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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

Devotion

It was Valmiki Jayanti a couple of days ago. I came across an article that claimed Valmiki's writing is relevant even today. It didn't say how but it got me thinking. Most people are so ignorant that they don't even know why they got a holiday or even who Valmiki is. Well, he's the one who wrote the Ramayana.

Devotion is inherent in all of us. We are all devoted to several things, each to a different extent. But very few people show devotion without an end in mind. Just take a few minutes and ask yourself, 'What do I devote myself to?'. I'm sure several things come to your mind. Then ask yourself, 'Why am I devoted to these things?'. Again, several answers come to your mind. Sadly, for most of us, all these answers turn out to be materialistic. This, to me, is not devotion. Its commitment. We're all committed to doing things as we believe they will make us richer, more popular, happier, etc. When you're devoted, you take pleasure in the doing and not in the end itself. Mythology is replete with examples of devotion. Take the Hindu mythological texts, Ramayana and Mahabharata, for example. They cite numerous instances where a complete devotion to God results in the devotee experiencing ecstasy when the God in question appears before him and grants him powers, wisdom, riches and what not. I feel this is the message given by Valmiki that is still potent of transforming the one who follows it. His message is 'pure devotion'. The devotees and the Gods and the rewards are all metaphorical in his Ramayana. Analyse it and this is what you realise. He wants everyone of us to be a devotee. He doesn't want you to devote yourself to God, nor does he want you to indulge in perpetual prayers and meditation. The God he refers to is everything that you've got going in your life. The rewards that you get out of pure devotion are not godlike powers and sudden transformation into a super human. The reward is self actualization. Apotheosis. You become your own master and you'll transform into the best you can be if you're truly devoted to what you're doing. All you need to do is believe in the end and stay devoted to what you do. This guarantees apotheosis. This guarantees that you reach your best. This simple message by Valmiki is very very relevant today as true devotion is extinct among the human race. Bring it back and everyone of us can be as calm, strong, firm, wise and righteous as his protagonist.

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