Do you offer food to the Lord before eating?
To inculcate devotion in the heart, it is necessary to first acknowledge the presence of the Supreme within the heart. When man becomes cognizant of this fact, he starts getting sensitive to the vibrations of the Divine, operating within him. This is perhaps the most powerful practice for anyone who intends to develop Bhakti, devotion towards the Divine. Acknowledgement of the Divine is the first step towards the cultivation of devotion. When divinity is acknowledged through practice, it gives rise to unconditional joy. However the waxing of the joy, in the initial stages depends on how frequently we acknowledge the presence of the Divine within us. The experience of this joy, once attained shall exist irrespective of external conditions of our body or even the mind. This Joy stands by itself. The joy experienced owing to the mere acknowledgement of the Divine is always full and absolute. This is the joy of the divine.
The more the joy increases, slowly there shall be less dependence on mind produced sensations and desires. There shall emerge a distance between the desires and the causeless joy attained as a result of recognition of the Divine within. It should be understood, realized, at all times that human expression is a wonderful experience, an experience of Blessedness, a royal road towards the experience of the Divine. One should never look at life through a purely psychological perspective, through the thoughts-screen. That is not the correct way to look into the splendor of life. The position taken, should be free of opinions and effects seeping into our consciousness from the news outside. As we practice centering ourselves and focusing our attention on the darker neglected areas of our inner conscience, there shall emerge clarity, through the mere focus of undivided attention. It is important that we relieve ourselves from opinions, as the starting point. It should be understood that God is that very principle of consciousness that brings our awareness into everything that we see or perform. It is God alone who reminds us of things and make us forget too. Whether we acknowledge it or not, it is God alone who is the wayfarer, always by our side. Only thing is that we have not been conscious enough to “see” and acknowledge. When we acknowledge it, through the words and vision of sages, we slowly get qualified to see God and feel His presence with more practice trying to tune into “Him”.
When one attempts to Know God and feel Him, that attempt is Yoga. Meditation is one of the facets of Yoga. It is Yoga alone, that makes one conscious of our own presence and when we become exceedingly conscious of ourselves, not in the context of the world but solely being conscious of ourselves, we shall become conscious of God. The more intently we try to know our own working, the more intense we shall feel the presence of something which is much larger, much magnanimous and colossal. The way we get closer to the Divine within ourselves is through our intellect—reasoning, probing, analyzing, discriminating, reflecting, contemplating; or it can be feeling, going deeper and deeper with intense feeling for Him, with great love, great devotion, great supplication, intense affection; these are the faculties through which we can reach towards the Divine.
Fundamentally the two closest forms of expressions in the world are like and dislike. Anything that is not in agreement with our inner feel is our dislike and anything that we feel is closer to us is what we like. Even so, since the scriptures have given us an idea of who God is, that He is nearer to us than our mind or even body, he can be the ideal candidate for our love. All our sorrows will come to an end if we thus direct our thoughts towards the Lord, because we will be filled with so much joy and supreme satisfaction. A drunkard goes on drinking and drinking and drowns his sorrows, but when he becomes fully intoxicated, he no more drinks, because he is not aware that he has drunk. Already he is so inebriated that he is in a different world. This is what happens, but in a positive way, when the Supreme Being is realized. One is not conscious that one has any more desire, because when one attains Him everything is satisfied. There will be cessation of all desires. There is no more feeling of want. One lacks nothing. When what one has, is limited, one may want more, but when one has attained that which is unlimited, one has no more wants.