The world is full of diversity. People are different; their culture, food habits, mindsets, colour, even fingerprints – everything is distinctive. Despite all these, there is one thing in common among the 8 billion people in this world. What is it? The quest for unending happiness. Every individual only seeks happiness. Even sadist people get pleasure by inflicting pain on others. A baby cries out loud, seeking happiness; we seek love because we derive satisfaction. We cry to wash out sorrow so our mind becomes lighter. The very reason you are reading this article is that it is providing you happiness. We savour different materialistic objects throughout the day, hoping to find happiness in them. But are we successful in it?
The Role of Faith in Finding Happiness
We strive for happiness but get buried under miseries. Why? A man once said to God, 'Tell me one thing. Even in the world, if a little boy falls into a ditch, his father runs to save him. Even a stranger extends a helping hand in such a precarious situation. No one will say that you have fallen into the ditch; good! Now, remain there and die. When a worldly person is not that unsympathetic, how can you, being my eternal father, be so ruthless? You might say that you will grace me only when I come to your doorstep. But, O Lord, I do not know the way to your door. Why, then, do you not grace me? Why don't you release me from the miseries of the world?'
With a smile, God explained lovingly, 'My dear child, you said I am your father. But do you truly believe that? Only your tongue says, "O God! You are my mother, and you are my father and friend…" But in reality, your mind is attached to your worldly mother, father, friends, etc. The second you believe I am your true father, all the world's miseries will leave you.
We all proclaim ourselves to be the children of God, but to what extent do we truly believe in Him? God has said numerous times:
ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: |
mamaivānśho jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
The embodied souls in this material world are My eternal fragmental parts.
Bhagavad Geeta 15.7
The Story of Dhanna Jaat: Lessons in Faith
We all have heard the story of Dhanna Jaat. He was an illiterate villager who watched the village temple pandit (priest) place tasty food in front of all the various deities in the temple. Once, out of curiosity, he asks Pandit Ji why he does so. Pandit ji tells him that he is offering the food to the deities. Dhanna Jaat is amazed. He asks Pandit Ji if he can also offer bhog (offering) to the gods. To get rid of him, Pandit Ji gives him a Shaligram (stone). Dhanna Jaat is very happy to get his deity. He takes it to his home and places it on an altar. He then prepares tasty food and puts it in front of the idol. He expects the idol to eat the food he has offered. But nothing happens. Dhanna Jaat becomes impatient. He thinks maybe God doesn't like the food. So he prepares other items. Still, nothing happens. He keeps offering food to the idol and waits for God to appear before him and eat. At last, Dhanna Jaat insists that he will not eat anything until God accepts his food. On seeing the firm faith of Dhanna Jaat, God appears in front of him and eats the food.
What does the story of Dhanna Jaat teach us? It teaches us that God will accept us when we have complete faith in him. We need to instil absolute faith that God alone is mine.
But how do we do that?
Seeing God as Our Own
Faith will develop when we think of God as ours. Faith requires us to see God not just as an idol in the temple but as our friend, parent, son, or soul beloved. Meerabai was once playing next to a river. She had placed Krishna's statue next to her. Suddenly, a wave of water sweeps away the statue. As soon as Meera sees this, she becomes restless. She jumps into the water to get back her Krishna. A saint was seeing all this. He asks, 'Why did you jump into the water for a statue?' She says, 'He is my husband. How can I allow Him to drown? I had to save Him.' That is the sentiment of a true devotee.
Developing a Personal Relationship with God
Gopis saw Krishna as their beloved. He would dance for them, pleading for buttermilk. For Yashoda, He was just her son. She would scold Him and warn him with a stick. Because of that love, the Supreme Almighty got tied to a mortar wheel. He became a horse for his friends. He also became a charioteer for Arjun. Arjun and Shree Krishna put their arms around and walked. Arjun shared his secrets with Shree Krishna and trolled him as a friend. Therefore, we will love Him to the core when we think of Him as ours. Faith will develop by itself. And the day we truly believe He is mine, we will find everlasting, never-ending happiness.