Archive for March 29th, 2010

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 13:19:06
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Miguel
Subject: In the Name of Bhakti, People…


“Nabiina Pra’te ei arun’ a’lote…” (P.S. #19)


Baba, by You grace the new dawn has come. In this new crimson dawn, with
the rhythm of form, You have entered my mind. Baba You are so gracious:
You know how to make us laugh and weep, You know how to play
hide-and-seek. Baba by Your grace You have filled my life with Your
radiant light. You know how to play the lyre, to weave endless melodies,
to make the world dance in Your melodies and rhythms. And You know how
to love the world with all its pains and pleasures. Baba You are so
gracious, You are that most loving One…


In our Marga, the term ‘bhakti’ is well–known and commonly used in our
daily talk and interactions.

We say things like, ‘He has a lot of bhakti’, or ‘Bhakti is the greatest
attribution’, or ‘I only follow the path of bhakti’ etc.

Then of course some think, ‘I am an acarya so I must have a lot of
bhakti’, while others contemplate, ‘I am the bhukti pradhan so I have a
lot of bhakti’.

We have all seen and heard how the term bhakti gets used in the above
ways, when in fact such things may have little or even nothing to do
with true bhakti.

So we should take a moment to reflect on what is real bhakti, especially
since it is only bhakti that can lead us to our cherished Goal.


Baba is quite clear that bhakti means having one’s mind directed only
towards God, and not towards any other object or desire.

Baba says, “Bhakti means to withdraw one’s attractions from all objects
and channelize them towards Parama Purus’a. When the unit self is
associated with the cosmic it is called “bhakti” or “devotion”, but when
it is associated with the mundane it is called “attachment”. You must
withdraw your mental propensities from all external objects – no matter
what they might be – and channelize them only towards Parama Purus’a.
Only when you direct them towards Him, can it be called bhakti. If you
allow your mind to become fascinated by any other object, it is called
“a’sakti” or “attachment”.” (AV-7)

Thus no external qualification or mundane desire has even one iota to do
with bhakti.

If anyone thinks, ‘I am an acarya so therefore I am a devotee’, or if
one thinks, ‘I organise many service projects so I must be a great
devotee’, this is all nothing but self-befoolery. Because using external
things to build a case for one’s internal amount of bhakti is meaningless.

The operative phrase in the above quote is, “only towards Parama
Purus’a”. If the mind is goaded only towards Parama Purusa, then it is

That is the real meaning of bhakti. If one’s mind is only involved in
serving and pleasing Parama Purusa.

That is not to say we should forgo or abandon all worldly activities,
that is not our way. Rather we should ensure we are doing those worldly
activities for pleasing him, and not out of our own unit desire for
worldly prestige etc.

As Baba points out, if the mind is separately or simultaneously involved
in any other longing then it is known as a’sakti or attachment, i.e. the
path of degradation.

Baba says, “When the attraction is for the non-integral entity, for
money, for family, for land, it is called ka’ma; when it is for integral
entity it is called prema and the mental tendency during ka’ma i.e., the
mental tendency during attraction for a non-integral entity is called
a’sakti in Sam’skrta and the mental tendency during attraction for that
Integral Entity is called bhakti. (SS-18)

Hence the degree to which we are attracted by or infatuated with money,
name, fame, respect, position, is the degree to which we are off the
path of bhakti.

Bhakti, then is a very pure and internal desire to attain Parama Purusa.
And for this tremendous honesty and love are needed.

We may be able to masquerade ourselves in front of others so they think
we are great bhaktas; but we cannot fool Parama Purusa in this way. He
sees our inner-most desire and knows how far we have pure bhakti or not.


The main thing we should keep in mind is that bhakti (love for God) and
a’sakti (mundane longing) cannot co-exist. The degree to which we harbor
one is the degree to which we are remiss in the other.

Baba says, “The attachment for a finite thing is an expression of
extroverted energy, whereas the attraction for the Infinite is an
expression of the introverted energy. That is why these two can never
co-exist.” (SS-1)

And Baba points out that even our most worldly intimate dealings can
take us away from the path of bhakti.

Baba says, “Do you love your son? No, no you don’t love your son. You
love Brahma in the form of your son. By loving your son as a son, you
cannot love the Lord. Where there is the feeling of son, there is no
Lord and where there is the Lord, there is no son.” (SS-1)

So even harboring seemingly tender feelings for our loved ones drags us
on the path of temporality, and away from God-hood.


Neither should one get caught up in the misconception or dogma that to
become a true bhakta I should give up my sons, or renounce my parents,
or become some type of hermit etc. Rather, we have been given various
responsibilities, and they are to be managed. As we know, performing
worldly duties is not antithetical to the path of devotion. It is only
when we get infatuated by those worldly expressions that it infringes on
our devotional experience. So that is what we must be careful about.


The answer given by Baba is that we must view all as the manifestation
of Parama Purusa. That is the way to live in this world without
sacrificing our devotional longing for Him.

Baba says, “The ascription of divinity to objects means the pursuit of
the Infinite, leaving the finite behind. Are you feeding your son? No,
no, you are feeding the son-like manifestation of Brahma. Are you
tilling the field? No, no you are serving the finite manifestation of
Brahma with your plough. Really speaking, the ascription of divinity to
objects precludes their material enjoyment, as the objects then merge in
the non-material Supreme Brahma.” (AMIWL-2)

To do this we must be very honest and clear. Material Indulgence and
bhakti have no place together.

Seeing all as Him means seeing all as an opportunity to do service, not
satisfy worldly passions such as post, power, lust etc. Thus thinking of
making more money, garnering huge respect, or even becoming PP have
nothing to do with getting devotion.

Only by truly following brahmacaraya, are we perfectly consonant with
the path of devotion.


This all leads to the point that only true bhaktas can serve the humanity.

Invariably, non-bhaktas, or degraded bhaktas get attached to one worldly
expression or another– either their wife, or their country, or their
job, or their community etc, in which case they will view the rest of
the world in a biased manner. There are countless examples of this
happening nowadays.

That is why only the bhaktas of Parama Purusa can promote the cause of
universal welfare on this earth and throughout the universe. See Him in
everyone, the sadhaka can them maintain equanimity and serve others
without favouring one person or another.


We can say that there are three basic approaches. The top most is to
love only Parama Purusa all the time. Then one is truly established in

Second is when one loves Parama Purusa sometimes, and then on other
occasions love towards mundane things is dominant. This is quite common.
Many of us may find ourselves in this position. In that case, more
kiirtan and sadhana are needed.

The next lowest phase occurs when in their ritualistic worship of Parama
Purusa, one prays for something mundane. That is very crude and must be
avoided entirely.

Baba says, “If a man wants to become a devotee of the lord but in the
mind of his mind, if he thinks that God will make him pass his
examination – here the esana (longing) is not one but two…When
something is demanded from God the esana becomes two. Hence the time is
completely wasted…When the esana (longing) is not [only] for
Paramatman but [also] for something else, it is known as asakti
(attachment) and not bhakti.” (SS-20)

There is no scope for this type of approach in AM; we should all keep
the mind a thousand miles from such a crude and dogmatic way.


Lastly, what is the logic or rational for following bhakti. How should
we convince ourselves when the mind is down or how can we convince others.

Well, we can say that the path of bhakti is the blissful way to live and
that only should be followed. even then that might not always do the
trick of convincing ourselves. In that case another route is needed.

And that route is: Other than the path of bhakti there is no other path.
Every other entity in this universe will leave you one day. Every other
longing will create a samskara. Every other longing is ephemeral.

Baba says, “Under the influence of avidya’ people believe that the
finite objects created by static Prakrti are their own. They think, “my
horse, my son, my daughter, my wealth,” and believe that with these
objects they will live eternally. But the fact is, all these limited
objects will desert them after sometime. Nothing that can be called
one’s own will remain.” (AMIWL-8)

We have come onto this earth for a very short period; our window of
opportunity is small. So we must utilise our time in the right pursuit–
that pursuit which will free us from the suffering and bondage of maya.
That is the only way. In that case, only the path of bhakti is the answer.

Whether we like it or not, that is the only avenue for advancement.


Everyone in AM likes to think they are bhaktas because we know this is
something great, but only those who really have internal longing for
Him– and no other desire– truly qualify as real bhaktas. Thus it is
for each and every sadhaka to estimate for themselves how far they are
on the path of bhakti.

By Baba’s grace, by remembering Him we are all sure to attain this most
blessed stance. When we think, ‘I want only You, then Baba cannot keep
us away’.

Baba says, “Therefore, O devotees remember the Lord’s name, else all
your efforts will be reduced to cipher [zero]. Under all circumstances
and during all activities, cling firmly to His name.” (SS-1)



Baba says, “The meaning of the word bhakti is “attraction to the
Supreme”. When the attraction is to something limited, it is called
a’sakti, and when the attraction is to the Supreme, it is devotion,
bhakti. There is no compromise, no meeting point, between a’sakti and
bhakti, between attraction to the Supreme and attraction to the objects
of the world. In a’sakti, the feeling is that I get the object. In
bhakti, the feeling is that I merge myself in Him. Where there is no
desire, there the Lord lives. The Lord and the desire for the world,
like the sun and the night, cannot coexist.” (AV-23)

Baba says, “In philosophical terms the attraction for finite objects is
called a’sakti and the attraction for the infinite is Bhakti. Ra’ga or
rakti means both the attraction for the infinite and attraction for the
finite objects.” (SS-1)

Baba says, “One may have attachment towards physical objects as well as
towards Parama Purus’a. The attachment to physicality is called a’sakti
or vis’aya’nurakti, while the deep attachment to Parama Purusa is called
para’nurakti or bhakti.” (AV-33)

Baba says, “The meaning of the word “para’nurakti” should be considered.
Rakti denotes raga or attachment. Anurakti means maintaining attachment
with or being attracted by a particular entity after having understood
its meaning. Anurakti is of two kinds. The anurakti for the Supreme
Brahma or Infinite Cosmic Consciousness is para’nurakti. The Anurakti
for Brahma under the sway of prakrti or the anurakti for the crude
manifestations is termed apara’nurakti. God is an object for
para’nurakti. When the aspirant considers the Supreme Brahma to be his
own, it is termed bhajana’ or bhakti.” (SS-1)


Baba says, “Do you love your son? It is perfectly right that you should,
however, when the son dies, you will experience great pain. Is it not
so? The son is preya, a finite entity. He cannot live till eternity. He
will depart and make you weep. But if you treat your son as the
expression of Brahma in the form of your son, then you will never fear
losing him because Brahma cannot be lost in any span of time. He is
present around you in all the ten directions.” (AMIWL-2)


Baba says, “Take, for instance, an unstable or transient thing, such as
your son. He is constantly progressing through changes, and so you are.
Neither of your two entities will remain forever. If you regard him as
the only support in your life, it will certainly not be wise, for your
son may leave the world any day, and you will moan his loss with bitter
tears; or you yourself may leave the world, making him an orphan. This
applies in the same way to wealth, power, etc.” (Matter & Spirit)

Bhaktirbhagavad bha’vana’ na stutirna’rcana’

Baba says, “Being merged in the constant thought of God is devotion.
Devotion is not related to the chanting of hymns or ritualistic worship
with different paraphernalia. A devotee may perform these, but they are
not an indispensable part of devotional sa’dhana’. (AS, 3-12)

This Must Be Averted

Baba says, “‘Andham tamah pravishanti mudha ye ke catmahano janah.’ What
happens to the person who runs after the external mundane things instead of
the Self within? One day he finds himself surrounded by the blinding
darkness (Andhatamasa). All around he finds nothing. When a person whose
self has miserably degenerated, whose spiritual progress is altogether
stopped, rushes towards matter, his whole existence starts getting
crudified, his mind and Self get crudified, he forfeits the right even to
be called a human being. This is indeed a miserable condition, an
unimaginable circumstance.” (Calcutta, 1980)

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