Best wishes for Maha Shiva Ratri on Thursday night!
I want to say a couple of words on clash of contradictory desires/sankalpas.
Some may wonder why some people get immediate benefits from rituals and pilgrimages, while some people’s sankalpas do not get fulfilled despite sincere sadhana. One friend was asking about it and I want to share my response with all.
Associating actions with fruits is not easy, especially when the pipeline of actions is deep and contains contradictory actions, undertaken with contradictory sankalpas - spoken/unspoken.
Nature carries various souls to the final goal of Freedom, thru various paths. Nature considers all the desires a soul entertained in the past, assesses the momentum they are carrying though their karmas and finds the best path through which those desires either get fulfilled or stand the best chance. Nature puts one on such a path. As one traverses the path, however, one may entertain new desires and that may force Nature to re-adjust things again. Until one overcomes all desires, Nature keeps re-adjusting one’s path.
If a sankalpa of yours is not getting fulfilled, there are 2 possibilities: (1) there isn’t enough force behind that sankalpa or associated action, (2) this sankalpa is at loggerheads with another sankalpa from the past that has too much momentum going for it already!
I may wish for liberation in one moment and for fame in another. The chain reaction of fruits set in motion by the 2 sankalpas may be at loggerheads.
Rituals do work for some simple people. I know of 5 cases in which people out of job (for months in 2 cases) sat through my monthly Full Moon Satya Narayana vratam and got a job within 2 weeks.
Of course, this is not my doing. For all you know, those people may have a high level of surrender to god and faith that the ritual may help them and they may get a result, even though my own faith may be weak and does nothing for me!!! In other words, one actually performing the ritual may not see any benefit, but one attending it may! Thus, my pooja is just a proxy or external symbol that merely helps them connect to god within their own consciousness, who is the actual giver of things!
Of course, even if my own faith is strong, what I want may be more difficult (e.g. liberation). So it may seem like I am not getting any result (because I am making slow progress on a long path). Or I may want something simple, but it may not be granted as it is against something else I asked for before (and which is on its way already).
For some people who are sufficiently evolved spiritually and have a strong momentum towards liberation already in place, fulfilling some mundane desires may be difficult, except when they do not mess with pre-existing momentum towards liberation. Otherwise, no amount of sadhana may really be sufficient..
Just one word of common sense. deities are not self-centered persons who becomes happy when people praise them or talk about them. Contemplating the greatness or qualities of deities (who are personifications of beneficial aspects of our own consciousness) enhances those aspects of our consciousness by resonance. After all, what your mind contemplates, you tend to absorb some of those qualities over time.