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Thus answered Sri Rama to Narada. So, the Lord will protect in all ways and at all times those who worship Him in complete and uncontaminated Bhakthi, just as a mother protects her infants, a cow saves her calf from danger, and the eyelids guard the eyes, effortlessly and automatically. When the infant grows up into an adult, the mother will not pay so much attention to its safety. So too, the Lord does not pay much attention to the Jnani. The Saguna Bhaktha is like an infant of the Lord; so, it has no strength except the strength of the Lord. For the Jnani, his own strength is enough. Therefore, until one can rely on one's own strength, one must be an infant in the Lord's Hands, as a Saguna Bhaktha. No one can become a Nirguna Bhaktha, without having been a Saguna Bhaktha. So, Bhakthas should grow up like infants in the lap of the mother and thereafter, become Jnanis who can rely on their 'own' strength and be free. Still, both have the same source of strength, the Mother. Those indeed are really fortunate who grasp this secret of the path of Devotion, who develop one-pointed Bhakthi and strengthen the traits of their character, who transform themselves into infants in the lap of the Lord and who get everything done by him as He wishes.
Therefore, those who yearn to be Dasas, Bhakthas, Priyas and Ananya Bhakthas should take up the corresponding path and name and act and live accordingly: the Bhaktha should develop the above said characteristics of devotion; the Priya should follow the Prema of the Lord; the Ananya Bhaktha has to surrender completely to the Lord. Mere reading and rolling on the tongue are of no avail. Ananda is the result of Action only. This Ananda is not dependent on caste or race or sex. Even in those days, when Sri Rama came to Sabari, she asked him in the following manner, while Sri Rama was gladly partaking of the feast of roots and fruits, selected and reserved by Sabari for him after herself tasting every individual item. "Lord! I am but a woman; in addition, I am of feeble intellect. Above all, I am low-born. How can I praise You? I do not know what to do or how!" Then, Sri Rama smiled and said, "Sabari! My mission is only the kinship of Bhakthi. I have no kinship of race or caste. Of what use is it to have status, wealth and character, without Bhakthi? Like the cloud that does not bear rain, which wanders about in the sky, these people without devotion are at the mercy of the winds, whatever their status in caste, wealth, power, and fame. Bhakthas reach me through nine paths; any one of them takes them to Me". Then, Sabari prayed and Sri Rama responded.
"If the devotee sincerely practises any one of these paths, He can attain
Me. I am bound by these nine forms of Bhakthi. That is why You have been
able to so easily obtain this opportunity of seeing, touching and speaking
with Me, an opportunity which even Yogis find too difficult to get. You
have realised Life's purpose today. See Today's Words are only the Works