Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 18 Jul 2019

     

God is Pleased by Practical Sacrifice

Shri PVNM Sharma asked: You have established that the sacrifice of the fruit of work (donation of money) to God is greater than the sacrifice of work (service) to Him. But renounced saints and poor people have no money to sacrifice so they can only serve God. In that case, will people not feel that God and salvation have gone into the hands of rich people who have plenty of money to sacrifice?

Swami: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Hanuman did the sacrifice of work or divine service to God Rāma, which is Karma samnyaasa. The Gopikas sacrificed the fruit of their work to God Krishna, by giving Him butter, which was their hard-earned wealth. The sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work is called karma phala tyaga. Rama and Krishna were one and the same God Vishnu. Hanuman reached Brahma Loka to become future Brahma or the Creator. Thus, He reached the same level as God. Vishnu Loka, the abode of God Vishnu and Shiva Loka, the abode of God Shiva, are both at par with Brahma Loka. But the Gopikas reached Goloka, a newly-created world located even above the Brahma Loka. Goloka is said to be above the Vaikunṭha Loka or Vishnu Loka. The reason God has created Goloka above His own abode is so that the most holy dust from the feet of the Gopikas will fall on His head. Hanuman became God by becoming the future Brahma whereas God became the servant of the Gopikas. In fact, God Krishna had already shown a preview of the same by telling sage Narada that His headache would disappear only if the dust of the feet of the Gopikas was brought and applied on His head. All this clearly proves that the karma phala tyaaga done by the Gopikas is greater than the karma samnyasa done by Hanuman. God is pleased with practical sacrifice which proves the reality of a person’s theoretical love. He is not pleased by the mere shaven head or the saffron cloth. The householder doing both karma phala tyaaga and karma samnyasa is greater than the saint doing only karma samnyasa. This is one angle. The other angle is that the householder prostrates to the saint because the saint could sacrifice all worldly bonds for the sake of God’s work whereas the householder could not do that practical sacrifice.

The Percentage of Sacrifice Matters

People need not feel that salvation has gone into the hands of rich people. If that were true, how could Sudaama have got the topmost salvation, which is the grace of God? Sudaama was the poorest of the poor. Also, why did Jesus praise the beggar donating one coin as the topmost devotee even though there were several rich devotees who had donated hundreds of coins to God? God decides the value of the sacrifice not on the basis of the amount donated but on the basis of the percentage of the person’s total wealth that he has donated. The sacrifice of the beggar was 100% because that one coin was all the wealth he possessed. After donating it, he had nothing left with him. The sacrifice of the rich people was not even 1% because even after donating hundreds of coins, they had plenty of wealth remaining with them. So, God does not see what you donated, but what remains with you after the donation! For your donation of just one rupee to Him, He will give you a ticket right upto His abode, if no money remains in your pocket. But even if you give Him a hundred rupees, while a few hundred rupees still remain in your pocket, He will give you a ticket only up to the next walkable station. The total surrender of everything to God is the real and ultimate sacrifice (Sarvabhaavena Bhaararata —Gita).

Total Robbing

There is a special method of worshipping of God Venkateshwara whose famous temple is situated on the top of the seven hills at Tirupati. This method of worship is called niluvu dopidi in the Telugu language, which means ‘total robbing’. The real meaning of this worship is that when the devotee sees God, the devotee is so filled with emotion that he will naturally sacrifice everything he possesses to God. Thus, the devotee willingly gets totally robbed by God. It represents a 100% sacrifice to God. But our clever people have conveniently twisted this mode of worship as follows: First, the devotee promises God in advance that he or she will worship God through this mode of ‘total robbing’ provided God grants a specific desired practical boon. The devotee does not do this total robbing in advance, due to doubts in the mind. The devotee certainly wants the practical boon from God, but is not sure whether God actually exists or not and even if God exists, whether He will sanction the desired boon or not. The devotee thinks “What if I were to donate everything possessed by me to God, in advance, and then, for some reason, if I do not receive the desired boon from God? I cannot even complain to the temple authorities that I have been cheated by God!” So, the devotee does not take the risk of doing this total robbing worship in advance. The devotee thinks that it is better to make a deal with God in which God should first grant the practical boon and only then will the devotee visit the temple for the total robbing worship. Alright, let us suppose God sanctioned the desired practical boon to the devotee. The devotee goes to the temple to perform the total robbing worship. But here too, the devotee is very careful. He or she goes to the temple, with a very meagre amount of money and wearing very very light golden ornaments so that the loss in the total robbing worship is almost nothing!

Practical Sacrifice Alone Brings Practical Fruit

Money is the strongest of the three strong worldly bonds which include the bonds with money, one’s children and one’s life partner. These three strong bonds are called the Eshanaas. God always tests whether your devotion to Him is greater than the strongest of these three bonds. If the devotee succeeds in the test of the strongest bond, the other two bonds, being relatively weaker, need not be tested. There is a saying in Hindi that God resides in money (Paise me Paramaatmaa hai). This means that money is the strongest worldly bond and hence, God always competes with money. But, as described above, it does not mean that the grace of God is directly proportional to the quantity of the sacrificed money. Sudāma got the topmost grace of God just by sacrificing three handfuls of parched rice to God Krishna. The grace of God Krishna, in return, was also not theoretical. It too was practical. God Krishna too made a huge practical sacrifice of the fruit of work. He blessed Sudaama with an infinite treasure of wealth. God has said that He responds to devotees in the same way as the devotees worship Him (Ye yathaa maam prapadyante...—Gita). We think a lot before sacrificing a little bit of our wealth even though we possess a lot. But Sudaama sacrificed only a little. All he sacrificed was three handfuls of parched rice and that rice too was got on loan from a neighbor! It was the climax of the practical sacrifice of the fruit of work from Sudaama’s side. Hence, the fruit that Sudaama received from God was also the climax of the sacrifice of the fruit of work, from God Krishna’s side. God Krishna gave His infinite divine treasure of wealth to Sudaama!

Even Saktuprastha was tested for his ability to sacrifice the fruit of work alone and, that too, in an extreme condition. Saktuprastha and his family had been starving for several days owing to a severe drought. He had somehow managed to get a small quantity of flour to feed his family. God asked Saktuprastha to sacrifice that little food to Him. Saktuprastha and his family, after due analysis, decided to sacrifice all the little food they possessed to God and were granted a place in Brahma Loka by God. Thus, we see that God grants only theoretical fruit in return for a devotee’s theoretical sacrifice, while God grants practical fruit in return for the devotee’s practical sacrifice.