Wednesday, June 5, 2013

VII: 21

Chapter 7, Verse 21

"If some desire
With sincerity and reverence
To adore this or that god,
I grant them unswerving faith."

Swami Satchidananda:

See the universality here.  That's why the Gita is a universal scripture.  Krishna, personifying the Divine Essence, doesn't say, "You have to worship only this way or that way.  It can't be otherwise."  Instead, he says, "Worship me in any form."  God can manifest in any form with any name.  He's ready to offer us everything and bless us, if only we have faith and devotion.  He doesn't live at just one particular temple or church.  You can worship God anywhere.  Unfortunately, many people misunderstand.  They don't really experience that spirit.  They read the scriptures and take them literally.  They miss the spirit by holding on to the letter of the teaching.  Letters have their own limitations.  Spirit reveals more.  That's why Krishna says, "In whatever form you worship me, I will make your faith steady."

Eknath Easwaran:

The key word in this verse is Shraddha, which means faith.  It is what we believe in and trust in in our heart of hearts.  Shraddha is the key to life.  We become what our Shraddha is, because all of us live what we believe and desire in the deepest recesses of our consciousness.

Bhridaranyaka Upanishad:

You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your deep, driving desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.

Paramahansa Yogananda:

Those who worship forms of God will receive the grace of God that blesses their devotional endeavor.  No matter what form of worship the sincere student adopts to find God, the Lord accepts it when the devotion is genuine.  This divine acceptance enables the devotee to concentrate on the spirit behind the specific symbol.

When a great devotee worships a symbolic deity as God, God manifests his unseen presence by a visible display of that symbolic form.  The form of God appearing as Kali, Durga, Vishnu or Krishna, for example, becomes a permanent blueprint in the ether.  When another devotee concentrates very deeply on that deity, which has actually been worshiped and seen by a great saint, that same manifestation appears in living form to satisfy the devotee's true heart-call.  Any devotee fervently worshiping God in the form of Jesus, the Holy Mother, Saint Francis, or any saint or true guru, either mentally or sitting before a picture, may see that form first in vision, and then, by deeper advance, as a materialized being, living and talking.

A friend:

The symbolic form of God becomes a permanent blueprint in the ether.

[Thank you for focusing on this image because it has brought back to my surface of consciousness a memory that had lain buried for decades.  Many years ago, long before Paramahansa Yoganandaji's blessed commentary was published, I was with a teacher to whom Hanumanji was most sacred.  Lord Krishna was, as he remains, my Ishta Deva (chosen form of God), and being the spiritual novice that I was, it was difficult for me to think of Hanumanji as a living, breathing manifestation of God.  Instead I thought of him as a mythological figure from India's ancient past.  I expressed this feeling to my teacher, saying how difficult it was for me to believe that a monkey could walk and talk like a man.

Instead of treating me with kid gloves, my teacher berated me for being so obtuse as to think it was only a story.  I felt a deep sense of shame for being unable to believe in Hanumanji.  I stuffed the experience deep into my subconscious where it lay, inaccessible, until today.  Thank you for healing this old wound.]


Paramahansa Yogananda has been confirming to me since I first met him that as a state of grace an essential intuitive feeling of gratitude appears when you reach a certain level of awareness.  It can be expressed by many words in many languages but all of it refers to the essential.

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