“The beauty of Shrimati Radharani is described as follows: ‘Her eyes defeat the attractive features of the eyes of the chakori bird. When one sees the face of Radharani, he immediately hates the beauty of the moon. Her bodily complexion defeats the beauty of gold. Thus, let us all look upon the transcendental beauty of Shrimati Radharani.’” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 44)
While there are promises made that resemble the concept of salvation, where full allegiance is supposed to prevent an unwanted future, sanatana-dharma is not a strict either-or proposition. That is to say no one is forever doomed and no one is without a choice as to the direction in living. That living indeed continues, as nothing is able to kill the basic defining unit of life, the spirit soul.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
न्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे।।
na jāyate mriyate vā kadāci
nnāyaṃ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ।
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato’yaṃ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre।।
“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)
The final goal, defined by terms such as mukti and moksha, does not have to necessarily arrive in the afterlife. A person can reach liberation while living in the present body. There are ways to reside in the spiritual world at the present moment.
1. Gaze at the deity
This is the archa-vigraha, the worshipable form. The idea is that God is unlimited, ananta. He is without beginning, anadi, and beyond the measurement of any instruments to aid in the process, adhokshaja. The eyes of the human being are limited. There is the defect in that they can’t see beyond a certain range. Place an object in front and it is known as an obstruction. If the eyes were truly perfect there would be no such thing as a cloudy day. The sun would be visible at all times, as it is always in its proper place.
The Divine is so merciful that He appears in supposedly material elements, specifically to facilitate worship. He is not limited to the deity or picture in the temple or home, as He is everywhere and all-pervading. Still, just by gazing at the deity a person can be transported to the spiritual world. This is because they get an idea of what all-attractive means, how the name Krishna perfectly applies to the Supreme Lord in the personal form.
2. Understand the superior attractiveness found in the Divine and His associates
Beautiful objects naturally attract attention. The popular vacation destinations get frequent visitors because of beautiful aspects, such as the beach, the ocean, sand, mountains, hills, sunshine and the like. Certain clothing is popular because of its ability to enhance beauty on the person who wears it.
In the same way, a person can find the most attractive place, the spiritual world, by appreciating the amazing beauty of the Divine. Every aspect to Him is beautiful, but the transcendental form belonging to the personal aspect is more easily distinguishable in this respect.
For instance, Shri Krishna’s body is known to be lotus-like in several places. Simply adoring His feet can transport a person to a different realm. As devotion to Him is also attractive, appreciating Krishna’s associates has the same effect. Appreciating the beauty of Shrimati Radharani has a purifying effect. Her beauty defeats the moon, gold, and even the eyes of the chakori, who has pure devotion to the moon at night.
3. Pledge to continue in worship into the foreseeable future
While the generally acknowledged truth of sanatana-dharma is that a steady progression is what leads to liberation, spanning many lifetimes perhaps, a specific duration of time is not required. While a person only surrenders to the Supreme Lord and knows Him in truth after many births and deaths, it is possible to reach the “end” prior to that time.
बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते।
वासुदेवः सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः।।
bahūnāṃ janmanāmante jñānavānmāṃ prapadyate।
vāsudevaḥ sarvamiti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ।।
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.19)
One second, in fact. Gaze at the deity. Appreciate Radharani’s beauty. Serve the representative, the spiritual master, with faith and dedication. Consciousness can be purified quickly.
Of course, there is always vulnerability after the fact. When leaving the temple it is possible to return to the material consciousness, to fall down through bad habits acquired over many years. To this end a pledge to continue in worship going forward helps to keep a person in the spiritual consciousness. They can stay in Vaikuntha, the land free of anxieties, even while living amidst chaos and tumult.
4. Make a vow to serve with dedication, faith and diligence
More than just worshiping through commonly accepted practices like seeing the deity, chanting the holy names, and reading sacred texts, service can play an integral role in maintaining the spiritual consciousness. If the representative requires some help in spreading the mission of Divine love to the many fallen souls around the world, any assistance offered in this regard is beneficial.
A person may not have the opportunity to visit the temple, but if through their daily activities they are able to support such worship with the fruits of their labor, then there is every chance of becoming liberated prior to quitting the body. Devotion to God is so powerful that just meditating on devotional activities, if there is no opportunity to actually practice, is enough to bring success.
More than just on good list reported,
Ways to immediately get transported.
To spiritual world, where home not leaving,
Transcendental bliss right now receiving.
Appreciate Radharani and how glorious is she,
A single glance, at temple deity to see.
Pledge forward, against lethargy resistance,
To spiritual teacher providing assistance.
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