Darshan With Bapuji on Bhakti Yoga
August 28, 1977
Ordinarily, in all the religions of the world, wherever God is accepted as existence, the path of Bhakti Yoga is taught. For this reason, wherever there is belief in God, or belief in existence of God, the devotion is immediately born. In the religions of India, they have not alone thought only of the devotion or Bhakti Yoga, but the have also thought of the other approaches. The meaning of À Àbhakti” is devotion towards God. But how was that devotion or bhakti born? It is knowledge through which the devotion or bhakti is born. Wherever there is knowledge, then the effort or karma to obtain that also is naturally available. It is true that the importance is given to love, but along with it, the knowledge and karma are also necessary.
Without knowledge, the love without knowledge cannot exist. As long as there is absence of knowledge, you cannot select the right from wrong. This way, jnana, bhakti and yoga, even though they appear to be different or separate, if we look at them with little closeness, we will find that they are not separate from each other.
A yoga that includes all the three, jnana, karma and bhakti. Jnana alone is jnana, so also karma is just karma, and bhakti is just bhakti. But when you associate the word behind each one of them, yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga, then it is very special meaning. You can place, you can prepare to attain each one of these separately, or practice all of these combined together. In India, those who follow the path of Bhakti Yoga, they early in the morning recite the shlokas, something very much like the shlokas from the old scriptures. And then they do the puja of God. And in the end, the recite the entire part.
Means so many numbers of shlokas. It could be one of the sacred books. In that study of scripture, there is knowledge, in puja, means offering different flowers and worshipping and so on. In that, there is karma. In the puja, there is all the worshiping and in the study of the scriptures, the love that is in those both actions is called bhakti, or devotion. The devotees give more importance to japa and puja. A person who is following the path of Jnana Yoga, they give more importance to the scriptures. And a Karma Yogi gives more importance to active actions performed in the service of God.
You also have to include all these three paths. When we perform the puja of the Lord, there is the best kind of meditation that takes place. It is such an in-depth meditation that you completely forget the external world. One of the greatest difficulties in this worship of the Lord is that he is not in front of us. In order to remove that difficulty, we keep the picture, or the idol of the Lord, in front of us. It aids meditation very much. Through the idol, or the picture, it creates the right association, and in our mind”s eye, the living God begins to take place.
So those who are following Jnana Yoga, they need very special and more in depth study of the scriptures. And a Karma Yogi has to approach it in a more scientific manner. Truly speaking, each one will have to understand all of these three aspects. Only by doing so your path will become simple and easy. Through knowledge, we attain the true direct path, and as we find the right path, the devotion and faith goes on increasing.
So whatever actions you are performing as your everyday routine, spiritual practices, think and understand more of the subtle aspects of it more in depth. Just as your intellect will become more and more penetrating, it will become more purified. With the pure intellect alone, you can see God. You are familiar with the fact that the step ladder doesn”t have one step. It has many steps.
So do not believe that where you are, in the stage of your practices, that is where is the end of all bhakti, and all karma. You must remember that as you go on progressing, you will have to leave the old behind and accepting the new. That is the only way you progress. “Pragati” in Sanskrit means to go forward and leave the old behind. In the beginning, go on examining by this sadhana, are you getting rid of the wrong actions and increasing the good thoughts and actions?
You examine yourself as to how you were when you started, or entered into this sadhana, and then how was your progress, as you went toward the middle of it, and today how far have you come in the spiritual growth? Recently, in one of the modern hotels, I saw, in a revolving dining room at the top, the diners sit in the chair and the platform moves, but the one who is sitting still. He is just sitting there. He is where he was, in the chair.
One who wants to move may go on moving. I am not moving. So only when you become scientist, and watch everything in your life with such awareness and draw inspiration from each situation like this, then only you will be able to grow. In the storehouse of your knowledge and check, have you increased the new storehouse of knowledge than what you had before? Then look at the storehouse of your actions. Have you really given up the actions that produce pain and suffering, and are you really accepting the right karma that brings you true happiness and peace? And also peep into the storehouse of your love, and see if your love for God has increased even a little bit.
Only when you observe keenly and directly, then only you will find the true guidance. You may close your eyes and ears, and even control your breath, but if you do not go through the proper self-analysis, you will not progress. From all these things that I have given you, worth hundreds of pounds. If you take a few ounces of it, that will be enough.