There is a God with form and one without. The worshipper of the formless God is called a jnani and those of God with form, bhaktas. But, Rama cannot be attained without devotion. This is the challenge of every scripture from the Vedas to the Ramayana. bhaktirevainam nayati. The Vedas clearly state that He can be attained by devotion alone; not by devotion too. The word eva or “alone” has been used. It is only devotion that can take us to God. yasya deve para bhaktiryatha . . . (Veda)
upasate purusham ye hrkama (Veda), bhaktireva gariyasi bhaktireva . . . (Narada Ji), bhaktiyatvnanya shakya ahamevam . . . (Gita) All three are saying that devotion is the only way. naham vedairna tapasa na danena . . . (Gita) “I can be attained only by devotion." bhakyahamekaya grahya: . . . (Bhagavatam) “I can be obtained only by devotion. There is no other way." Tulsidas Ji has filled the entire Ramayana with his exhortations of bhakti, japa tapa niyama yoga nija dharma . . .
You can do everything else, but you will not attain Him. There is just one medicine. sadhak siddha vimukta. Look at the word used, vimukta or “liberated”. Even he has to practice devotion . . . It is the repeated challenge of Tulsidas Ji that Rama can be attained only by bhakti. Thus, you have understood that Rama is God, and Paramatma and Brahm are two features of His. His body is the essence of eternity, knowledge and bliss and He is impossible to attain by the paths of karma, jnana or yoga: it is only by devotion that He can be attained.
This Rama and Krishna are not two personalities; They are one reality. This fact is not known to many religious persons. They say we all worship our respective worshipable Deity. Our object of worship is someone else, so how is it possible for us to bow before Rama? And the devotees of Rama say, “How can we salute a bow before Shri Krishna?” There is such ignorance in our country.
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
18 August 1999
© Radha Govind Samiti
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