I really really wonder when I hear elders saying young people to think of spirituality later in life and not now. More than earlier, now ways are many for young minds to fall prey into (even old mind too fell prey to these :P). I believe when we have a strong base of devotion, we won’t fall and even if we at some point fell, almighty will pick us up. It is the nature of mind to have something to act upon and make thoughts and imaginations about it. We can give the mind nine forms of devotion to act upon:
Shravana – hearing the names, songs or discourses about god
Keerthana – singing or chanting names of god
Smarana – remembering about god
Paadasevana – doing worship in the form of service to mankind seeing all beings as lord; can be the ritualistic worships in spiritual institutions too
Archana – doing ritual worships with flowers or leaves or anything or even with the mind to an idol of god
Vandana – humble prostrations to everything seeing god in everything surrendering the ego
Dasya – serving the god with the mindset of a servant seeing god as the master surrendering the ego
Sakhya – seeing god as the eternal friend and being friendly to every beings seeing god in them
Atmanivedhana – surrendering completely to god, taking complete refugee in god
Maybe elders fear with bhakti, youngers will forget their duties and won’t earn a living. Even with devotion in heart, one can engage very well in worldly duties coming in front still not affected by the worldly matters. This helps to reduce stress, fights, tensions and physical and mental illnesses while doing the duties of one’s life.
Bhakti is sweet to the ones who are in it. Along with knowledge Bhakti will guide us in right paths always. So dear elders don’t fear about spirituality. Having lord as the eternal companion from the early age will help one to be rid of fear of death which is common among people as they age or they travel at night alone or to unknown places alone. When body withers in old age and memory is lost, one may not be able to think of devotion if not practiced earlier in life because mind maybe conditioned to think of worldly matters only by that time. Till when the body can enjoy the world? Body and mind will be thinking of death and fill the mind with terror. When lord is with us and guides us, what is there to fear. Lord’s ways are unlimited, we just need to trust and recognize the presence of lord in our lives, everything will happen very beautifully then.
May we all be able to recognize the presence of lord in our hearts always 🙂