Author Topic: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender  (Read 6534 times)


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bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« on: June 24, 2010, 02:04:57 PM »
Jnana and Bhakti are not two different things. Both mean the same.
This article is an attempt to depict the beauty of Bhakti. How do we do this? Not by giving a lecture on bhakti. That would be waste of time. I wish we use this space to share stories of saints --- stories of Love of god and also discuss some statements made by such saints. That is the objective in short. By reading about saints like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Ramakrishna Paramahamsa or Ramana etc we learn to love , we develop the Love of God within.

I'll start with a simple Song in Love of God:
We all read Aksharamanimalai and its a poem full of Love of God. Its a one-on-one conversation with god, where the devotee "seeks" help from God and at the same time, surrenders. It is really an idea poem for developing Love of God. Each verse is a beauty. For example, the line where Ramana says "You are More generous than mother, is this your generousness?" and then the line where he says "Whether you accept me or otherwise, its all as you wish" ... Both are just two different emotions in Bhakti. The first one is a case where the devotee is making a demand ... he is asking God to take him into his fold. And the second case, the devotee says, please do as you like! Everything is your wish. While Ramana most often maintained that Total Self surrender means to ask for nothing. The first line of the song asks God to take him into his fold. The desire to listen to Stories in Love of God or the desire to serve God or Saints ... such desires purify the mind and are a blessing.

I invite everyone to share spiritual stories [mostly of Bhakti] ... Lets revel in the Love of God.



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Re: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 03:28:50 PM »
Listening to songs of Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya is inspiring.

He is widely regarded as the Pada-kavita Pitaamaha (grand old man of song-writing) of the Telugu language.

Annamacharya is said to have composed as many as 32,000 sankeertanas (songs) on Bhagwaan Govinda Venkateswara,of which only about 12,000 are available today.

He is regarded as a pioneer in rendering devotional music in classical style, especially the Annamacharya sankirtanas. He composed tunes for famous keerthanas such as Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnukatha, Bhramha Kadigina Padamu, Jagadapu Chanuvula and Pidikedu Thalambralu... which became popular among the devotees. All these devotional songs are predominantly in Sanskrit and Telugu.

The sankeertanas engraved on copper plates were found in the Tirumala temple just opposite the Hundi, concealed in a very small room. It is said only 12,000 of the 32,000 sankeertanas were found. No leads have been available to trace the remaining sankeertanas. Some personnel involved in deciphering the plates say that the people of those days could have melted the copper plates for personal use.

My personal Fav: Narayanatee Namo Namo.. song


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Re: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 11:36:59 AM »

Dear srkudai,

Excellent.  Bhakti is Jnana Mata.  One can do intense bhakti and then only do self surrender.  A dry mind without bhakti cannot think
of Jnana.  All Bhakta Vijayam and Periya Puranam stories only reveal
this aspect very lucidly.  Everywhere we read that the devotee had
darshan of either Siva or Narayana or Panduranga.  What is this
darshan?  Is is not dual.  No.  Darshan also understanding and
merging as one without a second.  It is not simply seeing Siva
and Uma or Narayana and Lakshmi.  It is the same as merging with the godhead, liberation.

Please continue.  I would like you to write about Kabir Das also.

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 12:18:06 PM »

Dear srkudai,

I shall write about Umapati Sivam briefly.  He came after the 63
Siva Saints.  He was a priest in Chidambaram Temple, a holy and
an orthodox man.  He was doing pujas to Nataraja four times a day.
Early morning, noon, evening and artha jama -  night.  He once was
proceeding from his house on a palanquin lifted by four men.  The
palanquin was made out of bamboo poles and silk cloth etc., He
was surrounded four men who were carrying torches and walking
with the palanquin.  Imagine it was a noon and there were torches!
He was chanting Namasivaya... and travelling on the palanquin to the Temple.  Suddenly he found one young man in tattered clothes,
almost looking mad. 

The man looked at Umapati Sivam and sang with a roaring laughter:
"On the dead corpse is travelling a living corpse, which is day blind....."  Umapati Sivam who was a great scholar in Sanskrit as well as Tamil, listened to this song and suddenly jumped down from the palanquin and went to catch the mad fellow.  That man was
running faster and he was chasing.  They went upto Ammapettai,
a small village outside Chidambaram, where there were weavers
[even today are they] boiling hot powdered rice gruel, for pasting the fluid on the woven yarn spread between two thick sticks to make the yarn sticky.  The mad man stopped there and Umapati
Sivam fell on his feet.  The mad cap then laughed once again and took the hot hot powdered rice gruel in his palm and gave it to Umapati Sivam.  Umapati Sivam drank it and he heard the mad man saying:  ULLadu Ulle irukku.  Ethukku ithellam.  Meaning, the Real
Self is within.  Why this pomp and glory?  Umapati Sivam became
his disciple and started self enquiry.  The mad man was AruL Nandi Sivam, one of the 12 Saiva Sastra kartas.  They are called Mei
Kanda Devars, those who knew the Truth.  They are the authors
of Saiva Sastra scriptures.  The Tevaram and Tiruvachakam and other texts made into 12 books of Siva Canons are Stotra books,
the books of Bhakti, prayers.

Umapati Sivam did not attend the Temple thereafter.  He remained
in his house and continued Atma bodha sadhana.  He was keeping
his guru AruL Nandi Sivam, in the house and feeding him and clothing him till he attained liberation.

Okay.  What is the meaning of the song mentioned above?  The
dead corpse is the bamboo poles.   A living copse is a man who
did not understand the Truth still.  He is day blind because on
a bright Chidambaram noon, torches are being sent along with him!

Umapati Sivam is the author of the famous work Chidambara
Maahatmyam, the story of Chidambaram Temple and interwoven
with a lot of Saiva Siddhanta philosophic ideas.  He also has written
another work called Kunchitangri Stavam, the Song on Raised Foot,
the raised foot of dancing Nataraja, which is Padam, or the Source,
or the Self.  His abahya karam is known to everyone.  His other hand is called Gaja hastam or Elephant hand, because it is stretched like an elephant's trunk and shows the raised foot. It is also called Vara Karam, or that which gives the boon.

One Chidambaram Dikshitar who is known to my father was asked by me to send Kunchitangri Stvam in Sanskrit and Tamil, a few
years back.  He sent an old copy.  I had sent Rs 100.  He refused
to take the money.  The 100 page book is priced Re 1.00! (1960
edition).  It is a priceless treasure.  There is no reprint.  The
Chidambara Maahatmyam is of course, available now.

Achalane aayinum acchavai tannuL
Achalaiaym ammai ethir aadum......(Navamani Maalai verse 1)

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 01:26:12 PM »
Sri Ramakrishna Quotes on Divine Love

The one goal of life is to cultivate love for God, the love that the milkmaids, the milkmen, and the cowherd boys of Vrindavan felt for Krishna.

Faith and devotion. One realizes God easily through devotion. He is grasped through ecstasy of love.
The means of realizing God are ecstasy of love and devotion – that is, one must love God.

The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband, and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him.

The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine, the wine of ecstatic love. The goal of human life is to love God, Bhakti is the one essential thing. To know God through jnana and reasoning is extremely difficult.

If you enter the world without first cultivating love for God, you will be entangled more and more. You will be overwhelmed with its danger, its grief, its sorrows. And the more you think of worldly things, the more you will be attached to them.

Repeat God's name and sing His glories, and keep holy company; and now and then visit God's devotees and holy men. The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities; it is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practises meditation in solitude. When a tree is young it should be fenced all around; otherwise it may be destroyed by cattle.

The path of knowledge leads to Truth, as does the path that combines knowledge and love. The path of love, too, leads to this goal. The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love.

God cannot be realized through mere scholarly reasoning.

One is able to realize God just through love. Ecstasy of feeling, devotion, love, and faith – these are the means.

What is needed is absorption in God – loving Him intensely. The 'Nectar Lake' is the Lake of Immortality. A man sinking in It does not die, but becomes immortal. Some people believe that by thinking of God too much the mind becomes deranged; but that is not true. God is the Lake of Nectar, the Ocean of Immortality. He is called the 'Immortal' in the Vedas. Sinking in It, one does not die, but verily transcends death.


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Re: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 02:05:00 PM »

Dear prasanth,

Sri Ramakrisha is once said to have wished to Kali, that he should
take one more birth as a girl and get married and become a childhood widow, so that he could spend his entire time on Krishna Bhakti and surrender to Krishna! And spend his time in Vrindavan.
A girl can do bhakti as a lover of God, the God being always considered a male.  But for a man to do bhakti as a lover of god is somewhat difficult.  A man can definitely not do bhakti to a goddess as a lover, since this is considered dangerous, though Veera Marga (what Bhairavi Brahmani wanted to teach SRK) has been prescribed by scriptures. 

Incidentally, you have written about Cowherds and Vrindavan.
Cow Lakshmi's Liberation Day was observed in Sri Ramanasramam,
on 23rd June 2010.  I did not forget it.  But I did not want to initiate a new post.  Some one can write about Cow Lakshmi, the
Second Lady of Sri Ramanasramam!

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: bhakti - Stories of Love of God and Self Surrender
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 12:45:34 AM »
There is a very old picture of Saint Thyagaraja where he is singing on Rama with his closed eyes. Nearby we can
see Rama,Sita,Lashmana and Hanuman. From the kitchen Thyagaraja's wife is standing with folded hand at looking at Rama. I was told like this.Thyagaraja's wife was so dutiful and had bhakti. But no body knew. Even though the saint was singing songs on Rama day and night, his wife could have the darshan of Rama. It is due to her PATHVRATHAM AND BHAKTHI.
Now a days this type of picture is missing. People are not having this type of pictures on their wall. I think it  is drawn by Ravi Varma.