Devotion to the Lord


Sri Swami Sivananda

This article is a chapter from the book Yoga And Realisation.

Do you really want God? Do you really thirst for his Darshan? Have you got real spiritual hunger? These are essential questions which you should every day of your life put yourself to. He who thirsts for the Darshan of the Lord only will develop love unto Him. To him, He will reveal Himself. God is a question of supply and demand. If there is a sincere demand for God, the supply will come at once. Pray faithfully like Prahlada. Repeat His Name like sage Valmiki, Saint Tukaram and Bhakta Tulasidas. Do Kirtan like Gouranga Mahaprabhu. Weep in solitude like Mira for the separation from God. You will have Darshan of the Lord this very second. Ever examine yourself. Introspect and develop your love for the Lord. Pray to him. Weep and cry for him. Repeat His Name and sing His Name. He will surely bless you with His grace.

The grace of God is ever on the true devotee. He has only to feel His presence in himself. He who detecting His hand behind everything that happens remains calm in the face of the worst failures and is peaceful, is really successful in the end. He retains the presence of mind and does not get upset. The man who gets perturbed does not gain his object as he has lost his presence of mind and also ruins his health.

The Lord has always a love for the true devotee. Life is worth living because of His infinite love for us. Our sincere endeavours should all be directed to a simple unfoldment of our inner being and to open out the inner chambers of our hearts, for the reception of the Lord. The Lord is ever sweet. He knocks at the door. Lo! Wilt thou not open thy door for thy beloved to enter? Ah! You search for the key. It is with you, held between your lips–the sweet Name of the Lord. Repeat ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya’. Now the door has opened.

Nurture in your bosom the plant of universal love and a deep desire to make the lives of your brethren worth living and enjoyable, nay, fruitful in every sense of the term. Love is very powerful. True universal love is God, indeed. Through all the Hindu scriptures runs the note of love born out of a conviction that the same Atman appears in the form of the Universe and all the beings in it.

Pure love is God. Pure love is boundless like the Akasa. Pure love is limitless like the sea. Suddha Prem is infinite like the ether. It embraces all. It expands ad infinitum. It has neither boundaries nor frontiers. It spreads out like the branches of the Banyan tree. It crosses all boundaries and frontiers and envelops the entire universe. Therefore cultivate pure love by destroying egoism, Vasanas and cravings through reflection, selfless service, Japa, Kirtan, Satsanga, constant remembrance of the Lord and meditation, and rest peacefully for ever in the God of Supreme Love.

Give the people around you the solace of Godliness and teach them to rely on God. This is best done by one’s own silent action rather than the best preachings. And this is the greatest Yajna or sacrifice which a householder can do. In your silent unassuming actions let others come to read the Upanishads and the Gita. Serve Him thus and His Divine Life. Your progress in the spiritual field is best assured. O Blessed Atman, this is the greatest Sadhana in the Spiritual line.

Do take up even now some selfless service. Selfless service, charity and generosity develop the heart and cleanse the mind of its lower habits. Therefore they are very helpful to an aspirant in cultivating love to Him and in his Sadhana. Go on persevering in developing the ‘Narayana Bhava’ and you will soon attain peace of mind and eternal happiness by the grace of God. Develop humility and a spirit of studentship. Always enquire into the nature of Truth and the Inner Reality which resides in the innermost caves of your heart. Ever be contented with what the Lord gives you; never complain. Never worry yourself with what you do not get. Stick ever to the path of Dharma. Stick to the Truth. Be always pure in thought, word and deed. Expand your heart by the realisation that He dwells in all. Take Sattvic food and do regular Asanas, Pranayama and Japa daily and regularly. Your devotion to the Lord will become intense. O Pilgrim on the Path to God here, take this staff–the Lord’s sweet Name. You will never slip on the road. Now walk erect because you have the Omnipotent as your help. Wear the shoes of Vairagya with the nails of Viveka. Even the most slippery ascents you will climb with absolute self-confidence. You will easily reach the summit in the twinkling of the eye. Obstacles will melt before you like the ice in sunshine.

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