‘Bhakti’ is the foundation of all spirituality. Devotion is both the means and the end.
It is of the nature of Supreme and profound love towards God and worshipping HIS majestic virtues. It is this divine love that will drive all our other relationships and remain integral in our behavior.
Bhakti is traditionally of 2 kinds – 1) Dravya/Phal & 2) Bhav/Saadhan. Additionally, there are 9 ways in which one can lovingly connect with God. These ways are solely founded on Faith.
The 9 faith-based ways of Devotion are Hearing about the Lord (Shravan), Chanting His name and glory (Kirtana), Remembering Him (Smaran), Serving his Lotus Feet (Pada Sevan), Worshipping Him as per the scriptures (Archan), Prostrating before Him (Vandan), Being His servant (Dasatva), Befriending Him (Sakhya) and offering oneself to Him (Atma Nivedan). The astonishing truth of Navdha Bhakti is – one doesn’t need to cultivate all 9 kinds. Being immersed in even one form of bhakti is a powerful tool to speed our progress on the path of Moksh (liberation)
Listening to God/Guru’s divine name, His form, His actions, His mysteries His glory and contemplating on each of these aspects.
Attraction to beautiful things is an innate quality of human nature. This liking leads to the desire to acquire and own beautiful objects. However, as followers of the divine path, we need to learn how to put this human quality to valuable use. If we cultivate a habit that can see only the good qualities in other human beings, we shall soon develop a divine vision that can capture the miraculous virtues of an Enlightened Master. Such a quality will culminate in creating a foundation where we are irresistibly drawn to the Guru’s virtues and his vast ocean of knowledge and we start the process of imbibing his qualities.
In order to be qualified to be able to understand the deeper mysteries of his virtues, one must develop 3 qualities
- Patience to repeatedly hear incidences of his life, his glory, his manifestations
- Concentration and being focused on such qualities
- Complete faith in his words of wisdom
Once the disciple is able to merge his thoughts with those of his Master, it will be easy for him to retract from unnecessary material and worldly indulgences.
‘Atmasiddhi’ is the closest example of Sharavana Bhakti for us. It is lyrical, musical, and full of profound meaning. In this treatise, the disciple expresses his faith in Guru’s words but requests answers to certain doubts and questions that he has. It is not necessary to hear thousands of words or long discourses, but even one lesson from the Guru can help a disciple have better grasp of the fundamental truths.
Brahmnisht Vikrambhai sang a soulful bhajan that resonated through the room:
‘ગુરુ ને મનકા મેંલ મિટા કર , દિલ મેં પ્રેમ કા રંગ ચઢાકર , જીવન મેરા રંગ દિયા, તન મેરા રંગ દિયા …..
રંગા જો મેં તો હર માન્યતા ચલી ગયી મેરી, શ્રવણ સે મનન સે દુનિયા હી બદલ ગયી ….’
Since the next day was Mother’s Day, young mumukshus read out beautiful Mother’s Day messages and tied the “Raksha Potli” to their mothers’ wrist, with a pledge to appreciate and show gratitude to their mother, to make her smile and look after her for lifetime and applaud her hard work and sacrifices.
Brahmnisht Minalben, who unfortunately could not be present for the Ivy Swadhyay, sent her blessings and a heart-warming message for her mother, which was read out.
This swadhaya taught the young mumukshus to appreciate all the selfless hard work being done for them –be it by their parents or their Guru.