Man is the only rational being on this earth. Human-birth is superior to all other births due to rationality. All other births are merely Bhogyoni in which instincts alone work and all actions are guided by innate propensity. They are devoid of discrimination and the power of inventions and adjustments. They can neither grow nor prepare any food or other articles of necessity. But they can instinctly devour it when prepared and offered by man. Non-human births are bestowed to suffer the fruits of actions -good or bad- performed with egoism and in the darkness of Agyanan (Ignorance about True-self) during human-life. Even the most laudable actions performed with egoism and in ignorance and without Bhakti bring non human births. The greatest sacrifice or penance performed with egoism and in the darkness of Agyanan bestows at best the life of a lion to reign over the Kingdom of a jungle or that of an elephant to adore the palace of a king. Human-birth on the other hand is both Bhogyoni and Karmyoni. Here man not only enjoys or suffers the fruits of actions performed with egoism and without Bhakti in previous lives but he is free to choose his own line of actions for his upliftment and for attaining salvation. Human-birth itself is not the fruit of any action of previous life. Human-birth is purely due to the extreme Grace of the Almighty. Integral happiness and salvation is attained with the help of four Graces out of which Human-birth is the first and the primary grace of the Almighty.
(with extreme kindness, God gives human-life at his pleasure without any consideration).
Only in human-life the Jiva can throw off the veil of Maya-delusion and realise its True-self. It can lose its seemingly separate identity and become completely submerged with the Creator. To have human-life is the highest fortune of the Jiva because it is the human-life alone in which self-realisation, i.e., God-Realisation is possible.
Lord Ram says:-
(All the Scriptures proclaim that it is the highest fortune to have human-life. Human-life is unattainable to gods. It is the gate-way to salvation. Human-life is the only time when efforts for achieving salvation could be made.)
Kag Bhusundi -the greatest saint and the self-Realised soul who has been immune from the influences of Maya and who attained perfection in Gynan or knowledge and immortality by dint of his extreme Bhakti says-
(There is no other life similar to human-life. All Jivas both in movable and immovable bodies aspire for it. Human-life is a staircase leading to hell, heaven and salvation. It is human-life which provides Gynan (knowledge, detachment and Bhakti.)
It is thus for man himself to discriminate and choose which path to tread on and what to achieve.
The Jiva as a matter of fact is nothing but a fragment of the Almighty Itself. It is life, guileless, store of happiness and easily attainable.
But it has been veiled with Maya -delusion- and under the influence of Maya it has lost control over mind and as a consequence of the unsteady, turbulent and tenacious nature of the mind, it has been undergoing untold sufferings. But when with the extreme Grace of God the Jiva assumes human-life the Divine opportunity is opened to it to pierce out the veil of Maya, to destroy the ignorance about its real nature from which all sufferings sprout and to realise its True-self which is Sat-Chit-Anand or Existence-lifeforce-Bliss.
Having realised True self it could fix its mind on the Divine Light and by constant meditation acquire equanimity and tranquillity and thereby derive unmixed joy-Eternal Bliss which is inherent in the Soul. This very state of Jiva is called Salvation. Salvation literally means deliverance from all miseries and sufferings. Salvation is thus attainable during man's life time alone. But salvation can not be attained without God realisation or Self-realisation which is the only Goal of human-life.
True wisdom, therefore, lies in taking full advantage of this divine opportunity for achieving salvation-deliverance from all sufferings during very life-time by submersion in the Divine.
From the time of birth till death man constantly endeavours to achieve unmixed joy. But due to delusion and ignorance all his efforts are misdirected. The way to unmixed joy is unknown to him. He therefore wanders in bewilderness. Generally he believes that material prosperity would vouchsafe him peace and happiness. He, therefore, undergoes great hardships and sufferings willingly to acquire immense wealth, position, name and fame. But soon he is bewildered. He is obsessed with the fear of losing them and this fear robs him of his peace of mind and happiness. He is plunged into perpetual anxieties.
Material prosperity can never provide constant joy, for matter itself is subject to decay. Man is in reality divine, free and one with the Supreme always but he forgets his true nature and identifies himself with matter which itself is only an illusory appearance and a super-imposition on the Jiva. This is the real cause of his bondage and sufferings.
According to Vedant there cannot be real liberation in a state of multiplicity. The state of complete oneness with God is the only goal to be aspired for towards which alone the entire creation is slowly moving on.
Happiness is dependent on peace which is sublime faculty of mind. Peace and happiness ensue from equanimous mind. Mind acquires equanimity by extreme Bhakti. Submersion of the mind with the ever existent Divine Light within oneself and constant meditation on and recollection of the secret and Pawan Name of God, which is incapable of being either written or uttered and which provides life-force-(Chit) to all movable and immovable beings is called Bhakti. Realisation of the ever-existent Divine Light within-self and the knowledge of His life-force-generating secret Name provides love for God. Supreme love for God is propellant to submersion of the mind with the Divine Light and constant meditation on His secret Name and selfless service to Him and obedience to his commandments. Thus pre-requisites to Sublime Bhakti are firstly God-realisation, then supreme love for Him and lastly submersion of the mind in Him, constant meditation on and recollection of His Name and selfless service and complete obedience to His Commandments. God is both with form and. without form. As butter in the milk is without form whereas churned out butter is with form, similarly Divine-Light (also ca]led 'Vergo', 'Jyoti', 'Param Parkash', Noor-E-Elahi, Chandna and the like) which is ever-existent in all beings is 'God' without physique whereas the Sad Guru of the time or the Realised Soul as it is called, is God with physique. Submersion of the mind with the Divine Light within-self and complete obedience and service to the Sad Guru with supreme love for him and consecration of body, mind and all activities to Him and the greatest anguish for the slightest forgetfulness about Him constitutes sublime Bhakti. The consecration of all activities to the Sad Guru is called Nishkam-Karm also. From such sublime Bhakti and Nish-Kam-Karam ensue perpetual peace, eternal bliss and salvation, i.e., deliverance from all miseries in the very life-time. There is absolutely no other way to achieve them.
It has been universally substantiated and experienced by all seers of all times that only sublime Bhakti can provide happiness and salvation.
Lord Ram says:-
(Bhakti is independent, it provides all happiness.)
(O Garud, one who desires to have happiness without Bhakti is a great fool. To have happiness without Bhakti with other mean is just to cross the ocean on foot without a boat.)
Again he says:-
(Bhakti is a most precious diamond. One who has this diamond in his heart knows not even the slightest of miseries.)
(Vedas, Puranas and all other scriptures proclaim that there can not be happiness without Bhakti.)
(It may be possible to have ghee (butter) by churning water, it may be possible to extract oil by churning sand but it is impossible to attain salvation and integral happiness without devotion to God, i.e., without Bhakti.)
Lord Krishna says:-
(He, whose mind remains unattached to external enjoyments, derives through meditation the unmixed joy, which is inherent in the soul, then that man who has realised The Braham within-self, and who has completely identified himself with the Divine, enjoys eternal bliss.)
The sublime Bhakti however, is stemmed from implicit faith and confidence in the words oft he Sad Guru of the time.
It may be clearly understood that only he who can bestow God-vision and help realise Divine Light within-self instantaneously is the Sad Guru of the time and none else. In reality he is God Incarnate. But it is impossible to have unflinching confidence without personal experience. All the Scriptures and Saints of the world have unequivocally proclaimed that God is omnipresent present in all places and at all times. He is Sat-Chit-Anand-ever-existent-life-force and absolute bliss. He is existent as Divine-Light in all beings and instantaneous realisation of the Divine-Light withinself creates absolute confidence in the Sad-Guru with whose extreme kindness and help it is realised. It is never realisable without the kindness and aid of the Sad-Guru of the time.
Lord Krishna says in Gita:-
(Arjun, being pleased with you, I have shown you, through my own power of Yoga, this supreme, primal and infinite universal Divine-Light which was not seen before by anyone else.
Arjun, neither through the study of Vedas, nor performance of rituals, nor through gifts, sacrifices or austere penances I as Divine-light can be seen by anyone in this mortal world.)
Thus for realisation of the Divine- Light withinself, the kindness and grace of the Sad Guru of the time is absolutely indispensable and when the Divine-Light is realised and the knowledge of ever-existent-life-force-generating secret Name of God acquired, confidence in the Sad Guru as an Incarnation of Divine-Light, i.e., God, is created and becomes deep-rooted. And then only it becomes possible to dedicate body, mind, speech and all actions to the Sad Guru, which action alone arouses Bhakti which is the source of all happiness and peace. Thus we find that acquisition of Bhakti is a circle traffic. Firstly the kindness and grace of the Tatvadarshi Sad Guru have to be obtained with extreme humility and service and then only he will bestow God-vision for realisation of Divine-Light. And after God realisation ; implicit faith and confidence in the Sad Guru with extreme service and consecration of mind, body and all actions to him vouchsafes eternal happiness and salvation which is the ultimate goal of human life.
It should therefore be the first endeavour of a human being to find out a Tatvadarshi Sad-Guru and obtain his kindness and pleasure with humility and service so that he might achieve the goal of life in the end. This is the FIRST step to Integral Happiness.
(Translated by Atmanand)