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Volume 4 - Issue 12 DECEMBER 2006
 
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GITA FOR CHILDREN
PART 26

(Continued from the previous issue)


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CHAPTER 12

1. Arjuna asks, ‘Lord, You say You are Formless, but can also assume any Form, especially to please Your devotees. This being the case, I want to know how exactly am I to worship You? Should I worship You as the Formless God or as the God with Form? Of the two methods, which is better for me?’

2. Krishna smiles as usual and replies, ‘Arjuna, I am glad you have asked Me this question. At the outset I must mention that both types of worship, if followed with great sincerity, would lead to the same goal, that is, merger with Me. But considering the practical aspects, I would suggest that you focus on worship of the God with Form. Indeed, this is the advice that I would give to 99.99 % of the devotees.’

3. ‘There is a definite reason for My saying so. You see Arjuna, it is easy to say that God is without Form and all that, and that therefore He should be worshipped in the Formless aspect. He certainly can be, but that is not easy I assure you.’

4. ‘Man’s true nature is infinite and so is his Mind. But when man’s outlook is largely external, being focused on the world and all that it has to offer, his vision becomes narrow. Tell Me, how can a person with limited vision, really and truly worship the Infinite?’

5. ‘The one who worships the Formless God has to look inside rather than outside. Do you know why? Simple. Inner space is Infinite whereas the outer space or the physical Universe is finite.’

6. ‘Quite apart from this technicality, there is a practical problem. The mental discipline and concentration needed for worshipping the Formless God are enormous. Tell Me, how can a person used to seeing and experiencing the finite all the time, concentrate on the Infinite, and that too in its Formless aspect? Wouldn’t you agree that it is not easy? Well, that is exactly what I am saying.’

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Krishna

7. ‘So, what is the alternative? Simple, worship God with Form. Are you asking which particular Form? Any Form that pleases you!’

8. ‘Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why God incarnates as a human and spends a long time here on earth. This gives mankind a good chance to see God, spend a lot of time in His company, talk to Him, directly experience His infinite Love and compassion, witness His miracles, etc. In turn this leads to stories about the Avatar, songs composed in His honour, and so on, all of which make worship of the Avatar so very easy, and build up a Heart to Heart relationship with Him.’

9. ‘Arjuna, people sometimes criticise idol worship. This is wrong. What is a mere idol for the critic is a live representation of the personal God for the devotee who is absorbed in worship. If a man has stone in his Heart, he will see merely a stone statue. But if a man has God in his Heart, the stone would verily appear to him as God.’

10. ‘In short, it is all a matter of attitude. With the right attitude, even a picture would become God. But with the wrong attitude, even if God were to stand in front, the Divine aspect would be totally missed.’

11. ‘Thus, pictures and idols are not to be sneered at. They have their own place in the scheme of things, especially as the Form can help in leading to the Formless.’

12. ‘Here is an example. I am now pointing with My forefinger at that hill far away on the horizon. You first look at My finger, follow the direction in which the finger is pointing, and then look at the hill. Once you have seen the hill, the finger ceases to be relevant. It is the same thing with idols and pictures – they all point in the direction in which you must look. They lead you from the Form to the Formless – that is their utility.’

13. ‘I hope all this is clear to you. Let Me now describe who amongst My devotees is really dear to Me.’

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14. Arjuna interrupts and asks, ‘Krishna, I thought all were alike to You. You seem to have favourites, and that is surprising!’

15. With His usual smile Krishna replies, ‘You are right, all are indeed equal to Me. But you see, if I say such and such a type of devotee is dear to Me, then it would induce people to do certain things beneficial to them! Let me illustrate in the following way.’

16. ‘Imagine a large circle, and God to be at the centre. Seated on the circumference are the devotees. You would agree that all are the same distance from God. Suppose a whistle is blown and devotees are asked to run towards God. Who would get there first? Obviously it would be the one who can run the fastest. Right?’

17. ‘Similarly, a devotee who does the things that I am now going to mention, would reach Me real quick. It is to induce people to reach Me quick that I used the phrase “dear to Me!” Understand?’

18. ‘OK, how does one come real quick to Me? These are some of the things the person would have to do.’

19. ‘To start with, the person should have no trace of hatred in his Heart – not even an iota. Why? Because hatred is sheer poison. I am Pure Love, Love that is nectarine. Is it desirable for poison to contaminate nectar? That is why I say that a person who is free from hatred is dear to Me; got it?’

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20. ‘Hear some more. An ideal devotee treats pleasure and pain alike. He does not go seeking pleasure nor does he try to duck misery when it visits him. He never broods over the past nor worries about the future. Immersed in the present he would be busy thinking of Me. For him, the present is no ordinary present – it is OMNIPRESENT!’

21. ‘Ever balanced, such a person does not feel heady when praised nor depressed when criticised.’

22. ‘Arjuna, equanimity is what I like most, and equanimity means being balanced with respect to the opposites. One must be balanced about everything that one does in life. If you possess equanimity, you can face life squarely and do not have to hide yourself in the forest. According to Me, equanimity is the best form of Yoga.’

23. ‘It does not matter whether you are soldier or a musician or even a cobbler. All that is required is to remain calm and accept things as they come. No matter what happens, such a person would always say, “This is good for me!”’

24. Arjuna asks, ‘How is one to recognise such a person?’

25. Krishna replies, ‘Very simple! He is the one who loves all and serves all. He always helps and never hurts! And such a one comes with great speed to Me!’

(To be continued...)

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– Heart2Heart Team

 
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Vol 4 Issue 12 - DECEMBER 2006
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