The Importance of Association
Raghav Bhatt Satarkar
To illustrate the supreme value of spiritual association ,Shri Chakradhar Swami compares the meeting of two bhikshuks with meeting the Lord Himself. As fire is kindled from wood by another fire, similarly knowledge can be kindled by another devotee. A person who is a complete Gyani can kindle the spiritual fire from the wood like living entity by imparting proper spiritual messages injected through the receptive ear.
Although wood includes fire in the sense that it has the potential to burn, a piece of wood will ever remain dull wood, no matter how dry or inflammable it might be, unless it contacts fire. Similarly, each one of us needs to make contact with someone who is, so to speak, on fire with complete knowledge, so that our spiritual potential may be realized.
After the initial wonderful event of receiving into our heart the divinely potent words of the guru (Updesh), our devotional plant requires regular watering so that it may grow strong and healthy. ShriChakrdhar Swami says “When two sadhanvant (devotees) meet they should talk about my pastimes (katha-Which happened in the past , varta- which are happening right now)”. Hence we should visit temples, ashram etc to follow this vachan of Swami ji. We should try to inquire about the past times (leelas) of Shri Chakrdhar Swami, whenever we meet a sadhan vant.
In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna also says
मच्चित्ता मद्गतप्राणा, बोधयन्तः परस्परम् ,
कथयन्तश्च मां नित्यं, तुष्यन्ति च रमन्ति च ।।१०.९।।
“The thoughts of my pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.” (Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita 10.9)
You might wonder where to find “pure sadhanvants (devotee)” and if you could ever be an ordinary devotee, what to speak of a pure one. Of course, it is highly desirable to associate with advanced devotees. You might live away from devotees. So what can we do to get regular association of these pure devotees?
The vachan and shlokh cited above can still apply to us, when we consider that the term pure devotee can refer either to the most elevated devotee or to a neophyte sincerely trying to become a devotee.
We can find other people in our area who are interested in learning the knowledge imparted in Brahmvidya. We can meet together and apply the principles Shri Chakradhar Maharaj outlines as symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another:
- Remove his exhaustion, both mental and physical (shram nivruti kijhe, Achar-130)
- Eating together ( Ekatr Khan pan kijhe, Achar -131)
- Giving and receiving gifts ( Fhaluke paltejete, Achar-132)
- Talk about the past times(leelas)-( Ethecya ktha varta kijthe, Achar-133 )
- Spending some time with the devotee ( Sat panch dis ekatr Asejhe, Achar -134)
- Desire to meet again ( purvotar shan durlabh, Achar-135)
We can hold meetings in one another’s homes, chant the name of Lord, do Dev puja, read and discuss the Leela Charitra, share with one another our efforts to practice spiritual life.
Because regulation is essential to the practice of religion (Dharm), we should try to meet regularly with other aspiring devotees of Shri Chakrdhar Swami. This spontaneous devotional practice, which can mature into pure love for Shri Chakrdhar Swami.
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