When you say you are on a spiritual path, it means you are looking for truth. But what kind of truth are you looking for? Usually, most people – whether they go to a temple, church, mosque or ashram – are looking for something that pays – something that will benefit them. But for one who is genuinely seeking, truth is not the kind that pays. It gobbles everything.
This is not for the smart who want to be “somebody” in the world. Everybody wants to conquer something. Only a fool aspires to be a nobody. Only a fool wants to surrender and be conquered? There has been a very long tradition of fools who want to surrender, who want to become nothing, who want to exist here not as proud human beings, but just like soil, just like the land. Shiva saw that these fools will not make it in this world, so he embraced them. He took them as his own. If not because of their ingenuity, because of plain stupidity they are graced.
Doors can open because you are deadly smart and powerful, or people may open doors out of compassion. There is a whole tradition of people who do not mind even if they crawl across, they just want to somehow get across. These are shameless people – they do not suffer shame, nor anger, jealousy or anything. They are shameless, pride-less, egoless, senseless people. It is these people who attained.
“Where there is a devotee, God exists…”
Devotion means a certain single-pointedness – you are constantly focused towards one thing. Once you become such that your thought, emotion and everything is focused in one direction, Grace will naturally happen to you because you become receptive. What or whom you are devoted to is not the issue. If you think, “No, I want to be a devotee, but I have a doubt whether God exists or not” – these are the predicaments of a thinking mind. What you need to know is, God does not exist. But where there is a devotee, God exists.
The power of devotion is such that it can create the Creator. The depth of what we refer to as devotion is such that even if God is not existent, devotion can bring God into existence.
India: A Place Where God is Everywhere
In Indian culture, there is no necessity that you must visit a “formal” temple. One can instantly convert anything into God, wherever they are. This is a wonderful technology, a tremendous manufacturing skill. Just a piece of stone can be made into God right there and you will see, by tomorrow morning, a thousand people will be worshipping it. This willingness to bow down even to a piece of stone is incredible technology. To be willing to bow down to anything is so simple, but it has been a powerful tool. A tree, a flower, a stone, a stick – it does not matter what – just being willing to bow down with an utter sense of devotion towards it. This simple willingness made India the biggest exporter of people to that which is beyond the physical.
This is why this land and culture was blessed with innumerable realized beings. Everywhere else in the world, if people have to bow down, it has to be of a particular form, otherwise they cannot. But if you are willing to bow down to a stone, a stick, an insect or a bird, one of them could become the doorway and something will open up – there is no end to the possibilities available to you. Because of this attitude, people opened up a billion possibilities everywhere.
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