The Last Goal

From Satsangs on Ramacharitamanas, Swami Satyananda Saraswati

You may have everything: intellect, money, power, beauty, but without devotion, your life is barren; you have no stuff. Devotion to God is the ultimate sadhana. Yoga is not the ultimate sadhana; yoga prepares the road. Just as the road roller from the Public Works Department prepares smooth roads for cars to drive on, yoga prepares inroads for the mind.

Devotion is not going to a temple or a church to pray. Devotion is love and romance with God. Your mind is dancing with God. He is my lover, my beloved. I am prakriti, jivatma, female, He is male; He is my husband; He is everything to me. That attitude must come. When all the passions are transformed, then you will have no passion for anything except Him.

It is said in the Narada Bhakti Sutras that according to sage Narada, devotion is characterized by complete dedication of all activities and observances to God, and by the experience of extreme agony while forgetting Him. There are many instances of such devotion. The gopis of Vrindavan can be cited as examples.

The last goal in life is the attainment of total surrender to the Divine, and taking refuge in Him, nothing else. If you do not achieve this, then you have to come back with a return ticket in your next birth!