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About the Bhaktas and Bhakti

From: Balu (balu_at_rug.ac.be)
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 16:44:05 PST

Dear Fellow-travellers,

Avidly, and with great interest, have I been following our discussions. I
want to raise a question about which, I hope, you will do some thinking
before answering -- if at all. Is bhakti what the bhaktas do, or are people
bhaktas because they 'follow' (bad choice of words, but there is no other
way to put it) the 'bhakti marga', or is bhakti *neither* of the two? I mean
to ask you the following: is the bhakta moved because, for example, the
child who stole the butter happens to be the *Kannan*, or because the
*child*, who also happens to be the Lord, stole the butter? If it is the
first, it is *worthless*: it is the same as being a sycophant (as the
Americans would put it: one sucks up to ...). If the second, it is false:
surely, we are not moved to tears when our children steal and then lie about
it. When the mother gets to hear from a child: "'I' did not steal" and, as
proof, gets to see the 'vishwarupa' (in the mouth where the speech manifests
itself) and 'sees' the Cosmos (all that ever was, is and shall be) in an
'I' -- what is the question, and what the answer?

In the hope that bhakti will not become a show of sentimentality,

Yours truly,

Balu