Object of a Festival is to Promote Love for God
In weddings, while the main ritual itself takes very little time, the other
incidental ceremonies are extended over four days. These several
ceremonies serve to highlight the importance and solemnity of the marriage
itself. Similarly, in a religious festival, the main object is to emphasize
awareness of God; the celebrations are intended to promote this object.
In Diwali, the fireworks, sweet dishes, many snacks, are all intended for us
to forget miseries and displeasing things of yesterday. Similarly, festivals,
religious feast days, religious performances, pilgrimages, etc., are all
intended to stimulate a theistic feeling, to promote love for God, to create
awareness that God exists everywhere, all the time. There should be an
abiding conviction that we do everything at His prompting. This will
gradually inculcate love for Him and mitigate pride of doership.
We disclaim faith in the existence of ghosts and spirits, but are inwardly
frightened when in the company of a “possessed” person. If we look on God
with awe as we do on a ghost, evidently we shall be unable to feel affection
for Him. So first of all, disburden your mind of fear for God. Be sure that God
will not award you punishment or do anything against your interest. He is a
veritable ocean of mercy. Like a mother, He will never think of harming you.
The trouble is that we do not call on Him with the implicit faith of a child for
its mother; that is, we never bring to nama-smarana the earnestness which
it deserves; and this is where we err.
So, having taken the trouble to come to Gondavale, stand before my Rama
and pray to solicit nothing but His love. If you acquire devotion for Rama,
you can be sure that your prapancha will be happy beyond imagination.
Never relinquish nama. Nama alone will ensure for you company of and love
for Rama. Nothing is closer to God than nama. Associate with nama
constantly, guard it carefully like your very life; rest assured that it will
ultimately lead you to God Himself; for, where there is God there is nama,
and conversely, where there is nama, Rama will invariably be found. If you
lose your awareness of yourself as a separate entity, you will find yourself
face to face with Rama.
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