Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
(Below is a continuation of the post Who Is A Mahatma?)
Lord Krishna says, 'Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah. Bhajanti ananya-manaso jnatva bhutadim avyayam'. (9.13)
A Mahatma knows well what is steady, what is unsteady; what is eternal, and what is temporary and perishable. Lord Krishna says, ‘Such great souls (Mahatma) worship Me knowing My eternal nature (shaashvat prakruti) as the one pure Consciousness, with steadfast devotion and a one-pointed mind’.
This is a very important thing that He says here.
A Mahatma always worships the Divine with a one-pointed mind because he is aware of the temporary nature of things.He says, ‘What is the use of asking God for trivial things? I have received the greatest gift of all – God Himself! I need nothing more’.This is the quality of a one-pointed mind.
Many times we feel that we are singingbhajans (devotional songs) and performing puja for the Divine; but we are not really singing or doing puja, because our mind is caught up in desires, and we keep thinking that we should get this or that (Meaning: the mind races after acquiring something or the other and is not centered to the Divine in that moment) by means of doing puja. Even when we bow down to do pranaam to the deity (offering salutations), we do not do it for our own selves, but for some selfish motive, like to pass in the exams.
When you offer worship with some self-interest in mind, then that is not worshipping the Divine with a one-pointed mind. It means there is something else hidden in your mind. Then the puja, sadhana, satsang, etc., that we do is only to fulfil the desires of our mind. It is not done with a mind that is one-pointed towards the Divine. But what does a Mahatma do? They do everything with a mind that is one-pointed to the Divine. They sing bhajans with a one-pointed mind. They do not desire for anything else and are so happy in simply singing bhajans and praising the Divine. A Mahatma does not bow down before the Divine so that he gets a good job. He does it because he gets so much happiness by simply doing it.
There are two types of puja or worship. One type of worship is done with a desire to get something, or to offer gratitude for having received something. We feel that ‘Oh! God has given me this, and that', or 'God has given me such a beautiful house; God got me married’, so we do puja to thank God in return for having received something from God. But this is not done with a one-pointed mind, because it is done either in return for having received something, or in order to get something in the future. For a Mahatma, there is nothing more blissful than being one-pointed in devotion to the Divine. There is nothing else that gives him so much happiness other than just singing praises of the Divine. He finds so much joy in that. That is why it is said that a true devotee tells God, ‘O God, I find so much contentment just by looking at you’.
If you ever ask a child, ‘What do you want?’, he will always say, ‘I don’t want anything’. In fact, the child does not even say, ‘I don’t want anything’. He will simply say ‘Nothing!’ You will also find this in a person who is contented. So one who is in a state of pure innocence and who is content with everything displays such one-pointedness (of the mind).
If you look at an infant, you will see that he is so contented. He does not need anything at all. The same is the case with a devotee also. If you ask a devotee, 'What do you want?' He will say the same thing, 'Nothing!' One who is intelligent always worships the Divine with a one-pointed mind. A Mahatma also always worships the Divine with a one-pointed mind because he is aware (of the temporary nature of things), so he says, ‘What is the use of asking God for trivial things? All those He has already given me in abundance. I have received the greatest gift of all – God Himself! I need nothing more’. This is the quality of a one-pointed mind.
Those who worship God with the desire to get something are not able to follow anything devotedly. They will do a little worship here, a little somewhere else, in the hope of getting what they desire. Such people keep roaming from one place to the other, thinking, if they do not get what they desire from one place, they will go to another. But this is all in vain. Why? This is because their aim is not to surrender to the Divine and sing bhajans, rather only to gain something that they desire. So they will run to whichever place where they can get it. Such people cannot be calledMahatma. A Mahatma is one who worships and honours the Divine with one-pointed devotion.
Lord Krishna says, ‘Everything in the world is temporary and perishable. But I will never perish for I am eternal and have no end.
For a Mahatma, there is nothing more blissful than being one-pointed in devotion to the Divine.There is nothing else that gives him so much happiness other than singing praises of the Divine.
A Mahatma knows this well and hence worships Me with a one-pointed mind. I am eternal and my Love is eternal also. Knowing this, such noble souls worship Me with a mind one-pointed towards Me’. Such a noble soul always feels, ‘No matter what happens O Lord, You are always mine and I am yours forever. Whether I get something or not, You are always mine’. Having this feeling is to have a one-pointed mind.
The next verse is, 'Satatam kirtayanto mamyatantas cha drdha-vratah. Namasyantas-cha mam bhaktya nitya-yukta upasate'. (9.14)
Lord Krishna continues by saying, ‘Such noble souls always sing My praises alone. They are strong and unwavering in their devotion to Me. When they have to do something, they simply do it with full conviction and faith. They live and abide by their unshakable faith in Me, and they bow down only to Me. Such pious souls always sit near Me, steeped in their devotion to Me’. These are the signs of a Mahatma. They always take the shelter of the Divine and divine qualities.
In this way, Lord Krishna speaks about the signs of a Mahatma and a devotee. Tomorrow we shall see what the qualities of a Jnani (wise one) are.