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True Devotion Decreases Our Love For World And Worldly Things

One of the chief characteristics of true bhakti or devotion is that our love for the world and worldly things keeps getting less and less. Whenever we find that in spite of following the spiritual path our attachment is not getting less, our love for the phenomenal world is not decreasing, we should know that there is something seriously wrong with our spiritual practice. Sri Ramakrishna pointed out that vairagya, or renunciation, means ‘dispassion for the world and love for God’.

You must cultivate more and more the tendency to associate only with good people, with people who are pure minded, for if you do not consciously avoid impure company, you will be unable to destroy the evil or impure tendencies in your own mind. All impure men and women with whom you associate awaken in you — in a very subtle way — your impure thoughts, either in the form of desire or in the form of disgust, and disgust is only desire with a negative sign. There are many people who say that one must experience all the different experiences of life oneself. But, how do you know what experience you have already had in your previous lives? If you really want to pass through all experiences yourself, then your mind will be so weak and full of ruts in the end that nothing will be possible in spiritual life. In that case you would merely want to offer your dirt and filth to God.

People often find nice theories to justify their own worldly conduct. We turn sceptics because it is comfortable for us to be sceptics, because it justifies our own conduct to some extent. As a result of
your worldly conduct your body becomes diseased, your mind weakened, no energy is left for spiritual practices, and what spiritual path could be followed with such a worthless body and such a worthless mind? No, this theory of experience is out and out wrong, because very few find their way to spiritual life in this manner. The others become diseased in body and mind and can never regain their energies in this life. Besides, how can you pass through all experiences of life yourself?

When you handle a flower to smell it, you press it; then it becomes rotten. And then you dare to
offer it to God. If you want to offer body and mind to God, why not do it now? Why offer them when
they have become tainted and diseased?