Whom To Worship?
“Ahartiti aharat” means, whoever deserves our obeisance, worship them. This is called “ahard bhakti”. But the question arises, who deserves our worship? As they say- in India, there are more Gurus than devotees. Who is actually worthy? This question is to be solved first, for worshipping the worthy is the real prayer. Once we have decided we should not waiver our minds.
Two sages may have differences in their emotions, reflections and experiences though their eventual goal may be the same. Experiences are personal but reflections and thoughts are many.
Whom to pray? A person who exhorts his followers – “come towards me and adore me, I will patronise you”, cannot be God. Where there is a lust for name, there God cannot reside.
What does God have to do with sensuous pleasures’ seekers?
God is the magnet, which attracts that iron, which aspires to be free from the chains of this world. The stone, which pines for sensuous pleasures, can never be attracted towards God.
The waves of love to God emanate from within the heart and should reach where there is eternity. On reaching the bank of Ganges, a man quietly observed the flow of the river. He asked the Ganges where she is going? The river replied in quietness “I am flowing to the place where I can
find shelter. I could not find it in mountains, deserts or potholes”. A river’s ultimate destination is the sea, where every single drop of the river joins and becomes a part of the huge sea and where the moon also finds its shelter.
So worship the Eternal and Absolute. It is said – if you worship the blessed one, you would become blessed. Ganges transformed into the sea by mingling with it. There, the existence of Ganges did not evaporate.
Just as a pen’s little touch of ink into the corner of a bowl full of water, spreads the ink all over the water, similarly Ganges spreads all across the sea keeping her existence intact. This is named “spardhak” by Jainacharyas. It means power, so it is said aptly that God is under the command of his disciple and disciple is under the command of his God. For when the difference vanishes, then the real “bhakti” evolves.
We are not reaching near deliverance as our prayers are tainted with fulfillment of desires. Where there is lust and greed, there can be no worship. Complete surrender is required in prayer. We pray only to fulfill our longings or our mind is concentrated more on the fact that someone may steal our shoes in the temples. A person with desires never hungers for salvation. “Bhakti” (prayer) is for deliverance and “bhukti” (desires) are for the world. We are away from God because of our actions and by ftltering those actions we can attain God.
To pray to God, we do not have to go anywhere. God is omnipresent. Wherever you sit down, you can pray. Jainacharyas say- One who knows “arhat”, knows the self too. Who is worth worshipping ? I, myself, am the lord, I myself am the rich merchant, whom should I beg from ?
When I am the object of worship then why worship others?
When I am the rich merchant then why beg? No external cause can make us “aharat”. It can be a means to make us “arhat”. It can show us the right direction, but the actions have to be performed by us. That’s why Lord Mahavira said – you, yourself, are “arhat”. Such a Lord is worth worshipping. So our duty is to get immersed into ourselves, no outward resource can beget us the “arhat” rank.
As long as the tides of love for God would flow outwards,
God would remain detached with the seeker. Those who have become “arhat” get a direction and guidance from their inner self and attain it by drowning themselves into their inner self.
“Jin khoya tin paiya gahre pani paith” – this is real “arhat” worship.
A Pandit daily offered a handful of water to the sun on the bank of a river and then would take a dip into the river and come out. A shepherd used to see him daily doing this ritual. He asked one day – “Maharaj! Why do you take a dip into the water?” Panditji replied – “You won’t understand. This enables me to see my God.”
“You see your God, Oh! Blessed you are! I would also do the same”, and having said that, he left. The next day, the shepherd arrived near the river bank before the Pandit and jumped into the water and remained there for ten minutes. The Water God, impressed by his devotion, appeared to bless him and said-“Ask for a wish. What do you want?”
The shephered’s joy knew no bounds and he said-“I have seen God, now what else can I ask for?”
No other longing remains after seeing God. We need to jump deep into our own self to find God.
By Gani Rajinder Vijay