DEVOTEES OF SORTS
In every faith, in every religion, in every Spiritual Session the primary aspect is the Devotion of the devotee. We are all Devotees on the path of knowledge or spirituality or enlightenment. It would be interesting to know what kind of Devotees we are.
In a very general categorization there are four types of Devotees – the snoozer, the sniffer, the sucker and the seeker. Alarming? Yes it does sound alarming at reading such names at first but once we understand the terms we realize the depth behind each name.
The Snoozer: this is a person who attends a discourse or prayer meetings out of compulsion. Such a person has no interest in learning the spiritual knowledge or so to say the divine wisdom. He attends not by his free will but joins in due to the pressure of the society as a formality. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing so. There are many a time when one does some things in life due to social obligations and that is perfectly fine.
Having come to such a place where a Kirtan or a discourse is going on, this person doesn’t find anything interesting him. There could be various reasons for this lack of interest. One might not be focused towards spiritual gain, one could be tired or anything else. As a result what does this person do, he starts feeling sleepy. Not realizing, he even falls asleep during the discourse and suddenly gets up, straightens himself or herself, looks around if others noticed and again falls in the same state which he was avoiding. In the disguise of his snoozing state his subconscious mind still participates prayerfully.
The Sniffer: This is a person who comes to a religious congregation with his free will, yet disinterested in the religious information being imparted. He or she is focused towards the very worldly charms. This is the person who actually observes the décor, the clothes and accessories of other attendants, his or her own appearance, the noises from elsewhere etc.
This is the person who would know by names the people who left their mobiles turned on during the discourse. One enjoys the music of the religious hymns and gets a spiritual high feeling yet when it comes to understanding the verses or the discourse, he shies away. It is a known fact that in many households the spiritual programs on the T.V. are a daily ritual. Yet, very few listen and understand what is being aired attentively. Such people sniff the aromas of divinity without consuming factually. In the process they still gain some spiritual inclination so let’s not count it as a loss.
The Sucker: This is a person who comes for prayers with a heart and mind immersed in spirituality. He is very attentive and relishes every moment spent in Holy surroundings. He grasps every knowledge imparted with a keen ear and learns to live with the information gained. His consciousness levels are multiplied each time he or she attends such a gathering. This person becomes the epitome of the enlightenment showered upon him and becomes a living example of the teachings of the giver. In this state one sucks in the divinity and reaches a trance like state even with Bhajans, shabads, hymns etc. He feels the God presence in and around himself.
The Seeker: This is a person who craves for knowledge and has continuous questions in the mind as he or she attends and listens to the Divine knowledge. He seems to be on a nonstop path of enlightenment. This person finds that his questions get answered somehow without even asking someone. It is his own search towards his inner self. Once attained the Seeker becomes the Sage.
Snoozing being the first stage and Sniffing becoming the second leads us to the sucking state followed by the seeking spirit which one strives towards Salvation. There can be a contradiction in the state of being a seeker first and then becoming the sucker for some people. It depends on the circumstances and accessibility of spiritual surroundings. If the scenario of the daily “puja” or reading a scripture or a similar activity is observed it comes to picture that nobody performed any of these activities without having passed through these Devotion stages. When one is first taught to pray as a kid, One does it not with faith but because one trusts in the parent. Then as one grows, the trust aspect gives way to mere pleasing the parent. Then with time one starts finding it boring and as years pass by one enjoys bits and pieces about devotion. Kids are often attracted to the temples or prayer sessions in the hope of meeting their friends or getting the Prasad. Then as the child in us leads to maturity and we feel the worldly pressures, we start turning to God and Godliness for solace. We Then start realizing what a Guru is and what it means to go under guidance of Holy people. All this is done as faith enters one’s life and through trials and tribulations one at times even questions the very existence of the Divine.
There is yet another state of Devotion which is achieved by only those who strive hard towards it. That is the state of becoming One with God. This is when one has achieved the Sat, Chit, Anand state of being. The self remains Godlike, behaves Godlike, Lives Godlike, unaffected by any worldly challenges. Such a one lives in eternal peace despite being in the family life. The attractions (Maya) do not sway Him, The Weather, The fashions; The Food does not bother such a person. He lives with God, for God, towards God.
The question arises; can Devotion be attained by praying at the shrines only? Devotion is not bound by any religion, place of worship, congregation. A true Devotee will find the Divine in any being, any circumstance, and any time of the day. A social worker is also a Devotee of high category for his devotion is not restricted to praying. He serves the society devotedly to put others at ease. That is a very high placed Divinity amongst Humans.