FREEDOM FROM EGOISM FIRST QUALIFICATION OF A BHAKTHA

Worry and grief there will always be, of one type or other-in the past and future; while walking, dreaming and sleeping. But place faith in the Lord and do your tasks as dedicated to Him and they will vanish. Narada one day boasted before Vishnu that no devotee could excel him; but this beast was against the very first qualification of a Bhakta-freedom from egoism. So, Vishnu spoke of a ryot who was tilling his little plot of land as a greater devotee and recommended that Narada should visit and learn the art of devotion from him! Narada felt very much humiliated and he proceeded to the village indicated in great chagrin. He found the ryot engrossed in his round of duties on the field and in the cattle shed and at home and in spite of the most vigilant watch, he could not hear him speak the name of the Lord more than thrice a day; once when he woke up from bed, another time when he took his midday meal and the last when he retired for the night. Narada was naturally incensed that he was deemed inferior to his very poor specimen of a Bhakta. He was always singing melodiously the Leelas of the Lord and spreading everywhere the message of Nmasankirtanam and here was a horny-handed son of the soil who remembered the Lord just three times a day, whom Vishnu judged superior to him. He hurried to heaven; his face flushed with anger and ignominy, Vishnu only laughed at his plight. He gave him a pot full to the brim with water and asked him to carry it on his head and go round a certain course without spilling even a drop. Narada did so, but when asked how often he had remembered the Name of the Lord, he admitted that his anxiety to walk without shaking the pot and spilling the water, he had forgotten the Name completely. Then Vishnu told him that the ryot who was carrying on his head more precious and more spoilable burdens than a pot of water and who had to be careful not bring harm to any of them, must perforce admired remembering the Lord at least three times a day!

Therefore it will be great gain of you remembering the Lord with thankfulness at least thrice or even twice a day; that will give you great peace. Do not give up your worldly duties, but do them with the Name of God on your lips inviting the Grace of God on you.