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Reflection on Gita | Real Refuge

"The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings. Take refuge in Him with all thy heart, by His grace shalt thou attain supreme peace and the eternal abode.

Thus has wisdom more profound
than all profundities been declared to thee by Me. Reflecting over it fully, act as thou likest."

- Bhagavad Gita,
the Divine Song of God. 18:61-63

Sri Ramakrishna, may God sanctify his secrets, used to say, "We should not ask God for the things of the world. Suppose He grants them. The material things may bring trouble to us."

When we approach this great Boon-Giver, we should never ask Him for worldly things connected with personal wishes and desires. We may approach the Lord just for saving our souls from getting drowned in the ocean of worldliness and infatuation for material things. Ordinarily if we feel unhappy, we would rather adjust ourselves to our unhappiness and cling to our desires and fancies than change our ways and come to Truth and Bliss. We are so body-bound that we stress physical enjoyment more than anything else and are not prepared to renounce it. Rather we go on clinging desperately to its different forms although we get nothing but kicks and blows again and again. Such is the tremendous power of Maya or ignorance.

The Great Father or the Great Mother is witnessing the children at play. It is only when a child gets disgusted with its toys and childish occupations that the Lord really comes to it and draws it away from the play-land of illusion. Children play with sweets, with dolls, with toy-soldiers, with toy-houses, with toy cars, and nothing can be done by the Lord until they get tired of these and turn from them in utter disgust. God takes it as great fun.

And then, one day, the child has become a little grown-up and cries, "What have I done with my life?"

And the Lord says, "Yes, what have you done, my child? Who asked you to do it? Who asked you to go on playing indefinitely in such a foolish way? Who asked you to get hurt and get entangled in your toys? Who? Who did it all?"

And then very often it is already too late and the child sits in the ruins of its shattered life and wails.

We all have an opportunity to follow saner and better ways, but we cling to our particular toys and do not let go our hold. So we have to suffer, and shall have to suffer until we learn the great lesson life teaches us again and again, in innumerable ways, and come to act wisely.

We must strive to achieve something that is higher, that is not subject to change and decay. But we very often choose the path of avidya (ignorance) willfully and deliberately, because we cling to our phantoms of physical and emotional enjoyment which, after all, we shall have to give up sooner or later. We all, one day, must let go the hold, and if we do not do this of our own free will, the toy will be torn away from us, and this will mean great sorrow, and in many cases a broken heart. For most people, this is the only way in which they can be made to learn their lessons, but it is very painful and usually takes many lives.

We should try to live a spiritual life, knowingly, consciously, deliberately, in a spirit of dedication and singleness of purpose. This will of ours may be directed towards the higher channels of life or towards the lower ones, just as we please.

We are just like cows tied to a post with a very long rope. The cows can graze and have a certain amount of freedom in their movements but the silly animals just circle the post until the whole rope has coiled around them and made it impossible for them to reach the grass at their feet. God gives man a very long rope, but only in rare cases does man make proper use of the rope. Mostly he entangles himself hopelessly in it until he can scarcely move one way or the other. That is not God's fault though. Learn to take the whole responsibility always on your own shoulders. It is a great mistake to hold God responsible for all that happens to you. You forget everything else for a moment's pleasure and do not care to listen to what God has been telling man through the ages.

- Quoted from article titled, Choose Wisely by Swami Yatiswaranandaji via Gitananda.

And on the same theme, this is the mantra of refuge taught to humanity by the Final Testament, The Quran:

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Qul: aAAoozubi rabbi annas,
Maliki annas,
Ilahi annas.

In the name of God, the Most Loving and Gracious
Say with your entire being: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,
The King of Mankind
The God of Humanity. (The Quran 114:1-3)

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