Just a Bilva / Basil leaf will please the Lord

Lord Shiva art

Lord Shiva art

There will be occasions when even ardent devotees who offer their sincere prayers at the feet of God feel disheartened that their pleas have not been entertained by Him. What should be remembered in such cases is that the prayers should be backed by greater intensity. The deficiency lies in the devotees and not with the Almighty.

But Worship itself is intended to get rid of desires. When God is approached with deep devotion, there will be no scope for desires to spring within but the devotees must enjoy bliss. The mind needs to be tuned towards the Supreme Being.

While conducting worship, the entire thought must be on God and His qualities. There is no need to display one’s opulence nor such a worship offered to earn fame. God did not visit Duryodhana’s palace though he had made elaborate and extravagant arrangements to welcome Him but went to the cottage of Vidhura as his heart brimmed with absolute devotion.

Appayya Dikshitar, the savant says in a hymn that a devotee need not take extraordinary trouble to organise his daily worship. Just a Bilva or a Basil leaf will please the Lord. It is wrong when someone states that desires do not get away in spite of his prayers or that they have not been fulfilled.

The example of a couple who were totally dedicated to the Lord proves that His mercy has no bounds and that the delay in receiving His response is due to the need for further concentration while praying. The man felt that they have not been blessed with a child despite the sincere demonstration of their faith. But the wife said that God should not be criticised and that the blame should squarely fall on themselves only and that their prayers should be further strengthened. They earned the grace of the Divine and their child became the torch bearer of Hinduism, viz. Adi Sankara.

Sri Bharathi Thirtha Swami of Sringeri in a discourse said, the life of Adi Sankaracharya reveals that even when a devotee chooses the path of knowledge, devotion can co-exist. That was why Sankara composed several hymns.

The Lord in His Gita explains how four types of people approach Him. They are: the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the one who needs wealth and the wise. Of them, the wise ever steadfast and devoted to the Lord, excels. “Excessively dear am I to the wise and he is dear to Me.” Not that others are not noble but this man strives to reach God with firm faith. Sage suka was an ascetic who excelled his father vyasa. he recited the Bhagavatham thereby showing that the wise (jnani) can extol the Almighty through hymns.

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