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re:bhakthi and bhakthaas

From: L&T-ECCG-Buildings & Factories (BAF-ECC_at_eccm.co.in)
Date: Fri Jan 28 2000 - 01:22:39 PST

Dear Sri vaishnava perunthagaiyeer,

Sri Sampath kumar, Sri Krishna kanumalla and Sri Murlidhar Rangaswamy have
shared their thoughts on this topic of Bhakti and bhakthaas. Here is my
points worth two paise (in India we do not have cents please). 

What is bakthi? - The realisation of divinity through devotion to a personal
God and intense loving that personal God (ishta devathai) is bhakthi. To
look at another angle, it is an enduring state of mind and abiding state of
mind that dedicates all the activities in the Lord (ishta devathai). 

To look at one more angle, I get attached to my ishta devathai (may be
NaaraayaNan or others). Through this act of getting attached, I get a
companionship in all my acts, a shoulder or bench to unload, when it is felt
heavy, and take rest. A sense of satisfaction develops, that He is always
there with me, shows me the correct path, leads me, takes care of me, helps
me in all my endeavor and what not. I serve him and he guides me. So a love
and mutuality is attained in each and every act and aspect. As the
attachment gets stronger and stronger, the satisfaction grows in every act
done and that is bhakthi.

To look at what is bakthi from another angle, it is the love towards the
object of bakthi. The real meaning of this bakthi is not fully understood
even by the so called realised. So, there is always a little wonder, a
little more pudumai, a little more naveenam. Also at the unexpected moment,
bhakthi shows the real substance of faith in a flash, called realisation and
then suddenly disappears. This disappearance creates much more eagerness to
do the bhakthi in greater proportion and with more rigour, at times leading
to a disappointment (really?) but leaving a taste of that flashy realisation
(ruchi) -thus giving an unending quest towards the object of bakthi -the
shraddha to do bakthi - the subtle touch of this shradhdha developes
(negizhchchi).This leads to the reverence for life, and that is bakthi. 

The net effect is a sense of relaxed attitude to outer worldly life and an
inner intense life for and as a baktha. 

Man is bound to have emotions as long as he exists in this world. Hence
bhakthi is fully dependent on his emotions levels of the emotions and
attachment to his personal God. It is not bhakthi if it is mixed with a
desire to have this object that wealth that particular girl as wife or some
other. That is neither a barter- I give you this you give me that. 

It is not bhakthi if the man worships becomes a devotee of a personal god
with the desire of being saved from the tortures of hell or the greediness
of attaining mOksha for himself. 

Bhakthi is "let me born again and again any number of times I don't care,
because I am engaged in your service Oh Lord".

Sri Muralidhar Rangaswami has covered three types of bhakthi. But I read
somewhere there are 5 types.
1.	Shantha bhakthi- 
2.	Dhaasya bhakthi
3.	Sakhya bhakthi
4.	Vaathsalya bhakthi
5.	Madhura bhakthi

1. Shantha bhakthi- When a man worships God with the fire of love in him,
but without the madness in his brain, when his love is just and calm, a
little higher than mere forms ceremonies and symbols but not charecterised
by the madness of intensely active love it is shatha bhakthi. Best example
is Bhishma.

2. Dhaasya bhakthi- When a man thinks he is the true servant of the Lord-
then that kind of bhakthi is Dhaasya bhakthi. The relationship is between
the master and a faithful servant. This is the type advocated by our
aachaaryaas. That is why we have names... dhaasan.

Other three are very nicely dealt by Murali. I will add only examples-
sakhya bhakthi- kuchEla and krishna. Vaathsalya bhakthi- periyaazhvaar,
subramaniya bharathi (of course I am not equating both, but names only).
Madhura bhakthi- gopees and krishna.

On the emotion aspect, I have the following to add. The vehement stirring up
of the feelings, and or emotions result in the acts of singing dancing
flowing of tears from eyes head reeling as though under intoxication. These
are all good. As the mass of feeling is aroused so also it recedes. The
higher the waves the lower it falls and with equal force. It is difficult at
that stage to stand up against the shock of reaction. So proper
discrimination has to be applied in every stage to avoid succumbing to lower
propensities of lust.

There is bhakthi in every body, only a veil of lust covers it. As soon as
this is removed it will manifest itself. Bhakthi's great disadvantage is it
degenerates into hideous fanaticism. Bhakthi tempered with jnana- proper
discrimination- without caring for results- "What if, if I go to hell while
doing bhakthi and working on good for others" should be the correct attitude
for a true bhakthaa. That is better than winning heaven only for self.

Dasan 

Vasudevan M.G.