Category : Bhakti
Non-attachment, knowledge and devotion, these are the three rivers to God. It is said in the Shrimad Bhagavata Purana that Devotion is like a mother and her two children are like knowledge and non-attachment. If you want knowledge and non-attachment, you can study, you can meditate, but by following the mother, by following the path of love, both of the children will be found. Love naturally brings the states of dispassion and wisdom.
God is seen differently by each and everyone of us. There is no way that my perception is exactly the same as yours, but there are general approaches to Religion which devotees have. This was topic is described perfectly by Bhaktivinoba Thakur who describes the three spiritual seekers as Kamala shraddhas, madhyamadhikaris, and uttamadhikaris.*
One of my favourite verses from Hinduism is from the Chandogya Upanishad which states, ‘As great as infinite space is the space within the lotus of the heart’.
You do not need to explore the universe by space travel, according to Hindu philosophy, the ultimate truth exists within your heart as unconditional love. This is the same message iterated here in the Ramacharitmanas.
SUB EK, SUB EK.
I find these verses very important, we find in them unification of the extremes of monotheism and monism at once. It is the unification of the Upanishads and the Puranas. It is In the same spirit, the great Chaitanya Mahaprabhu described the Lord as “achintya beda abheda” which means inconceivably one and different. The Upanishads, using the term Brahman, describe the supreme divine reality which is formless and beyond all conception, many will say this conflicts with worshiping God. Here we are taught that Rama is Brahman, Brahman is Rama. Tulasidas here quotes directly from the Upanishads in describing Shri Rama, as Neem Karoli Baba so often used to say, ‘Sub Ek, Sub Ek.’ It’s all one, it’s all one.
I have no other craving in my heart O Beloved Lord Shri Rama than to know you, this is the truth. You live eternally within the heart of every living being and surely you know that I care for nothing other than intense devotion to your lotus feet. O Raghunatha! Give me the grace of eternal devotion to you which can free me from all evils.
I think if you have knowledge of something good, and you think others can benefit, you should share it.
The great saint Ramanuja was somewhat of a revolutionary in this regard, when he received initiation from his Guru, he received a sacred divine mantra, but a condition was laid upon him. Ramanuja was told that he should never reveal the mantra, or knowledge of it to anybody. He was aggressively told that by this mantra you will reach the highest heavens, but if you reveal it to others darkness will be your destiny. The elated Ramanuja accepted the mantra and bowed before the guru before setting off for his home, the town of Srirangam. As he walked home, he thought to himself, ‘It is my only wish for all beings to reach the highest state of bliss and happiness, I wish for all beings to reach the highest heavens.’ He headed to the centre of the town and climbed to the top of the temple, and started teaching it anybody who would listed the sacred mantra, ‘OM Namo Narayanah Namah! OM Namo Narayanah Namah!’ he shouted from the temple. Crowds of eager students gathered to learn this sacred mantra.
The Qualities of Devotion
One who performs deeds with me in mind, considers me as supreme, becomes my devotee, does not become attached to things and has hatred for no other living being will surely come to me.
Bhagavad Gita 11.55
This verse of the Gita offers Krishna’s thoughts on the qualities of a devotee who reaches the supreme. Performing our acts in the world as Karma-Yogis, being unattached to the results and treating them as sacred offerings to God, this is a great act of devotion. When we offer up everything we do, we slowly loosen the ties of selfishness and anger which hold us back from self realisation. The last point Krishna makes is that we should be completely free of hatred for any other living being. Our hearts should be filled with so much love that all we can see is the divine, this is seeing God within each one of us. This verse describes the immersion of an ideal devotee.