How are the Pure Devotees of God Special? | Goswami Tulsidas Compares a Devotee with a Chataka Bird

Glory Of Sages-Part-2

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With the aid of certain sense driven experiences, it is impossible to measure the superiority or inferiority of the infinite. It is a baseless attempt by all means. The outlook of an ordinary man is that he analyzes the object and then describes it. However in the case of the devotee, he is blessed with the capability of describing an object, even before its analysis. It is not an aspect of blind faith or reckless opinion, but a process that is managed deep within the spirit. That which is connected through and through to every object of the world. A devotee develops this capability automatically through Grace, through spiritual resolution. His words are automatically rendered true even in the factual world. The parameters of measurement that a devotee applies, is radically different from those, with ordinary sight, of material vision, of the common man. The common man, with his limited access, will never be able to access, assess or estimate the vision of a pure devotee.

The story of Sri Bhushundi, illustrated that inspite of being born in Sri Ayodhya, his shallow vision at that point, could not fathom the power of the Land, of Sri Ayodhya. To explain the point of a devotee, describing an object even before analyzing an object, can be better understood by understanding the mood of the devotee. Goswami Tulsidas describes the mood of the Chataka bird in this context. The Chataka bird, is one that opens its mouth looking upwards to the dark clouds, waiting for a drop of rain. The condition for it to consume the outpour, is that it does so, only when the Swati star is at the horizon. This is an observed fact, as the sages have been observing this phenomenon for ages together. Unless the Swati star rises at the horizon, even if there were a heavy outpour, the Chataka bird does not even consume even one drop of water. If it does not rain, when the Swati Star is at the horizon, the Chataka bird is ready to give up its life, but it never changes its approach towards its pattern of consuming rain-water.

The above explanation is in context with what is explained here under. The ways of the world, is ordinary and not in agreement with the ways of the devotee. For the ordinary world, if someone complies with one’s wishes, that person is good. If somebody gives me what I require, that person is always good, irrespective of what the world calls that person. On the other hand, if the person does not agree or comply to my needs, irrespective of what the world calls him, for me he is bad in all respects. This is the way of the material world. It has always been so. Hence the opinions of the world always flips, based on time, place and circumstance. A man can be a good man for me today and the same man can become evil tomorrow. However, for a devotee, God is all good always, all the time, whatever the devotee’s situation in life. The devotee, does not link, his personal and material situations to God. For a devotee, the Lord is all good and even if problems and undesirable situations occur in a devotee’s life, the devotee always holds this constant view that God has created this “seemingly” undesirable situation for his benefit. The devotee says “I do not understand the ways of the Lord, and hence I am unable to read this situation. But I am certain that the Lord knows best and He shall have done only those things which shall benefit me always, because I am His devotee.” Thus the devotee is always content and satisfied in all such situations. He remains unperturbed because the Devotee may not trust his own self but has all trust in the ways of the Lord. The Chataka bird, if it succumbs without a drop of water, shall never stop loving the clouds. It always holds the mood of a devotee. Even if the clouds were to inundate whole of the earth, with  the Chataka not getting a drop of water at the time when the Swati star is at the horizon it thinks thus; “The clouds treats me as their own, as part of their family. Just as when a guest visits a household, the lady of the house first serves the guest and the man of the house has to wait for his turn; it is possible that the man of the house can go hungry because after the guests are fed, there may not be any more food to serve. The man of the house is actually not served because he is part of the family and hence he waits for the guest to be served first. In a similar way, the Chataka bird considers itself part of the Cloud’s family, because it is in love with the cloud and is even ready to embrace death at the hands of its own family. Does the man of the house complain if his family has no food for him that night? In a similar way the cloud is inundating the whole earth, because they consider the rest of the earth as guest while they consider the Chataka bird their own. Thinking thus, the Chataka bird gives up his life, without water, totally in love with the clouds. This is the mood of pure devotees.