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Re: About the Bhaktas and Bhakti

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (rangaswamy_m_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 13:09:27 PST

Sri:

SrimatE Gopaladesika MahadesikAya Namaha,

Dear Bhaktas,

Adiyen normally does not write unless commanded by his Acharya or
by Bhagavatas. However, the question raised by Sri Balu is an
important one. Srimans Sampath Kumaran and Krishna Kanumalla
provided illuminating points of view on the subject. Therefore,
Adiyen will try to answer Sri Balu's question succinctly.

The concept of Bhakti can be best understood from the following
three relationships:

(1) The love of a mother for her child:
This relationship borders
on overbearing concern of the mother for her little one. As far as
the mother is concerned, the child represents the entire world to
her. At all times, she is immersed in thoughts of the child's progress
and welfare. Every need of the child is meticulously taken care of with 
great attention to detail. The mother does not hesitate even for
a moment to even put her life at risk in order to avert danger to
her child. This unmitigated, spontaneous flow of love is called
Vatsalya. The term Vatsa means calf. A cow which has just given birth
to a calf is called Dhenu. The bonding between the Dhenu and Vatsa
is denoted by Vatsalya. In the Sri Stuthi, Swami Desikan extols
the Vatsalyam of Thayar as "Grama SeemAntha RekhAm", i.e., like a village 
which has no boundaries.

(2)The love between a husband and wife:
This relationship borders on matters of the heart. The Sama Vedam
extols this relationship as "Etat Tava Hrudayam Hrudayam Mama
Etat Mama Hrudayam Hrudayam Tava". The innermost feelings of the
wife's heart are known to her husband and vice versa. It is this
unison which is responsible for a successful marriage.

(3)The relationship between two friends:
This relationship is based on all things common between two people.
Common interests, activites, tastes, companionship, support in times
of distress, and keen interest in each other's well being drive this
relationship.

Bhakti, which forms the bonding between a devotee and the Lord, is
the sum total of the above three relationships.

Sri Krishna Kanumalla made an excellent point on Lord Krishna stealing
butter from the Gopa Stris. The best description of this act is
contained in Swami Desikan's Gopala Vimshati. In particular the salutation 
"Nathasya Nanda BhavanE Navaneeta Natyam" provides testimony to Swami 
Desikan's superb Anubhavam. H.H. Srimad Poundarikapuram Andavan Swami has 
elaborated on this salutation in
considerable depth in the Gopala Vimshati Upanyasam tapes. The set
of 12 tapes is now available. H.H. provided the following explanation
for Lord Krishna stealing the butter.

"In the Vamana Avataram, the Lord approached Mahabali who was an
emperor as a Brahmin boy. In keeping with his VarNAshrama Dharma
(begging for alms), the Lord begged for three paces of land from
Mahabali. In the Rama Avataram, the Lord took birth as Chakravarthi
Tirumagan. Therefore, he was born to rule. Therefore, he upheld
Kshatriya Dharma in each of his actions. In the Krishna Avataram,
the Lord wanted to demonstrate his easy accessibility (Soulabhyam).
Therefore, he freely mixed and mingled with the common folk of Gokul.
Since, the residents of Gokul were commoners, it was not appropriate
for Him to ask for alms. Since, he was not their king he could not
demand the butter of them. However, He is the emperor of the entire
universe and is the ruler of everything sentient and insentient
therein. Hence, it was merely a matter of exercising his right
as SarvEshwaran. Therefore, he stole the butter as well as the hearts
of the Gopa Stris!"

Namo Narayana,

SriMuralidhara Dasan


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