History tells us that there have been countless Saints. We met them and listened to their divine words, but still we kept revolving in this endless cycle of birth and death because we did not have faith in them. People who had complete faith in them followed their instructions, practiced devotion under their guidance and completely surrendered to them and attained their supreme goal. But we missed the chance.
Thus, the Guru is indispensable. He alone guides us towards the attainment of God. In the material world we also need a teacher. No one can attain educational degrees without studying under the guidance of a teacher. How can you expect to traverse a spiritual journey without the guidance of a Guru? But as far as devotional practice is concerned, that you have to do yourself. As I have already explained, purification of the heart means to remove all the dirt which we have been collecting since eternity. Here “dirt” denotes worldly attachment and that is of two types. Your mind can be attached to someone either through favourable sentiments (love) or through unfavourable sentiments (hate). In both situations, you bear the same fruit. Whether you love or hate, your mind remains attached to that object.
All your worldly relations - your mother, father, sister or whosoever it may be are all bound by maya. They are just like you. If you love anyone of them then that will make your heart more impure. If you hate anyone, that will also make your heart impure. In our innumerable past lives we had feelings of love for our father, mother and spouse, but instead of our heart becoming purified, it became more sullied because they were not divine personalities.
Just use your common sense to understand this through an ordinary analogy. Suppose you want to wash your dirty clothes which you never washed in your whole life. You will require water which is absolutely clean. They are so dirty that you will need to wash them a hundred times; use clean water. If the water itself is not clean and you try to wash your clothes in it, you will continue adding dirt making your clothes even dirtier.
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
2 December 2011
Bhakti Dham, Mangarh
© Radha Govind Samiti