God cannot be understood by delving into heavy tomes. Education is not the key to unlocking the mystery that God is. If education and learning were the keys to understanding God, then how do we explain the fact that many unlettered people are often God realised?

God has to be experienced. He cannot be explained. Then why read the scriptures, we might ask. Reading the scriptures and being in the company of evolved souls, helps us to experience God. It is an experience that comes with time, and for us to have the joy of experiencing God, we must first have hearts that are ready to receive Him.

Listening to religious discourses, reading religious literature and spending our time with the virtuous are all ways of preparing our minds and hearts to experience the bliss that comes from God realisation, said D. Gnanasundaram, in a lecture.

However, we wrongly assume that once we have acquired formal education through colleges and universities, we are ready to experience God. A newspaper may carry meteorological predictions. The forecast for the day may say that rains are expected. Now if we want to experience the rains, and know what it feels like to get wet in the rain, we must actually wait for it to rain and then go out in the rain.

Can we experience what it means like to get wet in the rain, by squeezing the paper that carries the prediction about rainfall? In the same way, we can experience God only through bhakti.

We cannot experience Him even if we read all the scriptures thoroughly, but have no bhakti towards Him. Bhakti without even an iota of learning can show us God. But all the learning in the world will be in vain, if we do not have bhakti.

His grace is for those who approach Him with humility. He is not impressed by a person’s scholarship. We are moved to tears upon reading the verses of our saints, not because of their literary quality, but because the verses are soaked in bhakti. It is the emotional appeal of the verses that melts the heart of the reader.

The verses were the result of their bhakti; there was nothing pre-planned about the verses

Keywords: Godbhakti

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