The ultimate duty of a person is to perform duties which will lead one to have pure love for God. Such pure love for God is known as ‘bhakti’. In the Narada-bhakti-sutra Lord Krishna is described as sa tv asmin param-prema-rupa, the Ultimate Eternal Love. Bhakti means intense love for God. The sages refer to such intense love as the love which arises in the heart of a devotee who has the vision of God. It is during times like these when such a devotee becomes intoxicated with divine love. Such love which initiates a person to feel true love is dharma (religion). This kind of love eliminates hatred and the fire of resentment from a person’s heart and also wipes away the poison of hatred and resentment from the mind, filling your total being with the amrit (elixir) of love and this alone is true dharma.

Dharma Brings Together
There are people in this world who preach and spread violence in the name of religion. Please note that this is not dharma. That which brings people together and not that which separates them is dharma. In this era, people seem to get divided for communal reasons: Muslims will go only to a mosque; Christians will go only to church; Hindus only to a Hindu temple; and Sikhs only to a Gurudwara. However, all of these different people from different communities will go to a hotel and eat together. So a hotel becomes a place which brings people together, while religion divides people. What a strange phenomena that is? in reality, dharma is not that which makes a person a Muslim, a Hindu, a Christian or a Sikh or any other community member, but dharma is that which makes any member of any community a ‘true’ human being.

No Need for Religious Conversion
What is required is not the conversion of people from one religion to another but a transformation of people into becoming better human beings. What is happening in this day and age is ‘trading’ in the name of service, whereby people are getting converted in lieu of services that are being offered. An example of a common phrase heard is: “You forsake your religion, adopt ours and we will teach you in English.” This is an insult to human beings as the ideal way is to serve human beings while accepting them as they are. Such acts of conversion are not good for any religion. Religion should be spread by preaching its principles and services. Where is the need of conversion? However, if a person wishes to convert then it should be done so with the idea of making such a person into a better human being. Dharma is true religion and there is no place for conversion in it.

Currently, the problem of terrorism has spread to all countries and everyone is concerned about it. Why is terrorism spreading its tentacles all over the world? This is because we have made mistakes in understanding religion and we do not practice the tenets of religion. We have accepted falsehood as the Truth. Hence terrorism is proliferating. It can be controlled with the help of arms for some time but that is not the long-term solution. Terrorism can be exterminated permanently only by spiritualism.

God is One, Paths are Many
There is only one God and people of all religions worship Him alone. Some people worship God as a ‘formless Being’, free from any attributes and qualities while others worship Him as a ‘Being’ who takes up a tangible form and qualities as per their imagination. Religion is only a way to reach God; it cannot become the ultimate goal. Sanatana Dharma, Vedic Dharma, Christianity, islam, Jainism etc., are all different paths that enable us to reach God. No religion teaches to hate or despise other religions, on the contrary, they encourage us to love each other. There is one temple of spiritualism that has four entrances, and we can enter the temple through all four entrances since all entrances lead us to God. All religions are our gateways that lead us to the same Almighty God.
The real test of religion is whether it wipes off the poison of hatred and resentment, whether it initiates true love for God in a person and whether it fills the mind of people with true love. This is what true religion does. When such love becomes boundless, when each and every particle of our being becomes saintly and divine. When we have true love for God, and devotion, only then do we have a right to call it religion.

The Devotee and the Beggar
So what is the nature of such devotion? it is unconditional, selfless and without any expectation in return. It is important to ask oneself what type of a bhakta (devotee) you are? Do you love God genuinely or are you pleading for favours from Him? So often we see crowds of people densely packed in a temple and it seems often that such a crowd are not devotees but are mere beggars. Beggars who sit outside the temples maybe referred to as smaller beggars when compared to the crowds of people inside the temples, who would not be satisfied just with a few rupees like the smaller beggars would be. The crowds in the temples are not content with what they have and want more riches that are beyond measures and thus it is such people who are referred to as bigger beggars.

Whilst observing crowds that abound pilgrimage centres and temples a person can discern who is a genuine devotee and who is a beggar. Such beggars consider God to be an instrument or a tool in order to obtain their desired objects, such as a bigger house, money or children, which are almost always related to power, wealth and fame. In contrast to such people there are the genuine devotees who love God with great desire for Him. For such people God is their goal in life and their destination is to reach Him. Hence it is important to think, introspect and contemplate as to what the nature of our bhakti is. Is it that which makes God a tool in order to accomplish our desires or do we make God our goal in life? We must be very clear about this.

True bhakti should be ahaituki, meaning without a purpose, reason or motive. Only God is worthy of true love for His wonderful qualities. Loving people in this world could bring pain and sorrow due to the worldly attachment towards them. For example when you love someone and that person leaves the world before you do, you will weep for being separated or if you leave before that person then that person will weep for you. No one in this world is eternal. However, God is eternal and so He deserves to be loved unconditionally. This highlights the fact that bhakti should be unconditional, without any reasons and without any motives.

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