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780. Devotion

Devotion to God is called Bhakti in Sanskrit and most Indian languages. It is so powerful that it can overcome poison. Devotion is the loyalty of the heart. Given to the Spirit, it releases the Psychic Being, the evolving soul in us. Devotion to duty is dedication of the body. The nature of Mind is to be partial. Simultaneously, it can seek two opposites. We call it wavering. The nature of the heart is it can give itself wholly to one thing - a person. Mirabai gave herself to Krishna and the devotion of her being was so powerful that the poison her husband Rana gave her was neutralised by its intensity. Physically devoted people tend to look like the object of their devotion. There is a small Hanuman temple inside a coconut grove in a seaside town. Somehow it has become popular and a good number of devotees used to visit it.

About fifty years ago there was a priest at the temple. The fame of the temple was due to the dedication of the priest. Though he was a priest, he was the de facto trustee of the temple. He was in charge of all that related to Hanuman. It was no idol to him.  As far as he was concerned, the idol at the temple was ALIVE. Perhaps he communed with the living deity that indwells the statue. At the age of fifty or above, he used to walk with a spring in his steps. One would wonder whether Hanuman inspired his steps. His visage exactly resembled the idol he worshipped.  He was so identified with his ishta devata that the devata conferred on him the mantle of his exterior form. In spite of being an insignificant temple, its annual festival, laksha deepam, was a major event in that district town. Crowds thronged the temple during the several days when the festival was being celebrated.

There was an ignorant, illiterate woman devotee of The Mother. She had no particular faith in Mother. But her face had slowly changed over the years so much that anyone who saw her would be struck by her close facial resemblance to Mother. Even when the mind - it was not there - did not understand and the heart had no intense faith, the contours of the body could cast themselves into the very mould of the Guru. When the devotion of the heart is forcefully endorsed by the passion of the body, the very body seeks to look like the great Atma it adores. People not related by blood acquire the same voice when the attachment is strong. Handwriting analysis became a science one hundred years ago. Its relation to character has been explored in great detail. People around a Guru or a Master tend to have a similar handwriting. Handwriting reveals the subconscious tendencies. Imitation of handwriting is expressive of subconscious affinity. Juniors to lawyers take after the seniors in modes of speech and delivery, even in the mode of thinking. All Congressmen in the days of the freedom struggle wore a Gandhi cap. It was not particular to Gandhi. It was the cap of a Gujarati. Even Nehru and his father sported the cap. The sweetness of devotion tries to express itself in various ways.

story | by Dr. Radut