Who is a True Devotee?
God is beyond all dualities. The Divine principle is nothing but the principle of oneness or complete unity. A true devotee is one who sees complete unity in the diversity of the world. A true devotee should worship God with the feeling and attitude of complete oneness after recognising the same divinity in everyone. When we look outside, naturally, we will see diversity. But if you turn your mind and vision inward, you will see that everything is one and the same, it is one. When you enter a room full of mirrors, you see as many reflections as the number of mirrors. If you enquire whether there are as many human beings as there are reflections in the room, you know that it is not so. Only man who can attain this wisdom can recognise the unity of all existence; it is not possible for animals.
Vidya means to know that. You cannot get rid of your ignorance by knowing only worldly facts or science and technology. Only when you can learn spiritual wisdom, you will experience for yourself the oneness of all existence. In our educational institutions, the children learn the great lesson that only externally there are different bodies and different minds but internally all are one. Religions are many but the path is one; the cotton plants may be different but the thread is one and the same; jewels are many, gold is one; the colour of cows may be different but milk is one. First and foremost, we should learn that whomever we serve, we are not serving others; we are serving ourselves. Salutation to any of the beings will reach God only. Only when a person develops that firm faith that it is the same God that resides in him resides in everybody, we can call him a true devotee. It is the same Atmic principle, which shines forth in everybody. But because of external differences, it may not show equally in all.
But it is very difficult to turn the mind from outside to inside. When we turn our mind inward, we can recognise all truths very easily. Even if God manifests in front of a person who does not believe and tells him, “I am God,” he will not be able to believe it. People cannot see the Divinity because of their own ego and attachments and desires. Therefore, nobody can speak against the truth that God is in everyone. If we cannot experience that truth, we should know that there is something lacking in us. When you have faith in God, you will naturally do your duty first. Do your best and leave the rest. If you don’t put in your effort thinking that I believe in God, that cannot be called true faith at all. True faith is that which makes you do your best and then leave the rest to God.
Without giving up the laziness or Tamasik quality, you cannot know the Truth. Without giving up Rajasik quality or passion and attachments, you cannot develop devotion. It is the Satvik quality – quality of purity – which will help you to develop devotion. The word of Sai is the essence of all the Vedas. Without giving up Tamasik and Rajasik qualities, if you aspire to get self-realisation, and God’s vision, it will never happen. If you want to conquer all sorrow and all unhappiness, the only way is to recognise oneness in all creation. We have to give up the evil qualities of ego and attachment. Therefore, all of you have to put in the effort.