Longing for friendship is universal. We routinely have
hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Daily, we tell one
another what goes on in our lives with instant messages and tweets. It
seems we all are connected closely, know more and care about one
another. But do we really?
Our scriptures proclaim that the perfect friendship that
we are aspiring can be found only in the Supreme Lord, our ultimate
friend and eternal companion. Hence, it is vitally important to
cultivate the divine friendship and love for him. "It is love that
opens the door to the impossible and makes way for the inaccessible,"
says H. H. Swami Mukundananda ji while explaining how the unalloyed
devotion alone helps us achieve full God-consciousness. When that
awakening comes to us, then we realize the Lord is that one friend
behind all friends, and we begin to experience his divine light of
Since the first week of August is dedicated to friends
and friendship, let us take a moment to ponder the friendship, love, and
the grace that our eternal friend has been perpetually showering upon
God is Our Eternal Friend
realize the invaluable friendship of our eternal companion, one must
understand what friendship means. Lord Shree Ram while assuring and
consoling Sugrīv, who took refuge in him, says one of the qualities of a
noble friend is to:
कुपथ निवारि सुपंथ चलावा |
kupatha nivāri supantha chalāvā
"A friend should restrain his companion from the evil path and lead him on the path of virtue."
the light of wisdom dawned on Sugrīv, he bowed his head at Shree Ram's
feet again and again, admitting, "O Lord, my mind has been set at rest
by your grace. Renouncing pleasure, prosperity, personal glory, and all, I will render service to you." However, the Puruṣhottam (Supreme Divine Personality), who is Sarva-śhaktimān
(Omnipotent) doesn't need anything from us. Yet out of his infinite
compassion and mercy, he offers us a chance to win him over with love
and friendship. It is through our friendship with Him, we realize
the purpose and significance of our very existence. The closer we get to
him, the more we benefit from having received this human form of life.
In God's Company There Is Peace & Joy
Eternal Friend is ever eager for our ultimate well-being. Although we
turned away from him, and let go of his loving hand, he bestowed
countless gifts upon us. And his greatest expression of his friendship
is his association that he offers through his avatārs (descensions),
which reveal his names, forms, pastimes, attributes, abodes, and saints.
Through his scriptures and saints, he repeatedly assures that those who
turn towards him and attach their mind will experience divine peace and
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वच्छान्तिं निगच्छति |
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि न मे भक्त: प्रणश्यति ||
kṣhipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śhaśhvach-chhāntiṁ nigachchhati |
kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśhyati ||
(Bhagavad Gita 9, 31)
they become virtuous, and attain lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare
it boldly that no devotee of Mine is ever lost."
Krishna here compassionately affirms that if we continue the process of
exclusive devotion with unflinching faith in him, our hearts will become
purified and we will swiftly develop the virtue of peace. "Divine
virtues emanate from God Himself. He is perfectly just, truthful,
compassionate, loving, merciful, etc. Since we souls are His tiny
parts, we are all naturally drawn to these godly qualities. But
the process of becoming virtuous remains an elusive mystery. From
childhood, we have heard that we must speak the truth, serve others, be
free from anger, etc. and yet we are unable to put those teachings into
practice for the simple reason that our mind is impure. Without
purification of the mind, blemishes of character cannot be eradicated
fully and permanently. Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj declares
the irrefutable truth regarding developing divine virtues:
सत्य अहिंसा आदि मन! बिन हरिभजन न पाय |
जल ते घृत निकले नही, कोटिन करिय उपाय ||
'Oil stains on a cloth cannot be removed by
water, no matter how much we try. Similarly, truthfulness,
non-violence, and other virtuous qualities cannot be acquired without
engaging in devotion to God.' These qualities manifest when the
mind is purified; and the purification of the mind cannot take place
without attaching it to the all-pure God." (Excerpt From: H. H. Swami Mukundananda. "Bhagavad Gita, The Song of God" 9.31)
Win His Friendship with Service
The infinite and selfless love of God is filled with divine bliss.
To experience such love, we too have to feel and express true and
selfless love for him. That, we can do only through nishkam seva
(selfless service). Service to the Supreme Lord can be of any form;
every little act carried out with dedication to the Lord is dear to him.
Guha was neither well versed in the scriptures nor cultured, but he
earned Shree Ram's friendship by his service to him. Similarly,
Vibhishan came from the enemy's camp, yet Shree Ram accepted his
surrender and invited him with a friendly embrace, as Vibhishan sought
the Lord with love and reverence.
Service is the finest expression of love. Therefore, in our
friendship with God, we shouldn't be merely a receiver; instead, we need
to reciprocate with all our heart, like a true friend does, with
whatever we have. It is in this giving that we become his true companion
and a friend.
Wellness for Life
Meditation on Bal-Krishna Leela
Mukundananda ji has explained that it is necessary to teach the mind to
be steady. One way to train the mind to focus on God is through
roop-dhyan or meditation on the leelas of God because they engage the
mind into something positive and endearing.
the momentous occasion of Janmashtami, let us meditate on the loving
and sweet form of baby Krishna that we see when we visit his house and
watch him waking up. This meditation is based on a guided meditation
conducted by Swamiji at one of the retreats. You might consider asking
someone to read this script out for you to help your meditation.
your eyes, have a smile on your face and sit straight. You are going
to Shri Krishna's house early in the morning. You walk in through the
main door and go directly to his bedroom. He is sleeping in his crib
and you are mesmerized by his lovely curly locks of hair, the peacock
feather on the crown of his head and his chubby cheeks. Mother Yashoda
comes into the room and tries to wake up baby Krishna but he is
indifferent to her voice, turning his head away from the source of the
sound. Mother Yashoda gently picks him up from the crib and sits on the
floor while trying to put Krishna in a sitting position. She again
asks him to wake up but Krishna protests, saying he is sleepy and
buckling his feet so Mother Yashoda has to hold him tight. He looks
incredibly beautiful and Mother Yashoda's heart melts. Yet she tries to
wake him up again. Shri Krishna yawns and stretches knowing that his
mother will not relent but his eyes are still closed. Eventually
Yashoda lifts him into a standing position and baby Krishna is forced to
open his eyes to regain his balance. This interplay between mother and
child continues for some time where Yashoda tries to wake him up and
Krishna tries to resist. Watching this scene, you are so captivated by
the ethereal beauty of baby Krishna that you walk up to Mother Yashoda
and hold Krishna in your own arms, mesmerized by the smile on his face
and sparkle in his now open eyes. You cannot resist his charm, so you
give him a hug and a kiss on his cheeks and wish that he would be your
own child. He smiles back at you, touches your face and you truly feel
like you are in a divine realm.
Everything is quiet, and you slowly break out of your trance, thanking God and Guru for teaching you how to do roop-dhyan.
7 DIVINE LAWS FOR
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