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God is the Supreme goal

CHENNAI, AUG. 18. Many of us beseech God for favours of varying degrees. However, emotional cravings do not help aspirants attain their goal. Scholars say that the most exalted state of aspiration for devotees is to reach God. How does one achieve this? Can one not adopt the path of bhakthi or that of surrender to achieve one's aim? Is chanting the Lord's name (nama sankirtan) not enough to fetch a person his goal in this Kali Yuga? While this method may be potent enough, it is not enough to help a person attain liberation.

In his discourse, Sri. Asuri Madhavachari said the above methods are recourse to pleasing God. One may then wonder if God is displeased with us. It is clear that the Vedas (sruti) and the codes of conduct propounded in the same (smriti) are the Supreme Being's diktats and when these are contravened we incur His displeasure. The natural fallout then is the punishment of being cast on this earth as someone who abuses God or one who does not think of Him. Is He then so lacking in mercy as to punish, a devotee may ask. He is the cause and effect. He is the Supreme goal, and to attain the same he acts as the bridge. One should remember that the Supreme Being punishes in order to bless. Clearly, we think of Him only in distress and hence His stance of punishment. How do we know we have displeased God? By the fact that we are born again it is clear that one has failed to reach the exalted state of liberation.

There was once a man who wondered if there was anything that he could offer God who lacked nothing. Then he decided to submit his mind totally to Him, stating, "Your mind is not with you since you gave yours to the gopis." In his outpourings Bhattadri rued the fact that he was not born when such offerings were made by the people, convinced that had he himself submitted to the Lord, he would not have been cast into this world. In His benignity the Lord graciously asked His devotee who could have carried His message through Narayneeyam had he not been born in the Kali Yuga.

In comparison to such evolved beings, some may wonder if their own awareness of God could measure up. Adi Sankara's teachings assure devotees that such consciousness is latent in many births, and the very fact that one wants to surrender to God is a result of adhering to the stipulated mores of conduct over many births in this world.

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