My dear Pranav,
Vinoba connected the old spiritual traditions like bhakti to modern
times. This approach of finding out similarities and common bonds was
one of his lifelong missions. He found in the Gita this idea
fulfilled. He called it "abhidheyam param samyam." to see the
ultimate equality in everything as the message of Brahman.
When Dharmaraja reached at last the gates of heaven, there was only
a dog with him. Bhima, Arjuna and the others had fallen by the way
side. He was told at the gate: "You can come in, but the dog is
not allowed to enter." Dharmaraja replied, "If my dog cannot enter,
neither will I." One who performs devoted service, even if only a
dog, is superior to those who are always thinking of themselves. The
dog proved its superiority over Bhim and Arjuna, who could not make
it to the gates of heaven. No matter what sort of a person one
is, if one goes into the presence of God, one becomes worthy of
honour. No matter what sort of wood is thrown into the fire, it
will glow. Bhakti is the wonderful means for attaining Him.
plead, at a khadi exhibition, to the people to come in, say, "Do come
in and have a look. Look at the fine texture, the bright colours,
the beautiful patterns." Khadi provides work for millions who will
otherwise have to go to sleep on empty stomachs. This message of
God reaches the people once they enter Khadi exhibitions. This Bhakti
for the common good illuminates the minds of people. They get
connected to the community around them.
Vinoba commends such an attitude in a bhakta (1). He has said, he
was once traveling in a train, passing over a bridge across the
Jamuna. A passenger sitting next to him flung with great enthusiasm
a coin into the river. There was a rationalist in the compartment
who observed, "The country is poverty-stricken and on the top of that
there are people who throw coins out of carriage windows." "You have
not understood why he does it." I said, "The bhavana, the mental
attitude with which he threw the coin is worth at least two or
three such coins, is it not? If the money was given for some good
cause, it would, no doubt, have been better. But then he was moved
to do this because of the feeling that this is not a mere river,
but the Lord's compassion flowing before us. Is there any room for
this feeling in your economics?"
When his eyes saw one of his country's rivers, his heart melted. If
you can assess in terms of money the value of this feeling, then I
shall know how to estimate your patriotism.
Does love of country mean mere bread? If on seeing one of the
great rivers of our country, the idea awakens in one's mind that one
should immerse all of one's possessions in it, and dedicate them to
it, how great is that love? In your creation, has the Lord a place?
The river is a combination of hydrogen and Oxygen. The sun is a
kind of big glass-lamp. One should therefore bow low before a loaf
of bread? It is a kind of white earth. Why does your mouth water
at the sight of it?
Here is the big bright sun just risen, here is the beautiful river
flowing past - if you do not see God in them, where can you see
Him? Wordsworth laments:
The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The sunshine is a glorious birth,
But yet know, wherever I go,
That there hath, past away a glory from the earth."
It is the attitude of mind towards things that makes all the difference.