Maintaining a relationship with God

by Swami Prasad Sharma
(Dona Paula, Goa, India)

Maintaining a relationship with God

After surrendering to God on 11 September, 1977 (Please see my article: Death - a great spiritual teacher, indeed!) I took up the Srimad Bhagavad Gita for my guidance but had no idea to select any of the suggested paths, enumerated in that scripture:

• work without expectations
• knowledge path
• devotion path

These three paths are emphasized for the welfare of mankind but I had no patience and capacity to practice any of these.

Through the experiences of July 4, August 20 and September 11, 1977, I had realized respectively, that God is there Who responds and doeth justice, immortality through self-realization, and surrender to God for peace of mind. But, the spirit of surrender was to be maintained in all conditions, favourable or unfavourable.

Keeping all this in obedience, I wanted immediate relief. How I was guided would become clear from the following suggestion received from my father, living 2000 kilometers away.

My father wrote in his letter that surrender to God is supreme and asked me to leave everything in His care. He assured me that God would make everything all right in due course of time. Further, he advised that the plant of devotion is to be nurtured through Satsang (association with righteous persons) to keep it green and growing. Being in a scientific institution, I could hardly get in the company of such people. However, I started reading the biographies of saints and their teachings and talking humbly about the greatness of God with whomsoever I came across. Even now I earnestly desire for the company of such people and seek help of God in providing such an association.

Surrender to God is a spontaneous phenomenon in an entangled condition of mind, but God always takes care to sustain it. It is our ego that makes us rebellious, not accepting the given situation, from time to time. Time and again, the ego is crushed for our own good, but it remains. Hence, we have to put up some sincere efforts to keep the feeling of surrender continuing, particularly in crisis. The mind though subdued is very tricky and tries to enjoy its whims and fancies, now and then, and sometimes repents for its indulgence. Then God provides various options to develop relationships between Himself and the devotee (See: The spectrum of the love of God). These unique relationships keep the devotee evergreen as long as his body lasts. Since feelings at the last moments of life are carried forward, teachings and feelings of gratefulness toward God – expressed by various spiritual teachers and gained through his own experiences – should be assimilated in the mind beforehand.

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