Rev. Atul Batra ji, Pramukh (Head) of the Tracy Branch in California, visited Phoenix, AZ on Jan 11 & 12, 2020. The congregation in Phoenix metro area availed of this special occasion by seeking blessing from Rev. Atul Batra ji over the 2 congregations held in his presence. Following are the excerpts from his discourses:
Lord Rama describes 9 steps of devotion to his devotee Shabri. Lord Rama says:
* 1st step of devotion is to attend Sangat and keep the company of saints. We experience the presence of God in Sangat. God’s presence shines and can be seen clearly through the energy filled and positive vibes of saints.
* 2nd step of devotion that Lord Rama said is to enjoy the verses and poem of saints. Saints sing the glory of God and how God showers his blessings and we should listen to these and feel blissful hearing them.
* 3rd step of devotion is the Selfless service in the lotus feet of the Satguru. We need to do selfless service to mankind. God listens without ears, walks without feet. All scriptures say God is omnipresent. We do selfless service when we surrender to God. Our ego vanish when we do sewa. We have everything in our life and we have to thank God for them. Our shortcomings go away when we do sewa. Nirankar is everywhere, it is in the scent of flowers.
* 4th step of devotion is to personally participate in the Sangat. We can do this by sharing our experiences or by singing devotional songs glorifying God. We should participate in whatever way we can to thank God. We should pray to God to guide us so that we can do things according to his teachings.
* 5th step of devotion is to recite the guru mantra in true faith. In the Sant Nirankari Mission, this is our sumiran, “Tuhi Nirankar, Main Teri Sharan Han, Mainu Baksh Lo”. Soul gets connected to super soul and we get the bliss when we do sumiran. Devotion is incomplete if we don’t do sumiran. We should do sumiran with thankful thoughts and not when we are tired or restless.
* 6th step of devotion happens when our 5 senses are in our control. If these senses are not in our control then we can be led astray and all our efforts towards devotion will be of no use. We need to have self control, discipline and good character. We must respect every devote of the mission.
* 7th step of devotion is to see the Lord in every living being. In Bhagwad Gita as well Lord Krishna says to Arjuna that the devotee who seems me in everyone is the closest to me.
* 8th step of devotion is to be content in all circumstances. A devotee stays content and stays away from maya (attractions to material world). We should keep our ego in check and not think that we need to be respected and given importance by others.
* 9th step of devotion happens when we have Faith of Nirankar. We need to have unshakable, undeniable faith as devotee knows everything happens due to the wishes of the Nirankar.
Then Lord Rama says to Shabri that her devotion is complete as she has followed all 9 steps of devotion.
Rev. Atul Batra ji also explained verse 103
from the Sampooran Hardev vani. He also mentioned that we only talk of the
truth in Sangat. Our wisdom and dedication becomes strong. We understand
what is important and what is not. Worldly things gives us temporary
happiness. Sumiran is the guide and shows us the path. In the sunset years
Sumiran is important as we would have practiced it in earlier years as we
don’t know what state we will be in during our late stage. We have to stay
within guidelines given by Satguru. It’s because of Satguru that we have
this good life and pray that we are always attached to Sangat.
Click here for a link to the discourse of Rev. Atul Batra ji
Click here for a link to all the pictures of Rev. Atul Batra ji's visit