God accessible to one and all
THIS IS A COLLECTED LIST OF INTERVIEWS AND TALKS BY THE SRINGERI ACHARYALS ON VARIOUS RELIGIOUS TOPICS DURING THE 1990’S. THEY WERE PUBLISHED IN “THE HINDU” NEWSPAPER.
God has been described as an ocean of mercy, ready to rescue His devotees from their problems. One of the doubts raised by some is, ``If He is really so compassionate, why not He protect them of His own volition? Does He not know their difficulties? Where then is the need for their prayers or appeals?'' A fitting reply can be given for this doubt.
God is ever anxious to help those who seek His help. A river flows near a village carrying copious water. Anyone who requires water can go to it and fetch any quantity. But a person cannot expect the river to flow to him and fill the pitchers in his house of its own accord. So too, God is to be approached through prayers and worship as He is readily accessible to everyone. He has no partiality and welcomes all and is ready to shower His grace on the seekers without discrimination.
God shows no distinction among His devotees in regard to their scholarship, color or status. A well read person and a less qualified one offered their prayers before God. The former used a hymn in a flamboyant style while the latter's was not so flowery. The former got annoyed with God that He has accepted the grammatically incorrect verse but the Almighty said that He only appreciated a devotee's sincerity and intensity of feeling. So too was the case of Narayana Bhattathri (who composed Narayaneeyam) virtually accusing God of having approved the verse of a not so scholarly poet, which contained flaws. “I am not worried about grammatical construction but am pleased with devotion.” , the Lord replied.
Sri Bharati Theertha Swami of Sringeri Math in a discourse said, that God is pleased with any offering made with total devotion. He does not approve of hypocrisy and knows who is sincere. He will not be carried away by extravagant display of devotion. The attitude behind an offering is important. A poor devotee who has no wherewithal, can before an idol, imagine the Lord being seated on a throne made of gold imbedded with gems and himself offering lavish items. This is termed ``Maanasa puja.''
There will also be no difficulty in chanting God's names. ``Namasivaya'' is a simple mantra of God and it is regrettable that many do not resort even to the simple procedure of chanting it to approach God. At the conclusion of one's daily worship, a verse is recited in submission to God to condone the defects in the offerings or for the violation of the prescribed rules of worship. God forgives them. Such is the power and efficacy of prayers and divine names.