What is the Path of Devotion?

A lady from Dubai came to see us off
at the airport, The Emirates officials had escorted
us until the end, right? She requested, “Bapa, please give me a
mantra. I want to chant it 1.25 crore times.” “Sorry, 1.25 lakh times.” So, I said, “Let me write it for you.” ‘May I always take refuge in the path of love
and devotion as shown by Param Krupalu Dev.’ She has already finished chanting it 5000 times, Just yesterday, she sent an email saying, She has already finished 5000 and feels,
‘I have become a different person altogether.’ ‘May I always take refuge in the path of love
and devotion as shown by Param Krupalu Dev.’ Now, what is this Path of Devotion? It is very important. Specially, since we are in the month of love, It is very important to know if you have
really understood the Path of Devotion. It is not about singing some devotional songs, It is not preparing for a devotional song, It is not just finishing your
morning and evening prayers, All that you must do! It specifies love and devotion, both. If it was mentioned as the Path of Devotion only,
it would have been very easy. Number 1: In the Path of Devotion, You will need P for Preeti – love. What does preeti mean? You will need a flow of affection. Whether you sing one devotional song,
or sing for a whole hour, Only when there is a flow of affection,
is it considered as devotion. Your devotion will not be measured
by how much you move your lips. The first is: Preeti – love. But, what if you feel affection
but do not have trust? What if you do not have trust? If you don’t trust Him, if you don’t trust His ways,
if you don’t trust His timings? Then even these affections are meaningless. So, the first P stood for Preeti, The second P for Pratiti – Trust. First was Preeti – flow of affection. Second was Pratiti – Trust,
no uncertainty, no doubt. Sometimes, you may not have any doubts, But if you keep thinking, ‘What will happen?
How will it happen? Will it happen or not?’ This uncertainty will destroy your love. Preeti – flow of affection;
Pratiti – unfailing trust. Once these two P’s are present,
then a third P is needed, The third P is Pranati.
Try to understand its contextual meaning. Pranam, obeisance.
Pranati. The Path of Devotion requires only two things, Seeking refuge and shedding tears. If you have these two, there is no need
to perform daily prayers. You must do them!
But they are not essential. Once a person was asking me, “If I feel
a great deal of love and respect for a saint,” “But Bapa, how do I determine whether
He is my Sadguru?” I replied, “If by beholding the sight of Him,
if just one glimpse of Him,” “Makes you feel as if your
morning prayers are complete,” “Then know that He is your Sadguru.” Now you can take this wrongly, And just make sure that you behold Him every
morning and evening! Don’t do this! Beholding the sight of whom, you feel like
you have recited all 700 verses of the Gita. If you feel such relief and contentment,
then know, That’s your Sadguru, now start. One and only refuge, All the knowledge that I need,
has been given to me. For inspiration, I need not go anywhere
else in the world. This is what the four Bhakt Ratnas
(Jewels amongst Devotees) had. Why Bhakt Ratna? We are devotees too, but we are not
addressed as ‘Jewels’, Because for us it is not
‘one and only’ We are disloyal even in the name of religion. Even in the name of religion. Because, basically the strong
urge for liberation is absent. So he asked, “What does
‘one and only’ mean?” I answered, “Not insisting on personal
views, not being critical of others,” “And staying loyal at the Lotus Feet of
only one, is what ‘one and only’ means.” One and only source of protection
and constant remembrance, This source of protection means refuge; And constant remembrance means tears. Keep constant remembrance, You will have to shed many tears. This is the Path of Devotion. You understood Preeti (love), Pratiti (trust),
Pranati (one and only). The one and only refuge. The fourth is Prapatti.
Prapatti means heartfelt surrender. Not Him but His commands. From now on, I will obey His commands, Faithfully practising the vows
that I have committed at His Lotus Feet, This is how I will express my devotion. Practising Prapatti is quite difficult because
it will devour all your attachments, Both, towards the favourable
and that which is unfavourable. It will consume even your attachment
towards that which is favourable. Which is good, because
you want to be detached. Preeti (love), Pratiti (trust), Pranati (obeisance),
Prapatti (heartfelt surrender). Prapatti (heartfelt surrender) is such that,
the Enlightened Masters proclaim, If you had to choose between rituals
and the feeling of surrender, Then choose the feeling of surrender. A servant takes his master’s child
to swim in the river. While the child swims, he decides to
wash clothes by the river. Whilst he washed the clothes,
the child was swept away in the river. The furious father asked, “You madman!” “Should you have been washing clothes
or looking after the child?” Similarly, should you be paying attention to
practising rituals, Or checking your feeling
of surrendership? This indicates the extent of how
significant the feeling of surrendership is, More than the value of your rituals. So your feelings, Preeti (love),
Pratiti (trust),Pranati (obeisance), Prapatti (heartfelt surrender) Pranati (obeisance) is so beautiful,
accepting refuge in one and only one. We are blessed that we have been
provided with everything, But alas, we have no value for
what we have received. When there is such technical information
to be shared, including, ‘The Soul exists’; ‘it is characterised
by purposeful activity;’ ‘In metaphysical terms’; and
‘in empirical terms.’ Terms that are beyond our intellect! He says, if you don’t understand any of this, Then just repeat the title twice,
once at the beginning and once at the end, So, the letter of ‘The Six Fundamental Truths’
does not end with paying obeisance, but, With the repetition of the words of the title,
‘To the bestower of unparalleled refuge…’ Until the feeling of ‘one and only’
appears in your devotion. On this day of love, love is not the only
thing that is important, Along with love, if Pranati (obeisance) and
Prapatti (heartfelt surrender) are present, Only then will love have the necessary strength
to make you a jewel amongst devotees. Who wants to become God? If we can only become a jewel amongst
devotees, our journey is complete. After this, whatever God gives, is a blessing. If He makes us equal to Him, it is a blessing. Rajul was clear that she wanted to stay with
Him constantly, so she embraced renunciation. But Nem asked her go ahead and
reserve a seat for Him, He would follow later as He still had to
attend to the welfare to the world. Rajul attained liberation first. She kept a seat for Nemnath beside Hers. This is a gift from You,
but I want to remain with You constantly, If I cannot be a wife, then I will be a nun. She waited and waited for 54 days! Nemnath Bhagwan embraced monkhood,
but until He attained omniscience, He did not ordain anyone. Until then, the Tirth (four-fold sangh)
could not be established. She waited in Dwarika with Krishna,
in His palace. She considered herself married, though
He had not taken the marriage vows, But took vows of monkhood instead. She left her home, went to Dwarika
and lived in austerity. On the 54th day, as soon as she heard, That Lord Arishtanemi had attained
omniscience at Rewatgiri, Girnar Tirth, And a samavasaran (divine pavilion)
had been created, The entire Yadav community went there
to pay obeisance. She also went. In the very first sermon, she arose and
requested Him to make her a nun, Along with thousands of other women. Remember, disease is not the only
thing that is contagious, Love is equally contagious. Bhagwan Mahavira was the only One
who took the vows of monkhood alone, All the other Tirthankars embraced monkhood
along with thousands of others. In fact, Neminath Bhagwan took the vows
along with one thousand other people. His own brothers, Krishna’s sons,
and so many others, He took His vows with one thousand
other people. Purity is very important and this will
give rise to the feeling of surrender. You know that I write my Udghosh (personal
journal) in the morning and evening, On the 31st, I gave a discourse here
and had to rush to the airport at 5 o’clock, Our flight was at 8 o’clock. Muscat was just becoming visible
as the plane was about to land. I could already see. All of a sudden, I had a flash of inspiration,
I opened my notebook to write. The air hostess said,
“Sir, now You have to pack up.” But I said, “No, it is very urgent.” Very urgent because before the feeling
disappeared, I wanted to write it down. Of course, the table had to be folded,
but I wrote it on my lap. I want to share that with you. Do you remember that we undertook
the study of ‘Shant Sudharas’ in 2012? And during Paryushan, Maitri, Pramod, Karuna, Madhyastata, (Friendliness, Appreciation, Compassion, Equanimity), I had given four discourses
on each feeling. Three or four sessions, something like that. I wrote about the significance of these 4
in the context of the Path of Devotion, Did you see me writing? Friendliness, in context of
the Path of Devotion. A person who loves God,
one who has won the Guru’s approval, To develop friendship with such
a person is ‘Maitri’ – Friendliness. I still have drawbacks, I have
still not won His approval, But this person has, So let me develop as much friendship
with this person as possible. This is the feeling of
friendliness in the Path of Devotion. Their intellectual level may not be the same, Their financial level may not be the same, Their level of exposure or education
may not be the same, And it is a little difficult, If someone comes from Ghatkopar, And you have to match with him,
it can be difficult. But if he has love for God,
if he has won the approval of the Guru, Then, all other friendships
are my mind’s choice, But this is the choice of my soul. Pramod – Appreciation!
Now you know, A person who has won the
approval of the Guru, To engage in praising his virtues,
is Pramod – Appreciation. At first, envy will arise within you,
ego will arise. These are impurities caused by
delusion of conduct. So, you will not feel like doing it, Immediately, delusion of perception
will support it. How can you not have a feeling of appreciation
for a person who has won approval? Delusion of perception will take charge,
and ensure this impurity remains steady, Otherwise, you will start feeling regret. This person has won approval, But why do I not have any feeling
of appreciation towards him? Why do I not feel like praising him? So how can this impurity be kept steady? The moment you start to feel remorse,
the impurity will lose strength. So, delusion of perception
will come to assist. Which means, to harm you. It will say, ‘I do not like this
particular thing about him.’ ‘I do not consider it worthy of appreciation.’ This is the work of the delusion of perception. If the whole town appreciates this person
and you don’t; you will feel remorse again, Then the delusion of perception
will arise even more forcefully. ‘I can see faults in this person.’ Understand that if a person has won approval,
he has not become omniscient. Do not expect complete detachment
from this person. Devotion for the Guru is of two types, Devendra Devotion and Munindra Devotion. When devotion is performed towards
Jineshwar Bhagwan, one is Devendra Bhakti, Shakrendra (Lord of the Indras) will,
want to create a grand samavasaran. May all gain benefit from my Lord;
and accept the refuge of my Lord. This is his form of devotion. Munindra Devotion is a longing
to abide in one’s Self, to become detached. Both these types of devotion
are approved by the Enlightened Ones. I am not suggesting that one is higher or lower.
There is a difference, One is the feeling of sharing, and the other is
the feeling of doing spiritual practices. You are unable to accept it,
because you are under delusion of perception. If someone wants to spread the message, You think he has no inclination
towards spiritual practice. If he is engrossed in spiritual practice, You feel he has no devotion for his Guru,
because he is not spreading His message. This is the work of the delusion of perception.
It’s ploy. Because if you do not praise a person
who the whole world is praising, You do not appreciate,
and therefore feel remorse, Delusion of perception will say, ‘Dont
feel bad, I will alter your mind.’ ‘Start seeing faults in him.’ When you look at his faults
and you feel, ‘But am I any better?’ Then delusion of perception
will arise even more forcefully, And you will not be able to
see your own faults. Only then can we look at others’
faults calmly, right? If you feel, “I speak with others’ wives alone
too, without their husband’s permission.” “Who can be a worse sinner than me?”
If such a feeling arises, Then you will no longer be able to see faults
in others. Your focus will be on yourself. Delusion of perception creates
keyhole perception. It makes you forget all your faults and
highlights the other’s smallest faults, Such that you will not want to praise or
appreciate the other, You will feel envy, pride,
and go on a downward spiral. This is Appreciation in the Path of Devotion. This appreciation has to be expressed
for the person next to you. You have no problems with the 24 Tirthankars. You have no problem when it comes to
Param Krupalu Dev. He is the best! But try praising the person next to you, Try praising the group next to you. Try to praise the group from
yesterday or the day before. “They performed excellent devotion!” “Although they did not have good singers,
like these ones,” What are they called? Prominent! They are not like them,
yet they performed so well. Try to do this and you will realise, Suddenly a feeling will arise
and make you competitive. Stay competitive but only to be
appreciative, not to be envious. If you see good, say it is good and think,
‘Why did I not think of this?’ Or ‘Why did I not do it like this?’ etc. Devotion for the Lord can be expressed
in the form of Devendra or Munindra. So, why do you accept one form only? Because, you are under the influence
of delusion of perception. So, your perception has become very narrow. What is called narrow insistence,
false belief, enters your mind. Due to these reasons, you are
unable to feel appreciation. So, Friendliness means to
cultivate friendship, Only with one who has won
the approval of the Guru. And Appreciation means to acknowledge
and praise this person. Param Krupalu Dev has said,
“What is the benefit of praising the Lord?” “One who loves to serve the Lord, I would
prefer to serve at the feet of such a devotee.” They (Jineshwar Bhagwan) are all Complete,
free from all attachments, But one who has many attachments, But has surrendered all his attachment
at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, One who has no other interest,
praise such a person. This is revolutionary. When I first read this Letter, I felt dizzy. Only Bhagwan can be praised, this
has been taught to us from birth. Only the 24 Tirthankars. But those were devoted to the Tirthankars
like Sulsa, Chandanbala, To rejoice upon seeing them,
for tears to well up in the eyes, And the feeling, “May I attain
the same!” It is only Krupalu Dev who has taught this. The purity that arises from it,
makes you feel closer to God. So I feel it is worth it. Third – Compassion
One who is ignorant, one who is not a devotee, One who has wealth, power, who is a
CEO, FEO, DEO… or whatever, But if he does not have devotion for the Lord, Feel compassion for such a person,
do not criticise him. Think, ‘He is such an intelligent person,
if only he finds a Sadguru,’ ‘His life will be fulfilled’ ‘He is so emotional,
but if he finds the right Master,’ ‘If he receives His refuge,
then he can accomplish his goal.’ ‘But alas, he is engrossed in worldly matters,’ ‘And his life is slowly coming to an end.’ And last, Indifference or Equanimity. This means, towards one who is full of hate, One who is only interested, in criticising
about devotion and religion, Feel indifference towards such a person, Do not even try to explain to such a person. It is a waste of time.
He is filled with hatred. If he is genuinely curious,
then be willing to spend 8 hours with him. But for one who is filled with hatred, Feel indifference towards him. Meera said very beautifully, ‘If a dog barks, what difference
does it make to an elephant?’ The elephant can sway from side to side, and
go through while the dog continues to bark. I am not ridiculing the dog, I am suggesting that your mind
should be able to ignore it. So, have a feeling of indifference
towards a hateful person. Maitri, Pramod, Karuna,


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