the hindus have way to many gods ! possibly one for every aspect of creation ... whatever for ? isn't one enough and if you happen to be one of those that does have faith in a god or supreme being or power, is a particular image even necessary ?
let's start with a presumption that we have some sort of faith and we want be evolve into the most noble expression of man as possible. for this, we need to be bigger than we are right now and to find inspiration to do this, we need to dedicate our activities to a higher cause than our immediate personal gratification. there is no easier way to be selfless than to do something for the one you love. a mother for her child, the lover for his beloved, the patriot for his nation...
however, you cannot love that which you do not know - there can be respect for and even inspiration to a certain extent drawn from abstract ideals but to love to the point where you are willing to lose yourself... that comes only when you have a very intimate relationship with the object of your love.
and love comes naturally. so while one devotee may fall in love with the baby Jesus, another may be enchanted by an adorable Krishna and still a third by the ascetic Shiva. there is no choice in this ... love comes in many forms so let the believer choose at which altar to offer the garland of his devotion.
the consistent purifying of one's being through devotion and selfless work towards the greater good will gradually distill our personality and prepare us for the lofty heights to be scaled through contemplation and meditation. here, as we let the world of names and forms dissolve away, we experience a complete merger into the Essence of That which Is. in this Silence, there are no "others", no "me", not even "my god" ... here, Consciousness Alone Is.
this is a Fullness that encompasses and inhabits all with no division whatsoever.
when such a man of realisation acts in the world, he leads by example so that others may easily follow. he continues to offer his life as a dedication to the Lord of his heart and so it is that we have the great prophets and sages enraptured with love for their Divine Lord. with every breath he sings his Lord's glory and with every act, he serves his Lord's will.
this is ultimately a journey of love...
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