PDA

View Full Version : Bhakti Yoga - For 'baseline development'



Viraja
17 February 2015, 09:43 AM
Namaste,

I view Bhakti Yoga and god himself as good means for developing one's baseline and nothing less or more.

To explain a bit further: Frequently we ask questions to ourselves, whether we will get all that we desire out of bhakti, whether all our sufferings will vanish out of bhakti...

My answer (out of some thoughtful sessions) is YES and NO.

What I am trying to convey is that, just as a seed cannot grow into a full-blown tree in its next step of evolution, so also someone who is in the stage of a 'seed' cannot expect fruits and flowers (of fulfilled desires and wishes) hanging down from his branches! That would take a lifetime or many.

BUT, the news I believe is that, bhakti yoga QUICKENS the process of the seed growing and becoming a tree one day..

This way, I view that bhakti yoga develops the baseline of where one stands at the beginning of his present birth and a lifetime of austerities, faith, service and discipline rendered to god makes him 'a much better soul than where he started with' and 'not necessarily the fully-flourishing spiritually ripe soul' if his baseline was very rudimentary to begin with! And, along the process of bhakti yoga, if he so matures that he has gotten rid of some of his bad vasana or influence of the vices from his personality somewhere along the line, then those prarabdha karma that depend on this blemish can and will be removed for him by god! This is why I said, YES and NO earlier... to mean that, when the bhakti yogi has bettered himself to the point he got of his vices, then negative karma dependent on it will be removed, but if he has not, then they will still be given to him inspite of his bhakti!

So these are my thoughts on bhakti yoga and god. Nothing new, many of you might already be thinking along these line, just I thought of presenting them in a readable format!

I welcome any subsequent thoughts/dialogues and alternative perspectives on the matter!

Thanks and regards!

Soul of Light
17 February 2015, 11:01 AM
Thank you Viraja ji for posting this,
I totally agree with you... :)
Bhakti have tremendous power, it makes you mad... It gives you power and some sweet pain also.
The most pain when you are full of this madness and calling god to give darshan and god will not give darshan :(

Viraja
17 February 2015, 06:08 PM
Dear S.O.L,

Thank you for the kind words.

Now, there have been some bhagyashalis who did have darshan of the Lord in kaliyug... some saints. :)

But I believe all of us can see 'him' in our dreams...

saidevo
17 February 2015, 10:04 PM
namaste everyone.

Establishing a personal relationship with God of our preferred form (iShTa dEvata) in bhaktiyoga has the first advantage of giving as the assurance that He/She will be there for us.

Initially, it is inevitable that we seek God for personal fulfilments--called kAmyArtha bhakti. Eventually, we come to realize that not all our wishes can be fulfilled, even by God, due to our karma. Therefore, we learn to leave it to Him/Her, learn to surrender ourselves. This is when we learn to think of the wishes and sufferings of those around us, and include them in our prayers--lOkakShEma bhakti.

Once we learn to surrender ourselves, the mental maturity to accept our circumstances follows, and this eventually leads us to the realization that God is not a power outside us but is the Atman inside us and in every other form of life. The bhakti at this point in life would be at its purest--AtmArtha bhakti.

It would be the most desirable achievement if one can attain this form of bhakti in lifetime.

saidevo

*****


Thank you Viraja ji for posting this,
I totally agree with you... :)
Bhakti have tremendous power, it makes you mad... It gives you power and some sweet pain also.
The most pain when you are full of this madness and calling god to give darshan and god will not give darshan :(

Eastern Mind
17 February 2015, 11:06 PM
Vannakkam Saidevo et al: Good to see you posting again. You're such a resource.

Personally, I don't see it as bhakti yoga, but just bhakti. It's more a stage for me, leading into yogam, then jnana. Outward first, inward later, and during the overlap simultaneously. God isn't wholly outside, nor wholly inside, but both simultaneously.

Aum Namasivaya

saidevo
18 February 2015, 02:20 AM
vaNakkam EṂ

Thanks for your kind receptioṇ You are right: God is outside and inside simultaneously while we practise bhakti: the extent he is in either side depends on our maturity as a bhakta.

Regards,
saidevo


Vannakkam Saidevo et al: Good to see you posting again. You're such a resource.

Personally, I don't see it as bhakti yoga, but just bhakti. It's more a stage for me, leading into yogam, then jnana. Outward first, inward later, and during the overlap simultaneously. God isn't wholly outside, nor wholly inside, but both simultaneously.

Aum Namasivaya

Soul of Light
18 February 2015, 09:01 AM
Namaste!
If we pray for healing or pray for happiness for our love ones then is it kamyaArtha bhakti? Also if we have decided that not wish anything to god for self (swarth, for material desire) then for wishing our love ones is acceptable in this case? Also what is next step of bhakti? Is it jnana as EM ji mention...??
Pranam

Eastern Mind
18 February 2015, 09:13 AM
Vannakkan Soul of Light:

Jnana has two meanings these days, and they are substantially different. There is the state of jnana, and the study called jnana. I'm not sure of how the two came to be so different. I have my guesses though.

The state of jnana is a result of meditation, or raja yoga. The jnani is like Ramana Maharshi, a person who is living in the state of jnana, a place where the inherent wisdom of our religion is. Jnanis speak directly from the knowledge they received from years of meditation. This is not book knowledge, but inner knowledge, probably more aptly termed wisdom.

The other jnana is book knowledge, referred to as jnana yoga, and the strict study by the intellect, of what has been written. Study of the Vedas, etc., and perhaps reinforced by meditation on the subjects at hand, but not original divinely inspired knowledge.

Aum Namasivaya

Soul of Light
18 February 2015, 09:34 AM
Vannakkan Soul of Light:

Jnana has two meanings these days, and they are substantially different. There is the state of jnana, and the study called jnana. I'm not sure of how the two came to be so different. I have my guesses though.

The state of jnana is a result of meditation, or raja yoga. The jnani is like Ramana Maharshi, a person who is living in the state of jnana, a place where the inherent wisdom of our religion is. Jnanis speak directly from the knowledge they received from years of meditation. This is not book knowledge, but inner knowledge, probably more aptly termed wisdom.

The other jnana is book knowledge, referred to as jnana yoga, and the strict study by the intellect, of what has been written. Study of the Vedas, etc., and perhaps reinforced by meditation on the subjects at hand, but not original divinely inspired knowledge.

Aum Namasivaya

Thank you EM ji for this knowledge.....
The first type of jnana through meditation is appear more nice to me than book knowledge as first one is more divine and only special person can attain it....
Pranam

LightofOm
24 February 2015, 10:06 PM
Vannakkam Saidevo et al: Good to see you posting again. You're such a resource.

Personally, I don't see it as bhakti yoga, but just bhakti. It's more a stage for me, leading into yogam, then jnana. Outward first, inward later, and during the overlap simultaneously. God isn't wholly outside, nor wholly inside, but both simultaneously.

Aum Namasivaya


vaNakkam EṂ

Thanks for your kind receptioṇ You are right: God is outside and inside simultaneously while we practise bhakti: the extent he is in either side depends on our maturity as a bhakta.

Regards,
saidevo

Namaskar,

I like what is being said here by you two. I have only just begun to truly understand what you all are talking about. I did read something relating to this in 'Merging with Śiva' today and I thought it would be good to share:

"Tuesday
LESSON 79
Mastery of
The Mind

The experienced meditator seeks out the unwholesome areas within himself, endeavoring to expose and rid himself of each knot of karma. The beginning meditator may be shocked and shrink from even continuing the practice of meditation, as his inner mind plays back unhappy thoughts that impose themselves upon his śānti. Many stop meditating altogether at this point and turn instead to the distractions of modern life for solace. But true meditation happens because of soul evolution. We evolve into meditative practices from bhakti, the yoga of devotion. The transition is earned through past good karmas, not chosen as an intellectual or recreational pastime. As the transition of external worship to internal worship is made, the devotee has to face all bad karmas cheerfully and honestly in order to resolve them and move forward.

Sitting in a state of real meditation, one must be more alive and alert than a tight-rope walker suspended without a net on a taut cable three hundred feet above the Earth. Do you suppose that this man is sleepy, that he allows his mind to wander? No, every muscle and sinew of his body, every thought, every feeling within him, is absolutely under his control. It is the only way he can maintain the balance which keeps him from plunging to the earth beneath. He must be the master of himself, all the while seeking to identify with his pure soul being, not allowing attention to be pulled here and there—to the physical body, to outside sounds, to thoughts of the past or to concerns about the future.

In meditation, you will feel the same intensity of purpose as the tight-rope walker. Every atom in your being must be alive, every emotion under control, every thought seeking to impose itself upon your mind set aside until your purpose is accomplished. If the man three hundred feet up in the air feels a gust of wind coming against him, he must exercise perhaps a hundred times more will and concentration to remain poised in his precarious condition. Likewise, in meditation your mind may be intensely concentrated upon a particular object or thought, and yet you find an opposing thought seeking to divert your attention. The opposing thought may simply be a wind from your subconscious. You must then put more effort into the object of your concentration so that the opposing thoughts will be set aside and not have power to topple your balance.

Upon entering a state of meditation, one may find awareness enmeshed in a struggle between the subconscious of the past and the conscious, external waking state concerned with the present and future. The experienced meditator learns that he is the watcher, pure awareness. When concentration is sustained long enough, he dives into the superconscious, intuitive state of mind. It enables him, in time, to unravel the mystery. An integrated, one-pointed state of being is the goal—a state of inner perception without vacillation, with the ability to move awareness through the mind’s various states at will. To become the ruler of the mind is the goal. To then go beyond the mind into the Self is the destiny of all living on this planet, for most in a life to come."

I have felt myself making the transition from more external states to more internal states. It has been a very gradual process, but the results are extremely liberating. I am currently in a state of what I would call "neutral bliss" if that makes any sense. I am simply observing quietly, without judgment, yet I am still maintaining a smile. Thanks for the insight and wisdom; I value the input of you two very much.

Pranam.

ॐ नमः शिवाय,
LightofOm

ShivaFan
26 February 2015, 01:07 AM
There are different colors of love. Though some only love themself, this is mostly seen as a negative. "You only love yourself!" is the cry, "...selfish!"...

Yet there are yogis who say, to fix on your inner soul, and sometimes they say "love your inner self (being, etc)" ...

But then there is a color of love, where in some aspects it is like the love for a beloved... there are two for this love to exist.

Bhakti is a form of this shade of love. But it is very intense, and can incorporate all the rasas of different shades of love, yet it is a love that is sitting "between" two, that is you as the devotee and your Divine or Lord or Mother Goddess.

Now I suppose some could say, that you can have bhakti for your inner self, and there is that Divine in that inner self, and this knowing is knowledge or jnana.

Probably that is true ....

... but I notice that the most intense love, of these many different colors and though many rasas still each is very, very bright and intense and stunning and shocking with force, is this Bhakti of Two where the devotee looks OUT and not in, and says "Where are you? I see You. I want to See you always" ...

This is THE Bhakti.

Bhakti is Love. That love.

There is something called "misplaced love". Have you heard of it? But this Bhakti, it seems whatever was lost, or misplaced, is found.

Some say knowledge is reason.

But I noticed when this Bhakti really happens, you are sort of insane. You are not the typical "reasonable person" anymore. You might wander here and there, looking, "oh! THERE is the Lord overthere! ... oh, the Lord is in the Temple, and the bells for some reason make me cry! There is the Lord right in front of me (murti)! So why do I also want to cry, it is like a wonderful feeling of separation... "

Then you friend says, "you are not being very reasonable! Now stop acting that way, sit dpwn here and drink a nice cup of tea and be reasonable like me. Very smart. Let us discuss the nature of the universe and be smart and, well, like reasonable gentlemen of reason!"

The Bhaktar crys, "No! I am crazy in love. All I want is MORE!"

Your friend says, "Bhakta, then if you only want MORE, you are selfish... look inside only, not OUT, not MORE... look at the self!"

The Bhaktar doesn't care what the friend says. "No, you are the selfish one. You will never know this love, this nectar. Look OUT and see the source of this most intense LOVE."

Both have their ways. But Bhakti is a slender thread. Very slender but sharp and strong like a wire. It ties to your little toe. Once tied, if you try to leave it, it cuts into your little toe. It is tied on the other side to Lord. You do not want to leave, the blood comes out as it cuts into your little toe, the pain of leaving it is too much even though it is a slender thread. To leave that intense LOVE is too painful.

That bhakti is Bhakti with a capital B. I think you will be a bhakta for a very long time, and to heck with "book worms".

smaranam
26 February 2015, 01:31 AM
He Govind ...
Bhaktas cannot contain themselves because the Lord is inside, outside, beside

Hari sundara nanda mukunda hari nArAyaN hari om (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9CSMg5OmWM)
hari keshav hari govinda hari narayan hari om
vanamali murlidhari govardhan girivardhari
nita nita kar makhan chori gopi man haari...

jamuna kinare mero gaon sAware ai jaiyo ... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO0bujKmhkE)

Muze de do bhajan waali wo mala - Gaurav Krishna Goswami (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zEL31tKSq0)
"Ask Bhagvan for nothing more than that mAlA meant for His bhajan... like Your bhaktas of yore"

Viraja
26 February 2015, 07:18 PM
Dear ShivaFan ji and Smaranam ji,

Aren't there 2 things?

1. Bhakti of the accomplished - Bhakti flows naturally, there is spiritual ecstasy.

2. Bhakti of the 'sadhaka' - Most common folks such as me, strive to counter the negatives in us by focusing on that divine.

smaranam
26 February 2015, 11:50 PM
deleted

smaranam
27 February 2015, 12:00 AM
deleted

surrenderindailylife
03 April 2015, 11:40 PM
Namaste All


Hari Om


Sharing a few thoughts for your kind consideration:

1. Many saints recommend devotional Nama Japa as the way forward for this Kali - Yuga. Personally, accepting this truth (over other esoteric options) was a big learning. The beauty of this technique is that it starts with deep love for GOD, is sustained by deep gratitude for GOD and deep desire to serve HIM.

2. I have come to realize that all that is needed for Nama Japa is a sincere desire to be with HIM, in HIS company. This can be enjoyed whenever you want, wherever you want and in whichever condition you find yourself. Nama Japa, while at work, IMHO is a sure way to purify work away from ego-driven task.

3. Recently, I chanced to come across Brahmachaitanya Gondhavalekar Maharaj's teachings, which are apt for a house-holder sadhak. Sharing them with you - > http://www.brahmachaitanya.org/sri-brahmachaitanya-grid


Om Namah Shivay