Infinite Ways to Infinite Bliss
Excerpts from the discourses of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji of Chennai, India.**
How does man commit an offense? The very first time, he is afraid to do the wrong deed. He makes multiple attempts, but reluctantly retracts every time. Then he is somehow successful in committing that offense. Thus, after having done the wrong deed for the first time, he is subjected to guilt, fear and self-pity. But he repeats it yet again, and then he keeps repeating it again and again. Now he is no more worried. “Anyone in my position will do the same thing,” he would justify. “The circumstances and times are such that I am forced to do this,” he would think. “Is not the Almighty the cause for everything? Then He is the reason for my mistake too,” he would profess. “It takes a lot of courage to err!” he would say.
He may be subjected to ill-health due to the mistakes he is so used to doing. Or he may be subjected to dangers of different kinds. In some cases, he may even become weary of repeating it over and over again and may end up hating himself for his deeds. During those times, he will cry in front of the Lord, “People say you are omnipotent! Is it so hard for you to change me?” Then he will challenge God, “Do you really exist? If you do, let’s see if you can transform me for good!” At last, he will swear, “Just this one time, please, save me from this danger / problem / sickness. Then watch, how I turn a new leaf!” He will cry, lament and even take a vow.
Slowly, the misery he had expected to befall will disappear. He will be quiet for some time. Then again, he will start his routine. His conscience will ask him, “You are going in the wrong path again! What will you do if you face the problem again?” In a complacent tone, he would quip, “Can one live his life expecting problems all the time? Let it come, and I’ll cross the bridge when I get there!”
How can such a person ever get out of this state? Only the upadesa of the Lord’s Name from the lips of a great Mahatma and hence the sprouting of love towards the Lord can pull him out of this endless cycle.
Srimad Bhagavatam tells us this very fact in the sixth Canto, in the context of Ajamila Charitra:
kvachit nivartathe abadraat kvachit charati tat punah
(… at times he will indulge in unholy activities. Then he will retract from them; then again he will indulge.)
For him, this is a never-ending chapter in the book of his life.
**Any discrepancy/lapse in this translated version is the sole responsibility of the person/s who translated the work from Tamil into English.