God is Truly Served only with Pure Devotion
The body consists of the heart as well as other organs and limbs. Suppose these organs and limbs are all intact, but the heart ceases to function; the body becomes ‘dead’, ceases to live. On the other hand, suppose the organs and limbs fail while the heart is intact; then the body continues to live, though with reduced efficiency, and there is a possibility of curing it completely with proper treatment. Nama corresponds to the heart, while other sadhanas are like the limbs; therefore, no other sadhana can, by itself, suffice for attainment of spiritual liberation. What is love in worldly life, if applied to God, becomes’ devotion’; ‘greed’, if turned to God, becomes intense desire for acquisition of God.
A traveller boarded a train, and found a very comfortable berth; he therefore preferred to keep the berth and to travel from one terminus to the other and back again, instead of alighting at his own destination. How far would that be called wisdom? Are we not doing the same, merely living from birth to death in life after life? Let us now be on the watch for our desired destination, namely, God. Just as a traveller buys fruits and snacks on the way, you may acquire houses and property and amenities of life, but never lose sight of the destination, which is God. So we should beware, and first decide on the sadhana we would adopt.
People often go to hear reading of sacred books or discourses on them, so that others may respect them for their religiosity, or for the sake of avoiding boredom, or for recreation and relaxation. This is certainly to be deprecated. The text of the sermon may be perfectly right, but the commentator’s personal views often colour the explanation, and that may unwarrantably and adversely impinge on our resolve. Consciousness of duty and constant awareness of God are the essence of all sacred books.
One can truly serve God only if the devotion is pure, selfless. It is such devotion that saves us, not the grandeur of the temple. Such devotion comes by avoiding idle talk, and this will come about if we dedicate ourselves to nama
Shri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan