Definition of Bhakti


By
Swami Vivekananda
 


Bhakti-Yoga is a real, genuine search after the Lord, a search beginning, continuing, and ending in love. One single moment of the madness of extreme love to God brings us eternal freedom, "Bhakti", says Narada in his explanation of the Bhakti-aphorisms, "is intense love to God"; "When a man gets it, he loves all, hates none; he becomes satisfied for ever"; "This love cannot be reduced to any earthly benefit", because so long as worldly desires last, that kind of love downs not come; "Bhakti is greater than Karma, greater than Yoga, because these are intended for an object in view, while Bhakti is its own fruition, its own means and its own end".

Bhakti has been the one constant theme of our sages. Apart from the special writers on Bhakti, such as Shandilya or Narada, the great commentators on the Vyasa-Sutras, evidently advocates of knowledge (Jnana) have also something very suggestive to say above love. Even when the commentator is anxious to explain many, if not all, of the texts so as to make them import a sort of dry knowledge, the Sutras, in the chapter on worship especially, do not lend themseleves to be easily manipulated in the fashion.

These not really so much difference between knowledge (Jhana) and love (Bhakti) as people sometimes images. We shall see, as we go on, that in the end they converge and meet at the same point. So also is it with Raja-Yoga, which when pursued as a means to attain liberation, and not (as unfortunately it frequently becomes in the hands of charlatans and mystery-mongers) as an instrument to hoodwink the unwary, leads us also to the Same goal

[Source: The Complete Works of Swamy Vivekananda Vol.III]
[Excellent Living - Vol.22 No.7 - July 2008]
 

                                                                  IndianFaculty.com : 15/02/2010                                                                 

 

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