Master : “You see, as long as a man is under the maya’s spell, he is like a green coconut. When one scoop out the soft kernel from a green coconut, you cannot help scrapping a little of the shell at the same time. But in the case of a ripe and dry coconut, the shell and the kernel are separate from each other. When you shake the fruit you can feel the kernel rattling inside. The man who is freed from maya is like ripe and dry coconut. He feels the soul to be separated from the body. They are no longer connected with each other.”
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Vol II Page 1022
Me: I was taking about bringing mind into focus. The focal point being the aspect called God.
He: Why focus on God?
Me: Nice question. Earlier I was taking about God as a person. This is the basis of Bakthi. Without giving attributes to God, we cannot bring in focus on Him/ Her. The auspicious attributes given to God will bring in attraction for the mind towards Him. A drawing power. Like a magnet attracting iron particles, the mind will get attracted to God because of these auspicious attributes.
I would like you to recall what we were earlier discussing, that God cannot be defined, understood in His wholeness or proved as existent, as we are subdued by this pragrithi and our understanding is within its limits.
However, we have to overcome this short coming, and the easiest way is to have God as a person who is all attractive.
Also this doesn’t mean that God is a creation of man. The all powerful can be all pervading, omnipresent, can be in form and without form and can also be a person to our liking. If He cannot be so, then He is not all pervading and omnipresent.
He: Why not we focus on other things of this world?
Me: Focusing on worldly things will give us worldly benefits. Worldly benefits have worldly ending and is not permanent. Is youth permanent? Is wealth permanent? Are relationships permanent? No. The purpose of life, as I perceive and taught by our lineage of Gurus is higher than worldly achievements. It is attaining the lotus feet of the supreme Godhead, in whatever name you call Him.
He: Ok. What are these auspicious attributes?
Me: Auspicious attributes depends on how one relates to God.
He: What is that?
Me: Yes, how you consider Him. It can be a son/daughter-father relationship, a son-mother, a father-son, a mother-son, a servant –employer, a subject-Lord, friends or lover.
He: Yes. Almost all major religions of the word teach/preach one of these relationships with God. In Islam it is Subject and a benevolent ruler; in Christianity it is son and father and in popular Buddhism it is Lordship.
Me: Remember, here we are talking about duality or duvaitha. That is, we are not talking about approaching the all mighty as in advaitha.
There are certain basic, fundamentals we should be clear about before going into Bakthi. You also should recall that we had discussed these now and then.
1) That we are not the body. That is, body identification is deterrent to love for God.
2) We do not die but our bodies’ only die and it is like wearing a new shirt when the old one is worn out. We are entangled in cyclic births and deaths till all our karmas are washed away.
3) We feel the world through our mind and the best way is to use the characteristics or nature of mind to focus it on God.
4) We are born because of our karmas (good and bad) and our sole purpose of life is to wipe away these karmas by devotion and devotional service to God.
5) As our mind and intellect are under the control of the nature we cannot overcome it, unless we surrender ourselves to God.
6) The path we should take to reach God is those laid down by our Guru Parambara.
Tomorrow let us discuss the ways to take mind towards God using its nature. Bye for now.
He: Bye see you.Author: Sankara Raman Narayanan on September 9, 2017