Shri Datta Swami

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Real Devotion Keeps No Accounts

Posted on: 01 Jan 2019
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Shri Kishore Ram remarked to Shri PVNM Sharma: It is very difficult to stay free of the aspiration for any fruit in return from God while doing service to Him.

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! The point here is not to achieve this state of being free of the aspiration for any fruit in return with effort, but to attain this state in a natural and effortless manner. Take the case of our love for our children. Our love for them is real. We practically serve them and we sacrifice our money for them without expecting anything in return from them. Our practical service and the sacrifice of our money to them proves the genuineness of our love for them. The service and the sacrifice can be said to be our practical love for them. We do not even expect anything from them in return and continue our practical service and sacrifice to them even if they behave badly with us. This aspiration-free real love that we have for our children is natural. It is not produced artificially by effort. We should feel such aspiration-free real love for God naturally. Such love arises spontaneously when we are impressed by His divine personality, which becomes known to us through spiritual knowledge. If we have to make efforts to develop such love for God, it not real and natural love. Instead, such effort is linked to our aspiration for some fruit from Him. It means that our real and natural love is only for our children. It also means that we are lying in our prayers to God when we say that God is above all worldly bonds for us or that God is higher than anybody or anything! We can fool any human being by telling lies, but not God!

Let us not say that it is impossible to love God without expecting anything in return. The word ‘impossible’ is an utter lie since we certainly love our children without any expectation. Would anyone believe if I were to say that I can lift a hill only in Mumbai and not in Delhi? If it is impossible, I should not be able to lift the hill in any place. But if it is possible in one place, how can I say that it is impossible in another place? So, we should frankly admit that we have real love only for our children and not for God. Our unreal love for God is based on the aspiration for some fruit in return. Such aspiration-filled devotion for God is either prostitution-devotion or business-devotion. In the former type of devotion, we try to achieve practical boons from God in exchange for our words and mental feelings of devotion. Thus, prostitution devotion is expecting practical boons from God in exchange for our theoretical devotion. In the latter type of devotion, we try to achieve practical boons from God in exchange for some practical service and the sacrifice of some money. Thus, business devotion is expecting practical boons from God in exchange for our practical devotion.

We cannot say that even our devotion to our children is based on the aspiration for some fruit in return, such as the aspiration to be served during our old age. This is not true. Even if our children refuse to serve us in our old age, we neither change our will written in their favor nor do we keep silent if they require any urgent help from us at any time. At the most, we may scold them for their ungratefulness. But our true love for them, which is practically proved through our service and sacrifice for them, never changes!

We are afraid of the risk in serving God and sacrificing our wealth to Him without the aspiration for any fruit in return. We think “What if God does not help me in my time of need? All my efforts in serving Him and the wealth sacrificed to Him would be for nothing!” This is the exact point where we slip from the path! We have total confidence in our children, who are mere human beings, but we do not have even a bit of confidence in the omnipotent God! Our children are human beings having very little power, while God is omnipotent. You think that the omnipotent God will not help you even though you have shown your love for Him practically through service and sacrifice. It means you are assuming that God is ungrateful! How did you assume that God has such a poor character? Sometimes, our grown-up children are ungrateful to us. Even though they are capable of rendering service to us in our old age they do not serve us. They do not reciprocate the real love that we have for them. The reason for their lack of real love for us and the resulting ungratefulness is their ignorance. Due to ignorance, they have directed their real love towards other blind bonds instead of us. In other cases, the grown-up children might have difficulties of their own. Hence, they might be incapable of practically reciprocating our real love towards them. Thus, souls could be ignorant or incapable of rendering service to us in reciprocation. But the omniscient and omnipotent God has no reason to unnecessarily avoid helping us in our difficulties. It is true that sometimes He does not help us and remains silent even when we are facing difficulties. The reason is that difficulties reform the soul and improve one’s devotion to God. Unless we are reformed, we will continue to rotate in the endless cycle of sins and punishments. So, God’s decision is always the best. Whether He helps us in our difficulties or whether He remains silent, it is for our greatest benefit. In whichever way He responds, He is always helping us.

We should establish a relationship with God based on real love. In real love, one does not keep accounts. There is no balance sheet, no debit and credit. If you keep accounts between you and God, it is not real love, it is business. Such devotion is called business devotion. Real love is not based on keeping accounts and such real love is eternal. Draupadi cried for help when she was being declothed in the royal court. God Krishna supplied unlimited saris to her without keeping accounts. Earlier, when His finger was cut, Draupadi, without hesitating, had torn her sari and used the piece of cloth to bandage His finger. If God Krishna had kept accounts, even after adding a lot of interest, the piece of cloth could never have become more than one sari!

The young son gives his salary in the hands of his mother. The husband gives his salary in the hands of his wife. The mother or the wife looks after all the needs and comforts of the son or the husband respectively. No account balance sheet is maintained for the amount of the salary handed over and the amount of comfort provided. No party aspires for any fruit in return from the other party. We should establish such a bond of real love with God. The mother or the wife is not omnipotent and might not be capable of providing all the comforts needed by the person. Both are ignorant and might not even be able to understand the person’s requirements each time. But God is omnipotent and omniscient. Sometimes, when the omnipotent and omniscient God remains silent even when we are facing difficulties, we should realize that there must be some very important valid reason for His silence. In such situations, His silence is undoubtedly in our best interest.

In this real love, which is not based on an account balance sheet, our love should be really real. What I mean is that our love should be real both inside and outside. A certain devotee tried to develop such real love for God. He served God and sacrificed his wealth to God without aspiring for any fruit in return. Later, when the devotee faced some difficulties, God kept silent. This devotee said to God that he had expected unlimited love from God in reciprocation of his unlimited love for God! This statement made by him shows that his love for God was real only externally. Internally, it was unreal! We must have real faith in God because He is omniscient. He knows our requirements even without our asking. He is omnipotent to meet any of our requirements, unlike other human souls. We have full faith in the ignorant and powerless humans, who are related to us. But we do not have even a bit of faith in the all-knowing, all-powerful and infinitely kind God. Is it not the height of blind foolishness?

 
   

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