Bliss of devotion

“While ploughing his field, a man unexpectedly chances upon some buried treasure. A thirsty man, staggering about in the hot sun, stumbles and finds himself on the banks of the Ganga. Is it necessary to describe their feelings?

This is exactly my state of mind, O Lord Rama. I, whose mind is full of greed and evil thoughts, because of some accrued merits from previous lives, have discovered the bliss of devotion to you. Pray, bless me that I may continue to harbour such devotion always and desist from distracting thoughts,” says Bhadrachala Ramadas in his  composition ‘Dasarathi Satakam’.

In this work, he expounds upon the bliss of entertaining noble and spiritual thoughts, which in turn impel man to lead a life of righteousness and devotion.Devotion, manifests itself in myriad ways. Even showing reverence to other devotees is also a form of devotion, he says.

‘I will bow to your devotees and serve them to the best of my ability, as I see yourself in them. Even the Lord of death hesitates to go near such exalted beings and has instructed his messengers to keep away from them,’ he says. He then makes a statement in favour of the assertion that it is not possible to define devotion in rational terms and it is something that transcends a cold, clinical approach. ‘It is impossible to discover the treasure that is Rama by ploughing the land called spiritualism with a plough called logic. One needs to have unquestioning faith in the existence of the superior power that controls mankind.

It is this faith that propels man to improve his lot, says Ramadas.He further adds that it is this faith in the form of devotion or Bhakti that has enabled him to attain the treasure called Rama. It is this faith that liberates man from his weaknesses, which infuses piety in him and instills virtues. All that is required is simple, unflinching devotion.

“When there are plenty of sweet fruits available, some people choose to eat bitter neem. Similarly, ignorant people run after various deities, when you are there right before them, O Rama. To pronounce your name, when we utter the syllable ‘Ra’, the lips have to part. All the sins and impurities are expelled from the body.

Saying ‘Ma’ requires the lips to close together, preventing fresh sins from entering the body. Still, foolish men ignore this and get into misery and avoidable sufferings. In all our activities, if we chant your name, like the croaking of a frog, we can set ourselves on the road to divinity.

People hanker after the sweetness of sugar, honey and a woman’s lips. But they fail to relish the sweetness of your nectarine name and your glorious exploits. You are the celestial doctor who cures men of their earthly diseases like greed, anger, lust, jealousy, pride and vanity, he says. 

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