AIDS TO BHAKTI
May 19, 2013 Comments Off on AIDS TO BHAKTI
People put the question: “How can we love God whom we have not seen?” Live in the company of saints and hear of the divine sport of God, study the sacred scriptures. Worship Him first in His several forms as manifested in the world. Worship any image or picture of the Lord or the guru. Recite His name, sing His glories. Stay for a year in Brindavan or Ayodhya, Chitrakute, Pandharpur, Benares, or Ananda Kutir. You will develop love for the Lord.
Every act must be done that awakens the emotion of bhakti. Keep the room of worship clean, decorate it, burn incense, light a lamp, keep a clean seat, bathe and wear clean clothes. Apply ash and kumkum (sacred red powder worn on the forehead by devotees). Wear a rosary, either that made of beads symbolising the third eye of Siva or that which is made from the stalks of the holy basil. All these produce a benign and elevating influence on the mind inspiring it and generating piety. They help to create the necessary attitude or feeling to invoke the deity that you want to worship. The mind will be able to concentrate easily.
Practice of right conduct, keeping company with the holy, repetition of God’s name, remembrance, singing of the names of the Lord, prayer, worship, service of saints, residence in places of pilgrimage, service of the poor and the sick with divine feeling, observance of duties, offering of all actions and their fruits to the Lord, feeling the presence of the Lord in all beings, prostrations before the image and saints, renunciation of earthly enjoyments and wealth, charity, austerities, and vows, practice of ahimsa (non-violence), truth and celibacy – all these will help you to develop devotion.
Desire obstructs the growth of devotion. Devotion to the Lord increases in intensity when mundane desires are renounced. Renunciation is the very essence of devotional love. Divine love has no element of desire in it.
Devotion cannot co-exist with desire of any kind, not even the desire for liberation. The devotee wants God and God alone, and His loving service. The devotee loves God and serves Him and His creation. He does not strive consciously for liberation which God confers on his devotee unsolicited. – Swami Sivananda