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Why am I not able to recognize and love You like the Gopikas?

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Why am I not able to recognize and love You like the Gopikas?

Discourse Podcast

 

Shri Bharat Bandi asked: Namahshivaya Shri Datta Swamy. I am Bharath Krishna, MTech student from Amrita University, Coimbatore. I am a student of Dr Nikhil sir who is your devotee. He has been guiding myself and another student in understanding all your discourses. We have been reading all your discourses till Divine Discourses-6. Swamy most of my life I knew God existed but nobody gave me the right definition of God so I behaved as an atheist. After seeing so much pain in people's life I have concluded that God created this world but he doesn't care about us. So, I thought I will gain power and do the Justice. This changed after meeting my beloved sadguru AMMA (Shri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi). I learnt about God from one of her disciples and finally understood what god is. After learning more about God from your Discourses I have changed completely.

I have always considered that you are responsible for all the pain that I have gone through in my life. Now I have very well understood that without that pain I would have been with very bad character. Thank you very much for whatever you gave me in life but I have one doubt left which is disturbing me continuously. I have learnt from you that Gopikas got liberated because they showed perfect devotion. I also should have existed that time. Why was I not able to recognize you and why am I not able to love you? You have created all of us when you created this world. You told that everyone had perfect knowledge during the initial days of creation and everyone was happy. If the knowledge was perfect then they should have got liberated that time itself. If they are liberated they will have ananda even while they suffer but it is not the case.

I got this doubt because gopikas got liberation 5000 years back but I didn't. That means you created all of us different. If you have created all of us in a similar way then all of us should have got liberated at once. Swamy I myself know that I am missing something in this. I am asking all this because of my Ignorance. Please forgive me and enlighten me with your answer. I can't sleep because of this doubt of mine and that's why I had to ask. It is hindering my progress in the spiritual path. I desperately want to know where I have mistaken. Padabhi Vandanam Datta Swamy.

Swami replied: Gopi means the soul which hides its love for God from the surrounding worldly atmosphere, in case it opposes the soul in its spiritual efforts. You have worldly bonds with your family members and relatives. These people expect you to love them since their love for you is based on the happiness that you give to them. This is clearly told in the Veda (Aatmanah kaamaaya sarvam priyam bhavati). It means that the people with whom you have worldly bonds, love you only for the sake of their own happiness, which they derive from you. Naturally, they fear your love for God. They are afraid that your love for God might, in some way, damage or reduce your love for them, which would result in a reduction of the happiness they derive from you. It is a natural tendency of any human being.

A newly-married devotee used to attend the spiritual gospels (satsanga) delivered by Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. As a result, he would return home to his wife late in the night. His wife started objecting to his coming home late. The wife’s objections became more and more severe as time passed, leaving the devotee worried. Finally, the worried devotee reported this matter to Paramahamsa while Paramahamsa was walking up to Panchavati, the place where He meditated upon God. Paramahamsa’s ascending to Panchavati indicates His moving from the world to God. He immediately replied to the devotee plainly “Then, leave your wife”. The devotee stood there dumb-struck and waited till Paramahamsa returned from Panchavati. Paramahamsa’s descent from Panchavati indicates His returning from God to the world. This time Paramahamsa listened to the devotee’s problem, patted him on his back and said to him that He had already told this problem to the Divine Mother and that it would be solved. True to the words of Paramahamsa, the devotee’s problem got resolved.

The internal essence is that you have to reject worldly bonds for the sake of God if necessary, as the last resort. One day, Paramahamsa was killing bedbugs while sitting on His cot. A devotee saw this and asked Him if it was not a sin to kill living beings. Paramahamsa told him that the bedbugs were disturbing Him while He was sitting on the cot for meditating on God. He also said that He would commit any sin for the sake of God. This shows that God is the highest goal; greater than anything and anybody (Na tatsamah …—Veda). In this case of the bedbugs, there was no other alternative than killing them since they are parasites and cannot be stopped from sucking a person’s blood. Such a step is the extreme last resort and has to be adopted only when there is no other peaceful alternative.

In the case of Paramahamsa’s devotee, he did not have to leave his newly-married wife. But this extreme step had to be taken by Ramanuja, since He found no alternative. Preferably, one can hide one’s devotion to God from the family so that they are not hurt. Secrecy is recommended in spiritual efforts (Aatmaanam rahasi sthitah). Hiding one’s devotion to God, one can express false devotion to the family. It is just acting since one’s entire love is directed to God. But such acting is not a sin because it is done for the sake of God. It is the best way to solve the problem without hurting other souls. This procedure was followed by the Gopikas. They gave butter to Krishna secretly. They danced with Krishna in Brundavanam at midnight secretly. Keeping the secrecy of the divine love for God is the best way. We should learn this point from the Gopikas and implement it in our spiritual effort, if necessary. Only a soul implementing the principle of the Gopikas, can be called as a Gopika in the real sense. We should analyze and take the points that are useful for our spiritual progress. Simply listening to the superficial story of butter and Brundavanam is of no use!

Before pursuing one’s devotion to God secretly, one should try to convince the family and try to turn them into devotees of God too. If they too become devotees, there is no problem at all! It is the highest fortune if the family members also become devotees and cooperate with your spiritual efforts. In the case of the newly-married devotee of Paramahamsa, he had tried all these methods and failed. Hence, he was in the need of God’s help, which was extended by the Divine Mother on the prayer of Paramahamsa.

One should always take the essence of any story described in the secondary scriptures (Puraaṇams). That essence should be implemented in one’s own spiritual efforts to derive the benefit of salvation from one’s worldly bonds, which results from one’s intensive attachment to God.

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