Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi About Devotion (Bhakti)  (Read 3001 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Ramana Maharshi About Devotion (Bhakti)
« on: January 17, 2011, 02:27:02 PM »
As the Ankola seed is attracted to its stem,the iron to the magnet, the wife to her lord, the creeper to its tree, the river to the ocean, so the soul attracted stands ever at the feet of the Lord. This attraction is termed devotion, Bhakti.
— Sivanandalahari, verse 61

Kavyakantha: Will Maharshi please enlighten us on the subject of Devotion (Bhakti)?

Maharshi: To everyone the dearest object is himself. He loves himself always, and with the greatest love possible. Such an unbroken current of love, frequently compared in sacred books to a flowing stream of oil, is styled devotion, if it is directed towards God.

“Bhakti is the unshakeable attachment to the Supreme God.” — Shandilya Bhakti Sutras, verse 2
 
Ordinarily people regard God as existing outside of themselves and as having a personality like their own. The Jnani (enlightened sage) however regards the personal God (also) as none other than himself; and Self-love, in this case, is or becomes the love of God (personal).

In his case, devotion is defined as Self-realisation. Others, who treat the personal God as something outside themselves develop deep devotion to such a God and finally sink their personality in Him.

The love-smitten chord of Self, trembles and passes in music out of sight. In fact, worship, nay, all intense concentrated thought or feeling, is the merging of the mind in the object worshipped or concentrated on. Intense faith in the personal God, however, carries the devotee easily and naturally to faith in and devotion to the impersonal Absolute (Swarupa Brahman).

Mostly, the beginnings of devotion to (personal) God are traceable to a desire to avoid sorrows and attain happiness. So, with great keenness and zest people approach their God, investing Him with name and form, and attain the objects they desire. Even after such attainment, the habit of devotion continues and the mind trained to worship God with form and name develops the power to dwell on the Formless and Nameless.

The evanescent objects achieved by the first flow of devotion to a personal God do not fully satisfy the aspiring soul who thirsts after enduring happiness. With this ever new impetus to seek something more than relative happiness, the progressing soul ultimately drops name and form as its object of contemplation and thus attempts to conceive of or realise the Absolute (Brahman). Thus devotion to a personal God gets transformed or ripened gradually into devotion to the Impersonal, which is the same as Vichara (enquiry) and Realisation.

Investigation into the Self is nothing other than devotion.
— Vivekachudamani, verse 32

Devotion may at the outset be by fits and starts. That need not depress the aspirant, for it will develop and become steadier and flow finally in an unbroken current. When devotion (personal) is ripe, a moment's instruction (Sravana) suffices for the next step in Jnana. Faith helps in the development of one's intuition and the attainment of complete illumination – Cosmic Consciousness.

Thus, the weak aspirant's first efforts at devotion, through name and form at broken intervals, and for attaining finite or lower ends, ultimately carry him beyond all name and form, into an unbroken current of love to the Absolute. This is Salvation (Mukti).

Sources: 

1) http://www.arunachala.org/newsletters/2011/?pg=jan-feb#article.1
2) CHAPTER XVI Bhakti (Devotion) Of The Sri Ramana Gita of B. V. Narasimha Swami

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramana Maharshi About Devotion (Bhakti)
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 03:31:45 PM »



Dear prasanth,

Very true.  Sri Bhagavan says in Who am I?

Q No. 18:  Of the devotees, who is the greatest?

A:  He who gives himself up to the Self that is God, is the most
excellent devotee.  Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than the thought of the Self.

Whatever burden are thrown to God, He bears them.  Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with
thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what we should not be done and how not?  We know that the train carries all loads,
so after getting on it, why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?



Arunachala Siva.