Exclusive Devotion: The Path of Single-Minded Devotion to Shree Krishna

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Date: 9th October 2023

Continuing with the previous two lines of ‘Sadhana Karu Pyare’….

जग में कतहुँ राग जनि करु, द्वेष जनि करु प्यारे |
हरि में गुरु में ही रहे नित, रक्त तव मन प्यारे ||

Jag meñ katahu̅ rāg jani karu, dveṣ jani karu pyāre.
Hari meñ guru meñ hī rahe nit, rakta tava mana pyāre

Shree Kripaluji Maharaj further enlightens us about Ananyata, or single minded devotion.  We have to practice undivided devotion towards God.  ‘Ananya’ means ‘no other’, or exclusive.  If an individual’s mind is attached to anyone or anything other than God, then he will not be called as an ‘Ananya’ follower.  Loving God alone is what ananyata means.  God repeatedly stated in the Gita:  

अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जना: पर्युपासते |
तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत |
सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |

ananyāśh chintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣhāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣhemaṁ vahāmyaham

Bhagavad Gita 9.22

 “Arjun, you must practice exclusive devotion.”

So, what is the meaning of Ananyata?  ‘Ananya Prem’ means to love just God and Guru, nobody else.  Here arises the main difficulty.  We have been practising devotion in our previous lives, also.  This is not the first life in which we have practised bhakti.  If you have taken birth in India, then it is because of your sanskars, or merits accumulated in the previous births.  Moreover, if we are coming to the satsang, then that means we have an eagerness to meet God; we believe in God.  This is a definite proof that we have done spiritual practice in our earlier life.  But the mistake that we made was that we never practised single-minded devotion, which means we did not love and attach our minds to God alone.   Shree Krishna says in the Gita:

मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते 

mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te

Bhagavad Gita 7.14

“The one who comes under my shelter alone and surrenders completely to me, I will free him from the clutches of Maya.  If you do not apply the word ‘only’, then I am not responsible for your attaining the Divine fruits of your sadhana.”  Ananya implies that the mind should be exclusively attached to the Divine realm of God and nowhere else.  And what do we do? We are attached to our mother, father, son, daughter, television, etc.  We keep telling God that He is also ours, whereas He expects exclusive devotion.  We shed tears for God and Guru, but we also shed tears while bidding goodbye to the newlywed daughter at home.  We shed tears when our children are sick.  This proves that we are attached to people other than God.  By this, our Ananyata, or exclusiveness towards God, gets destroyed. 

God says, “Look, You keep only Me in your heart.  If anybody else resides in your heart, then I will go out.  Understand my condition by reading all the scriptures and implementing it.  In this world, from an ant to Lord Brahma, everybody is within the three modes of Maya.  If you love them, then your heart will remain impure.  If you love Me, it will result in purification of your heart.” 

Let us consider an example. Our mind is like a dirty cloth that has accumulated dirt for innumerable lifetimes.  Our aim is to wash it and make it completely dirt-free. If we wash it with fresh, dirt-free water, it will become clean.  But, if we wash it with dirty water, the cloth will become dirtier.  What do we mean by ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ water? All mayic objects are considered dirty regarding their effect on our hearts.  Only entities related to God are considered clean.  The Names of God, Forms, Virtues, Pastimes, Abodes, and Saints are all pure.  Hence, for the purification of our hearts and minds, we have to carefully pay attention to the condition called Ananyata, or exclusive devotion. 

We attach our minds to material things and human beings.  Not only this, we attach our minds towards celestial gods and goddesses who are under Maya.  By doing so, our ananyata gets destroyed.   If we attach our minds to the celestial gods, we will not attain the Supreme God.  Yet, this is what we all do in today’s world.  Some people worship God, but in addition, they also worship celestial gods or worldly beings for material benefits, and therefore, they do not attain the Supreme God, Shree Krishna.  We have only one mind, and that should be focused on the Divine subject alone. 

We collect deities of celestial gods and then make a mockery of their worship.  We put all the deities together in a vessel to bathe them.  Then we put them in one big towel and dry them while they collide against each other.  Then we sprinkle chandan towards them.  Is this the way to do worship?  When we take a bath, we apply soap very carefully so that it does not go into our eyes.  We make sure that water does not go into our ears.  But we put the idols of all deities together in a bucket carelessly and wash them together!  The reason that people give is: “Swamiji, We do not have the time to worship each god separately.  I have to go the office, so I have to finish the pooja, or rituals, in ten minutes.”  Then why did you collect so many gods?  Their answer is, “This is the tradition that has been continuing from my ancestors.  My grandfather brought this deity from a holy place to worship.  Then a saint came to my house and gave me one more deity, so I kept it.”  What is the reason behind all this?

यानि कानि मित्राणि, कृतानि शतानि

yāni kāni ca mitrāṇi, kṛtāni śatāni ca

“Make many friends.  You never know who may help you in bad times.”  We say, “O Shree Krishna, please listen to me”, and He does not listen to us.  We put Him away without care.  We then say, “Hanuman ji, please listen to my prayers.”  Hanuman ji also did not listen. We go to Lord Shiva and say, “O Shankar ji, you listen to me.”  Shankar ji also did not listen.  Now, if Shankar ji also does not answer our prayers, we start worshipping spirits or ghosts and even visit the graves of Mullahs, thinking that they could change our destiny.  For this kind of devotion that we do, God says, “It will not work.  You have to practice undivided devotion.”

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