June 21, 2013 Comments Off on DEVOTEE’S VISION
The bhakta is blissful at all times. His mind cannot think of anything for everything is God. “Yatra yatra mano yati tatra tatra samadhayah – Wherever the mind goes there it experiences samadhi” – for it does not find any object of enjoyment. God fills every speck of space and the whole world is clothed in the glory of God.
The saint and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious, the good and the bad, the man and the animal – all are forms of God. How can the mind deal with them in any undivine way? There, the mind experiences samadhi – it has consciousness but no object. Samadhi is thoughtless consciousness, objectless consciousness – this is para bhakti. This is the same as vedantic realisation. The effect is the annihilation of the ego or the destruction of the mind.
God, who is supremely powerful, supremely wise and supremely blissful, pervades the entire atmosphere and the earth. He is the earth and the heaven; He is father, mother, brother, sister; He is the consummation of all love and aspiration, of all desire and ambition; He is the stoppage of all mental vrttis and He is the ideal to be attained.
Control the mind and annihilate the ego – this is the essence of all yogas. It is the ideal of bhakti yoga, which is a very sweet and easy method or procedure. One has not got to curb one’s emotions and one has not to run away to the forests. He has to direct his emotions towards God. He has to see God as present in the world. This is the essence of bhakti sadhana (practice). Bhakti is thus only a reflection of the love for the Self which the Upanishads declare. Only the names are different: one calls it Self and the other calls it God. Names do not matter; it is the feeling that counts, and that is the same in both.
Self-surrender is the highest form of bhakti. It is surrender of the ego or individuality. What remains after that is the ‘Absolute’ of the vedantins. Bhakti surrenders the ego and a vedantin disintegrates the ego. In both the ego is not there – their ideals are the same. Whether one eats rice or wheat, it is all the same – the purpose of both is to appease the hunger. So whether you follow bhakti or vedanta, the effect is the annihilation of the ego. This is the truth.
– Swami Sivananda