The world is full of diversity. People are different, their culture, food habits, mindsets, color, even fingerprints – everything is distinctive. Despite all these, there is one thing in common among the 8 billion people in this world. What is it? The quest for unending happiness. Every individual only seeks happiness. Even sadist people get pleasure by inflicting pain on others. A baby cries out loud seeking happiness, we seek love because we derive happiness from it. We cry to wash out sorrow so that our mind becomes a bit lighter. The very reason you are reading this article is that it is providing you happiness. Throughout the day, we savor different materialistic objects, in the hope that we will find happiness in it. But are we successful in it?
We strive for happiness but get buried under miseries. Why? A man once said to God, ‘Tell me one thing. Even in the world, if a little boy falls into a ditch his father comes running to save him. Even a stranger extends a helping hand in such a precarious situation. No one will say that you have fallen into the ditch, good! Now remain there and die. When a worldly person is not that unsympathetic, how can you, being my eternal father, be so ruthless? You might say that you will grace me only when I come to your doorstep. But, O Lord, I do not know the way to your door. Why then do you not grace me? Why don’t you release me from the miseries of the world?’
God with a smile explained lovingly, ‘My dear child, you said that I am your father. But do you truly believe that? Only your tongue says “O God! you are my mother, you are my father and friend…”But in reality, your mind is attached to your worldly mother, father, friends, etc. The very second you develop complete faith that I am your true father, you would be freed from all the miseries of the world.’
We all proclaim ourselves to be the children of God, but to what extent do we truly believe in Him? God has said numerous times
ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: |
mamaivānśho jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
The embodied souls in this material world are My eternal fragmental parts.
Bhagavad Geeta 15.7
We all have heard the story of Dhanna Jaat. He was an illiterate villager who used to watch the village temple pandit (priest) place tasty food in front of all the various deities in the temple. Once, out of curiosity, he asks the pandit ji why he does so. Pandit ji tells him that he is offering the food to the deities. Dhanna Jaat is amazed. He asks pandit ji if he also can offer bhog (offering) to the deities. Pandit ji, to get rid of him, gives him a Shaligram (stone). Dhanna Jaat is very happy to get his own deity. He takes it to his home and places it on an altar. He then prepares tasty food and places it in front of the idol. He is expecting the idol to come live and eat the food he has offered. But, nothing happens. Dhanna Jaat becomes impatient. He thinks maybe God doesn’t like the food. So he prepares other items. Still, nothing happens. He keeps on offering food to the idol and waits for God to appear in front of him and eat. At last, Dhanna Jaat insists that he will also not eat anything till God accepts his food. On seeing the firm faith of Dhanna Jaat, God appears in front of him and eats the food.
What does the story of Dhanna Jaat teach us? It teaches us that God will accept us when we have complete faith in him. We need to inculcate absolute faith that God alone is mine.
But how do we do that?
Faith will develop when we think of God as ours. Faith requires us to see God not just as an idol in the temple but as our own friend, parent, son, or our ‘soul beloved’. Meerabai was once playing next to a river. She had placed Krishna’s statue next to her. Suddenly a wave of water sweeps away the statue. As soon as Meera sees this, she becomes restless. She jumps into the water to get back her Krishna. A saint was seeing all this. He asks, ‘Why did you jump into the water for a statue after all?’ She says, ‘He is my husband. How can I allow Him to drown? I had to save Him.’ That is the sentiment of a true devotee.
Gopis saw Krishna as their beloved. He would dance for them pleading for buttermilk. For Yashoda, He was just her son. She would scold Him and warn him with a stick. It is because of that love that the Supreme Almighty got tied to a mortar wheel. He became a horse for his friends. He also became a charioteer for Arjun. Arjun and Shree Krishna put their arms around and walk. Arjun shared his secrets with Shree Krishna and also trolled him as a friend. Therefore, when we think of Him as ours we will love Him to the core. Faith will develop by itself. And the day we truly believe that He is mine, we will find everlasting never-ending happiness.