Expressing Devotion as Incredible love
Since times immemorial there have been aspects where people have tried different ways to attain moksha or sanctity. But there are a number of stories from epics which tell that one can attain bliss by considering God not as a supernatural power but as a person who is always with you,as a friend with whom you can share anything ,as a person next door whom you need to care and last but not the least as a lover whom you love unconditionally ...!
Such stories can be found in verses written by Krishnadevaraya's Amuktamalyada
the Story of Amuktamalyada
Sri Krishnadevaraya was a famous king of Vijayanagara who was himself a devotee of lord vishnu.He wrote the epic poem of Amuktalmalyada where a girl named ANDAL falls in love with the idol of Sri ranganadha an incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu and yearns to marry him.Her devotion towards him reaches a state where people find it unacceptable as she daily offers a garland to the idol worn by her ! But though this was considered a sin by everyone it was accepted by the God himself. And lastly people find that the idol was accepting only the garlands offered by the girl.And he even marries her proving that attaining bliss lies in unconditional love towards God .
Sabari Offering Fruits to Lord Rama
The Story of Sabari
Such a similar story can be found in RAMAYANA where an old woman named SABARI treats God as a child and she yearns for Sri Rama to visit her once in her lifetime. And when Sri Rama along with his brother Laxmana visits her on his way to vanavasa ,she is filled with unlimited joy and out of this joy she offers him fruits but every time before offering them to Sri Rama she tastes them and asks him to eat only if she finds that they are sweet enough.Laxmana hesitates to accept her offerings but Sri Rama who is an incarnation of lord Maha Vishnu says that whatever she was doing was out of unconditional love and affection and so those fruits are the sweetest for him.
WHO IS MORE DEAR TO GOD
The Story of Vidura
In a small part from Mahbharatha we can even find a situation when lord Krsna stays at Vidura's house.Vidura was the minister in Dhrutarashtra's kingdom and is well known for his wisdom.He was very much pleased when lord Krshna had come to visit him and one night after dinner he thought to offer bananas to lord Krsna but he was immersed in watching and gazing at the lord that instead of offering the fruit he was continuously offering the peel and lord krsna was eating those peels with utmost satisfaction.After sometime when Vidura realized that the lord had been accepting whatever he had been offering he was ashamed of his negligence but the lord himself was pleased and said that it was not negligence but immense affection which makes the lord more happy !
The Story of Kannappa
There is another story where a hunter named kannappa attains bliss from lord Shiva.Kannappa was a hunter who once finds a temple of lord Shiva in a very remote area on high hills where he had hunted a hog earlier.On seeing the linga of Shiva with no one to care he plans to clean it and offer him something to eat . He gets mouthful of water and pours it on the linga and offers the flesh of the hog hunted by him and even decorates the linga with flowers which he brings in the locks of his hair.Lord Shiva as always is pleased only by the devotion towards him irrespective of the way the devotion is expressed. Lastly Kannappa even puts his eyes on the linga when he feels that the lord was shedding tears of blood.
So, the lord is pleased and thus Kannappa attains moksha.
A Last Word
There may be many such instances where people attain moksha only by being extremely devoted to God. Though many disagree with the way Lord is being prayed in such cases the ultimate cause for all these instances is only pure incomparable immense love towards the lord as a person.Many people find it easy and foolish but the fact should be accepted that this devotion doesn't pour out as a usual chores of praying the lord but is natural and can't be attained on regular practice as a ritual. Its similar to meditation which can be practiced only when one has concentration and to increase concentration, we need to meditate !This is a vicious circle where each aspect is interlinked.