22 May Devotion – Action and Inaction

Are we responsible for our actions? People some times think that practice of devotion is not in the hands of the person but completely dependent on God. How true is it? Spiritual progress is all about self effort and how much we involve the mind. Many people diminish the need for self-effort in their minds by saying, "Nothing is in our hands.  God is seated within us.  He is the doer of all our actions, and we act as He inspires us."
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26 Oct Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 13 (Selfless Love)

Part 13: True love is selfless

All our life we have not learnt to love, because we follow the principle of take, take and take. But if we wish to enter the realm of God we will have to reverse our principle to give, give and give. 

In life we are born with many relations like our parents, brothers, sisters etc and there are other relations that we form as time passes.  No matter how closely we feel related to these people, the truth is that all these relations will cease to exist one day.  Our scriptures inform us that we have had countless such material relations in our past lives as well, and every time it has been the same story; we spend some time together and then we all part ways to form relations in our subsequent lives.   Yet, apart from all these transitory relations, there is one relation which alone is eternal. And that is our relation with the Supreme Lord of the Universe who is seated in our hearts and accompanies us in every life form.  When we realize the truth that God alone is our relative and he is the soul of our soul, we discover the uniquely intimate and divine bond we share with him. Merciful God has given us the freedom to develop any relation with him as we like, we can look upon him as our child, as our friend, king or beloved. Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in his keertan ‘jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē’ tells us to worship God in madhur bhav or in other words as our soul-beloved.  There is however one correction required even in this bhav, and so Maharajji states:

jo nija sukha ura nahiṁ rākhē

He says; don’t love God for the sake of your own happiness. Love Him for the sake of His happiness!

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09 Oct Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 12 (Soul Beloved)

Part-12

In this world all our relations are temporary, but there is one unique relation we have with God and that alone is eternal.  Devotees realize the intimacy of this relation and thus see God as their soul-beloved.

In the third stanza of the keertan “jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē”, Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj states:

jo madhura bhāva apnāvē rē

yāmēṁ chārihuṁ bhāva samāvē rē

jo nija sukha ura nahiṁ rākhē, prēma rasa soī chākhē rē 

One who loves Shree Krishna in the conjugal sentiment as the Divine Beloved, in which the other four sentiments are naturally included, such a person, who abandons his or her personal happiness for the sake of the Beloved’s Happiness, tastes the bliss of Divine Love.

Let us here discuss the relationship with God.  Our relationship with God is unique, because it is the only relationship that is permanent, our all other relations in this world are temporary. On the cremation ground, the pandit who performs the funeral rites gives a twig to each of the family members of the deceased, and asks them to break it. The family members snap the twig into two. The pandit tells them, “Just as this twig was so delicate and broke so easily, that was the nature of your relationship with the deceased person.” But we don’t realize it – that one day, this is all going to end.
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26 Sep Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 10 (Liberation)

Part 10:

In continuation to his instructions, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj states another gem of Divine wisdom for the benefit of spiritual aspirants. He states:

nahiṁ r̥iddhi siddhi ura rākhē

“Such a devotee shall attain Divine Love who desires neither material opulence nor mystic powers.” We are all acquainted with riddhi, it refers to the material wealth and opulence. Everyone in this world wishes to possess riddhi, so much, that one is never quite satiated.  There is yet one another thing in this keertan that Shree Maharajji draws our attention to.  He talks about siddhis which refers to mystic powers. The mystic abilities are of two kinds: fraudulent and genuine.
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02 Sep Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 9 (Heaven and Hell)

Part 9: Heaven And Hell are Equal

A devotee who genuinely aspires to attain God’s Divine Love sees no difference between Heaven and Hell.  Celestial abodes may have far superior material comforts yet they are under the influence of material nature, and take the soul away from God.

Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in his keertan “jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē”, summarized the essence of attaining Divine Love of God, which is the highest form of bliss one can ever achieve in this whole universe.  Line after line, he gently explains the things we need to do or be wary of in order to purify our heart and receive the grace of God.  Thus He goes further and states:

jo swarga naraka sama jānē rē

That person who considers celestial heaven to be equal to hell will get Divine Love.

Often, people question if earth is the only planet where life exists.  But it is interesting to ponder that, if life existed only on our planet, what purpose would innumerable stars in the sky serve?  If God has created such an immense universe, it is very likely that there is life on other planets as well.
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22 Aug Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 8 (Yogasans)

Part 8- Yogasans: Means to achieve good health not Divine Bliss 

The article states that while Yogasans are prescribed as a means for attaining God, they should be practiced only to maintain a healthy body. Like other spiritual paths, path of Ashtang Yog also falls short in attaining the highest bliss of Divine Love.

Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj has time and again glorified the greatness of the path of Bhakti Yog in all aspects and particularly the sweetness of bliss relished by its devotees.  On the basis of the infallible knowledge of ancient Vedas and Scriptures, He has declared Bhakti Yog as the easiest and the most perfect way to reach God.  While the other paths of spirituality like Karm-kand and Gyan Yog were recommended with best intentions to the people in different times and according to prevailing circumstances, these paths cannot help a soul experience the highest bliss of Divine Love.  It is only by engaging in loving devotion to God and humbly rendering service to Him, can one experience that highest bliss in the universe.  Shri Kripaluji Maharaj goes further in His kirtan “jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē” and states:

jo yoga dūri kari rākhē, prēma rasa soī chakhē rē

 Such a person, who stays away from the practice of the Ashtang Yog path, tastes the Bliss of Divine Love.

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30 Jul Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 6 (Devotion)

Part 6 – Devotion inspired by Love 

 

The article describes the two kinds of devotion, one dominated by rituals and the other inspired by love. While rituals are relevant at the beginning of one’s spiritual journey, they gradually become insignificant as Love for God overrules external devotion.

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in His divine kirtan “jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē” instructs devotees that in order to attain Divine Love they will have to be cautious of rituals laid out in the ‘karm-kand’ portion of the Scriptures.  The rituals have their own relevance in initiating the spiritual advancement of an individual but are in no way helpful in attaining the supreme goal of Divine Love.  People who do not realize this fact end up entangled in rituals and performing merely external devotion. They however never advance to building an inner connection with God or grasping internal devotion. 

karm-kand’ will not suffice in making us cross the ocean of Maya and meeting our soul Beloved. Therefore the Scriptures state that as internal devotion enhances, the importance of the rituals automatically slips out of your mind.

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23 Jul Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 5 (Karm and Gyan)

Part 5 – Understanding Karm-Kand and Gyan

  Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj’s keertan ‘jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē’ begins with the knowledge of surrendering to God. Shree Maharajji puts down the first condition for traversing the path of Divine Love and says, “Only that soul who keeps his or her desire in the desire of the Beloved shall attain Divine Love”. We souls have only witnessed the false love of material realm where love is more of a business transaction and each person seeks his/her own happiness alone. But in the spiritual realm a soul finds true happiness only in serving God and Guru. The first stanza of the keertan is as follows:

jehi karma na nekahuṁ bhāvē rē

jehi gyānahum nāhiṁ suhāvē rē

jo yoga dūri kari rākhē, prēma rasa soī chakhē rē

One who does not relish the practices of rites and rituals and who is not interested in the practice of the Gyan Yog philosophy Such a person, who stays away from the practice of the Ashtang Yog path, tastes the Bliss of Divine Love. 

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19 Jul Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 4 (Surrender)

Part 4 – Surrender

  With an intense yearning for the highest bliss i.e. Divine Love of God we have set out on a journey back to our Divine home. But a journey without the knowledge of right directions will lead us nowhere. If you wish to get out of the room, but you keep trying to get out through the wall without any knowledge of the door, you are not going to get very far. Likewise, in spiritual journey it is essential that along with desire we find the most suitable path to attain Divine Love and then follow it with faith. The Vedic scriptures which are an authority on spiritual knowledge clearly tell us about the path we ought to follow. Spirituality is not a matter of metal concoction; there are appropriate procedures and guidelines that need to be understood. Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has summarized the path of attaining God in His ecstatic and profoundly meaningful keertan ‘jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē’. Even as He has concisely revealed the essence of attaining Divine Love in each line, with good understanding an aspirant can derive the benefit of a lecture from each of these lines. Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says in the first line:

“jo piya ruchi mahaṁ ruchi rākhē, prēma rasa soī chakhē rē”

“That soul, who keeps his or her desire in the desire of the Divine Beloved, will get Prem Ras”.

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15 Jul Jo Piya Ruchi Maha Ruchi Rakhe – 3 (Divine Love)

Part 3 – Develop Hunger for Divine Love

  The power of Divine Love enslaves the Lord of the universe Himself and therefore it should be the most desirable thing for any human being. There is unquestionably no pleasure in this world that can be even vaguely compared to the bliss that Divine Love of God has to offer. And since it is the highest bliss, it is also the last thing that God grants to His devotees. Divine Love may me the most desired, yet it is bestowed the least by God. Sage Narad says in His Narad Bhakti Darshan:

prakāshate kvāpi pātre (Narad Bhakti Darshan, Sutra 53)

“Very rarely does some fortunate soul receive Divine Love”.

Saint Tulsidas says:

kahuṁ kahuṁ vrishti shāradi tori, kou eka pāva bhagati jimi mori

(Ramcharitmanas)

Just the way it is an extremely rare occasion to witness rains in the month of Kartik, it is also an exception for God to bestow His Divine Love power. Kartik is the month following the monsoon season in India and as a general observation it never rains in that month. So Tulsidas Ji says, “This Divine Love is received by one out of millions.”
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