HH Mahant Swami Maharaj shares his thoughts about
becoming a ripe devotee of God
When a potter makes pots he seasons them by putting them in a kiln. Thereafter, (drinking) water remains in it. Of what use are 1,000 unbaked pots? Only a seasoned pot can be used to store water because it is fully baked. Similarly, there are many devotees of God, but only those who are ripe and strong are the true ones.
Once, we were returning by train from Benaras. A devotee had brought two [clay] potfuls of drinking water for us to our compartment. A few minutes later, one of the water pots broke and the whole compartment got wet. Everyone was troubled by it. Just when the compartment was cleaned dry, the second pot cracked. The reason being that the pots had not been fully seasoned in a kiln.
We do not like to eat chapattis and rice that are not fully baked or boiled. We do not accept them, and instead throw them away.
When a devotee of God becomes strong in all aspects Bhagwan resides in him. Shriji Maharaj came on earth and discoursed to his devotees about becoming spiritually ripe and strong. When we do seva, other activities and satsang our focus should be on becoming ripe and strong.
Only during certain incidents or testing situations do we come to realize whether our satsang understanding is robust or not. It’s like a student who studies throughout the whole year and he realizes how much he has learnt only when he takes an exam. In the same way, a devotee’s understanding depends on how much he remains unwavering in a testing situation. There are those who come to satsang, but become sad, depressed and give it up on facing a minor insult. Such people are not true (ripe) devotees.
Shriji Maharaj defines a true devotee as one who abides by moral instructions (niyam), has faith (nischay) and stands up (paksha) for God, his Sant and devotees. One who has resolute nischay in God and his Sant, strongly abides by niyams and has paksha for them – his satsang keeps on increasing. Shriji Maharaj stated this for Shukanand Swami.
To become ripe and strong one has to introspect. No camera has been invented to inspect things within ourselves. If it existed then the act of introspection would not have been so neglected. Whatever we do, we should introspect honestly. We should set our own question paper, correct it ourselves and give the marks ourselves. Be honest with yourself. Are Maharaj-Swami happy about what I am doing? Keep on inspecting.
When you cannot see your faults ask the Vachanamrut and Swamini Vato. They will tell you immediately. The speedometer in a car shows you the speed, then another meter will show you how much oil or petrol there is in the car. Similarly, the Vachanamrut and Swamini Vato are our life’s meters. So, we have to inspect ourselves.
When you have been in Satsang for twenty-five years and still you have no affinity (khap) for it then whose fault is it? It is your own fault! A person driving a car will keep his eyes constantly on the road. He remains alert that his car does not veer off the road even a bit. So, we should remain alert – are we doing anything that displeases Shriji Maharaj and Swamishri?
Do whatever you do for Satsang only for gaining Bhagwan’s rajipo. He is always ready to be pleased upon you. Once, Yogiji Maharaj travelled to a village. There were not enough arrangements for his stay there. However, the devotees had lots of love and devotional feelings, so Bapa gave his abundant joy to them. When Bapa was about to depart the devotees cried and regretted that they had been unable to look after him and make proper arrangements for him. Then, Yogiji Maharaj replied, “I had come to please you. When you are happy everything is included in that.” God and his Sant want to please you, and they do not want anything in return. All they want are your pure feelings (bhav). We are indeed extremely blessed. We have the association of Pramukh Swami Maharaj – a God-realized Sant. By doing even a little for such a Gunatit Sant he showers his rajipo on us.
It is not so that only when you get 100% (in your spiritual sadhanas) he becomes happy on you. But when you keep on making honest efforts he is equally happy on you. Shriji Maharaj says in Vachanamrut Gadhada I 5, “If during meditation one cannot behold the murti [of God] in one’s heart, one should not lose faith and stop meditating. Those who persist in this way will earn the immense grace of God. Moreover, God will be bound by their bhakti.” The main thing is the devotee’s faith, inner love, enthusiasm and affinity (khap). Talent or skill are not God’s parameters.
What can we give to Bhagwan? He has given us this human body. Then, whatever we earn through our body, intellect, knowledge, power, wealth – everything is his. It’s okay that we take pride in giving to him. But he is pleased with us by the small things we humbly do for him.
We have met Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who is eternally in communion with Shriji Maharaj. When we are eagerly ready to sacrifice our everything at his feet the words of the Vachanamrut become a mirror for us. We are able to clearly see where our lapses obstruct us. Walk in the footsteps of the Vachanamrut, Gunatit Gurus and Pramukh Swami Maharaj to become strong in faith (nishtha), bhakti and upasana, seva and niyam-dharma. Then, we will easily become a ripe and strong devotee in whose heart Bhagwan will easily and eternally reside.