Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 23 Jun 2022


Bhakti Yoga Prakaranam (Topic of Spiritual Devotion)

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1) Bhakti Jñāna kriyā dṛṣṭāḥ, madhurāśana rāgajāt |
Jñānāt pāka kriyā tadvat, Bhagavad viṣaye kramaḥ ||

[“Let us say you tasted a special sweet in a function, which attracted you a lot. Later on, you enquired about its composition materials and way of preparation and this enquiry is knowledge (Jñāna yoga). Now, you implement the procedure of its preparation after procuring its composing materials. The first enquiry is Jnaana Yoga and procuring of materials and the preparation work is Karma Yoga. Where is the middle Bhakti Yoga? Bhakti Yoga existed even before Jnaana Yoga, which was the attraction to the sweet eaten in a function. Then, you shall say Bhakti, Jnaana and Karma Yogas in sequence! Similarly, we saw a family being benefited by the worship of God and this is our initial attraction or Bhakti. Then, we enquired about God and the way to please Him so that we are also benefited by following the same procedure”. This is the objection raised by the opponent.]


2) Svārtha bhoge saduktiste, kanyāpīcchenna mūlyavit |
Bhava jñāna videtasmāt, bhaktiḥ pratiphalaṃ vinā ||

[The opponent is perfectly correct in one angle, which is that the Bhakti proposed by him is not pure devotion since it is only pleasure of selfish senses and it can’t be given as a simile for pure selfless devotion. God can’t be compared to an inert sweet to be enjoyed. Such attraction for the purpose of selfish enjoyment only, is not liked even by a girl to be married. Then, what about God, who is the purest and greatest of all items of creation? Hence, the true character of God is to be studied well through the spiritual knowledge in the first step to estimate the value of God at least to some extent. Even angels and sages are running to get a drop of grace of God in their lifetimes. The devotion shall be purest to achieve the purest God and purest devotion is defined as absence of aspiration of any fruit in return from God.]


3) Kriyā bhāvasya tasyecchā, tyāga stasya parīkṣaṇam |
Gūḍhā pratiphalāpekṣā, sarvajñasya dṛśaṃ viśet ||

[Practice is the test for theory. Sacrifice of fruit is the test for practice. Hence, service is the test for theoretical love and sacrifice of fruit of work is the test for service. But, how to know whether aspiration for fruit in return exists or not because such aspiration is always in one’s mind. A son may serve his father and also may spend his earnings on his father, but, how to know whether the son is doing service and sacrifice without aspiring for the property of the father? Such aspiration for property can be always in hidden state and the human father with limited knowledge may not detect the hidden intention of the son. This is true in the matters of the world but is not true in the case of the omniscient God because nothing can escape His eye. Therefore, in the case of God, hiding anything in one’s mind is utter foolishness.]


4) Sādhya sādhana rūpe dve, sādhyāyāmeva niṣṭhitam |
Nātra pratiphalāpekṣā, kasyacit bahu janmasu ||

[There are two types of devotion:- 1) Saadhya Bhakti or Goal devotion. In this, God is the ultimate goal and there is nothing else that is to be obtained with the grace of God. 2) Saadhana Bhakti or instrumental devotion. In this, some worldly benefit is the ultimate goal and God is used as an instrument to achieve that goal. We are dealing with the first type of devotion only because our interest is only in God and in nothing else. When nothing else is in our mind, there will be total absence of aspiration for any fruit in return from God. This type of devotion comes only to one in millions and that too after million births as said in the Gita (Kaścinmāṃ vetti…, Bahūnāṃ Janmanāmante)!]


October 10, 2023 (New verse no.5 is added)

5) Bandhapremādhikaṃ mohaḥ, pravṛttau dharmabhaṅgakṛt |
Nivṛttau tu na binduśca, jalanālī tu nāmakaḥ ||

[Fascination or moha is the excess of love of a worldly bond, which is more than its normal value. If the value of a worldly bond is 100 units and if your love is 120 units, the extra 20 units is called fascination, and the normal 100 units are called as justified love. In worldly life or pravrutti, fascination will lead to sin like corruption, which is  injustice done by the soul for the sake of worldly bonds. Parents earn doing sins also for the sake of their children even though they have already earned that is sufficient for ten generations! Hence, in worldly life, the excess of love shall be reduced so that the soul will not do injustice to other souls. This is voting for justice against injustice in worldly life. In Nivrutti or spiritual life, the devotee has to vote for God even against justice. This means that there should be no drop of water-love in any worldly bond-water tube. All the love-water is only in the bond-water tube with God. In such a case of Nivrutti, the latent bond-tube only exists without even a drop of water-love in it so that all the love or devotion is only towards God (Ekabhaktiḥ…- Gita). The existence of the worldly bond without a drop of love in it shall be considered as the complete absence of the worldly bond. Such existence of worldly bond in the view of public is not to be considered at all since it is only a namesake bond. This means that it is not the point of one possessing externally the worldly bonds, but, it is the point of the flowing material (love and fascination) internally. Hence, we shall not judge a person liberated from worldly bonds by seeing whether such a person is in association with worldly bonds or not.]


6) Apatya prema dṛṣṭaṃ sat, nānyatrācala uddhṛtaḥ |
Tadaṅgīkriyatāṃ satyam, tatraiva daiva manyagam ||

[You can’t say that the goal devotion is impossible in the world. This is not true because it is seen in the case of issues (Issue devotion). You know that a specific child is your issue (Jñāna Yoga), you shower all your mental love on that child (Bhakti yoga), you serve the child in all the ways (Karma saṃnyāsa) and you write a will transferring all your earnings to that child (karmaphala tyāga). The most important point here is that this is goal devotion and not instrumental devotion because even if the child does not attend to you in your old age, you are not changing the will! You are exhibiting the purest goal devotion in the context of issues and are saying that this is impossible in the world! If it is impossible, it must be impossible everywhere! You are lifting a hill in Delhi, but, in other places you are saying that it is impossible to lift the hill! Therefore, you have to accept that your true love is on your issues and not on God and based on this truth, you are unable to show at least issue devotion to God! Hence, your true love is shown only on issues and not in any other place including God!]


7) Aśuddhā pradhamā śuddhā, parā sādhana sādhyataḥ |
Veśyā vaiśya dvayā tvādyā, parā prathamato varā ||

[Hence, the impure instrumental devotion is seen in worldly life or Pravrutti only. The purest goal devotion can be seen only in the case of spiritual life. The devotion in the worldly life is impure and false since God is not at all involved in the goal. The purest devotion in spiritual life involves only God as the goal and nothing else. Poets and female dancers can cheat a king showing purest love in poems and songs respectively since the king is not omniscient. But no soul can cheat the omniscient God. Therefore, all sorts of worldly tricks must close before God. The instrumental devotion is of two types:- 1) Prostitution devotion (Veśyā bhakti) in which the devotee praises God through poems and songs with tears and weeping asking finally for materialistic benefits. 2) Business devotion (Vaiśya Bhakti, which is better than the former) in which practical service and practical sacrifice of fruit of work is done to God for the sake of practical materialistic benefits. Even though this devotion looks somewhat ethical than the above mentioned prostitution devotion, even this type of devotion is not goal devotion, but, a better form of instrumental devotion only.]


8) Jñāna dīpaṃ vinā bhaktiḥ, kriyā tyājyā bhavākṣimān |
Anyathā gṛhyase duṣṭaiḥ, viśvāso jñāna tejasaḥ ||

[The truth becomes clear only on sharp logical analysis and without analysing the truth, people are running one after the other like a group of sheep. The soul can have the nature of sheep but, the omniscient God can never have the blind tradition of following the world without analysis. Since you are dealing with God only and not with sheep like souls, you must flash your torchlight like intelligence in every step because the next step may fall in a big down hole leading you to the bottom-most plane. You must not be influenced by the blind traditions of society and sweet advises of wrong preachers. You must believe everything through your sharp logical analysis, for which, you may take the help of your good friends. You must not believe anything unless it is bathed in knowledge-fire. Then only, the true theoretical and practical devotion can be seen clearly. Devotion must not be simply emotional blindness, but must be brightened by the light of the knowledge at the basic atomic level. Otherwise, in the name of devotion, service and sacrifice, there are hundreds of wolves and tigers at every step to eat you! We must always conclude that divine knowledge, divine love, divine service and divine sacrifice can’t be isolated from each other.]


9) Trayo 'pyekaḥ dvayaṃ caikam, gītaṃ bhaktyā para dvayam |
Sādhyā tyājyā parāśleṣāt, payo viṣaprushanmayam ||

[Both knowledge (Sāṃkhya) and practice (Yoga) are said to be one only by Krishna denying them as two different paths (Ekaṃ sāṃkhyaṃ ca yogaṃ ca… - Gita). Similarly, several ignorant people think that Jnaana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga are totally different and independent paths and quarrel that their path alone leads to God. Love or devotion means the same eternal attraction towards the divine personality of God. This love to God makes you to know more and more details of God from the Sadguru (Jñāna yoga) by which the love grows more and more. The same love to God makes you to serve God and sacrifice to God (Karma yoga). This love to God is called Bhakti Yoga. If this love is only to God and to nothing else, such love is called Ananya Bhakti and God directly stated that He can be captured by such goal devotion (Bhaktyā tvananyayā… - Gita) only. If the goal devotion is polluted by instrumental devotion, the entire goal devotion becomes rejected like a pot of milk mixed with a drop of poison.]


10) Veśyā Vaiśya suta prema—dṛṣṭāntā ccaramaṃ śrutam |
Unmatta prema loke'sti, Gopikā yannirūpitāḥ ||

[God has shown standing examples in this world for His concepts of devotion. For the impure types of Pravrutti devotion, prostitution devotion and business devotion are shown. For goal devotion, the issue devotion is shown. For the climax unimaginable spiritual devotion of the Gopikas etc., a fan of a political hero or a cinema hero is shown. This fan spends his own money for the functions of the hero without getting any benefit from the hero and finally commits suicide on hearing about the death of the hero. This unimaginable practical example stands for the concept of unimaginable climax madness of love to God as we see in the case of the Gopikas. Madness is said to be the last but one step and the last step is said to be death only (Unmādo maraṇaṃ tataḥ).]


Chapter-1: Matāntarīkaraṇa Prakaraṇam

Chapter-2: Parabrahma Prakaraṇam

Chapter-3: Māyā Śakti Prakaraṇam

Chapter-4: Īśvara Prakaraṇam

Chapter-5: Avatāra Prakaraṇam

Chapter-6: Ākāśa Tejaḥ Prakaraṇam

Chapter-7: Vibhūti Prakaraṇam

Chapter-8: Sṛṣṭilakṣya Prakaraṇam

Chapter-9: Jagat Sṛṣṭi Prakaraṇam

Chapter-10: Jīvātma Tattva Prakaraṇam

Chapter-11: Matasamanvaya Prakaraṇam

Chapter-12: Yoga Vicāra Prakaraṇam

Chapter-13: Mokṣa Vimarśa Prakaraṇam

Chapter-14: Jñāna Yoga Prakaraṇam

Chapter-15: Bhakti Yoga Prakaraṇam

Chapter-16: Karma Yoga Prakaraṇam

Chapter-17: Pravṛtti Nivṛtti Prakaraṇam

Chapter-18: Dharmādharma Prakaraṇam

Chapter-19: Varṇa Vyavasthā Prakaraṇam

Chapter-20: Upanayana Gayatrī Prakaraṇam

Chapter-21: Yajñahoma Prakaraṇam

Chapter-22: Upadeśa Prakaraṇam