's egoistic desires cannot co-exist with love for Baba. It is either "I" or "He", "I" or "Baba". That is the real determining factor in assessing the level of devotion. Let's take a more careful look. Suppose a person thinks, "I want to become a respected leader, but of course I love Baba." Anyone thinking like this is not a true bhakta. Because their egoistic desire of wishing to become a great leader is more than their love for Him. Likewise if the mind is full or dominated by any similar desire: "I want to become a millionaire", or "I want to meet someone from the opposite sex", or "I want my boss's job", or "I want post and prestige", or "I want to vacation in Switzerland", or "I want to become Purodha Pramukha", or "I want to be respected in my town", or any other such desire, then to the degree that desire is existing or dominant is the degree to which, "I am not a devotee". Because the "I" is dominant and not "He". That is essentially how it works. "I" and "He" cannot co-exist as the human mind is one. One is imposing my desire about His desire. This does not mean that one must give up everything of this world, such as a job, or house, or family, only it means that one should live in this world in service to Him. I should continue doing my duty - doing my job and serving my family - all in service to Him, not in pursuit of my own petty desires. This is objective adjustment. Objective adjustment does not mean forgetting Baba, it means keeping Him as the Supreme Subject in all one does. The I-feeling of ego should never dominate. Many get confused on this point. Real bhaktas harbor only a single desire in their mind; regardless of what they are doing they think, "I want to please Parama Purusa". That is their singular motivation and internal longing. Any other subsidiary desire merely diminishes that state of true devotion. Why? Because love is only one, not two or many. One cannot simultaneously long for Baba and a higher post. Longing is one and a person will naturally long for what they love most. Thus every Ananda Margii must reflect, "What do I long for most? Baba and Baba alone - or do I have other desire in mind?" One cannot love two things to an extreme degree, only one. Some confuse that they can have strong love for many objects, but that is just a misnomer. There can be top-grade love for one entity. Why? Because the cult of spirituality is the cult of pinnacled order.
This is the introspective self-test that everyone in AM must take. No one can administer this test to you. Nor can you impose this test on anyone else. This is for every sadhaka to think about internally - with absolute honesty and sincerity, otherwise it will not work. If others administer the test, one can get a passing mark by their hypocritical behavior. One has to prove to Parama Purusa, that I am devotee - not others. One must consider, "Am I doing to please Him or do I have some other competing desire in mind." That is the essential question. Everyone must know their own state of mind and mental longing. That is the self test. Then one will know their level of devotion. According to AM scriptures, devotion is everything, and one's longing should only be for Parama Purusa and for that reason one gets human life, then we should be clear about our real stature of devotion. One should know, "I have high devotion or low devotion." No one should live in some dreamland state like the pauper who internally thinks they are a billionaire when in fact they have not even one penny to their name. Similarly, no Ananda Margii should foolishly walk this earth thinking themselves to be a great bhakta, when in truth they have so many other worldly longings in mind. When talking about highest devotion then mind can only love one. When loving Params Purusa then one cannot simultaneously have worldly love. If you fall in love with worldly things side by side dreaming that you are a great devotee, then your devotion is false and it will not help you. That is why introspection is needed to fix oneself. In this regard, no third party is involved in this self-test. It is between you and Parama Purusa. In this situation, hypocrisy has no value. Sincerity is needed. Here Baba shows how worldly love cannot coexist with Divine Love. Baba says, "Do you love your son? No, no you don’t love your son. You love Brahma in the form of your son. By loving your son as a son, you cannot love the Lord. Where there is the feeling of son, there is no Lord and where there is the Lord, there is no son. Where you exist He does not and where He exists you are no more." (SS-1)
Jánhá káma tánhá nahiin Ráma, jánhá Ráma tánhá nahiin káma; Dono ekatra nahiin miile ravi-rajanii ek t́hama.
Baba says, "When there is attachment to the mundane, Parama Puruśa is not there; where there is Parama Puruśa there cannot be attachment – these two things cannot go together, just as the sun and the night cannot go together in the same sky." (DKG)
By Baba's grace He has given us devotion for Him by bringing us onto the path. But one must not let that level of devotion be drowned out by other crude desires. One must cultivate more and more pure devotion - failing that one's fate is bleak. Baba says, "the worship of Brahma should be done scrupulously, or else you will later regret and bemoan the futility of your life with the last drop of your tears at your last hour. You should make your life worthwhile through your sa'dhan'. How much can your worldly friends and relations do for you? After your death your relatives may perhaps ask, “How much money has he left behind?” Your friends may go to the crematorium and indulge in flattering reminiscences about you. Your husband or wife may cry for you for about ten or twelve days and then regain their normal composure. Your lot will be only a profound sigh – a record of the futility and frustration of your life. So do not waste your time lest you later have to repent." (SS-3) One must sincerely ask, "Do I long for Baba or something else like money, name, or fame?". Then one will know one's true status. At the same time, never miss the opportunity to ask Baba for more and more bhakti. By His grace human life is a unique opportunity to come close to Him. One must realise, "I have been through so many animal lives and day by day I am speeding towards my death. I must be practical and sincerely advance along the path of bhakti. For that, I must think, 'Am I longing for Baba or something else'." Baba says, "There should not be any amalgamation in devotion. For example, people mix copper in gold, but there should be no mixture in bhakti. Bhakti should be shuddhá bhakti, unadulterated devotion; that is, there should not be any covert desire in the mind. If there is a second thought, it might be that that desire will be satiated; but Parama Puruśa will remain unattained. The covert desire was your main desire, and devotion was a show. This will not do." (AV-1) Baba says, "The object of Esana is Parama Puruśa and nothing else."
“Ananyamamata visnormamata brahmasamgata”.
The Esana for other objects has to be channelized towards Parama Puruśa. This will be the right Esana. And “Ananyamamata visnormamata brahmasamgata” – that is love, that is Mukti. Hence, the correct Esana for men is Bhakti (Devotion)." "If a man wants to become a devotee of the lord but in the mind of his mind, if he thinks that God will make him pass his examination – here the Esana is not one but two. Here the work will not be done, “I want Paramatman and from Him I want nothing”. When something is demanded from God the Esana becomes two. Hence the time is completely wasted. Where this Esana is towards Paramatman there it is known as Devotion. Where there is Bhakti there will be the success in action and there will be victory for devotees." (SS-20) Namaskar, Ramlal
***************************************** Baba says, "O' human beings, don't get scared, light is sure to come after darkness." (AV-1, p. 51) *****************************************

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