Bhakti Marg

‘Bhakti is intense love for god; person with true Bhakti loves everyone and hates no one”, said swami Vivekananda.

Bhakti yoga require us to have an un­-conditional devotion, in such a way that mind is always thinking of our Ishta Devata, chosen Idol, even while performing our daily activities.

The best example of Bhakti Yoga are gopis in vrindavan. They were so lost into Srikrishna that when Uddhava came to pacify them with his “Brahma Dnyan”, he himself got enlightened, by their love for Krishna.

Bhakti Marg starts with, a person worshiping/loving chosen devata first may be with a intention of getting something and then slowly evolving into loving unconditionally. As one makes more progress, he/she is will start to see his/her chosen devata inside every living or non-living thing.

If a person is devotee of say Shrikrishna, he would start to see Shrikrishna in other deities, in other religious places like Masjid, Church etc, in other people, in the people he/she hates/likes, in everything visible/invisible, and for him nothing exists apart from love of his deity. And slowly, he/will start to see the same energy that is everywhere, is also inside him/her as well, and that’s when Self Realization os achieved.

Lets try to understand this from the life story of Saint Namdev (or Bhagat Namdev, as it is call in Sikh literature). Namdev was a complete devotee of Panduranga in Pandharpur. He will always come over to temple, and spend his time doing Bhakti of Panduranga. Namdev was contemporary of other saints like Dnaeshwara, Gora Kumbhar.

All these saints would meet once in a while, and talk about each other’s experiences and progress.  In one such meet, they decided to evaluate each other’s progress, and Gora Kumbhar was made judge. Gora assessed that Namdev was not ripe but needs more ‘abhyas’. Namdev was angry that he is being called ‘not-ripe’, because in his mind he was a great devotee of Panduranga.

He was asked to meet Visoba Khechar, who through various examples help him understand that Pandugrang/God is not only in the temple at Pandharpur, but that spirit is everywhere and in everything around us and true Bhakti is seeing and loving that all pervading spirit. Namdev realized the meaning and achieved self realization while traveling through the thar desert.

Moral of the story is that, in Bhakti yoga, even though one starts with loving one god in one temple, he/she has to grow the love to the level of gopis where they see your god in each and everything, everywhere. These people will have the same shraddha everywhere be it temple, masjid, church or guruwara or any other thing in world as there is nothing where the don’t see their love, their god.

Only thing followers of Bhakti Yoga has to do is not to become fanatic, in the early stages, as that would derail any progress they could make on this path.