Navdha Bhakti (નવધા ભક્તિ) was the chosen topic for Pujya Bhaishree’s discourse during the December Aradhana Shibir in Sayla. Mumukshus (spiritual seekers) from different countries including USA, UK, Kenya, UAE and India enthusiastically participated in the 7-day Shibir which consisted of a daily routine of 4, one-hourly meditation sessions, two insightful discourses, agna bhakti, chaityavandan, atmasiddhi, arti-mangal divo and evening bhakti.
Yuva Shibir conducted by Brahmnishts Minalben and Vikrambhai analyzed the profound influence Shrimad Rajchandra had on Mahatma Gandhi, helping the latter to alter his decision of converting to Christianity.
Imparting pearls of wisdom Pujya Bhaishree explained the chronology of qualities manifesting within a mumukshu as he ascends the steps of Navdha Bhakti.
- Shravan (શ્રવણ) – deep devotion that a seeker experiences for the enlightened Master
- Kirtan (કીર્તન) – applauding the qualities of the Guru leading to a manifestation of the same qualities within mumukshus
- Smaran or Chintan (સ્મરણ) – immersing oneself in Gurubhakti while giving up attachment to the transient world and material possessions. This can be achieved by diligently following the Guru’s agna.
- Paadsevan or Pujan(પાદસેવન) – surrendering oneself and accepting the refuge of an atmagnani Guru, which is a potent way of overcoming negative qualities like ego, violence, malice and deceit residing within a seeker
- Archan (અર્ચન) – worshipping the Lord is such a way that the seeker can perceive His image within every living soul. Such a mumukshu would serve the sick, disabled, unhappy, suffering souls just as he would care for his Guru.
- Vandan (વંદન) – offering salutation to the Lord and Master, and seeking their blessings to purify oneself.
- Dasya (દાસ્ય) – with due humility, the mumukshu proclaims to be a lowly servant of the Lord. This bhakti effectively cleanses the seeker of his arrogance and conceit.
- Sakhya (સખ્ય) – a divine friendship with the Lord, such that the seeker always longs to be with his friend and does not hide even the minutest thing from Him.
- Atmanivedan or Samarpan (આત્મનિવેદન) – a complete surrender to the Sadguru, where the mumukshu faces every situation of pleasure-pain, happiness-sadness, gain-loss, health-disease with equanimity. Such is his absolute faith in the master that no situation daunts him and he remains cheerful even amidst the most trying circumstances. તે જ્ઞાનીપુરુશના સર્વ ચરિત્રમાં ઐક્યભાવ નો લક્ષ થવાથી તેના હ્રીદયમાં વિરાજમાન પરમાત્માનો ઐક્યભાવ હોઈ છે; એ જ પરાભક્તિ છે. – શ્રીમદ રાજચંદ્ર
Casting a gentle glance towards each seeker in the audience, Pujya Bhaishree emphasized, “The mumukshu who cultivates such resolute faith in his Sadguru and soldiers on regardless of changes in his external situation is able to curtail his attachments to transient objects and dwell within. He will ultimately experience the bliss in his eternal soul.”