Love of God is the way of life

Love of God is the way of life

By SWAMI SHANTATMANANDA | 19 August, 2017

Devotees would often come to Sri Ramakrishna to seek spiritual advice.  They would often lament that they don’t feel a deep love for God. All their spiritual practices appear superfluous and quite often they experience dryness of heart.  Sri Ramakrishna would console them and advise them that one of the most potent ways of advancing in spiritual life is to practice the discipline of prayer.  Not only that such a prayer should be accompanied by an intense longing for God, one should pray to God shedding tears of agony. In this connection, he would tell them about the love of Radha for Sri Krishna, to inspire them.  It appears once Radha complained to Vrinda, her companion, “Our separation from Sri Krishna has made you shed tears of sorrow, but hardly a tear appears in my eyes.” Vrinda replied, “Separation from your Krishna has gone beyond mere tears, my sister.  Besides, the intense grief that is burning within you dries up your tears even before they are formed.  No sooner the tears appear in your eyes, they evaporate in the fire of agony that is burning within you.”  Of course, Radha’s agony is due to her inability to bear her separation from Sri Krishna.  Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that to weep for God or to intensely feel separation from Him, one should establish first a loving relationship with Him.  This is possible through prayer because in prayer a devotee tries to converse with God.  He tries to express all his feelings and by constantly practicing this discipline, it is possible to slowly form a definite relationship with God.  When this matures, it will manifest more and more as Vyakulata or longing or a deep desire to realize Him.  In fact, this will ripen to such an extent that one would shed tears during prayers. Thus through a very simple discipline it is possible to progress with certainty in your Godward journey.

 

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