WHAT SPECIAL PRACTICES BEAR FRUIT
November 8, 1967
Devotion is worthy to be called devotion if it is devoted wholly and solely to one object. God is one. The God-in-man is also One. He is not the man-body, but is the God in Him. Your whole attention should be on Him, so much so that you forget everything else. I was just giving some examples to help understand what particular form of devotion or bhakti bears forth fruit. It should be one-centred and devoted to One and One alone and nobody else.
Once Arjuna was asked by his teacher to give a demonstration in the art of archery. They happened to be by a pool of water and above the pool was a bird sitting on a tree. The teacher told Arjuna to look into the reflection of the bird in the water and to direct his arrow into the eye of the bird. When Arjuna was asked what he saw, he replied, "I see the tree and the bird sitting on it." He was instructed to look again, with the whole of his attention, into the eye of the bird. Again he was asked, "What do you see?" and replied, "I see the bird only and not the tree." Again he was told, "Look with more devotion, look into the eye of the bird. What do you see now?" He said, "I see now the upper part of the bird." "Look again, more attentively into the eye of the bird. What do you see now?" Arjuna said, "I see the head of the bird." "No, see still further, what do you see?" He said, "I see now the eye of the bird." "Now shoot!"
When our whole attention is riveted on one place, then only can our bhakti bear forth fruit. If you see somebody else other than your Master or the God in Him, well that is no bhakti We are respectful to others who help us on the Way, but God or the God-in-man is One for all. If your whole attention will be on Him, then naturally your devotion, your practices, will bear forth fruit. God is One and He wants everyone to go to Him all alone. One should not think even of the body in which he is sitting, that he or the very Isht (object of devotion) is there. Suchlike devotion will bear forth fruit.
Some people see the Master or God with their open eyes, while others don't see Him and wonder how those who do see Him have this experience. The strong man revels in his strength and the weak man wonders how he got it. So it is a matter, wholly and solely, of concentration on one point. Suchlike devotion bears forth fruit. People who enjoy this state are just like a wife who is devoted to and always thinking of her husband. The others who are not devoted are like a wife whose heart is attached to other men, even though she may appear to be outwardly devoted to her husband. Well, the wife who is devoted only to one man, she enjoys. Her whole attention is riveted on her husband. A husband would also like such a wife who thinks of no other man except him, who adores him and has nobody else in her heart. A heart that is devoted to so many men outside though married to one man, what good is that? So if you want your devotion, your love of God to bear forth fruit, then be wholly and solely devoted to One. Think of Him, see Him, hear about Him, and know Him. Those who help us on the Way, we are thankful to them. Bhakti or devotion will bear forth fruit only when you are wholly and solely devoted to Him, so much so that you forget yourself.
When we go into a deep sleep state, sometimes we mutter something. Whatever our subconscious reservoir is full of in the way of worldly thoughts, those very things come out. We mutter something very deeply about which we do not know, because of the over-flowing of the thoughts already in the subconscious reservoir of our mind. Kabir says, "What is the criterion of a man who is devoted wholly and solely to God? If in a deep sleep state, the word of God or the Master comes out of his mouth, then such a man is wholly and solely devoted to Him. What would I offer to such a man? I would offer my flesh, my skin to make shoes for his feet". You follow, which form of devotion bears forth full fruit? It is that which is wholly and solely devoted to One. Our mind is devoted to so many things. Such devotion will not bear forth fruit. If we want our devotion to bear forth fruit from day to day, and that we should see this fruit in our lifetime, then our whole attention should be riveted to the Feet of the Lord, or the Lord manifested in the God-in-man. The result will be that if you love all the world for His sake, you will not be attached to the world. If I love you, for instance, naturally I will love your children. If I love your children but not you, then .... ?
So love God and for His sake, love all others who have been attached as a reaction of the past. Give and take freely, with all love and devotion, because God has united you. In this way, you will not be attached to the world, and you won't come back to the world. You simply go where you are wholly and solely devoted. For example, once there was a king who arranged a show in which he placed some very wonderful and costly things. He then asked his subjects to go and choose anything that they wanted from this show, but their choice should be only for one thing. When they had made their choice, they would be allowed to have what they had chosen and nothing else. So whoever went to this show said, "Oh this is very beautiful, this is very costly," and took it. Well, one young girl, very wise within though appearing to be very normal outwardly, was praising the show, saying, "This is very beautiful, that is very beautiful, this is very attractive," and so she went on. Then she thought, "These are so many costly things, they must have been placed here by somebody, who has given a free choice to everybody to have anything that they like. But who is he? Where is he?" and she went all through the show but never chose anything. The king, who had arranged the whole show was sitting there at the end of the show. The young girl said to herself, "This is the king, who has arranged all this -- all right," and she proceeded to put her hand on the king's head. The king sat there wondering. "Well look here," he thought, "all my subjects are only after my gifts, not for me. This is the only person who wants me and nothing else." The king feigned a mood and said, "Oh go and choose something and have it, the show is going to be over now." The young girl went up, put her hand on the king's head and asked, "Whom do you belong to now?" The king replied, "I am yours, because you touched me." "And who has arranged all this show?" "It is I, this is all mine." "Then as you are mine, this also is mine."
You follow me? If you want to bear forth fruit, derive full fruit from your devotion, then be wholly and solely devoted for a while, do one thing at a time. If you have such devotion, even if only for a few minutes, it will bear forth fruit. If you sit for hours and your attention is diverted, divided in so many things, such devotion will not bear forth fruit. Now see where you stand.