Saints See Divinity even in Worldly Things
Everyone possesses the emotion of devotion, for, broadly speaking, devotion is nothing but deep liking, or love. Liking for worldly objects is due to body-consciousness; people instinctively like worldly objects, and are devoted to them. Unless this liking is diminished, devotion to God will not arise. So the first step in the bhakti-marga is to remember God's name selflessly, without expectation of any fruit or reward. The last stage consists in being completely unaware of the body and of 'self'. The body is to be preserved and protected for the sole purpose of attaining God. It is better to die than to live solely for passion and the pleasures of the senses.
All our religious festivals, like the birthdays of the divine incarnations and the anniversaries of the saints, aim at creating love for God. Even if we have no love for the divine to begin with, we seek to create it by making such offerings as we would to a living loved person. There is a reciprocal relation between love and such offerings. Such offerings bring us closer to God and enhance our love for Him. It is common for a mother to dress her child with the best clothes and trinkets she can afford, because she enjoys doing it, although the child itself may be feeling uncomfortable in them, and may even protest against them. Similarly we try to heap offerings on an icon of God for our own pleasure; otherwise, what does God lack or want?
Saints see the divinity even in sense-objects, whereas we seek sense-pleasures even in icons of the divinity. For instance, we praise the elegance of the sculpture of an idol, or the beautiful architectural design of a temple. Our mind being full of sensuousness, we notice even divine things from a sensuous viewpoint. On the other hand, the mind of a saint is all occupied with God, and so he sees God in everything. It is said that one can see God Rama on completing thirteen crores of japa of Rama-nama; this requires a dozen years or so to complete, if one spends ten to twelve hours every day in japa. With such intense longing and perseverance, one's mind naturally becomes thoroughly charged with Rama.
Meditation on nama never goes waste; only, we should take care not to expend it on any material desire. Meditation on nama should be purely for the sake of nama itself.
* * * * *