Gurudev, are love and devotion the same? What should I do if the person whom I love betrays my trust?
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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Even then be grateful to God. What good is the faith that shakes? Faith is that which remains firm even during tough times. Suppose you place your trust in someone and got betrayed. Then just remind yourself that it is all a play of the Divine. Think that God wanted to make you learn some important lesson, and so he came in this person’s form to your life. So just see the situation with this understanding.
Why am I saying this? See, in the end, it is all one consciousness which assumes different forms and different ways to teach us something important in life. So have this understanding and just move ahead.
Do not go looking for faults in others. If you do so, then you will find numerous flaws even in all the avatars (incarnations of the Divine). You will find flaws with Narasimha Avatar (a fierce incarnation of Lord Vishnu as half-man, half-lion); the Vamana Avatar (the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a young Brahmin boy seeking alms). In Lord Parshurama you will see so many flaws. You will also find faults with Lord Rama. And don’t even ask about Lord Krishna! (Laughter) If you get stuck in this habit of finding flaws, then you will find flaws and shortcomings everywhere and in every person.
To improve one’s understanding, our Puranas (sacred Hindu scriptures of mythology) have linked even flaws and shortcomings with some or the other form of Divinity. So in the Puranas, you find stories in which even the ever-blissful Lord Shiva gets angry; Devi Parvati (a form of the Mother Divine) also gets angry, and the ever-smiling Lord Vishnu too becomes sad and dejected. So our Puranas have shown all these flaws and distortions in the deities also, to make you understand that Divinity is truly all-encompassing, and even flaws or shortcomings are an aspect of the Divine.
Be it perfection or shortcomings - there is nothing beyond the Divine. So the Puranashave portrayed even the deities with a few flaws, to make you capable of accepting such things with ease, rather than getting entangled with it.
Divinity is all-encompassing and beyond all attributes – whether good or bad. That is why when we worship the Mother Divine, we say, 'Prakratim vikratim vidhyam'. It means that both good qualities and their distortions are in the Mother Divine. This is how our scriptures have mentioned about the Divine. This (understanding of duality) is a step towards the Advaita Siddhanta (the philosophy of Non-duality of the Divine).
The Advaita philosophy is the highest of all, and it is also the essence of everything that exists. It says that everything is one and everything arises from that One Divinity only, so that you do not forget the totality of Divinity, or misunderstand the Divine in any way.
Our wise sages have described the aspects of Divinity in a very beautiful manner. This is why even flaws have been given a rightful place and have been shown as an aspect of the Divine. All the six distortions that we know – anger, greed, lust, jealousy, attachment, false pride and delusion – are represented through various deities, to only strengthen your faith in the Divine. The wise sages did this to pave a path for you to move forward towards the Divine.