Wednesday, November 17, 2010

what is bhakti?

Now let us see what is bhakti. It is to have a loving and relationship with God the omnipotent, all knowing, all-powerful entity. This entity, we call God. God has told us through puranas and agamas how to relate to him. We worship him through traditional bhajans and pujas. But one must evolve from seeing God in a particular idol or picture and start seeing him in every living being. We should also surrender ourselves to him in the highest level.
Essentially, there are two types of bhakti. One is to follow in the tradition by following the rituals etc in the way that our forefathers have prescribed. We should get to know what the family tradition is and with the help of some elders enter into this path. This is called vaidheha bhakti or krama bhakti.
The second way follows no tradition here, only the love of God is paramount. What rules and regulations did kaNNappa nayanar follow? some even call this "mad with love".
but this kind of thing is for the exceptional people. It is not for everyone of us do, we can quote examples most of us lack the intensity. Therefore we should always strive to follow the traditional path. If you think this is wrong,then may I pose a simple question? Are you prepared to give of your eyes to God? No? So, that is it.
What is called para bhakti is bhakti on the para bhrahman. This is a part of the gnana yoga.
But practically is not possible for most of us to do bhakti to an entity which is not seen, touched, smelt or perceived in any of the usual ways with our five senses. Therefore, we imagine a picture that gives us pleasure,is easy to remember and call this god.
Some people like their god to be like a child. They worship kanna, bala murugan etc. Some people like to see God as a mother. For some, the all-powerful entity attracts them. For them to imagine a God with several weapons is easy. Since the mind of people is varied like this, our forefathers have granted independence to choose the form that we like and worship it. Then only the mind merges with the god easily. Such bhakti will be strong. Questions like, Hindus have a lot of gods, how can that be and if so who is stronger, who is weaker, and who is superior, who is inferior are all a lot of stupid questions. This kind of bhakti is called apara bhakti.

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