Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Practical steps to spirituality - Part 18

Bhakti  Yoga , the path of  devotion - part  2
 Love  and devotion  fall under  the same  emotion.. When  you direct  your  feelings  of  affection  to  your equals or  to  lower beings    it is called  love. Bhakti  as  devotion  towards  God  is love  directed  to a  higher  principle  specially  towards  God . Reverential  love  is devotion . You will  also  show devotion  to your parents  teachers  and to your  country.

In    the  12 th chapter  of  the Gita  ,   Arjuna  raises a doubt  as to  whether  one  should  worship  God with  a form  or  a God  without  forms , without  any  attributes , the  Absolute  Reality.  There  are two  types  of  people  the active  and the  contemplative. Arjuna  was  a  man of  action,  so  krishna's  advice  to him  was  that   he  should  worship  a God with a form . One  gradually   grows  from worshiping  a God  with a form   to   a formless  Reality  wherein  he no longer  needs  an   idol   to conceive  of  that  Reality.


The Bhagavad  Gita , in the  same  chapter , enumerates  35  qualities  that  one  should  have  to  call oneself  a devotee. It starts  with  adveshta , one  who hates  none.  Even  if one  loves  a lot  number  of  people  but  carries   the slightest   hatred   in his  mind  for  just  one person , then  he  cannot  qualify  as a devotee.  Some  other qualities  of a devotee  are , one who is  friendly  towards  all, shows  compassion,  who  is  not  possessive ,  who is  free from egoistic  feelings,  who  is  equanimous , who accepts  all  situations  in life,  who  cannot  be  agitated  by  others  nor  who  agitates  others, who has  an  enduring  faith  in  God  and  who also  regards  the Self / Atman  as  supreme. These are  just  a few  of  the 35 qualities  given  out  by  Lord  Krishna..Start  developing  one quality  and in due  course  of time  you  will find  that   you also  develop  other qualities  to call yourself  a devotee.

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