Spiritual Practice and Its Prominence - Part 5 by Sri Sri Muralidhara swamiji
Radhe Krishna All,
People go wayward in Bhakti marga also (Path of devotion). If you do not understand the path you will end up 'imagining experiences'. When one follows Bhakti marga truthfully he is sure to have experiences. Dasya bhakti and Shanta Bhakti towards Lord are those that everyone can practise. This is indeed the easiest. But one must strive hard.
If anyone says he would show you Lord within a certain period he is a mere bluff. Is it so easy to see Lord? Ramakrishna Parmahamsa wept for Lord for 12 long years and it was much later that Totapuri stepped in to guide him. When Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's father visited Gaya Kshetra, Lord Vishnu Himself declared to him that He would be born as his son! And such a one longed and yearned for God for 12 long years. Is Lord so easily accessible?
In Bhagavata Dharma nava vidha Bhakti Sadhanam exist - Sravanam, Kirtanam, Vishnoh Smaranam, Pada sevanam, Archanam, Vandanam, Dasyam, Sakhyam and Atma Nivedanam.
--- Listening, Singing, thinking, doing service to the Lord's Feet, doing archana, prostrating, holding yourself as the servant, entertaining a feeling of a friend and surrendering. (all towards Lord). While saying 'smaranam' (thinking) it is said, 'Vishnoh smaranam'! Why has it been said so? Vishnu means omnipresent - all pervading. You must feel the omnipresence of Lord. 'Pada sevanam' - If the all pervading nature of Lord is realized this term will not denote doing seva to the deity (archavatar) or to one’s Guru.
Even a man laying down the road will be felt to do pada sevanam! Bhakti requires 'sanga' (company). But one should be very careful in choosing the 'sanga. Who is a Bhagavata? Not all those who sing well can be called Bhagavatas. A great musician cannot be called a Bhagavata. Bhagavata is one who is filled with all the 'atma gunas' and leads his life singing the praise of the Lord and is ever thinking of the Lord. One should be careful while seeking company. I have seen many families ruined because of lending support to those whom they thought were Bhagavatas. One should, therefore, be careful while seeking the company of Bhagavatas. You should understand first who real Bhagavatas are.
Prema Bhakti is no doubt the highest bhava (feeling). But anyone and everyone cannot experience this. All are not eligible for 'Madhurya Bhava'. It cannot be developed through one’s own effort. It is obtained through Lord’s grace only.
Adi Sankara, the greatest of Acharyas, a sanyasi, had experienced these feelings (bhava). Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa was the 'adhikãrii'. Mahatmas may speak of this bhava due to their own experience ('anubhava') but we should not at once try to imitate them and end up imagining such experiences.
!!! Will continue !!!
Regards & Chant the Maha Mantra:
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
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