(My inner spiritual reflections)
You will not find pearls on the surface of water. To find such precious and divine beauty, you have to swim into deeper waters. And so it is with God.
Devotion cannot be a half-hearted effort just like a bird cannot fly by flapping only one wing. It requires a concerted effort, which, with practice, becomes automatic.
As a mother, I can say that my daughter is never far from my thoughts. I love her without ceasing. No one has to remind me to think about her. It has become automatic.
I believe one can experience such devotion with God. I have to remind myself that everything around me, including the breaths I take, is a divine blessing from our Creator. If I make a concerted effort on this, then my devotion too becomes automatic. I begin to pray without ceasing. My connection with the Almighty becomes constant. After all, how can I not see God or think about Him when I am looking at His creation? How can I not see His love for me when I am looking at my daughter or at my husband? How can I forget that He and only He is the source of everything?
But I do forget. I forget the Creator and attach myself to the creation instead. I develop a false ego, believing the material comes from me; that I created my job success, that I created my daughter, etc. When I begin to take credit for everything, when I fail to surrender to the universe, I lose sight of what is real and what is illusion, what is eternal and what is temporal.
And so, I have to keep swimming. Deeper and deeper. My devotion cannot be once a month or once a year. I have to immerse myself in this spiritual realm to keep myself on track.
“As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the yogi whose mind is focused remains always steady in meditation on the transcendent Self.” – Bhagawad Gita Chapter 6, verse 19
Once I am centered in Him, then His love will pour out of me because to love God is to love all of mankind. I will not need to claim to be “devoted” or on a dharmic (spiritual) path. There will be no question as to whether I have found the pearls. The divine light in me will shine through my being.
My state of mind will no longer harbor fear or anxiety or insecurities. I will be content and at peace. I will no longer fight God’s will in my life. Rather, I will accept His doings. And I will be positive. No longer saying “no” to the universe but embracing my responsibilities, my sewa (selfless service), my karmic accounts with a “yes.”
Holy scriptures say it is a rare and difficult feat to attain such divine loving devotion.
“Of many thousands of men, one will attempt to reach perfection; and of the few who reach this goal, only a rare soul will perhaps know Me as I am.” – Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7, verse 3
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Holy Bible, Matthew 7:13-14
That is why I must continue to swim deeper in the sea of devotion. If I stop swimming, I will drown. If I swim without purpose, I will stay afloat but the pearls will elude me. But if I continue to swim deeper, there is hope that one day I will find those pearls, that one day I can become that “rare” soul to know God, my Creator, my Sustainer.
It may sound like an impossible mission but I believe if I earnestly take strokes in the right direction, God will carry me through the rest of the waters.
“For those who worship me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form, I carry what they lack and preserve what they have, both materially and spiritually.” –Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9, verse 22
How do I swim deeper? By trying my best to stay connected with my divine Father through sewa (selfless service), simran (prayer) and satsung (spiritual congregations). When I connect with my Source, I lack nothing. Those pearls that I once thought were far away are handed to me like a gift and the deep swimming I thought I had to do, He does for me.