Guiding Light: Bhagavat bhakti

Guiding Light: Bhagavat bhakti

Dr. S. AinavoluUpdated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 07:18 PM IST
article-image
Representative Image | Pixabay

Bhagavan is connected through bhakti, meaning one links to God through devotion. The two questions are why one needs to stay connected and secondly, if yes, what are the means to be applied? God, all-pervading consciousness is linked through beyond ‘manas’, the mind. Manas is always occupied with some or other issues. If manas can’t be empty, like a vacuum space it attracts sundry whenever there is an opportunity.

Bhagavan/God is connected through bhakti, the feeling of devotion, and there are different approaches to bhakti that are given in the tradition. One may connect to the Almighty in a Lord-serving relationship. This is called ‘daasyam’. There is another approach in which one sees and feels the companion of the lord in a ‘saakara’ (physical) form. A very popular example is that of Arjuna’s relationship with Shri Krishna. This is ‘sakhyam’, friendship or companionship.

A complete surrender of self to the lord Almighty is ‘Atma nivedanam’. Atma is self and nivedanam is offering. One in this relation offers self to the almighty. Good or bad happenings and developments one has in life, one offers to the Almighty. When the going is not according to one’s liking, still one doesn’t mind and takes it as God’s will. When practiced for long, one shall develop a sense of detachment and third-party witnessing becomes a habit. This is called ‘Sakshi bhava’.

Thinking of the lord Almighty and the stories of God is ‘Smaranam’. There can be practices of ‘constant remembrance’, and regularly taking the name of God, the pious ‘Simran’. During the Bhakti movement that spread in many parts of India, we had singing of devotional songs and bhajans as the practice of spreading bhakti in people’s minds. The reason was the earlier puranic literature which was in Sankrit was mostly unavailed by larger sections of the society due to the limitations of the language. Through bhajan/keetan in the local language which everybody in the region understood, the alignment of the masses happened in a powerful way. Complex ideas of philosophy were communicated through simple people’s language that was understood by the majority. These were sung during their work, leisure, and festive occasions. Thus, various forms of Bhakti helped our society to stay on the dharmic course.

Dr S Ainavolu is a professor at VPSoM, DYPU, Navi Mumbai. Views are personal. You can read more at https://www.ainavolu.in/

RECENT STORIES

Guiding Light: The Humble Bowl

Guiding Light: The Humble Bowl

Guiding Light: Karma: The Original Credits Gamification

Guiding Light: Karma: The Original Credits Gamification

Guiding Light: From Kurukshetra To Inner Peace

Guiding Light: From Kurukshetra To Inner Peace

Guiding Light: Nrusimha, The End Of Fear

Guiding Light: Nrusimha, The End Of Fear

Guiding Light: The Light Of The Heart

Guiding Light: The Light Of The Heart