Bhakta ekantino mukhyah – These are the things to be done, but what is the nature of such a devotee? God is everywhere. And what is everywhere has no value. It is commonly available everywhere. Air is available everywhere. Like air, god is everywhere. But gold is available only in gold mines, so gold has more value. In the same way, god is everywhere, but devotees are not everywhere. So devotees are more valuable than god, himself. They are more precious because this is what you cannot get. Sun is available everywhere, but diamonds are not. It is the diamond which can reflect the sun. It can shine in the sun, which can absorb the sun rays, which can reflect the sun rays totally! The one-pointedness of a devotee cannot be distracted by anybody, anything. Nothing can allure him to drop the highest, nothing can shake him, nothing can move him.
Bhakta ekantino mukhyah – a devotee has such one-pointedness. And what do devotees do?
Kanthavarodha romancha shrubhih parasparam lapamanah pavayanti kulani prithvim cha.
When devotees get together and talk, speak about the Divine, their throats choke, their hair stands up, tears roll down their eyes. Parasparam lapamanah – they only uplift each other. They talk about how much they miss the divine and how much they love the divine. This is all that they talk. Parasparam lapamanah - they uplift each other, they cry with each other, they talk with each other. They don’t complain, there is no inquisitiveness, there is no gossiping. What is there is the earnest willingness to share the love of the divine, the earnest desire to share the joy and the love of the divine. They cry and cry.
Pavayanti kulani – Such devotees purify their entire family for generations of their family. Their entire system gets transformed.
See, if you keep talking negative, your system undergoes such a strain – such knots get created in your own body. And if you keep praising the Lord, praising the divine, then your entire system undergoes a transformation. It is a scintillating experience, every cell in your body is charged up - it feels so alive, so full of love!
Pavayanti kulani prithvim cha – they purify not just their family, not just their relatives, but the whole world.
Teertha kurvanti teerthani sukarme kurvanti karmani sachchastree kurvanti shastrani.
They bring holiness to the land, to the place, to the holy place. The holy place is where devotees walk, devotees sit, devotees think. That is teertha – that is the holy place. They make even the holy places holier. If a holy place is devoid of devotees who cry for the divinity, it is no more holy. If a holy place is a place of fight and crime, it has lost it’s vibration, it’s serenity, it’s holiness. How can a sacred place maintain its sacredness? It is by devotees being there, singing, praising the glory of the divine. When such devotees walk there, the place becomes holy and they make every action holy. They make every action good action, right action. Sachchastree kurvanti shastrani - and they make the scriptures true, they testify the scriptures. Devotees fulfil the scriptures.
Shastrani – anyone can read a book to you, it is not a shastra. But when you hear someone reading a book and it gets into you, that is shastra.
Shastra is that which directly keeps you in touch with the truth, which touches your heart. Do you see what I’m saying? Sometimes you hear something and it clicks, somewhere you feel “Yes, this is it!” That exclamation that arises in your heart, “Oh yes, I agree, I know!” – that is shastra. That is sushastra – the right scriptures, right wisdom. They bring life to wisdom. You find wisdom in all the libraries, knowledge is there everywhere in the libraries, but it doesn’t integrate with life. When knowledge does not integrate with life, it does not become wisdom. With integration of knowledge, life happens.
Excerpts from the book An Intimate Note to the Sincere Seeker by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar www.artofliving.org