Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 07 Oct 2020


Why is there a gap between theory and practice?

[Shri Bharat Krishna asked: Pādanamaskāraṃ Swāmi! Swāmi, I have been reading a lot of Your discourses. With Your grace, I do not have much work at the office and I am reading Your discourses there too and enjoying it nicely. Thank You so much for giving so much free time and also a good house in a beautiful place for learning the knowledge given by You, Swāmi. While reading those discourses and discussing with elder devotees I have got some doubts and questions, which I request You to please clarify.

Swāmi, while I started reading Your knowledge, I found a lot of difficulty and got too many doubts. That time, Dr. Nikhil helped me by clarifying all my doubts. As I kept on reading, I feel that now, I do not have any difficulty in understanding the discourses. I am so excited to read what is next and I keep on reading about 50 pages at once. Later on, while discussing with Devi Ma’am, she told me that what I understood is not even a bit of what I have yet to understand. I too totally agree with what Ma’am said because, if I had really understood, I would have developed selfless devotion and served You happily, all the time. But that is not happening. Theoretically, I have the feeling that I have understood the knowledge, but practically, there is very little progress. Only You know if I have really progressed at least a little in my journey towards You. Please tell me why there is so much of a gap between my assumed theoretical understanding and the understanding that Devi Ma’am meant? Also, please tell me what that gap is?]

Swāmi replied: Along with theoretical devotion, at least some practical devotion (service and sacrifice) to God must exist since the latter is a proof of the former. Theoretical devotion is also very important since it is the mother of practical devotion and in the case of God, theoretical devotion must exist since God is not a beggar expecting help from you. For a beggar, mere practical sacrifice (donation) is sufficient. But for God, both types of devotion are necessary. Practical devotion alone brings the divine fruit to the soul just as a mango plant alone bears the mango fruit. The water of knowledge and the fertilizer of devotion are also equally essential. They ensure that the mango plant of practical service and sacrifice can respectively, remain alive and grow to give fruit. Of course, the aspiration for receiving the fruit from God in return for one’s service and sacrifice must also be removed. That aspiration is like the insects that damage the plant. A balance between theory and practice is very essential.


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