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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 Nov 2019

     

Is the climax of devotion attained in a single leap or step-by-step?

Is it possible to attain the climax of devotion in a gradual step-by-step manner or is it attained in one long jump like Śaṅkara, who attained it right from childhood?

Swami replied: Śaṅkara was a Human Incarnation of God Śiva, who had come down to earth at a critical time in the history of mankind when almost all souls had turned to atheism. He acted as a devotee to develop devotion in us. We cannot expect that we too will be able to make the sort of long jump of devotion that He made. We can only put forth effort to reach that climax of devotion, step-by-step. But we should reach the final step before this human life ends since there is no guarantee that we will be granted the next human life. This was stated by Śaṅkara Himself (Manuṣyatvaṃ mumukṣutvam...). We should not believe that we will be granted several human births in the future. We should also not believe that we will be able to make any spiritual progress in our old age. There is no guarantee that we will even live to be old and neither is there any guarantee that we will be reborn as a human being. Rebirth exists, but rebirth as a human being is not guaranteed.

We should neither feel discouraged nor should we completely relax and sleep on the issue of our spiritual progress. Actually it is the most important and serious issue. The climax of wonder is that, in spite of its importance and urgency, nobody even bothers about it. A person climbed a tree to escape from a tiger waiting under the tree to kill him. At the same time, there is a snake crawling towards him on a branch, wanting to bite him. From another branch above him, honey is dripping from a beehive. The foolish person is neither bothered about the tiger below nor the snake above, but is busy trying to catch the drops of the sweet dripping honey on his tongue! This is the state of every human being in this Kali age!

| Shri Dattaswami | Shankara Manushyatvam mumukshutvam

 
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