Obstacles in the Path of Devotion
Lust, wealth, lack of faith and talking about enemies create obstacles in the Path of Devotion. Talking about or even listening to discussions about sex topics arouses a feeling of passion. Similarly, love songs and bad company become hurdles. One should avoid these things. Men and women should therefore remain aloof from each other.
Talking about wealth creates a feeling of greed. Listening to talk about the wealthy position of others of dwelling on the subject, also creates a desire to get rich and naturally leads one away from the path of devotion.
Atheists are those who do not believe in existence of God. By associating with them, doubt or lack of faith is created in one’s mind and this becomes the cause of one’s downfall, for the foundation of devotion is pure and true faith.
By listening to talk about one’s enemies a feeling of anger is produced in the mind, and that is also an obstacle in the path of devotion, because love and anger cannot blend.
Of all these obstacles, the worst one is pride in one’s own wealth, power, offspring, knowledge, intellect, caste, creed, family status, good character, beauty, and so forth.
The best ornament that adorns a devotee is humility. On the path of devotion one has to discard all useless ideas and attach his mind to the thought of his Beloved alone. Only then come the Grace and mercy of the Lord.
Another obstacle in the way of devotion is hypocrisy. To pretend to be virtuous, religious, a devotee, an ascetic or a truthful man – all these are forms of hypocrisy.
Just as a clean cloth takes a dye easily, a pure heart imbibes the Light of God more easily. On this path one has to become as innocent as a child, because only the innocent enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Verily I say unto you, except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
St. Matthew 18:3
Thou art our father and mother, and we are Thy children.
It is also necessary to abstain from stealing, telling lies, arrogance and so on, because these are all bad habits.