The topic for July 2014 is bhakti.
Along with many others, I used to think that there were 3 paths to enlightenment: karma, bhakti and j~nAna. I now know better! There is only one ‘remedy’ for saMsAra – j~nAna, since only knowledge can eliminate ignorance. But karma yoga is valuable for mental preparation and bhakti is an attitude that should prevail throughout. It is also excellent as a starting point for many. We also need to differentiate bhakti and upAsana…
Please submit your quotes, short extracts or personal blogs on this topic!
How very True!
Ignorance and Samsara is a disease and Knowledge(Jnana) is the Cure.Karma and Bhakti are preparations for this final treatment.
The Jnana is very complicated as well as Simple depending on how it is viewed. It is very difficult to approach and grasp. Due to the conditioning of the mind and false identification, it is near impossible to approach the concept of the Self.
The mind and body and the strong self of individuality is driving us towards ever increasing need to control everything. We succeed in some, but fail in many. This falsely makes us work on ever increasing adjustments to our efforts to control the outcome towards more success than failure. Karma Yoga helps one in gradually giving up this control. Allowing things to happen the way it is, and taking a back seat in the happenings of the world releasing the strong clutch the ego has. This is a mental preparation. This is needed in order to grasp the ultimate knowledge of the action-less self.
Bhakti is devotion as well as surrender. It is one more way to surrender the individuality and letting go of the significance of one’s individual role in the happenings of things, and help in preparing to accept the total oneness. This is a practice that matures the mind and makes it ready for the ultimate truth.
How very beautifully Karma, Bhakthi, Yoga act as preparatory steps towards the ultimate reality that is made possible by Jnana.
But this clarity comes to the seeker only after a great deal of Bhakthi, Karma and Yoga are performed, either in this birth or previously in order to grasp this. Until then the seeker can think of them as individual paths and follow it with devotion, which eventually will lead them to Jnana.