classes ::: Love, God, Yoga,
children ::: Bhakti Yoga (quotes)
branches ::: Bhakti

bookmarks: Instances - Definitions - Quotes - Chapters - Wordnet - Webgen


object:Bhakti
object:Bhakti Yoga
class:Love
class:God
subject class:Yoga

see also :::

questions, comments, suggestions/feedback, take-down requests, contribute, etc
contact me @ integralyogin@gmail.com or
join the integral discord server (chatrooms)
if the page you visited was empty, it may be noted and I will try to fill it out. cheers



now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [11] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
Bhakta
Bhakta
Bhakti_Yoga_(quotes)
Name_of_the_Beloved
Names_of_God
Songs_of_God
Statue
the_Beloved
the_Divine_Game
the_Divine_Love
the_Divine_Play
the_object_of_adoration
SEE ALSO


AUTH
Hafiz
Hazrat_Inayat_Khan
Ramprasad

BOOKS
Amrita_Gita
Bhakti-Yoga
Essays_Divine_And_Human
Guru_Bhakti_Yoga
Letters_On_Yoga
Letters_On_Yoga_II
On_Thoughts_And_Aphorisms
Savitri
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(toc)
Self_Knowledge
The_Integral_Yoga
The_Synthesis_Of_Yoga
Toward_the_Future

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.03_-_Spiritual_Realisation,_The_aim_of_Bhakti-Yoga
1.05_-_Bhakti_Yoga
1.kbr_-_The_bhakti_path...
1.kbr_-_The_bhakti_path_winds_in_a_delicate_way
2.03_-_The_Naturalness_of_Bhakti-Yoga_and_its_Central_Secret
2.1.02_-_Combining_Work,_Meditation_and_Bhakti
2.4.02_-_Bhakti,_Devotion,_Worship
3.2.08_-_Bhakti_Yoga_and_Vaishnavism
4.3_-_Bhakti

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME
1.01_-_Prayer
1.02_-_The_Philosophy_of_Ishvara
1.03_-_Spiritual_Realisation,_The_aim_of_Bhakti-Yoga
1.04_-_The_Need_of_Guru
1.05_-_Qualifications_of_the_Aspirant_and_the_Teacher
1.06_-_Incarnate_Teachers_and_Incarnation
1.07_-_The_Mantra_-_OM_-_Word_and_Wisdom
1.08_-_Worship_of_Substitutes_and_Images
1.09_-_The_Chosen_Ideal
1.10_-_The_Methods_and_the_Means
2.01_-_The_Preparatory_Renunciation
2.02_-_The_Bhakta.s_Renunciation_results_from_Love
2.03_-_The_Naturalness_of_Bhakti-Yoga_and_its_Central_Secret
2.04_-_The_Forms_of_Love-Manifestation
2.05_-_Universal_Love_and_how_it_leads_to_Self-Surrender
2.06_-_The_Higher_Knowledge_and_the_Higher_Love_are_one_to_the_true_Lover
2.07_-_The_Triangle_of_Love
2.08_-_The_God_of_Love_is_his_own_proof
2.09_-_Human_representations_of_the_Divine_Ideal_of_Love
2.10_-_Conclusion

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.00_-_INTRODUCTION
0.00_-_THE_GOSPEL_PREFACE
0.04_-_The_Systems_of_Yoga
01.08_-_A_Theory_of_Yoga
01.10_-_Principle_and_Personality
0_1958-07-02
0_1961-08-02
0_1962-06-30
0_1962-07-21
0_1970-06-17
04.01_-_The_March_of_Civilisation
1.01_-_Prayer
1.028_-_Bringing_About_Whole-Souled_Dedication
1.02_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES
1.02_-_The_Philosophy_of_Ishvara
1.02_-_The_Recovery
1.032_-_Our_Concept_of_God
1.03_-_Meeting_the_Master_-_Meeting_with_others
1.03_-_Spiritual_Realisation,_The_aim_of_Bhakti-Yoga
1.040_-_Re-Educating_the_Mind
1.04_-_ADVICE_TO_HOUSEHOLDERS
1.04_-_The_Core_of_the_Teaching
1.04_-_The_Need_of_Guru
1.04_-_The_Sacrifice_the_Triune_Path_and_the_Lord_of_the_Sacrifice
1.05_-_Bhakti_Yoga
1.05_-_Qualifications_of_the_Aspirant_and_the_Teacher
1.05_-_THE_MASTER_AND_KESHAB
1.06_-_Incarnate_Teachers_and_Incarnation
1.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
1.07_-_The_Mantra_-_OM_-_Word_and_Wisdom
1.07_-_THE_MASTER_AND_VIJAY_GOSWAMI
1.08_-_Adhyatma_Yoga
1.08_-_Attendants
1.08_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY_CELEBRATION_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.08_-_Worship_of_Substitutes_and_Images
1.09_-_ADVICE_TO_THE_BRAHMOS
1.09_-_The_Chosen_Ideal
1.1.01_-_Seeking_the_Divine
1.1.02_-_The_Aim_of_the_Integral_Yoga
1.10_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES_(II)
1.10_-_The_Methods_and_the_Means
1.1.1_-_The_Mind_and_Other_Levels_of_Being
1.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINEWAR
1.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI
1.13_-_THE_MASTER_AND_M.
1.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
1.1.4_-_The_Physical_Mind_and_Sadhana
1.16_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.17_-_God
1.17_-_M._AT_DAKSHINEWAR
1.18_-_M._AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.200-1.224_Talks
1.2.01_-_The_Call_and_the_Capacity
1.2.07_-_Surrender
1.2.08_-_Faith
1.21_-_A_DAY_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.22_-_ADVICE_TO_AN_ACTOR
1.23_-_FESTIVAL_AT_SURENDRAS_HOUSE
1.240_-_1.300_Talks
1.240_-_Talks_2
1.24_-_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.25_-_ADVICE_TO_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.26_-_FESTIVAL_AT_ADHARS_HOUSE
1.27_-_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.300_-_1.400_Talks
1.3.02_-_Equality__The_Chief_Support
1.400_-_1.450_Talks
1.4.01_-_The_Divine_Grace_and_Guidance
1.4.03_-_The_Guru
1.439
1.450_-_1.500_Talks
1.550_-_1.600_Talks
1.83_-_Epistola_Ultima
1954-06-16_-_Influences,_Divine_and_other_-_Adverse_forces_-_The_four_great_Asuras_-_Aspiration_arranges_circumstances_-_Wanting_only_the_Divine
1958_10_03
1.kbr_-_The_bhakti_path...
1.kbr_-_The_bhakti_path_winds_in_a_delicate_way
2.01_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE
2.01_-_On_Books
2.01_-_The_Preparatory_Renunciation
2.01_-_The_Two_Natures
2.01_-_The_Yoga_and_Its_Objects
2.02_-_On_Letters
2.02_-_The_Bhakta.s_Renunciation_results_from_Love
2.02_-_THE_DURGA_PUJA_FESTIVAL
2.02_-_The_Ishavasyopanishad_with_a_commentary_in_English
2.02_-_The_Synthesis_of_Devotion_and_Knowledge
2.03_-_Karmayogin__A_Commentary_on_the_Isha_Upanishad
2.03_-_THE_MASTER_IN_VARIOUS_MOODS
2.03_-_The_Naturalness_of_Bhakti-Yoga_and_its_Central_Secret
2.03_-_The_Supreme_Divine
2.04_-_ADVICE_TO_ISHAN
2.04_-_The_Forms_of_Love-Manifestation
2.04_-_The_Secret_of_Secrets
2.05_-_On_Poetry
2.05_-_Universal_Love_and_how_it_leads_to_Self-Surrender
2.05_-_VISIT_TO_THE_SINTHI_BRAMO_SAMAJ
2.06_-_On_Beauty
2.06_-_The_Higher_Knowledge_and_the_Higher_Love_are_one_to_the_true_Lover
2.06_-_WITH_VARIOUS_DEVOTEES
2.06_-_Works_Devotion_and_Knowledge
2.07_-_The_Supreme_Word_of_the_Gita
2.07_-_The_Triangle_of_Love
2.08_-_ALICE_IN_WONDERLAND
2.08_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE_(II)
2.08_-_The_God_of_Love_is_his_own_proof
2.09_-_Human_representations_of_the_Divine_Ideal_of_Love
2.09_-_On_Sadhana
2.09_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY
2.1.01_-_The_Central_Process_of_the_Sadhana
2.1.02_-_Combining_Work,_Meditation_and_Bhakti
2.10_-_Conclusion
2.10_-_THE_MASTER_AND_NARENDRA
2.1.1_-_The_Nature_of_the_Vital
2.11_-_The_Vision_of_the_World-Spirit_-_The_Double_Aspect
2.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_IN_CALCUTTA
2.12_-_THE_MASTERS_REMINISCENCES
2.1.2_-_The_Vital_and_Other_Levels_of_Being
2.12_-_The_Way_and_the_Bhakta
2.13_-_On_Psychology
2.13_-_THE_MASTER_AT_THE_HOUSES_OF_BALARM_AND_GIRISH
2.14_-_AT_RAMS_HOUSE
2.14_-_On_Movements
2.1.5.4_-_Arts
2.15_-_CAR_FESTIVAL_AT_BALARMS_HOUSE
2.16_-_VISIT_TO_NANDA_BOSES_HOUSE
2.17_-_December_1938
2.17_-_THE_MASTER_ON_HIMSELF_AND_HIS_EXPERIENCES
2.18_-_January_1939
2.18_-_SRI_RAMAKRISHNA_AT_SYAMPUKUR
2.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_DR._SARKAR
2.2.01_-_The_Outer_Being_and_the_Inner_Being
2.2.01_-_Work_and_Yoga
2.2.02_-_Becoming_Conscious_in_Work
2.2.03_-_The_Psychic_Being
2.20_-_THE_MASTERS_TRAINING_OF_HIS_DISCIPLES
2.21_-_1940
2.21_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES_AT_SYAMPUKUR
2.21_-_Towards_the_Supreme_Secret
2.2.2_-_Sorrow_and_Suffering
2.22_-_THE_MASTER_AT_COSSIPORE
2.22_-_The_Supreme_Secret
2.2.3_-_Depression_and_Despondency
2.23_-_THE_MASTER_AND_BUDDHA
2.25_-_AFTER_THE_PASSING_AWAY
2.25_-_List_of_Topics_in_Each_Talk
2.3.01_-_Concentration_and_Meditation
2.3.02_-_Mantra_and_Japa
2.3.02_-_Opening,_Sincerity_and_the_Mother's_Grace
2.3.04_-_The_Mother's_Force
2.3.05_-_Sadhana_through_Work_for_the_Mother
2.3.07_-_The_Mother_in_Visions,_Dreams_and_Experiences
2.3.1_-_Ego_and_Its_Forms
2.3.2_-_Desire
2.4.01_-_Divine_Love,_Psychic_Love_and_Human_Love
2.4.02.08_-_Contact_with_the_Divine
2.4.02.09_-_Contact_and_Union_with_the_Divine
2.4.02_-_Bhakti,_Devotion,_Worship
2.4.1_-_Human_Relations_and_the_Spiritual_Life
3.01_-_Love_and_the_Triple_Path
3.02_-_The_Motives_of_Devotion
3.03_-_The_Godward_Emotions
3.04_-_The_Way_of_Devotion
3.06_-_The_Delight_of_the_Divine
3.08_-_The_Mystery_of_Love
3.1.01_-_Distinctive_Features_of_the_Integral_Yoga
3.1.02_-_Asceticism_and_the_Integral_Yoga
3.1.02_-_Spiritual_Evolution_and_the_Supramental
3.1.04_-_Transformation_in_the_Integral_Yoga
31_Hymns_to_the_Star_Goddess
3.2.01_-_The_Newness_of_the_Integral_Yoga
3.2.02_-_The_Veda_and_the_Upanishads
3.2.03_-_Jainism_and_Buddhism
3.2.05_-_The_Yoga_of_the_Bhagavad_Gita
3.2.06_-_The_Adwaita_of_Shankaracharya
3.2.08_-_Bhakti_Yoga_and_Vaishnavism
3.2.4_-_Sex
33.18_-_I_Bow_to_the_Mother
3.4.1.01_-_Poetry_and_Sadhana
3.4.2_-_The_Inconscient_and_the_Integral_Yoga
3.6.01_-_Heraclitus
3_-_Commentaries_and_Annotated_Translations
4.04_-_The_Perfection_of_the_Mental_Being
4.1.01_-_The_Intellect_and_Yoga
4.1.1.04_-_Foundations_of_the_Sadhana
4.1.1.05_-_The_Central_Process_of_the_Yoga
4.1.1_-_The_Difficulties_of_Yoga
4.12_-_The_Way_of_Equality
4.20_-_The_Intuitive_Mind
4.2.1.02_-_The_Role_of_the_Psychic_in_Sadhana
4.2.1_-_The_Right_Attitude_towards_Difficulties
4.2.2.01_-_The_Meaning_of_Psychic_Opening
4.2.2.02_-_Conditions_for_the_Psychic_Opening
4.2.2.05_-_Opening_and_Coming_in_Front
4.2.2_-_Steps_towards_Overcoming_Difficulties
4.2.3.02_-_Signs_of_the_Psychic's_Coming_Forward
4.2.3.03_-_The_Psychic_and_the_Relation_with_the_Divine
4.2.3.04_-_Means_of_Bringing_Forward_the_Psychic
4.2.4.06_-_Agni_and_the_Psychic_Fire
4.2.4.09_-_Psychic_Tears_or_Weeping
4.2.4_-_Time_and_CHange_of_the_Nature
4.2.5.01_-_Psychisation_and_Spiritualisation
4.26_-_The_Supramental_Time_Consciousness
4.3.2.02_-_Breaking_into_the_Spiritual_Consciousness
4.3.2_-_Attacks_by_the_Hostile_Forces
4.3_-_Bhakti
4.4.4.02_-_Peace,_Calm,_Quiet_as_a_Basis_for_the_Descent
5.1.02_-_The_Gods
9.99_-_Glossary
APPENDIX_I_-_Curriculum_of_A._A.
Guru_Granth_Sahib_first_part
Liber_111_-_The_Book_of_Wisdom_-_LIBER_ALEPH_VEL_CXI
r1914_05_07
r1914_08_16
r1914_11_20
r1915_01_10
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
SB_1.1_-_Questions_by_the_Sages
Talks_026-050
Talks_051-075
Talks_076-099
Talks_125-150
Talks_151-175
Talks_176-200
Talks_500-550
Talks_600-652
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2
The_Coming_Race_Contents

PRIMARY CLASS

Bhakti_Yoga
God
Love
quotes
SIMILAR TITLES
Bhakti
Bhakti-Yoga
Bhakti Yoga (quotes)
Guru Bhakti Yoga

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

Bhakti: Devotion; love (of God).

Bhakti (.Devotion) ::: Obedience is the sign of the servant, but that is the lowest stage of this relation, dasya. Afterwards we do not obey, but move to his will as the string replies to the finger of the musician. To be the instrument is this higher stage of self-surrender and submission. But this is the living and loving instrument and it ends in the whole nature of our being becoming the slave of God, rejoicing in his possession and its own blissful subjection to the divine grasp and mastery. With a passionate delight it does all he wills it to do without questioning and bears all he would have it bear, because what it bears is the burden of the beloved being.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 23-24, Page: 603


Bhakti-marga: Sanskrit for path of devotion. The approach to spiritual perfection through loving devotion to God. (See: Bhakti yoga.)

Bhakti-marga: The path of devotion to attain divinity.

Bhakti (Sanskrit) Bhakti [from the verbal root bhaj to divide, share, serve, love] As a noun, devotion or affectionate attachment; also one of the paths (margas) followed by the disciple or student, which might be translated as liberation by faith or love.

Bhakti: Sanskrit for devotion. Worship, faith, religious devotion as a way of spiritual attainment.

Bhakti (S) Devotion, reverence

Bhakti: (Skr. division, share) Fervent, loving devotion to the object of contemplation or the divine being itself, the almost universally recognized feeling approach to the highest reality, in contrast to vidya (s.v.) or jnana (s.v.), sanctioned by Indian philosophy and productive of a voluminous literature in which the names of Ramamanda, Vallabha, Nanak, Caitanya, and Tulsi Das are outstanding. It is distinguished as apara (lower) and para (higher) bhakti, the former theistic piety, the latter philosophic meditation on the unmanifest brahman (cf. avyakta). -- K.F.L.

Bhakti Yoga(Sanskrit) ::: A word derived from the verbal root bhaj. In connection with yoga and as being one of therecognized forms of it, the general signification of bhakti yoga is devotion, affectionate attachment. (Seealso Yoga)

Bhakti Yoga (Sanskrit) Bhakti Yoga [from bhakti devotion + yoga union from the verbal root yuj to join] The form of yoga practice of attaining at-one-ment or union with the spiritual-divine essence within by means of devotion, faith, and love.

Bhakti yoga: The Yoga of love, the quest of union with the Divine Spirit through the bhakti-marga, the harmonization of the love nature of man with his prescribed destiny, which is to manifest, in all its purity, the Divine Love of the Creator under its three-fold aspect of life-giver, preserver and upholder. Man is conceived as ultimately reaching the divine union of mystic love by uniting his love nature with that portion of the divine aspect of love and cohesion which is giving him life. The three degrees of Bhakti Yoga are: Bhaya bhakti, ananaya bhakti, and yekanta bhakti (q.v.).

Bhakti-yogi: One who strives to attain union with God through the prescribed spiritual discipline of the path of devotion.

bhakti. ::: adoration; divine love; true devotion to absolute Reality, where the devotee focuses so much that he and the Reality become one

bhakti ::: attachment, trust; homage, devotion, worship.

bhakti ::: devotion, "love and adoration and the soul"s desire of the Highest".

bhakti ::: love for the Divine, devotion to the Divine.

bhaktiman me priyah ::: the God-lover (the one who has love of Me) is dear to Me. [Gita 12.17]

bhaktimarga ::: [the path of bhakti].

bhakti rasa. ::: the joy of bhakti

bhaktivada ::: [the gospel of bhakti].

bhakti yoga. ::: the yoga of devotion chosen primarily by those of an emotional nature; the yoga motivated chiefly by seeing God as the embodiment of love; through prayer, worship and ritual one surrenders to God, channelling and transmuting one's emotions into unconditional love or devotion; one of the four paths of yoga

bhaktiyoga ::: [the yoga of devotion].

bhakti yogi. ::: the one who strives to attain union with God through the path of devotion


TERMS ANYWHERE

3. does not eat after midday (S. khalupascādbhaktika; T. zas phyis mi len pa; C. zhonghou bude yinjiang 中後不得飲漿)

Abheda-bhakti: Highest devotion that has culminated in the identity of the worshipper and the worshipped; devotion without the sense of duality.

agamas. ::: Saiva scriptures that describe the rules and procedures for image worship, which include temple construction, installation and consecration of the deities, methods of performing pujas in the temples, philosophy, recitation of mantras, worship involving figures or yantras and bhakti yoga

ahaituki bhakti ::: [motiveless devotion]; inherent yearning

Ananya Bhakti: Exclusive devotion to any single aspect of the Lord. Just as you see, through Vichara, the one essence (wood) in a chair, table, bench, door, stick, etc., you see Lord Narayana in all forms. This is Ananya Bhakti. When the meditator and the object of meditation become one, it is Ananya Bhakti. When you meditate on Lord Krishna as the Nirguna Brahman of the Upanishad, it is Ananya Bhakti. When the mind keeps up always one image of Lord Siva, to the exclusion of all other images, it is Ananya Bhakti.

Ananya bhakti: In bhakti yoga (q.v.) the cult of the transcendent but objective monotheistic God.

ananya bhakti. ::: whole-hearted devotion

**Angel of the Way *Sri Aurobindo: "Love fulfilled does not exclude knowledge, but itself brings knowledge; and the completer the knowledge, the richer the possibility of love. ‘By Bhakti" says the Lord in the Gita ‘shall a man know Me in all my extent and greatness and as I am in the principles of my being, and when he has known Me in the principles of my being, then he enters into Me." Love without knowledge is a passionate and intense, but blind, crude, often dangerous thing, a great power, but also a stumbling-block; love, limited in knowledge, condemns itself in its fervour and often by its very fervour to narrowness; but love leading to perfect knowledge brings the infinite and absolute union. Such love is not inconsistent with, but rather throws itself with joy into divine works; for it loves God and is one with him in all his being, and therefore in all beings, and to work for the world is then to feel and fulfil multitudinously one"s love for God. This is the trinity of our powers, [work, knowledge, love] the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start on our journey by the path of devotion with Love for the Angel of the Way to find in the ecstasy of the divine delight of the All-Lover"s being the fulfilment of ours, its secure home and blissful abiding-place and the centre of its universal radiation.” The Synthesis of Yoga*

Arundhati-nyaya: The star Arundhati is rarely visible to the naked eye; to point it out, therefore, some very big star near it is shown at first as Arundhati; then it is rejected and a smaller star is pointed out as Arundhati and so on till the actual Arundhati is located. This method of leading from the gross to the more subtle is called Arundhati-nyaya. This method is followed specially in Indian philosophy where in the beginning men are goaded to have faith in the lower form of worship with the help of Agamas and Tantras; then guided to the Bhakti method or the dualistic religion of the Puranas; then, again, to the rigour of the Smritis, and finally, to the non-dual (Advaita) Vedanta of the Upanishads and Ajati-vada. (Compare this with the Bhramara-kita-nyaya which is a direct meditation on the Absolute at one stretch without any such preliminary stages of religion as in the case of the former.)

As a proper name, a reformer of the Vaishnava sect in India (1485-1527), regarded in Bengal as an avatara of Krishna. One of his chief teachings was the duty of bhakti (attachment, devotion, or love) for Krishna so strong that no caste-feeling implying sectarian division could exist with it.

atma bhakti. ::: worship of the Supreme; to focus so intensely on the Supreme that the worshipper becomes the worshiped

avyabhicarini bhakti ::: unswerving devotion. [cf. Gita 13.11]

Bhakti: Devotion; love (of God).

Bhakti (.Devotion) ::: Obedience is the sign of the servant, but that is the lowest stage of this relation, dasya. Afterwards we do not obey, but move to his will as the string replies to the finger of the musician. To be the instrument is this higher stage of self-surrender and submission. But this is the living and loving instrument and it ends in the whole nature of our being becoming the slave of God, rejoicing in his possession and its own blissful subjection to the divine grasp and mastery. With a passionate delight it does all he wills it to do without questioning and bears all he would have it bear, because what it bears is the burden of the beloved being.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 23-24, Page: 603


Bhakti-marga: Sanskrit for path of devotion. The approach to spiritual perfection through loving devotion to God. (See: Bhakti yoga.)

Bhakti-marga: The path of devotion to attain divinity.

Bhakti (Sanskrit) Bhakti [from the verbal root bhaj to divide, share, serve, love] As a noun, devotion or affectionate attachment; also one of the paths (margas) followed by the disciple or student, which might be translated as liberation by faith or love.

Bhakti: Sanskrit for devotion. Worship, faith, religious devotion as a way of spiritual attainment.

Bhakti (S) Devotion, reverence

Bhakti: (Skr. division, share) Fervent, loving devotion to the object of contemplation or the divine being itself, the almost universally recognized feeling approach to the highest reality, in contrast to vidya (s.v.) or jnana (s.v.), sanctioned by Indian philosophy and productive of a voluminous literature in which the names of Ramamanda, Vallabha, Nanak, Caitanya, and Tulsi Das are outstanding. It is distinguished as apara (lower) and para (higher) bhakti, the former theistic piety, the latter philosophic meditation on the unmanifest brahman (cf. avyakta). -- K.F.L.

Bhakti Yoga(Sanskrit) ::: A word derived from the verbal root bhaj. In connection with yoga and as being one of therecognized forms of it, the general signification of bhakti yoga is devotion, affectionate attachment. (Seealso Yoga)

Bhakti Yoga (Sanskrit) Bhakti Yoga [from bhakti devotion + yoga union from the verbal root yuj to join] The form of yoga practice of attaining at-one-ment or union with the spiritual-divine essence within by means of devotion, faith, and love.

Bhakti yoga: The Yoga of love, the quest of union with the Divine Spirit through the bhakti-marga, the harmonization of the love nature of man with his prescribed destiny, which is to manifest, in all its purity, the Divine Love of the Creator under its three-fold aspect of life-giver, preserver and upholder. Man is conceived as ultimately reaching the divine union of mystic love by uniting his love nature with that portion of the divine aspect of love and cohesion which is giving him life. The three degrees of Bhakti Yoga are: Bhaya bhakti, ananaya bhakti, and yekanta bhakti (q.v.).

Bhakti-yogi: One who strives to attain union with God through the prescribed spiritual discipline of the path of devotion.

bhajati ::: adores (Me), has bhakti (for Me). [Gita 15.19]

bhakta. ::: a devotee; a follower of the path of bhakti; one who wants to please the Guru

bhakti. ::: adoration; divine love; true devotion to absolute Reality, where the devotee focuses so much that he and the Reality become one

bhakti ::: attachment, trust; homage, devotion, worship.

bhakti ::: devotion, "love and adoration and the soul"s desire of the Highest".

bhakti ::: love for the Divine, devotion to the Divine.

bhaktiman me priyah ::: the God-lover (the one who has love of Me) is dear to Me. [Gita 12.17]

bhaktimarga ::: [the path of bhakti].

bhakti rasa. ::: the joy of bhakti

bhaktivada ::: [the gospel of bhakti].

bhakti yoga. ::: the yoga of devotion chosen primarily by those of an emotional nature; the yoga motivated chiefly by seeing God as the embodiment of love; through prayer, worship and ritual one surrenders to God, channelling and transmuting one's emotions into unconditional love or devotion; one of the four paths of yoga

bhaktiyoga ::: [the yoga of devotion].

bhakti yogi. ::: the one who strives to attain union with God through the path of devotion

bhaktya mam abhijanati ::: by bhakti he comes to know Me. [Gita 18.55]

Bhaya bhakti: In bhakti yoga (q.v.), the worship of the deity through formulas, images, rites, etc.

Complete surrender can best come by a complete love and bhakti. Bhakti, on the other hand, can begin wnthout surrender, but it naturally leads, as it forms itself, to surrender.

DARSHAN. ::: ScU*revclation of the Deity to the devotee. It is an unveiling of his presence temporary or permanent, and may come as a vision or may come as a close feeling of his presence which is more intimate than sight and a frequent or constant communication with him ; that happens by the deepen- ing of the being into its inner self and growth of consciousness or by growth of the intensity of bhakti. When the crust of external consciousness is sufficiently broken by the pressure of increasing and engrossing bhakti, the contact comes.

DAY AND NIGHT. ::: The up and down movement is com- mon to all ways of yoga. It is there in the path of Bhakti, but there are equally alternations of states of light and states of darkness, sometimes sheer and prolonged darkness, when one follows the path of Knowledge. Those who have occult experi- ences come to periods when all experiences cease and even seem finished for ever.

Devotion ::: Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union.
   Ref: CWSA Vol. 23-24, Page: 549


DEVOTION. ::: Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adora- tion, real bhakti begins ; that deepens into the intensity of divine love ; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine ; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union.

Egocentriclty ::: The main idea in it is always one’s own sadhana, one’s own endeavour, one’s own development, perfec- tion, siddhi. It is inevitable for most, for without that personal endeavour there would not be sufficient will or push to bring about the first necessary changes. But none of these things — development, perfection or siddhi — can really come in any degree of completeness or unmixed finality until this egocentric attitude changes into the God-centric, until it becomes the deve- lopment, perfection, siddhi of the Divine Consciousness, its will and its instrumentarion in this body — and that can only be when these things become secondary, and bhakti for the Divine,

ekabhaktih ::: single devotion. [Gita 7.17]

Eros: (Gr.) 1. Possessive desire or love, commonly erotic. 2. In Platonic thought, the driving force of life aspiring to the absolute Good; hence the motive underlying education, fine art, and philosophy. The connotation of aesthetic fascination, impersonality, and intense desire is retained in Plato's use of the term. Hence Eros is to be distinguished from the Indian Bhakti (selfless devotion), the Buddhist Metta (disinterested benevolence), the Confucian Jen (humanity, charity), and Ai (personal love), and the Christian Agapao (sacrificial, protective brotherly love), and Phileo (personal affection or fondness). -- W.L.

Gaunabhakti: Culture of devotion through rituals as a preliminary course on the path of love or Bhakti.

go together. It is true that at first surrender can be made through knowledge by the mind but it implies a mental bhakti and, as soon as the surrender reaches the heart, the bhalcti manifests as a feeling and with the feeling of bhakti love comes.

HANUMAN. ::: Symbol of complete bhakti,

Hanumdn ::: Complete bhakti.



India. Intimations of advanced theism, both in a deistic and immanentistic form, are to be found in the Rig Veda. The early Upanishads in general teach variously realistic deism, immanent theism, and, more characteristically, mystical, impersonal idealism, according to which the World Ground (brahman) is identified with the universal soul (atman) which is the inner or essential self within each individual person. The Bhagavad Gita, while mixing pantheism, immanent theism, and deism, inclines towards a personahstic idealism and a corresponding ethics of bhakti (selfless devotion). Jainism is atheistic dualism, with a personalistic recognition of the reality of souls. Many of the schools of Buddhism (see Buddhism) teach idealistic doctrines. Thus a monistic immaterialism and subjectivism (the Absolute is pure consciousness) was expounded by Maitreya, Asanga, and Vasubandhu. The Lankavatarasutra combined monistic, immaterialistic idealism with non-absolutistic nihilism. Subjectivistic, phenomenalistic idealism (the view that there is neither absolute Pure Consciousness nor substantial souls) was taught by the Buddhists Santaraksita and Kamalasila. Examples of modern Vedantic idealism are the Yogavasistha (subjective monistic idealism) and the monistic spiritualism of Gaudapada (duality and plurality are illusion). The most influential Vedantic system is the monistic spiritualism of Sankara. The Absolute is pure indeterminate Being, which can only be described as pure consciousness or bliss. For the different Vedantic doctrines see Vedanta and the references there. Vedantic idealism, whether in its monistic and impersonalistic form, or in that of a more personalistic theism, is the dominant type of metaphysics in modern India. Idealism is also pronounced in the reviving doctrines of Shivaism (which see).

INTEGRAL YOGA ::: This yoga accepts the value of cosmic existence and holds it to be a reality; its object is to enter into a higher Truth-Consciousness or Divine Supramental Consciousness in which action and creation are the expression not of ignorance and imperfection, but of the Truth, the Light, the Divine Ānanda. But for that, the surrender of the mortal mind, life and body to the Higher Consciousnessis indispensable, since it is too difficult for the mortal human being to pass by its own effort beyond mind to a Supramental Consciousness in which the dynamism is no longer mental but of quite another power. Only those who can accept the call to such a change should enter into this yoga.

Aim of the Integral Yoga ::: It is not merely to rise out of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness into the divine consciousness, but to bring the supramental power of that divine consciousness down into the ignorance of mind, life and body, to transform them, to manifest the Divine here and create a divine life in Matter.

Conditions of the Integral Yoga ::: This yoga can only be done to the end by those who are in total earnest about it and ready to abolish their little human ego and its demands in order to find themselves in the Divine. It cannot be done in a spirit of levity or laxity; the work is too high and difficult, the adverse powers in the lower Nature too ready to take advantage of the least sanction or the smallest opening, the aspiration and tapasyā needed too constant and intense.

Method in the Integral Yoga ::: To concentrate, preferably in the heart and call the presence and power of the Mother to take up the being and by the workings of her force transform the consciousness. One can concentrate also in the head or between the eye-brows, but for many this is a too difficult opening. When the mind falls quiet and the concentration becomes strong and the aspiration intense, then there is the beginning of experience. The more the faith, the more rapid the result is likely to be. For the rest one must not depend on one’s own efforts only, but succeed in establishing a contact with the Divine and a receptivity to the Mother’s Power and Presence.

Integral method ::: The method we have to pursue is to put our whole conscious being into relation and contact with the Divine and to call Him in to transform Our entire being into His, so that in a sense God Himself, the real Person in us, becomes the sādhaka of the sādhana* as well as the Master of the Yoga by whom the lower personality is used as the centre of a divine transfiguration and the instrument of its own perfection. In effect, the pressure of the Tapas, the force of consciousness in us dwelling in the Idea of the divine Nature upon that which we are in our entirety, produces its own realisation. The divine and all-knowing and all-effecting descends upon the limited and obscure, progressively illumines and energises the whole lower nature and substitutes its own action for all the terms of the inferior human light and mortal activity.

In psychological fact this method translates itself into the progressive surrender of the ego with its whole field and all its apparatus to the Beyond-ego with its vast and incalculable but always inevitable workings. Certainly, this is no short cut or easy sādhana. It requires a colossal faith, an absolute courage and above all an unflinching patience. For it implies three stages of which only the last can be wholly blissful or rapid, - the attempt of the ego to enter into contact with the Divine, the wide, full and therefore laborious preparation of the whole lower Nature by the divine working to receive and become the higher Nature, and the eventual transformation. In fact, however, the divine strength, often unobserved and behind the veil, substitutes itself for the weakness and supports us through all our failings of faith, courage and patience. It” makes the blind to see and the lame to stride over the hills.” The intellect becomes aware of a Law that beneficently insists and a Succour that upholds; the heart speaks of a Master of all things and Friend of man or a universal Mother who upholds through all stumblings. Therefore this path is at once the most difficult imaginable and yet in comparison with the magnitude of its effort and object, the most easy and sure of all.

There are three outstanding features of this action of the higher when it works integrally on the lower nature. In the first place, it does not act according to a fixed system and succession as in the specialised methods of Yoga, but with a sort of free, scattered and yet gradually intensive and purposeful working determined by the temperament of the individual in whom it operates, the helpful materials which his nature offers and the obstacles which it presents to purification and perfection. In a sense, therefore, each man in this path has his own method of Yoga. Yet are there certain broad lines of working common to all which enable us to construct not indeed a routine system, but yet some kind of Shastra or scientific method of the synthetic Yoga.

Secondly, the process, being integral, accepts our nature such as it stands organised by our past evolution and without rejecting anything essential compels all to undergo a divine change. Everything in us is seized by the hands of a mighty Artificer and transformed into a clear image of that which it now seeks confusedly to present. In that ever-progressive experience we begin to perceive how this lower manifestation is constituted and that everything in it, however seemingly deformed or petty or vile, is the more or less distorted or imperfect figure of some elements or action in the harmony of the divine Nature. We begin to understand what the Vedic Rishis meant when they spoke of the human forefathers fashioning the gods as a smith forges the crude material in his smithy.

Thirdly, the divine Power in us uses all life as the means of this integral Yoga. Every experience and outer contact with our world-environment, however trifling or however disastrous, is used for the work, and every inner experience, even to the most repellent suffering or the most humiliating fall, becomes a step on the path to perfection. And we recognise in ourselves with opened eyes the method of God in the world, His purpose of light in the obscure, of might in the weak and fallen, of delight in what is grievous and miserable. We see the divine method to be the same in the lower and in the higher working; only in the one it is pursued tardily and obscurely through the subconscious in Nature, in the other it becomes swift and selfconscious and the instrument confesses the hand of the Master. All life is a Yoga of Nature seeking to manifest God within itself. Yoga marks the stage at which this effort becomes capable of self-awareness and therefore of right completion in the individual. It is a gathering up and concentration of the movements dispersed and loosely combined in the lower evolution.

Key-methods ::: The way to devotion and surrender. It is the psychic movement that brings the constant and pure devotion and the removal of the ego that makes it possible to surrender.

The way to knowledge. Meditation in the head by which there comes the opening above, the quietude or silence of the mind and the descent of peace etc. of the higher consciousness generally till it envelops the being and fills the body and begins to take up all the movements.
Yoga by works ::: Separation of the Purusha from the Prakriti, the inner silent being from the outer active one, so that one has two consciousnesses or a double consciousness, one behind watching and observing and finally controlling and changing the other which is active in front. The other way of beginning the yoga of works is by doing them for the Divine, for the Mother, and not for oneself, consecrating and dedicating them till one concretely feels the Divine Force taking up the activities and doing them for one.

Object of the Integral Yoga is to enter into and be possessed by the Divine Presence and Consciousness, to love the Divine for the Divine’s sake alone, to be tuned in our nature into the nature of the Divine, and in our will and works and life to be the instrument of the Divine.

Principle of the Integral Yoga ::: The whole principle of Integral Yoga is to give oneself entirely to the Divine alone and to nobody else, and to bring down into ourselves by union with the Divine Mother all the transcendent light, power, wideness, peace, purity, truth-consciousness and Ānanda of the Supramental Divine.

Central purpose of the Integral Yoga ::: Transformation of our superficial, narrow and fragmentary human way of thinking, seeing, feeling and being into a deep and wide spiritual consciousness and an integrated inner and outer existence and of our ordinary human living into the divine way of life.

Fundamental realisations of the Integral Yoga ::: The psychic change so that a complete devotion can be the main motive of the heart and the ruler of thought, life and action in constant union with the Mother and in her Presence. The descent of the Peace, Power, Light etc. of the Higher Consciousness through the head and heart into the whole being, occupying the very cells of the body. The perception of the One and Divine infinitely everywhere, the Mother everywhere and living in that infinite consciousness.

Results ::: First, an integral realisation of Divine Being; not only a realisation of the One in its indistinguishable unity, but also in its multitude of aspects which are also necessary to the complete knowledge of it by the relative consciousness; not only realisation of unity in the Self, but of unity in the infinite diversity of activities, worlds and creatures.

Therefore, also, an integral liberation. Not only the freedom born of unbroken contact of the individual being in all its parts with the Divine, sāyujya mukti, by which it becomes free even in its separation, even in the duality; not only the sālokya mukti by which the whole conscious existence dwells in the same status of being as the Divine, in the state of Sachchidananda ; but also the acquisition of the divine nature by the transformation of this lower being into the human image of the divine, sādharmya mukti, and the complete and final release of all, the liberation of the consciousness from the transitory mould of the ego and its unification with the One Being, universal both in the world and the individual and transcendentally one both in the world and beyond all universe.

By this integral realisation and liberation, the perfect harmony of the results of Knowledge, Love and Works. For there is attained the complete release from ego and identification in being with the One in all and beyond all. But since the attaining consciousness is not limited by its attainment, we win also the unity in Beatitude and the harmonised diversity in Love, so that all relations of the play remain possible to us even while we retain on the heights of our being the eternal oneness with the Beloved. And by a similar wideness, being capable of a freedom in spirit that embraces life and does not depend upon withdrawal from life, we are able to become without egoism, bondage or reaction the channel in our mind and body for a divine action poured out freely upon the world.

The divine existence is of the nature not only of freedom, but of purity, beatitude and perfection. In integral purity which shall enable on the one hand the perfect reflection of the divine Being in ourselves and on the other the perfect outpouring of its Truth and Law in us in the terms of life and through the right functioning of the complex instrument we are in our outer parts, is the condition of an integral liberty. Its result is an integral beatitude, in which there becomes possible at once the Ānanda of all that is in the world seen as symbols of the Divine and the Ānanda of that which is not-world. And it prepares the integral perfection of our humanity as a type of the Divine in the conditions of the human manifestation, a perfection founded on a certain free universality of being, of love and joy, of play of knowledge and of play of will in power and will in unegoistic action. This integrality also can be attained by the integral Yoga.

Sādhanā of the Integral Yoga does not proceed through any set mental teaching or prescribed forms of meditation, mantras or others, but by aspiration, by a self-concentration inwards or upwards, by a self-opening to an Influence, to the Divine Power above us and its workings, to the Divine Presence in the heart and by the rejection of all that is foreign to these things. It is only by faith, aspiration and surrender that this self-opening can come.

The yoga does not proceed by upadeśa but by inner influence.

Integral Yoga and Gita ::: The Gita’s Yoga consists in the offering of one’s work as a sacrifice to the Divine, the conquest of desire, egoless and desireless action, bhakti for the Divine, an entering into the cosmic consciousness, the sense of unity with all creatures, oneness with the Divine. This yoga adds the bringing down of the supramental Light and Force (its ultimate aim) and the transformation of the nature.

Our yoga is not identical with the yoga of the Gita although it contains all that is essential in the Gita’s yoga. In our yoga we begin with the idea, the will, the aspiration of the complete surrender; but at the same time we have to reject the lower nature, deliver our consciousness from it, deliver the self involved in the lower nature by the self rising to freedom in the higher nature. If we do not do this double movement, we are in danger of making a tamasic and therefore unreal surrender, making no effort, no tapas and therefore no progress ; or else we make a rajasic surrender not to the Divine but to some self-made false idea or image of the Divine which masks our rajasic ego or something still worse.

Integral Yoga, Gita and Tantra ::: The Gita follows the Vedantic tradition which leans entirely on the Ishvara aspect of the Divine and speaks little of the Divine Mother because its object is to draw back from world-nature and arrive at the supreme realisation beyond it.

The Tantric tradition leans on the Shakti or Ishvari aspect and makes all depend on the Divine Mother because its object is to possess and dominate the world-nature and arrive at the supreme realisation through it.

This yoga insists on both the aspects; the surrender to the Divine Mother is essential, for without it there is no fulfilment of the object of the yoga.

Integral Yoga and Hatha-Raja Yogas ::: For an integral yoga the special methods of Rajayoga and Hathayoga may be useful at times in certain stages of the progress, but are not indispensable. Their principal aims must be included in the integrality of the yoga; but they can be brought about by other means. For the methods of the integral yoga must be mainly spiritual, and dependence on physical methods or fixed psychic or psychophysical processes on a large scale would be the substitution of a lower for a higher action. Integral Yoga and Kundalini Yoga: There is a feeling of waves surging up, mounting to the head, which brings an outer unconsciousness and an inner waking. It is the ascending of the lower consciousness in the ādhāra to meet the greater consciousness above. It is a movement analogous to that on which so much stress is laid in the Tantric process, the awakening of the Kundalini, the Energy coiled up and latent in the body and its mounting through the spinal cord and the centres (cakras) and the Brahmarandhra to meet the Divine above. In our yoga it is not a specialised process, but a spontaneous upnish of the whole lower consciousness sometimes in currents or waves, sometimes in a less concrete motion, and on the other side a descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force into the body.

Integral Yoga and other Yogas ::: The old yogas reach Sachchidananda through the spiritualised mind and depart into the eternally static oneness of Sachchidananda or rather pure Sat (Existence), absolute and eternal or else a pure Non-exist- ence, absolute and eternal. Ours having realised Sachchidananda in the spiritualised mind plane proceeds to realise it in the Supramcntal plane.

The suprcfhe supra-cosmic Sachchidananda is above all. Supermind may be described as its power of self-awareness and W’orld- awareness, the world being known as within itself and not out- side. So to live consciously in the supreme Sachchidananda one must pass through the Supermind.

Distinction ::: The realisation of Self and of the Cosmic being (without which the realisation of the Self is incomplete) are essential steps in our yoga ; it is the end of other yogas, but it is, as it were, the beginning of outs, that is to say, the point where its own characteristic realisation can commence.

It is new as compared with the old yogas (1) Because it aims not at a departure out of world and life into Heaven and Nir- vana, but at a change of life and existence, not as something subordinate or incidental, but as a distinct and central object.

If there is a descent in other yogas, yet it is only an incident on the way or resulting from the ascent — the ascent is the real thing. Here the ascent is the first step, but it is a means for the descent. It is the descent of the new coosdousness attain- ed by the ascent that is the stamp and seal of the sadhana. Even the Tantra and Vaishnavism end in the release from life ; here the object is the divine fulfilment of life.

(2) Because the object sought after is not an individual achievement of divine realisation for the sake of the individual, but something to be gained for the earth-consciousness here, a cosmic, not solely a supra-cosmic acbievement. The thing to be gained also is the bringing of a Power of consciousness (the Supramental) not yet organised or active directly in earth-nature, even in the spiritual life, but yet to be organised and made directly active.

(3) Because a method has been preconized for achieving this purpose which is as total and integral as the aim set before it, viz., the total and integral change of the consciousness and nature, taking up old methods, but only as a part action and present aid to others that are distinctive.

Integral Yoga and Patanjali Yoga ::: Cilia is the stuff of mixed mental-vital-physical consciousness out of which arise the movements of thought, emotion, sensation, impulse etc.

It is these that in the Patanjali system have to be stilled altogether so that the consciousness may be immobile and go into Samadhi.

Our yoga has a different function. The movements of the ordinary consciousness have to be quieted and into the quietude there has to be brought down a higher consciousness and its powers which will transform the nature.


Irony, Socratic: See Socratic method. Is, Isa, Isana, Isvara: (Skr.) "Lord", an example of the vacillating of Indian philosophy between theology and metaphysics. They often use such theistic nomenclature for the Absolute without always wishing to endow it as such with personal attributes except as may be helpful to a lower intelligence or to one who feels the need of worship and bhakti (q.v.). -- K.F.L.

"Krishna as a godhead is the Lord of Ananda, Love and Bhakti; as an incarnation, he manifests the union of wisdom (Jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by Ananda, Love and Bhakti.” Letters on Yoga

“Krishna as a godhead is the Lord of Ananda, Love and Bhakti; as an incarnation, he manifests the union of wisdom (Jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by Ananda, Love and Bhakti.” Letters on Yoga

Krsna (Krishna, Srikrishna) ::: a godhead, the Lord of ananda, Love and bhakti, [considered to be one of the ten incarnations of Visnu], as an incarnation he manifests the union of wisdom (jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by ananda, Love and bhakti. ::: Krsnah [nominative]

madhura (bhava) ::: ["the sweet (sentiment)", in vaisnava bhakti. The relation between the lover and the Beloved].

Marga: Sanskrit for path; used in the sense of method or approach in the endeavor to attain spiritual enlightenment. (See bhakti-marga, jnana-marga, karma-marga.)

Menial Bhakti is simply worship in the thought and idea without love In the heart.

Navavidhabhakti: Nine modes of devotion, viz., hearing His Names and Glories, singing them, remembering the Lord, worship (service) of His Feet, adoration with flowers, prostrations, regarding oneself as His servant, as His friend, and total self-surrender.

parabhakti. ::: supreme devotion

Parabhakti: Supreme devotion to God, when the devotee sees his Ishtham everywhere. Here the devotee transcends all forms of ritualistic worship. This leads to Jnana.

Prasada: Favor, grace, recognized by some Indian religio-metaphysical systems as divine recompense for bhakti (q.v.).

Prasada: (Skr. inclining towards) Favor, grace, recognized by some Indian religio-metaphysical systems as divine recompense for bhakti (q.v.). -- K.F.L.

premabhakti. ::: intense love of Reality; to be one with Reality

Psychic contribution ::: The contribution of the psychic being to the sadhana is ; love and bhakti, a love not vital, demanding and egoistic but unconditioned and without claims, self-existent ; the contact or the presence of the Mother within ; the unerring guidance from within ; a quieting and purification of the mind, vital and physical consciousness by their subjection to the psychic influence and guidance ; the opening up of all this lower cons- ciousness to the higher spiritual consciousness above for its des- cent into a nature prepared to receive it with a complete recepti- vity and right attitude — for the psychic brings in everything, right thought, right perception, right feeling, right attitude.

PSYCHICISATION. ::: Change of the lower nature bringing right vision into the mind, right impulse and feeling into the vital, ri^t movement and habit into the physical — all turned towards the Divine, all based on love, adoration, bhakti — finally the vision and sense of the Mother everywhere in all as w’ell as in the heart, her Force working in the being, faith, con- secration, surrender.

Psythic Bhakti which gives itself asks for nothing but the

raga bhakti. ::: supreme Love, making one attached only to Reality

Romancha: Rapture or thrill with horripilation; a stage in Bhakti Bhava.

Sakamabhakti: Devotion with expectation of fruits, and with selfish motives.

Saranagati-yoga: Yoga of self-surrender; Bhakti Yoga.

SEEING. ::: Seeing is of many kinds. There is the superficial seeing which only erects or receim momentarily or for some time an image of the Being seen ; that brings no change unless the inner bhakti makes it a means of change. There is also the reception of the living image in one of its forms into oneself — let us say, in the heart ; that can have an immediate effect or initiate a period of spiritual growth. There is also the seeing outside oneself in a more or less objective and subtle-physical or physical way.

Sometimes it comes of itself with the deepening of the conscious- ness by bhakti or otherwise, sometimes it comes by practice — a sort of referring the matter and listening for the answer. It does not mean that the answer comes necessarily in the shape of words, spoken or unspoken, though it does sometimes or for some it can take any shape. The main difficulty for many is to be sure of the right answer. For that it is necessary to be able to contact the consciousness of the Guru inwardly — that comes best by bhakti. Otherwise, the attempt to get the feeling from within by practice may become a delicate and ticklish job.

Spiritualisation and transformation ::: Spiritual experiences can fix themselves in the inner consciousness and alter it, transform it, if you like ; one can realise the Divine everywhere, the Self in qU and all in the Self, the universal Shakti doing all things ; one can feel merged in the Cosmic Self or full of ecstatic bhakti or Ananda. But one may and usually does still go on in the outer parts of Nature thinking with the intellect or at best the intuitive mind, willing with a menial will, feeling joy and sorrow on the vital surface, undergoing physical oHIictions and suffering from the struggle of life in the body with death and disease.

Sri Aurobindo: “Love fulfilled does not exclude knowledge, but itself brings knowledge; and the completer the knowledge, the richer the possibility of love. ‘By Bhakti’ says the Lord in the Gita ‘shall a man know Me in all my extent and greatness and as I am in the principles of my being, and when he has known Me in the principles of my being, then he enters into Me.’ Love without knowledge is a passionate and intense, but blind, crude, often dangerous thing, a great power, but also a stumbling-block; love, limited in knowledge, condemns itself in its fervour and often by its very fervour to narrowness; but love leading to perfect knowledge brings the infinite and absolute union. Such love is not inconsistent with, but rather throws itself with joy into divine works; for it loves God and is one with him in all his being, and therefore in all beings, and to work for the world is then to feel and fulfil multitudinously one’s love for God. This is the trinity of our powers, [work, knowledge, love] the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start on our journey by the path of devotion with Love for the Angel of the Way to find in the ecstasy of the divine delight of the All-Lover’s being the fulfilment of ours, its secure home and blissful abiding-place and the centre of its universal radiation.” The Synthesis of Yoga

Sri Aurobindo: "The nature of Bhakti is adoration, worship, self-offering to what is greater than oneself; the nature of love is a feeling or a seeking for closeness and union. Self-giving is the character of both; both are necessary in the yoga and each gets its full force when supported by the other.” *Letters on Yoga

suddha bhakti ::: pure bhakti.

Suddhabhakti: Pure devotion to God.

sunlit path (the) ::: when the psychic being comes out in its inherent power; is usually or habitually in front; a natural spirit of faith and surrender; a bright settled faith and happy bhakti. [S24:1610, 1616, 1621]

Supporting from its place behind the heart-centre the mental, vital, physical, psychic evolution of the being in Nature. Its realisation brings Bhakti, self-^ving, surrender, turning of all the 'movements Godward, discrimination and choice of all that

Tapasya. Not only so, but in fact a double process of Tapasya and increasing surrender persists for a long time even when the surrender has fairly well begun. But a time comes when one feels the Presence and the force constantly and more and more feels ’that that is doing everylhmg — so that the worst difficul- ties cannot disturb this sense and personal effort is no longer necessary, hardly even possible. That is the sign of the full surrender of the nature into the bands of the Divine. There are some who take this position in faith even before there is this experience and if the Bhakti and the faith are strong it carries them through till the experience is there. But all cannot take this position from the beginning — and for some it would be dangerous since they might pul themselves into the hand of a wrong Force thinking it to be the Divine. For most it is neces- sary to grow through Tapasya into surrender.

The deeper the emotion, the more intense the Bhakti, the greater is the force for realisation and transformation. It is oftenest through intensity of emotion that the psychic being awakes and there is an opening of the inner doors to the Divine.

The direct opening of the psychic centre is easy only when the ego-centricity is greatly diminished and also if there is a strong bhakti for the Mother. A spiritual humility and a sense of submission and dependence is necessary.

The feelings tbemseives are of many kinds. The word feeling is often used for an emotion, and there can be psychic or spiri- tual emotions which are numbered among yogic experiences, such as a wave of Suddha bhakti or the rising of love towards the

The more intimate Yo^a of Bhakti resolves itself simply into these four movements, tlic desire of the Soul when it turns towards God and the straining of its emotion towards him, the pain of love and the divine return of love, the delight of love possessed and the play of that delight, and the eternal enjoy- ment of the divine Lover which is the heart of celestial bliss.

“The nature of Bhakti is adoration, worship, self-offering to what is greater than oneself; the nature of love is a feeling or a seeking for closeness and union. Self-giving is the character of both; both are necessary in the yoga and each gets its full force when supported by the other.” Letters on Yoga

The psychic being gives true bhakti for God or for the Guru.

The psychic opening through the heart puts us primarily into connection with the individual Divine, the Divine in his inner relation with us ; it is especially the source of love and bhakti.

There are several types of yoga such as karma yoga, hatha yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, and jnana yoga. “Similar religious aspirations or practices likewise exist in Occidental countries, as, for instance, what is called ‘Salvation by Works,’ somewhat equivalent to the Hindu Karma-Yoga, or, again, ‘Salvation by Faith — or Love,’ somewhat similar to the Hindu Bhakti-Yoga; while both Orient and Occident have, each one, its various forms of ascetic practices which may be grouped under the term Hatha-Yoga.

trimarga ::: the triple path of Knowledge [jnanayoga], Devotion [bhaktiyoga] and Works [karmayoga].

Unfortunately, however, physical practices of various kinds seem to be particularly attractive to the average person because apparently within the sphere of easy performance. One does not know the dangers lurking there; but actually, to achieve even the minor results that come from perfect performance, greater effort and larger difficulties have to be encountered than in raising one’s eyes to the nobler forms of yoga. It is always safe and indeed requisite for a disciple to practice the higher branches of yoga: jnana yoga, raja yoga, bhakti yoga, and karma yoga, which means the yoga of unselfish action in daily life. Consequently, when considered apart from the nobler forms of yoga there is not a particle of spirituality in all these hatha yoga practices.

Vaidhi bhakti: Formalistic devotion (at the initial stage on the Path of Love); practice of devotion through a set code of rituals, as a preparatory course for developing intense love for God.

Vedic Religion: Or the Religion of the Vedas (q.v.). It is thoroughly cosmological, inspirational and ritualistic, priest and sacrifice playing an important role. It started with belief in different gods, such as Indra, Agni, Surya, Vishnu, Ushas, the Maruts, usually interpreted as symbolizing the forces of nature, but with the development of Hinduism it deteriorated into a worship of thousands of gods corresponding to the diversification of function and status in the complex social organism. Accompanying there was a pronounced tendency toward magic even in Vedic times, while the more elevated thoughts which have found expression in magnificent praises of the one or the other deity finally became crystallized in the philosophic thought of the Upanishads (q.v.). There is a distinct break, however, between Vedic culture with its free and autochthonous religious consciousness and the rigidly caste and custom controlled religion as we know it in India today, as also the religion of bhakti (q.v.). -- K.F.L.

vide Bhakti.

Visistadvaita: (Skr.) "Qualified non-duality", the Vedantic (q.v.) doctrine of qualified monism advocated by Ramanuja (q.v.) which holds the Absolute to be personal, world and individuals to be real and distinct (visista), and salvation attainable only by grace of God earned through bhakti (q.v.). -- K.F.L.

Vital Bhakti is egoistic, usually full of claims and demands on the Divine and revolting when they are not satisfied.

Vyabhicharini bhakti: Wavering, unsteady devotion.

WEEPING. ::: Weeping brings in the forces that should be kept outside ; for weeping is a giving way of the inner control and an expression of vital reaction and ego. Tt is only the psychic weeping that does not open the door to these forces ; but that weeping is without affliction, tears of Bhakti, spiritual emotion, or Ananda.

"When the Peace is established, this higher or Divine Force from above can descend and work in us. It descends usually first into the head and liberates the inner mind centres, then into the heart centre and liberates fully the psychic and emotional being, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner vital, then into the Muladhara and below and liberates the inner physical being. It works at the same time for perfection as well as liberation; it takes up the whole nature part by part and deals with it, rejecting what has to be rejected, sublimating what has to be sublimated, creating what has to be created. It integrates, harmonises, establishes a new rhythm in the nature. It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assisted, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine.” Letters on Yoga

“When the Peace is established, this higher or Divine Force from above can descend and work in us. It descends usually first into the head and liberates the inner mind centres, then into the heart centre and liberates fully the psychic and emotional being, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner vital, then into the Muladhara and below and liberates the inner physical being. It works at the same time for perfection as well as liberation; it takes up the whole nature part by part and deals with it, rejecting what has to be rejected, sublimating what has to be sublimated, creating what has to be created. It integrates, harmonises, establishes a new rhythm in the nature. It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assisted, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine.” Letters on Yoga

Yekanta bhakti: In bhakti yoga (q.v.) the interior and silent adoration of the ineffable formless, ubiquitous Presence.

Yoga: (lit.) Union; abstract meditation or union with the Supreme Being; the name of the philosophy by the sage Patanjali, teaching the process of union of the individual with the Universal Soul: union with God; any course that makes for such union; unruffled state of mind under all conditions. Yoga is mainly of four types: Karma, Bhakti, Raja and Jnana.

Yoga(Sanskrit) ::: Literally "union," "conjunction," etc. In India it is the technical name for one of the sixDarsanas or schools of philosophy, and its foundation is ascribed to the sage Patanjali. The name Yogaitself describes the objective of this school, the attaining of union or at-one-ness with the divine-spiritualessence within a man. The yoga practices when properly understood through the instructions of genuineteachers -- who, by the way, never announce themselves as public lecturers or through books oradvertisements -- are supposed to induce certain ecstatic states leading to a clear perception of universaltruths, and the highest of these states is called samadhi.There are a number of minor forms of yoga practice and training such as the karma yoga, hatha yoga,bhakti yoga, raja yoga, jnana yoga, etc. Similar religious aspirations or practices likewise exist inOccidental countries, as, for instance, what is called salvation by works, somewhat equivalent to theHindu karma yoga or, again, salvation by faith -- or love, somewhat similar to the Hindu bhakti yoga;while both Orient and Occident have, each one, its various forms of ascetic practices which may begrouped under the term hatha yoga.No system of yoga should ever be practiced unless under the direct teaching of one who knows thedangers of meddling with the psychomental apparatus of the human constitution, for dangers lurk atevery step, and the meddler in these things is likely to bring disaster upon himself, both in matters ofhealth and as regards sane mental equilibrium. The higher branches of yoga, however, such as the rajayoga and jnana yoga, implying strict spiritual and intellectual discipline combined with a fervid love forall beings, are perfectly safe. It is, however, the ascetic practices, etc., and the teachings that go withthem, wherein lies the danger to the unwary, and they should be carefully avoided.

Yoga: (Skr. "yoking") Restraining of the mind (see Manas), or, in Patanjali's (q.v.) phrase: citta vrtti nirodha, disciplining the activity of consciousness. The object of this universally recommended practice in India is the gaining of peace of mind and a deeper insight into the nature of reality. On psycho-physical assumptions, several aids are outlined in all works on Yoga, including moral preparation, breath-control, posture, and general toning up of the system. Karma or kriya Yoga is the attainment of Yoga ends primarily by doing, bhakti Yoga by devotion, jnana Yoga by mental or spiritual means. The Yogasutras (q.v.) teach eight paths: Moral restraint (see yama), self-culture (see niyama), posture (see asana), breath-control (see prandyama), control of the senses (see pratyahara), concentration (see dharana), meditation or complete surrender to the object of meditation (see samadhi). See Hathayoga. -- K.F.L.

YOGA The original yoga methods were elaborated by
&


yoga. ::: "union"; union with the Reality; fusion of individual self with the universal Self; spiritual practice designed to purify one's mind and bring one closer to Self-realisation; the practice of stilling the mind, whereby thoughts, memories, emotions, associations and perceptions are refocused onto the Reality and where a natural disgarding takes place; there are four main paths of yoga &



QUOTES [110 / 110 - 131 / 131]


KEYS (10k)

   42 Sri Ramakrishna
   38 Sri Aurobindo
   11 Swami Vivekananda
   6 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   2 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   2 Sri Ramakrishna
   2 A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
   1 Swami Satyananda Saraswati
   1 Swami Ramakrishnananda
   1 Swami Premananda
   1 Sri Aurobindo
   1 NARADA BHAKTI SUTRAS
   1 Aleister Crowley
   1 The Mother

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   35 A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da
   27 A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
   20 Sri Aurobindo
   7 Sri Ramakrishna
   5 Swami Vivekananda
   5 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   4 Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
   4 Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami
   3 Frederick Lenz
   2 Pandurang Shastri Athavale
   2 Mahatma Gandhi
   2 Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi

1:The absence of thoughts is bhakti. It is also mukti. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks, 650,
2:Come to my Divine Mother and you will receive not only Bhakti, but also Jnana. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
3:First Bhakti, then work. Work, apart from Bhakti is helpless and cannot stand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
4:First Bhakti, then work. Work, apart from Bhakti, is helpless and cannot stand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
5:The simple approach means trust. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
6:If you pray, trust that he hears. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
7:One cannot demand or compel grace. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
8:Bhakti, Jnana, Yoga are names for Self Realization or mukti which is our real nature. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Day by day with Bhagavan,
9:Pure Bhakti is very difficult to obtain. In Bhakti, the mind and soul must be absorbed in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
10:Bhakti Yoga and not Jnana Yoga or Karma Yoga is the Yuga-Dharma, the adequate path of this age. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
11:The final demand of the Bhakta is simply that his bhakti may never cease or diminish. ~ Sri Aurobindo, cwsa, 24, 569,
12:Bhakti-Yoga does not say, 'Give up'; it only says, 'Love, love the Highest !' ~ Swami Vivekananda, (C.W. III. 74),
13:Bhakti Yoga reduces karma or work to a minimum. It teaches the necessity of prayer without ceasing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
14:Call with Bhakti upon the hallowed name of the Lord and the mountain of your sins shall go out of sight. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
15:The network of words is a big forest; it is the cause of a curious wandering of the mind. ~ Swami Vivekananda, Bhakti-Yoga,
16:In Bhakti one has the ebb and flow within them. They laugh, cry, dance and sing, moved by different emotions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
17:The Self is dear to all. Nothing else is dear. Love unbroken like a stream of oil is termed 'Bhakti'. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
18:Yoga of Bhakti is a matter of the heart and not of the intellect. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Motives of Devotion,
19:With Bhakti in your heart, it is not necessary that you must visit the holy places. You are well where you are. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
20:Bhakti and Karma cannot be perfect and enduring unless they are based upon Jnana. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram - I, Bhawani Mandir,
21:For this Kali-Yuga, Bhakti Yoga, as recommended by Rishi Narada, is enjoyed. There is hardly time for Karma-Yoga ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
22:Bhakti can arise only when there is a wholehearted devotion to God, such as that of a chaste wife for her husband. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
23:What is the good of visiting shrines, if you are able to cultivate Bhakti? Pilgrimage without Bhakti is of no use. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
24:Pray without ceasing for light and love and self-surrender to the Divine Mother - these are the elements of Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
25:Practice devotion and live alone for some time in a quiet place. Enter into the world after gaining Jnana and Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
26:In this Kali Yuga, Bhakti, communion with God by love, devotion, and self-surrender is recommended by the Rishi Narada. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
27:There is Bhakti Yoga that partakes of the humanity of Sattva, the ostentation of Rajas, and the grosser force of Tamas. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
28:All ways can lead to the Supermind, just as all ways can lead to the Divine. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
29:Delight of the heart in God is the whole constituent and essence of true Bhakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, The Supreme Word of the Gita,
30:Love and serve men, but beware lest thou desire their approbation. Obey rather God within thee.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human, Bhakti,
31:Oh lord, I do not want riches, fame, health, happiness or anything else. Grant that I may have pure Bhakti for thy lotus feet! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
32:Not to kill emotion, but to turn it towards the Divine is the right way of the Yoga. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
33:One can enter into the world after the attainment of Bhakti. The world is like water and the mind is like milk - they do not mix. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
34:Bhakti-Yoga is communion with God by means of devotion or love and self-surrender. It is specially adapted to this age, the Kali-Yuga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
35:When the clay of evil tendencies is washed away by the continued pouring of tears of Bhakti, immediately the Atman attracted the jiva. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
36:There are a few to whom this Raga-Bhakti comes by nature of their birth. Such persons yearn and cry after God, even in their childhood. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
37:There should be even in deep feeling a calm, a control, a purifying restraint and measure. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
38:But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of bhakti in me. No matter, where my mind wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
39:The light of incarnations such as Chaitanya Deva, distinguished by both Jnana and Bhakti, is like the blended light of the sun and moon. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
40:Jnana, discrimination of God from the unreal universe, and Karma, work without attachment, are far more difficult than Bhakti in this age ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
41:Let a Bhakti pray to God and it will be given to him to realize the impersonal God in samadhi and thus reach the goal of Jnana Yoga also. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
42:The light of incarnations such as Chjaitanya Deva, distinguished by both Jnana and Bhakti, is like the blended light of the sun and moon. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
43:Repeating the name of God, fasting on certain occasions, making pilgrimages to shrines and worshiping, all these constitute Vaidhi Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
44:The Jnana-Yoga will attain Jnana and Bhakti. It will be given to him to realize Brahman and, the Lord willing, the personal God of Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
45:When a surface is coated with chemicals, pictures can be printed; just as the human heart coated with Bhakti can impress the image of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
46:One may be caught halfway in Bhakti. But it doesn't matter; for the ice in which one is held is the ocean of existence-consciousness-bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
47:One feels restless for God when one's soul longs for His vision. To love God is the essence of the whole thing. Bhakti alone is the essence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
48:521. If Hell were possible, it would be the shortest cut to the highest heaven. For verily God loveth.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human, Bhakti
49:The very basis of this Yoga is bhakti and if one kills one's emotional being there can be no bhakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
50:Until the final clarification and harmonising of the nature there are always contradictions in the being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
51:The very basis of this Yoga is bhakti and if one kills one's emotional being there can be no bhakti. So there can be no possibility of emotion being excluded from the Yoga. ~ Sri Aurobindo, (CWSA 29),
52:Bhakti and the heart's call for the Divine have a truth—it is the truth of the divine Love and Ananda. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Adwaita of Shankaracharya,
53:Grace is something spontaneous which wells out from the Divine Consciousness as a free flower of its being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
54:Emotion is a good element in Yoga; but emotional desire becomes easily a cause of perturbation and an obstacle. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
55:If the reply takes long in coming, trust that he knows and loves and that he is wisest in the choice of the time. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
56:Happiness and suffering are the inevitable characteristics of the body. The one thing needful is jnāna and bhakti. God alone is Substance; all else is illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
57:The Divine looks into the heart and removes the veil at the moment which he knows to be the right moment to do it. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
58:It is a deep spiritual calm and peace that is the only stable foundation for a lasting Bhakti and Ananda. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - IV, Human Relations and the Spiritual Life,
59:Yoga is a sadhana. It will not be necessary after jnana is attained. All the sadhanas are called yogas, e.g., Karma yoga; Bhakti yoga; Jnana yoga; Ashtanga yoga. What is yoga? Yoga means 'union'. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
60:To know God is to love God, therefore the paths of jnana and bhakti (knowledge and devotion) come to the same. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Teachings of Ramana-Maharshi in his Own Words, Ch 6,
61:Call with Bhakti upon His Hallowed Name and the mountain of your sins shall disappear as a mountain of cotton-wool will vanish in an instant if it catches one spark of fire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
62:Leave inimical thoughts aside if you want to have permanent Bhakti. Hatred is a thing which greatly impedes the course of Bhakti, and the man who hates none reaches God. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
63:Turn your emotions towards the Divine, aspire for their purification; they will then become a help on the way and no longer a cause of suffering. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
64:We say that God is our Father. In the same way we call Him Mother, and so on. These relationships are conceived in order to strengthen Bhakti in us, and they make us feel nearer and dearer to God. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
65:'As oil poured from one vessel to another falls in an unbroken line, so, when the mind in an unbroken stream thinks of the Lord, we have what is called Para-Bhakti or supreme love.' ~ Swami Vivekananda, (C.W. III. 85),
66:Awake by your aspiration the psychic fire in the heart that burns steadily towards the Divine—that is the one way to liberate and fulfil the emotional nature. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
67:Pure devotion is gained through the grace of great souls, or through a little of the divine grace. To come in contact with a great soul is indeed extremely difficult. It is impossible to know them fully. Yet, it is infallible in its effect. ~ NARADA BHAKTI SUTRAS,
68:Bhakti-Yoga is the science of higher love. Bhakti-Yoga does not say: "Give up"; it only says: "Love; love the Highest!" — and everything low naturally falls off from him, the object of whose love is the Highest. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
69:May divine wisdom open to you, through the Lord's grace! To make all mankind your own by loving all — that is the real Jnana, the real Bhakti of this age. Work and serve with all your heart, and thus you will receive Bhakti, Moksha, Jnana, and Vijnana. ~ Swami Premananda,
70:The best path for this age is bhaktiyoga, the path of bhakti prescribed by Nārada: to sing the name and glories of God and pray to Him with a longing heart, 'O God, give me knowledge, give me devotion, and reveal Thyself to me!' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
71:Take everyone where he or she stands, without blaming them for their worldly or spiritual poverty & ignorance, & help them on until each one realizes the highest Jnana, Bhakti, eternal freedom & bliss - in fact, until each one realizes the supreme goal. ~ Swami Ramakrishnananda,
72:Bhakti is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories ... Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
73:He knows what is best and when and how to do it.

Leave everything entirely to Him.

His is the burden: you have no longer any cares.
All your cares are His.

Such is surrender.
This is bhakti. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks, 450
74:Bhakti is the one essential thing. To be sure, God exists in all beings. Who, then is a devotee? He whose mind dwells on God. But this is not possible as long as one has egotism and vanity. The water of God's grace cannot collect on the high mound of egotism. It runs down. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
75:You are no doubt in the world. What if you are? You must surrender the fruit of your action to God. You must not seek any result for yourself. But mark one thing. The desire for bhakti cannot be called a desire. You may desire bhakti and pray for it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
76:HAZRA: "Does God listen to our prayer for bhakti?"

BHAGAVAN SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "Surely. I can assure you of that a hundred times. But the prayer must be genuine and earnest. Do worldly-minded people weep for God as they do for wife and children? Who feels that way for God?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
77:The psychic has its own more personal love, bhakti, surrender. Love in the higher or spiritual mind is more universal and impersonal. The two must join together to make the highest divine love. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Divine Love, Psychic Love and Human Love,
78:Bhakti can be more easily practiced by persons in every condition of life. Extreme love for God is Bhakti. The great quality of Bhakti is that it cleanses the mind, and the firmly established Bhakti for the Supreme Lord is alone sufficient to purify the mind. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
79:Innumerable are the ways that lead to God. There are the paths of jnāna, of karma, and of bhakti. If you are sincere, you will attain God in the end, whichever path you follow. Roughly speaking, there are three kinds of yoga: jnanayoga, karma yoga, and bhaktiyoga ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
80:Oct 23 It is not Bhakti if we worship God with the desire for a son; if we worship with the desire to be rich; it is not Bhakti even if we have a desire for heaven; and with the desire of being saved from the tortures of hell. Bhakti is not the outcome of fear or greediness.~ Swami Vivekananda,
81:You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping Śiva you acquire the nature of Śiva. Jnāna is the characteristic of Śiva, and bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of Śiva's nature becomes a Jnāni, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
82:God is love personified. He is apparent in everything. Everybody is being drawn to Him whether he knows it or not. The God of Love is to be worshiped & when we think Him to be Love Incarnate, seeing Him in all things & all things in Him, it is then that supreme Bhakti is attaine ~ Swami Vivekananda,
83:The internal purification is a task more severe. It consists in speaking the truth, sensing the poor, helping the needy, etc. One who has cleansed both the inner & the outer self is alone capable of Bhakti. But the beauty is that Bhakti itself cleanses the mind to a great extent ~ Swami Vivekananda,
84:The desire for the Divine or for bhakti for the Divine is the one desire which can free one from all the others—at the core it is not a desire, but an aspiration; a soul need, the breath of existence of the inmost being, and as such it cannot be counted among desires, kāmanār madhye nay. ~ Sri Aurobindo, to Dilip,
85:The name of the Divine is usually called in for protection, for adoration, for increase of bhakti, for the opening up of the inner consciousness, for the realisation of the Divine in that aspect. As far as it is necessary to work in the subconscious for that, the Name must be effective there. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, Namajapa or Repetition of the Name,
86:Who cares for your bhakti and mukti? Who cares what your scriptures say? I will go into a thousand hells cheerfully if I can rouse my countrymen, immersed in tamas, to stand on their own feet and be men inspired with the spirit of karma-yoga. I am a follower only of he or she who serves and helps others without caring for his own bhakti and mukti! ~ Swami Vivekananda,
87:conditions of the psychic opening :::
The realisation of the psychic being, its awakening and the bringing of it in front depend mainly on the extent to which one can develop a personal relation with the Divine, a relation of Bhakti, love, reliance, self-giving, rejection of the insistences of the separating and self-asserting mental, vital and physical ego. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
88:Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? One jar of water is enough to quench my thirst. I don't need to know the amount of water there is on earth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
89:You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping Siva you acquire the nature of Siva. A devotee of Rama meditated on Hanuman day and night. He used to think he had become Hanuman. In the end he was firmly convinced that he had even grown a little tail. Jnana is the characteristic of Siva, and bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of Siva's nature becomes a jnani, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
90:... The sadhana of inner concentration consists in:
(1) Fixing the consciousness in the heart and concentrating there on the idea, image or name of the Divine Mother, whichever comes easiest to you.
(2) A gradual and progressive quieting of the mind by this concentration in the heart.
(3) An aspiration for the Mother's presence in the heart and the control by her of mind, life and action. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, Combining Work, Meditation and Bhakti,
91:As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that of the Mother or of my name and the Mother. The concentration in the heart and the concentration in the head can both be used - each has its own result. The first opens up the psychic being and brings bhakti, love and union with the Mother, her presence within the heart and the action of her Force in the nature. The other opens the mind to self-realisation, to the consciousness of what is above mind, to the ascent of the consciousness out of the body and the descent of the higher consciousness into the body. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II,
92:conditions of the psychic opening :::
For the opening of the psychic being, concentration on the Mother and self-offering to her are the direct way. The growth of Bhakti which you feel is the first sign of the psychic development. A sense of the Mother's presence or force or the remembrance of her supporting and strengthening you is the next sign. Eventually, the soul within begins to be active in aspiration and psychic perception guiding the mind to the right thoughts, the vital to the right movements and feelings, showing and rejecting all that has to be put away and turning the whole being in all its movements to the Divine alone. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
93:The contribution of the psychic being to the sadhana is: (1) love and bhakti, a love not vital, demanding and egoistic but unconditioned and without claims, self-existent; (2) the contact or the presence of the Mother within; (3) the unerring guidance from within; (4) a quieting and purification of the mind, vital and physical consciousness by their subjection to the psychic influence and guidance; (5) the opening up of all this lower consciousness to the higher spiritual consciousness above for its descent into a nature prepared to receive it with a complete receptivity and right attitude - for the psychic brings in everything, right thought, right perception, right feeling, right attitude. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
94:The other day I told you the meaning of bhakti. It is to adore God with body, mind, and words. 'With body' means to serve and worship God with one's hands, go to holy places with one's feet, hear the chanting of the name and glories of God with one's ears, and behold the divine image with one's eyes. 'With mind' means to contemplate and meditate on God constantly and to remember and think of His lila. 'With words' means to sing hymns to Him and chant His name and glories.
Devotion as described by Narada is suited to the Kaliyuga. It means to chant constantly the name and glories of God. Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
95:The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation aroused only for the preparation and increase of intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation. This path, too, as ordinarily practised, leads away from world-existence to an absorption, of another kind than the Monists, in the Transcendent and Supra-cosmic.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga,
96:Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can 'do' the Purna Yoga - i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the Yoga by one's own effort. No human being can do that. What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother's hands and open oneself to her by service, by bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supramental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, 151 [T3],
97:The up and down movement which you speak of is common to all ways of Yoga. It is there in the path of bhakti, but there are equally alternations of states of light and states of darkness, sometimes sheer and prolonged darkness, when one follows the path of knowledge. Those who have occult experiences come to periods when all experiences cease and even seem finished for ever. Even when there have been many and permanent realisations, these seem to go behind the veil and leave nothing in front except a dull blank, filled, if at all, only with recurrent attacks and difficulties. These alternations are the result of the nature of human consciousness and are not a proof of unfitness or of predestined failure. One has to be prepared for them and pass through. They are the day and night of the Vedic mystics.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II,
98:Bhagavan: There are only two ways to conquer destiny or to be independent of it. One is to inquire whose this destiny is and discover that only the ego is bound by it and not the Self and that the ego is non-existent. The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord, realizing one's helplessness and saying all the time: "Not I, but Thou, oh Lord," giving up all sense of "I" and "mine" and leaving it to the Lord to do what He likes with you. Surrender can never be regarded as complete so long as the devotee wants this or that from the Lord. True surrender is the love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation. In other words, complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-inquiry or through bhakti-marga. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Day by Day, 28-6-46,
99:  Swami Vivekananda summarised Yoga under four headings, and I do not think that one can improve on that classification. His four are: Gnana, Raja, Bhakti and Hatha, and comprise all divisions that it is desirable to make. As soon as one begins to add such sections as Mantra Yoga, you are adding to without enriching the classification, and once you begin Where are you to stop? But I honestly believe that the excessive simplication given in Eight Lectures on Yoga is a practical advantage. Any given type of Yogas is the work of a lifetime and for that reason alone it is desirable to confine oneself from the beginning to an absolutely simple programme.

  What then is the difference between Yoga and Magick? Magick is extraversion, the discovery of and subsequently the classification of and finally the control of new worlds on new planes. So far as it concerns the development of the mind its object and method are perfectly simple. What is wanted is exaltation. The aim is to identify oneself with the highest essence of whatever world is under consideration. ~ Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears, 1.83 - Epistola Ultima,
100:Bhakti Yoga, the Path of Devotion; :::
   The path of Devotion aims at the enjoyment of the supreme Love and Bliss and utilses normally the conception of the supreme Lord in His personality as the divine Lover and enjoyer of the universe. The world is then realised as a a play of the Lord, with our human life as its final stages, pursued through the different phases of self-concealment and self-revealation. The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation are used only for the preparation and increase the intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation. ... We can see how this larger application of the Yoga of Devotion may be used as to lead to the elevation of the whole range of human emotion, sensation and aesthetic perception to the divine level, its spiritualisation and the justification of the cosmic labour towards love and joy in humanity.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Introduction - The Conditions of the Synthesis, The Systems of Yoga,
101:When the Peace is established, this higher or Divine Force from above can descend and work in us. It descends usually first into the head and liberates the inner mind mind centres, then into the heart centre and liberates fully the psychic and emotional being, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner vital, then into the Muladhara and below and liberates the inner vital, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner physical being. It works at the same time for perfection as well as liberation; it takes up the whole nature part by part and deals with it, rejecting what has to be rejected, sublimating what has to be sublimated, creating what has to be created. It integrates, harmonises, establishes a new rhythm in the nature. It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assistance, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
102:Contact and Union with the Divine;
Seeing is of many kinds. There is a superficial seeing which only erects or receives momentarily or for some time an image of the Being seen; that brings no change, unless the inner bhakti makes it a means for change. There is also the reception of the living image of the Divine in one of his forms into oneself, - say, in the heart, - that can have an immediate effect or initiate a period of spiritual growth. There is also the seeing outside oneself in a more or less objective and subtle physical or physical way. As for milana, the abiding union is within and that can be there at all times; the outer milana or contact is not usually abiding. There are some who often or almost invariably have the contact whenever they worship, the Deity may become living to them in the picture or other image they worship, may move and act through it; others may feel him always present, outwardly, subtle-physically, abiding with them where they live or in the very room, but sometimes this is only for a period. Or they may feel the Presence with them, see it frequently in a body (but not materially except sometimes), feel its touch or embrace, converse with it constantly - that is also a kind of milana. The greatest milana is one in which one is constantly aware of the Deity abiding in oneself, in everything in the world, holding all the world in him, identical with existence and yet supremely beyond the world - but in the world too one sees, hears, feels nothing but him, so that the very senses bear witness to him alone - and this does not exclude such specific personal manifestations as those vouchsafed to Krishnaprem and his guru. The more ways there are of the union, the better. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [T4],
103:One can concentrate in any of the three centres which is easiest to the sadhak or gives most result. The power of the concentration in the heart-centre is to open that centre and by the power of aspiration, love, bhakti, surrender remove the veil which covers and conceals the soul and bring forward the soul or psychic being to govern the mind, life and body and turn and open them all-fully-to the Divine, removing all that is opposed to that turning and opening.
   This is what is called in this Yoga the psychic transformation. The power of concentration above the head is to bring peace, silence, liberation from the body sense, the identification with mind and life and open the way for the lower (mental vital-physical) consciousness to rise up to meet the higher Consciousness above and for the powers of the higher (spiritual or divine) Consciousness to descend into mind, life and body. This is what is called in this Yoga the spiritual transformation. If one begins with this movement, then the Power from above has in its descent to open all the centres (including the lowest centre) and to bring out the psychic being; for until that is done there is likely to be much difficulty and struggle of the lower consciousness obstructing, mixing with or even refusing the Divine Action from above. If the psychic being is once active this struggle and these difficulties can be greatly minimised. The power of concentration in the eyebrows is to open the centre there, liberate the inner mind and vision and the inner or Yogic consciousness and its experiences and powers. From here also one can open upwards and act also in the lower centres; but the danger of this process is that one may get shut up in one's mental spiritual formations and not come out of them into the free and integral spiritual experience and knowledge and integral change of the being and nature.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [where to concentrate?],
104:... The first opening is effected by a concentration in the heart, a call to the Divine to manifest within us and through the psychic to take up and lead the whole nature. Aspiration, prayer, bhakti, love, surrender are the main supports of this part of the sadhana - accompanied by a rejection of all that stands in the way of what we aspire for. The second opening is effected by a concentration of the consciousness in the head (afterwards, above it) and an aspiration and call and a sustained will for the descent of the divine Peace, Power, Light, Knowledge, Ananda into the being - the Peace first or the Peace and Force together. Some indeed receive Light first or Ananda first or some sudden pouring down of knowledge. With some there is first an opening which reveals to them a vast infinite Silence, Force, Light or Bliss above them and afterwards either they ascend to that or these things begin to descend into the lower nature. With others there is either the descent, first into the head, then down to the heart level, then to the navel and below and through the whole body, or else an inexplicable opening - without any sense of descent - of peace, light, wideness or power or else a horizontal opening into the cosmic consciousness or, in a suddenly widened mind, an outburst of knowledge. Whatever comes has to be welcomed - for there is no absolute rule for all, - but if the peace has not come first, care must be taken not to swell oneself in exultation or lose the balance. The capital movement however is when the Divine Force or Shakti, the power of the Mother comes down and takes hold, for then the organisation of the consciousness begins and the larger foundation of the Yoga.

   The result of the concentration is not usually immediate - though to some there comes a swift and sudden outflowering; but with most there is a time longer or shorter of adaptation or preparation, especially if the nature has not been prepared already to some extent by aspiration and tapasya. ... ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
105:In the Indian spiritual tradition, a heart's devotion to God, called Bhakti, is regarded as the easiest path to the Divine. What is Bhakti? Is it some extravagant religious sentimentalism? Is it inferior to the path of Knowledge? What is the nature of pure and complete spiritual devotion to God and how to realise it?

What Is Devotion?

...bhakti in its fullness is nothing but an entire self-giving. But then all meditation, all tapasya, all means of prayer or mantra must have that as its end... [SABCL, 23:799]

Devotion Is a State of the Heart and Soul

Bhakti is not an experience, it is a state of the heart and soul. It is a state which comes when the psychic being is awake and prominent. [SABCL, 23:776]

...Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. [SABCL, 21:525]

Devotion without Gratitude Is Incomplete

...there is another movement which should constantly accompany devotion. ... That kind of sense of gratitude that the Divine exists; that feeling of a marvelling thankfulness which truly fills you with a sublime joy at the fact that the Divine exists, that there is something in the universe which is the Divine, that it is not just the monstrosity we see, that there is the Divine, the Divine exists. And each time that the least thing puts you either directly or indirectly in contactwith this sublime Reality of divine existence, the heart is filled with so intense, so marvellous a joy, such a gratitude as of all things has the most delightful taste.

There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion-indeed so deep, so intense-that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine.

So I find that devotion without gratitude is quite incomplete, gratitude must come with devotion. ~ The Mother,
106:He continuously reflected on her image and attributes, day and night. His bhakti was such that he could not stop thinking of her. Eventually, he saw her everywhere and in everything. This was his path to illumination.

   He was often asked by people: what is the way to the supreme? His answer was sharp and definite: bhakti yoga. He said time and time again that bhakti yoga is the best sadhana for the Kali Yuga (Dark Age) of the present.

   His bhakti is illustrated by the following statement he made to a disciple:

   To my divine mother I prayed only for pure love.
At her lotus feet I offered a few flowers and I prayed:

   Mother! here is virtue and here is vice;
   Take them both from me.
   Grant me only love, pure love for Thee.
   Mother! here is knowledge and here is ignorance;
   Take them both from me.
   Grant me only love, pure love for Thee.
   Mother! here is purity and impurity;
   Take them both from me.
   Grant me only love, pure love for Thee.

Ramakrishna, like Kabir, was a practical man.
He said: "So long as passions are directed towards the world and its objects, they are enemies. But when they are directed towards a deity, then they become the best of friends to man, for they take him to illumination. The desire for worldly things must be changed into longing for the supreme; the anger which you feel for fellow man must be directed towards the supreme for not manifesting himself to you . . . and so on, with all other emotions. The passions cannot be eradicated, but they can be turned into new directions."

   A disciple once asked him: "How can one conquer the weaknesses within us?" He answered: "When the fruit grows out of the flower, the petals drop off themselves. So when divinity in you increases, the weaknesses of human nature will vanish of their own accord." He emphasized that the aspirant should not give up his practices. "If a single dive into the sea does not bring you a pearl, do not conclude that there are no pearls in the sea. There are countless pearls hidden in the sea.

   So if you fail to merge with the supreme during devotional practices, do not lose heart. Go on patiently with the practices, and in time you will invoke divine grace." It does not matter what form you care to worship. He said: "Many are the names of the supreme and infinite are the forms through which he may be approached. In whatever name and form you choose to worship him, through that he will be realized by you." He indicated the importance of surrender on the path of bhakti when he said:

   ~ Swami Satyananda Saraswati, A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya,
107:Talk 26

...

D.: Taking the first part first, how is the mind to be eliminated or relative consciousness transcended?

M.: The mind is by nature restless. Begin liberating it from its restlessness; give it peace; make it free from distractions; train it to look inward; make this a habit. This is done by ignoring the external world and removing the obstacles to peace of mind.

D.: How is restlessness removed from the mind?

M.: External contacts - contacts with objects other than itself - make the mind restless. Loss of interest in non-Self, (vairagya) is the first step. Then the habits of introspection and concentration follow. They are characterised by control of external senses, internal faculties, etc. (sama, dama, etc.) ending in samadhi (undistracted mind).

Talk 27.

D.: How are they practised?

M.: An examination of the ephemeral nature of external phenomena leads to vairagya. Hence enquiry (vichara) is the first and foremost step to be taken. When vichara continues automatically, it results in a contempt for wealth, fame, ease, pleasure, etc. The 'I' thought becomes clearer for inspection. The source of 'I' is the Heart - the final goal. If, however, the aspirant is not temperamentally suited to Vichara Marga (to the introspective analytical method), he must develop bhakti (devotion) to an ideal - may be God, Guru, humanity in general, ethical laws, or even the idea of beauty. When one of these takes possession of the individual, other attachments grow weaker, i.e., dispassion (vairagya) develops. Attachment for the ideal simultaneously grows and finally holds the field. Thus ekagrata (concentration) grows simultaneously and imperceptibly - with or without visions and direct aids.

In the absence of enquiry and devotion, the natural sedative pranayama (breath regulation) may be tried. This is known as Yoga Marga. If life is imperilled the whole interest centres round the one point, the saving of life. If the breath is held the mind cannot afford to (and does not) jump at its pets - external objects. Thus there is rest for the mind so long as the breath is held. All attention being turned on breath or its regulation, other interests are lost. Again, passions are attended with irregular breathing, whereas calm and happiness are attended with slow and regular breathing. Paroxysm of joy is in fact as painful as one of pain, and both are accompanied by ruffled breaths. Real peace is happiness. Pleasures do not form happiness. The mind improves by practice and becomes finer just as the razor's edge is sharpened by stropping. The mind is then better able to tackle internal or external problems. If an aspirant be unsuited temperamentally for the first two methods and circumstantially (on account of age) for the third method, he must try the Karma Marga (doing good deeds, for example, social service). His nobler instincts become more evident and he derives impersonal pleasure. His smaller self is less assertive and has a chance of expanding its good side. The man becomes duly equipped for one of the three aforesaid paths. His intuition may also develop directly by this single method. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramanasramam,
108:SECTION 1. Books for Serious Study
   Liber CCXX. (Liber AL vel Legis.) The Book of the Law. This book is the foundation of the New Æon, and thus of the whole of our work.
   The Equinox. The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation.
   Liber ABA (Book 4). A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers. In four parts: (1) Mysticism (2) Magical (Elementary Theory) (3) Magick in Theory and Practice (this book) (4) The Law.
   Liber II. The Message of the Master Therion. Explains the essence of the new Law in a very simple manner.
   Liber DCCCXXXVIII. The Law of Liberty. A further explanation of The Book of the Law in reference to certain ethical problems.
   Collected Works of A. Crowley. These works contain many mystical and magical secrets, both stated clearly in prose, and woven into the Robe of sublimest poesy.
   The Yi King. (S. B. E. Series [vol. XVI], Oxford University Press.) The "Classic of Changes"; give the initiated Chinese system of Magick.
   The Tao Teh King. (S. B. E. Series [vol. XXXIX].) Gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism.
   Tannhäuser, by A. Crowley. An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the Soul; the Tannhäuser story slightly remodelled.
   The Upanishads. (S. B. E. Series [vols. I & XV.) The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism.
   The Bhagavad-gita. A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu "Christ", expounds a system of Attainment.
   The Voice of the Silence, by H.P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O.M. Frater O.M., 7°=48, is the most learned of all the Brethren of the Order; he has given eighteen years to the study of this masterpiece.
   Raja-Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda. An excellent elementary study of Hindu mysticism. His Bhakti-Yoga is also good.
   The Shiva Samhita. An account of various physical means of assisting the discipline of initiation. A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices.
   The Hathayoga Pradipika. Similar to the Shiva Samhita.
   The Aphorisms of Patanjali. A valuable collection of precepts pertaining to mystical attainment.
   The Sword of Song. A study of Christian theology and ethics, with a statement and solution of the deepest philosophical problems. Also contains the best account extant of Buddhism, compared with modern science.
   The Book of the Dead. A collection of Egyptian magical rituals.
   Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, by Eliphas Levi. The best general textbook of magical theory and practice for beginners. Written in an easy popular style.
   The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. The best exoteric account of the Great Work, with careful instructions in procedure. This Book influenced and helped the Master Therion more than any other.
   The Goetia. The most intelligible of all the mediæval rituals of Evocation. Contains also the favourite Invocation of the Master Therion.
   Erdmann's History of Philosophy. A compendious account of philosophy from the earliest times. Most valuable as a general education of the mind.
   The Spiritual Guide of [Miguel de] Molinos. A simple manual of Christian Mysticism.
   The Star in the West. (Captain Fuller). An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley.
   The Dhammapada. (S. B. E. Series [vol. X], Oxford University Press). The best of the Buddhist classics.
   The Questions of King Milinda. (S. B. E. Series [vols. XXXV & XXXVI].) Technical points of Buddhist dogma, illustrated bydialogues.
   Liber 777 vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticæ Viæ Explicandæ, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicam Sanctissimorum Scientiæ Summæ. A complete Dictionary of the Correspondences of all magical elements, reprinted with extensive additions, making it the only standard comprehensive book of reference ever published. It is to the language of Occultism what Webster or Murray is to the English language.
   Varieties of Religious Experience (William James). Valuable as showing the uniformity of mystical attainment.
   Kabbala Denudata, von Rosenroth: also The Kabbalah Unveiled, by S.L. Mathers. The text of the Qabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject.
   Konx Om Pax [by Aleister Crowley]. Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick.
   The Pistis Sophia [translated by G.R.S. Mead or Violet McDermot]. An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism.
   The Oracles of Zoroaster [Chaldæan Oracles]. An invaluable collection of precepts mystical and magical.
   The Dream of Scipio, by Cicero. Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy.
   The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, by Fabre d'Olivet. An interesting study of the exoteric doctrines of this Master.
   The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Trismegistus. Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy.
   The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, reprint of Franz Hartmann. An invaluable compendium.
   Scrutinium Chymicum [Atalanta Fugiens]¸ by Michael Maier. One of the best treatises on alchemy.
   Science and the Infinite, by Sidney Klein. One of the best essays written in recent years.
   Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus [A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus &c. &c. &c.], by Richard Payne Knight [and Thomas Wright]. Invaluable to all students.
   The Golden Bough, by J.G. Frazer. The textbook of Folk Lore. Invaluable to all students.
   The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition.
   Rivers of Life, by General Forlong. An invaluable textbook of old systems of initiation.
   Three Dialogues, by Bishop Berkeley. The Classic of Subjective Idealism.
   Essays of David Hume. The Classic of Academic Scepticism.
   First Principles by Herbert Spencer. The Classic of Agnosticism.
   Prolegomena [to any future Metaphysics], by Immanuel Kant. The best introduction to Metaphysics.
   The Canon [by William Stirling]. The best textbook of Applied Qabalah.
   The Fourth Dimension, by [Charles] H. Hinton. The best essay on the subject.
   The Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley. Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Appendix I: Literature Recommended to Aspirants
109:This, in short, is the demand made on us, that we should turn our whole life into a conscious sacrifice. Every moment and every movement of our being is to be resolved into a continuous and a devoted self-giving to the Eternal. All our actions, not less the smallest and most ordinary and trifling than the greatest and most uncommon and noble, must be performed as consecrated acts. Our individualised nature must live in the single consciousness of an inner and outer movement dedicated to Something that is beyond us and greater than our ego. No matter what the gift or to whom it is presented by us, there must be a consciousness in the act that we are presenting it to the one divine Being in all beings. Our commonest or most grossly material actions must assume this sublimated character; when we eat, we should be conscious that we are giving our food to that Presence in us; it must be a sacred offering in a temple and the sense of a mere physical need or self-gratification must pass away from us. In any great labour, in any high discipline, in any difficult or noble enterprise, whether undertaken for ourselves, for others or for the race, it will no longer be possible to stop short at the idea of the race, of ourselves or of others. The thing we are doing must be consciously offered as a sacrifice of works, not to these, but either through them or directly to the One Godhead; the Divine Inhabitant who was hidden by these figures must be no longer hidden but ever present to our soul, our mind, our sense. The workings and results of our acts must be put in the hands of that One in the feeling that that Presence is the Infinite and Most High by whom alone our labour and our aspiration are possible. For in his being all takes place; for him all labour and aspiration are taken from us by Nature and offered on his altar. Even in those things in which Nature is herself very plainly the worker and we only the witnesses of her working and its containers and supporters, there should be the same constant memory and insistent consciousness of a work and of its divine Master. Our very inspiration and respiration, our very heart-beats can and must be made conscious in us as the living rhythm of the universal sacrifice.
   It is clear that a conception of this kind and its effective practice must carry in them three results that are of a central importance for our spiritual ideal. It is evident, to begin with, that, even if such a discipline is begun without devotion, it leads straight and inevitably towards the highest devotion possible; for it must deepen naturally into the completest adoration imaginable, the most profound God-love. There is bound up with it a growing sense of the Divine in all things, a deepening communion with the Divine in all our thought, will and action and at every moment of our lives, a more and more moved consecration to the Divine of the totality of our being. Now these implications of the Yoga of works are also of the very essence of an integral and absolute Bhakti. The seeker who puts them into living practice makes in himself continually a constant, active and effective representation of the very spirit of self-devotion, and it is inevitable that out of it there should emerge the most engrossing worship of the Highest to whom is given this service. An absorbing love for the Divine Presence to whom he feels an always more intimate closeness, grows upon the consecrated worker. And with it is born or in it is contained a universal love too for all these beings, living forms and creatures that are habitations of the Divine - not the brief restless grasping emotions of division, but the settled selfless love that is the deeper vibration of oneness. In all the seeker begins to meet the one Object of his adoration and service. The way of works turns by this road of sacrifice to meet the path of Devotion; it can be itself a devotion as complete, as absorbing, as integral as any the desire of the heart can ask for or the passion of the mind can imagine.
   Next, the practice of this Yoga demands a constant inward remembrance of the one central liberating knowledge, and a constant active externalising of it in works comes in too to intensify the remembrance. In all is the one Self, the one Divine is all; all are in the Divine, all are the Divine and there is nothing else in the universe, - this thought or this faith is the whole background until it becomes the whole substance of the consciousness of the worker. A memory, a self-dynamising meditation of this kind, must and does in its end turn into a profound and uninterrupted vision and a vivid and all-embracing consciousness of that which we so powerfully remember or on which we so constantly meditate. For it compels a constant reference at each moment to the Origin of all being and will and action and there is at once an embracing and exceeding of all particular forms and appearances in That which is their cause and upholder. This way cannot go to its end without a seeing vivid and vital, as concrete in its way as physical sight, of the works of the universal Spirit everywhere. On its summits it rises into a constant living and thinking and willing and acting in the presence of the Supramental, the Transcendent. Whatever we see and hear, whatever we touch and sense, all of which we are conscious, has to be known and felt by us as That which we worship and serve; all has to be turned into an image of the Divinity, perceived as a dwelling-place of his Godhead, enveloped with the eternal Omnipresence. In its close, if not long before it, this way of works turns by communion with the Divine Presence, Will and Force into a way of Knowledge more complete and integral than any the mere creature intelligence can construct or the search of the intellect can discover.
   Lastly, the practice of this Yoga of sacrifice compels us to renounce all the inner supports of egoism, casting them out of our mind and will and actions, and to eliminate its seed, its presence, its influence out of our nature. All must be done for the Divine; all must be directed towards the Divine. Nothing must be attempted for ourselves as a separate existence; nothing done for others, whether neighbours, friends, family, country or mankind or other creatures merely because they are connected with our personal life and thought and sentiment or because the ego takes a preferential interest in their welfare. In this way of doing and seeing all works and all life become only a daily dynamic worship and service of the Divine in the unbounded temple of his own vast cosmic existence. Life becomes more and more the sacrifice of the eternal in the individual constantly self-offered to the eternal Transcendence. It is offered in the wide sacrificial ground of the field of the eternal cosmic Spirit; and the Force too that offers it is the eternal Force, the omnipresent Mother. Therefore is this way a way of union and communion by acts and by the spirit and knowledge in the act as complete and integral as any our Godward will can hope for or our soul's strength execute.
   It has all the power of a way of works integral and absolute, but because of its law of sacrifice and self-giving to the Divine Self and Master, it is accompanied on its one side by the whole power of the path of Love and on the other by the whole power of the path of Knowledge. At its end all these three divine Powers work together, fused, united, completed, perfected by each other.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, The Sacrifice, the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice [111-114],
110:A DEVOTEE: "How can one realize God?"
MASTER: "Through that kind of love. But one must force one's demand on God. One should be able to say: 'O God, wilt Thou not reveal Thyself to me? I will cut my throat with a knife.' This is the tamas of bhakti."
DEVOTEE: "Can one see God?"
MASTER: "Yes, surely. One can see both aspects of God-God with form and without form. One can see God with form, the Embodiment of Spirit. Again, God can be directly perceived in a man with a tangible form. Seeing an Incarnation of God is the same as seeing God Himself. God is born on earth as man in every age." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, 1.08 - THE MASTERS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT DAKSHINESWAR,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:Bhakti is the one essential thing. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
2:I'm a Bhakti, meaning I practice devotional yoga and the heart and love, so I say to people, start with your ego and go down to your heart. ~ ram-das, @wisdomtrove
3:I teach Zen, tantric mysticism, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, Tibetan mysticism, occultism and psychic development. I also teach poetry and literature, film and many other different things. ~ frederick-lenz, @wisdomtrove
4:I have written and spoken my thoughts over many years. Now I'm on new ground and spirit. I want to bring these together. Things like karma yoga, bhakti yoga, conscious dying, conscious aging. Consciousness. ~ ram-das, @wisdomtrove
5:Jnana, bhakti, yoga and karma - these are the four paths which lead to spiritual freedom. One must follow the path for which one is best suited. But in this age, special stress should be laid on karma yoga. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
6:Evil company is always to be shunned; because it leads to lust and anger, illusion, forgetfulness of the goal, destruction of the will (lack of perseverance), and destruction of everything. (Narada Bhakti Sutra) ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
7:One way for attaining Bhakti is by repeating the name of God a number of times. Mantras have effect: the mere repetition of words... . To obtain Bhakti, seek the company of holy men who have Bhakti, and read books like the Gita and the Imitation of Christ; always think of the attributes of God. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
8:Every act of charity, every thought of sympathy, every action of help, every good deed, is taking so much of self-importance away from our little selves and making us think of ourselves as the lowest and the least, and, therefore, it is all good. Here we find that Jn√¢na, Bhakti, and Karma - all come to one point. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
9:T he path of knowledge leads to Truth, as does the path that combines knowledge and love [bhakti]. The path of love too leads to this goal. The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
10:Who cares for your bhakti and mukti? Who cares what your scriptures say? I will go into a thousand hells cheerfully if I can rouse my countrymen, immersed in tamas, to stand on their own feet and be men inspired with the spirit of karma-yoga. I am a follower only of he or she who serves and helps others without caring for his own bhakti and mukti! ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
11:One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman too by following the path of bhakti. God is all-powerful. He may give His devotee Brahmajnana [the knowledge of Brahman] also if He so wills. But the devotee generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother and he the child. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
12:Arise! Arise! A tidal wave is coming! Onward! Men and women, down to the Chandala (Pariah) - all are pure in his eyes. Onward! Onward! There is no time to care for name, or fame, or Mukti, or Bhakti! We shall look to these some other time. Now in this life let us infinitely spread his lofty character, his sublime life, his infinite soul. This is the only work - there is nothing else to do. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
13:Only love for the Supreme Lord is true Bhakti. Love for any other being, however great, is not Bhakti. The "Supreme Lord" here means Ishvara, the concept of which transcends what you in the West mean by the personal God. "He from whom this universe proceeds, in whom it rests, and to whom it returns, He is Ishvara, the Eternal, the Pure, the All-Merciful, the Almighty, the Ever-Free, the All-Knowing, the Teacher of all teachers, the Lord who of His own nature is inexpressible Love." ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Bhakti is Jnana Mata, i.e., ~ The Mother,
2:Bhakti is a Social Force ~ Pandurang Shastri Athavale,
3:Bhakti is the one essential thing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
4:Life does not mean mere karma or mere bhakti or mere jnana. ~ Vinoba Bhave,
5:The great quality of Bhakti is that it cleanses the mind. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
6:Hatred is a thing which greatly impedes the course of Bhakti. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
7:There is no better karma or bhakti than enquiry into the Self. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
8:The absence of thoughts is bhakti. It is also mukti. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks, 650,
9:Bhakti yoga isn't something you join, it's love. It means falling in love. ~ Krishna Das,
10:Bhakti-Yoga does not say, ‘Give up’; it only says, ‘Love, love the Highest !’ ~ Swami Vivekananda,
11:Give up knowledge and reasoning. Take up bhakti instead. Bhakti is the essence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
12:Humility does not mean to think yourself less, but to less think of yourself. ~ Bhakti Tirtha Swami,
13:The simple approach means trust. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
14:If you pray, trust that he hears. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
15:One cannot demand or compel grace. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
16:Bhakti yoga is a way of transforming your emotion from negativity to utmost pleasantness. ~ Jaggi Vasudev,
17:The final demand of the Bhakta is simply that his bhakti may never cease or diminish. ~ Sri Aurobindo, cwsa, 24, 569,
18:The network of words is a big forest; it is the cause of a curious wandering of the mind. ~ Swami Vivekananda, Bhakti-Yoga,
19:The Self is dear to all. Nothing else is dear. Love unbroken like a stream of oil is termed 'Bhakti'. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
20:Extreme love of God is Bhakti, and this love is the real immortality ~ Swami Vivekananda from Inspired Talks (June 24, 1895),
21:The path of bhakti, karma and love as expounded in the Gita leaves no room for the despising of man by man. ~ Mahatma Gandhi,
22:Those who are lacking in bhakti (devotion), lacking in faith, are ill qualified to interpret the scriptures. ~ Mahatma Gandhi,
23:As you pass through bhakti yoga, as you pass through love, you're elated. You're fulfilled and you're joyous. ~ Frederick Lenz,
24:For success in life you need yukti (skill) and shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom). ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,
25:The means to Liberation is bhakti (devotion) in the form of continuous or prolonged meditation on the Self. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
26:To love God, excluding the world, is to give Him an intense but imperfect adoration.(Thoughts and Aphorisms ~ Bhakti)#SriAurobindo,
27:Yoga of Bhakti is a matter of the heart and not of the intellect. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Motives of Devotion,
28:Bhakti and Karma cannot be perfect and enduring unless they are based upon Jnana. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram - I, Bhawani Mandir,
29:Devotion (Bhakti) includes Sentimental Devotion (Bhav Bhakti) and Devotion through action (Kruti Bhakti). ~ Pandurang Shastri Athavale,
30:The path that is followed by most persons in the beginning of their spitirual search is the path of love, bhakti yoga. ~ Frederick Lenz,
31:Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
32:All ways can lead to the Supermind, just as all ways can lead to the Divine. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
33:Delight of the heart in God is the whole constituent and essence of true Bhakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, The Supreme Word of the Gita,
34:Love and serve men, but beware lest thou desire their approbation. Obey rather God within thee.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human, Bhakti,
35:I'm a Bhakti, meaning I practice devotional yoga and the heart and love, so I say to people, start with your ego and go down to your heart. ~ Ram Dass,
36:Not to kill emotion, but to turn it towards the Divine is the right way of the Yoga. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
37:There should be even in deep feeling a calm, a control, a purifying restraint and measure. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
38:To become free from sinful life, there is only simple method: if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of bhakti. ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
39:521. If Hell were possible, it would be the shortest cut to the highest heaven. For verily God loveth.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human, Bhakti #suffer,
40:In all spiritualities there is a contrast between the affective or13 devotional (bhakti) and the intellectual, anoetic type of experience (raja yoga). ~ Thomas Merton,
41:The very basis of this Yoga is bhakti and if one kills one’s emotional being there can be no bhakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
42:Until the final clarification and harmonising of the nature there are always contradictions in the being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
43:Bhakti and the heart’s call for the Divine have a truth—it is the truth of the divine Love and Ananda. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, The Adwaita of Shankaracharya,
44:He who has really prayed to the Master, even once, has nothing to fear. By, praying to him constantly one gets ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti) through his grace. ~ Sarada Devi,
45:Grace is something spontaneous which wells out from the Divine Consciousness as a free flower of its being. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
46:Emotion is a good element in Yoga; but emotional desire becomes easily a cause of perturbation and an obstacle. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
47:Neither Mantra nor scripture is of any avail; Bhakti, love, accomplishes everything. The Master is everything - both Guru and Ishta. He is all in all. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
48:If the reply takes long in coming, trust that he knows and loves and that he is wisest in the choice of the time. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
49:The Divine looks into the heart and removes the veil at the moment which he knows to be the right moment to do it. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism,
50:Once it happened…Four men were walking in the forest. The first was a gnana yogi, the second was a bhakti yogi, the third was a karma yogi, and the fourth was a kriya yogi. ~ Sadhguru,
51:It is a deep spiritual calm and peace that is the only stable foundation for a lasting Bhakti and Ananda. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - IV, Human Relations and the Spiritual Life,
52:He who has really prayed to the Master, even once, has nothing to fear. By praying to Him constantly one gets ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti) through His grace. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
53:Call with Bhakti upon His Hallowed Name and the mountain of your sins shall disappear as a mountain of cotton-wool will vanish in an instant if it catches one spark of fire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
54:Innumerable are the ways that lead to God. There are the paths of jnana, of karma, and of bhakti. If you are sincere, you will attain God in the end , whichever path you follow. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
55:Call with Bhakti (Love) upon His Hallowed Name and the mountain of your sins shall disappear as a mountain of cotton-wool will vanish in an instant if it catches one spark of fire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
56:‘As oil poured from one vessel to another falls in an unbroken line, so, when the mind in an unbroken stream thinks of the Lord, we have what is called Para-Bhakti or supreme love.’ ~ Swami Vivekananda,
57:I teach Zen, tantric mysticism, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, Tibetan mysticism, occultism and psychic development. I also teach poetry and literature, film and many other different things. ~ Frederick Lenz,
58:The very basis of this Yoga is bhakti and if one kills one's emotional being there can be no bhakti. So there can be no possibility of emotion being excluded from the Yoga. ~ Sri Aurobindo, (CWSA 29),
59:Those that say the kali yuga is an age of evil forget that this wonderful age is the yuga when moksha is nearest. I say to you, Bhakti, this is the most wonderful of all the ages of men! ~ Ramesh Menon,
60:‘As oil poured from one vessel to another falls in an unbroken line, so, when the mind in an unbroken stream thinks of the Lord, we have what is called Para-Bhakti or supreme love.’ (III. 85) ~ Swami Vivekananda,
61:Turn your emotions towards the Divine, aspire for their purification; they will then become a help on the way and no longer a cause of suffering. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
62:I have written and spoken my thoughts over many years. Now I'm on new ground and spirit. I want to bring these together. Things like karma yoga, bhakti yoga, conscious dying, conscious aging. Consciousness. ~ Ram Dass,
63:The intellectual approach to Ganesha is called gyan yoga. The emotional approach to Ganesha is called bhakti yoga. And a mechanical, ritualistic, approach to Ganesha is called karma yoga. Different ~ Devdutt Pattanaik,
64:Bhakti is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories.... Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
65:Awake by your aspiration the psychic fire in the heart that burns steadily towards the Divine—that is the one way to liberate and fulfil the emotional nature. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Bhakti, Devotion, Worship,
66:Jnana, bhakti, yoga and karma - these are the four paths which lead to spiritual freedom. One must follow the path for which one is best suited. But in this age, special stress should be laid on karma yoga. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
67:Evil company is always to be shunned; because it leads to lust and anger, illusion, forgetfulness of the goal, destruction of the will (lack of perseverance), and destruction of everything. (Narada Bhakti Sutra) ~ Swami Vivekananda,
68:He is not hankering after your food. He accepts your devotion, bhakti. The real thing is devotion, not the food. Kṛṣṇa does not accept any food of this material world. He accepts only the devotion. ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
69:The path of bhakti, or zealous love of God. Weep for God in solitude, with a restless soul, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!And how can She hold Herself from you?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
70:Do you know the significance of Japa and other spiritual practices? By these, the dominance of the sense organs is subdued. The realization of God cannot be achieved without ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti) for Him. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
71:First offer to God whatever you eat. One must not eat unoffered food. As your food is, so will be your blood. From pure food you get pure blood, pure mind and strength. Pure mind begets ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti). ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
72:The devotion to God as seen in every religion is divided into two parts: the devotion which works through forms and ceremonies and through words, and that which works through love. (Notes from a lecture Lessons on Bhakti yoga) ~ Swami Vivekananda,
73:'Nishta' leads to bhakti; bhakti, when mature, becomes 'bhava'; 'bhava' when concentrated, becomes 'mahabhava'; and last of all is 'prema'. Prema is like a chord; by 'prema' God is bound to the devotee; He can no longer run away. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
74:Bhakti is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories ... Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna, #index,
75:Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits. You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of bhakti within you, you will surely come back to the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
76:The psychic has its own more personal love, bhakti, surrender. Love in the higher or spiritual mind is more universal and impersonal. The two must join together to make the highest divine love. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga - II, Divine Love, Psychic Love and Human Love,
77:It is dangerous for a spiritual master to accept almost any aspirant. Although it is an aspect of mercy, it is dangerous. The danger also depends on the spiritual potency of the particular guru. Without sufficient potency, a few offensive or faithless disciples can lead to the guru's fall. ~ Bhakti Tirtha Swami,
78:One way for attaining Bhakti is by repeating the name of God a number of times. Mantras have effect: the mere repetition of words.... To obtain Bhakti, seek the company of holy men who have Bhakti, and read books like the Gita and the Imitation of Christ; always think of the attributes of God. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
79:The desire for the Divine or for bhakti for the Divine is the one desire which can free one from all the others—at the core it is not a desire, but an aspiration; a soul need, the breath of existence of the inmost being, and as such it cannot be counted among desires, kāmanār madhye nay. ~ Sri Aurobindo, to Dilip,
80:In most parts of the world, a new idea suppresses and wipes out the old idea, but in India, thanks to the abstract nature of Vedic ideas, new worldviews—be they native ones like Buddhism or Bhakti or foreign ones like Islam and Christianity—simply helped reaffirm the Vedic way in different ways. ~ Devdutt Pattanaik,
81:The pure mystic wishes to approach his God only in the all-embracing love. The yogi, too, walks toward one single aspect of God. The bhakti-yogi keeps to the road of love and devotion, the raja and hatha yogi choose the path of self-control or volition, the jnana yogi will follow that of wisdom and cognition. ~ Franz Bardon,
82:Every act of charity, every thought of sympathy, every action of help, every good deed, is taking so much of self-importance away from our little selves and making us think of ourselves as the lowest and the least, and, therefore, it is all good. Here we find that Jnâna, Bhakti, and Karma - all come to one point. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
83:Who cares for your bhakti and mukti? Who cares what your scriptures say? I will go into a thousand hells cheerfully if I can rouse my countrymen, immersed in tamas, to stand on their own feet and be men inspired with the spirit of karma-yoga. I am a follower only of he or she who serves and helps others without caring for his own bhakti and mukti! ~ Swami Vivekananda,
84:Who cares for your bhakti and mukti? Who cares what your scriptures say? I will go into a thousand hells cheerfully if I can rouse my countrymen, immersed in tamas, to stand on their own feet and be men inspired with the spirit of karma-yoga. I am a follower only of he or she who serves and helps others without caring for his own bhakti and mukti! ~ Swami Vivekananda,
85:The bhakti path winds in a delicate way.
On this path there is no asking and no not asking.
The ego simply disappears the moment you touch
him.
The joy of looking for him is so immense that you
just dive in,
and coast around like a fish in the water.
If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer
his.

~ Kabir, The bhakti path...
,
86:The name of the Divine is usually called in for protection, for adoration, for increase of bhakti, for the opening up of the inner consciousness, for the realisation of the Divine in that aspect. As far as it is necessary to work in the subconscious for that, the Name must be effective there. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, Namajapa or Repetition of the Name,
87:Government has only one religion - India first! Government has one holy book - the Constitution. The Government must be immersed in only one Bhakti- Bharat Bhakti! The Government's only strength is Jan Shakti! Government's only ritual is the well being of the 125 crore Indians! The only code of conduct of the Government should be 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas! ~ Narendra Modi,
88:Yogas chitta vritti nirodhah - (Yoga is to check the mind from changing) - which is acceptable to all. That is also the goal of all. The method is chosen according to one's own fitness. The goal for all is the same. Yet different names are given to the goal only to suit the process preliminary to reaching the goal. Bhakti, Yoga, Jnana are all the same. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
89:in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be the road to the salvation of a soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship. ~ Ramachandra Guha,
90:One is the path of devotion, what in India is called BHAKTI yoga, the path of love and devotion - a Meera, a Chaitanya, dancing and singing, losing themselves completely in the act. When Meera is dancing there is only dance, there is no Meera; the dancer is completely merged into the dance. When Chaitanya is singing and dancing there is no Chaitanya; he has become one with the act. ~ Rajneesh,
91:conditions of the psychic opening :::
The realisation of the psychic being, its awakening and the bringing of it in front depend mainly on the extent to which one can develop a personal relation with the Divine, a relation of Bhakti, love, reliance, self-giving, rejection of the insistences of the separating and self-asserting mental, vital and physical ego. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
92:Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? One jar of water is enough to quench my thirst. I don't need to know the amount of water there is on earth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
93:Arise! Arise! A tidal wave is coming! Onward! Men and women, down to the Chandala (Pariah) - all are pure in his eyes. Onward! Onward! There is no time to care for name, or fame, or Mukti, or Bhakti! We shall look to these some other time. Now in this life let us infinitely spread his lofty character, his sublime life, his infinite soul. This is the only work - there is nothing else to do. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
94:A master bestows the divine experience of cosmic consciousness when his disciple, by meditation, has strengthened his mind to a degree where the vast vistas would not overwhelm him. Mere intellectual willingness or open-mindedness is not enough. Only adequate enlargement of consciousness by yoga practice and devotional bhakti can prepare one to absorb the liberating shock of omnipresence. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
95:Les religions monothéistes, avec leur dogmatisme invariable et leur homogénéité formelle, ont ici un avantage réel, en ce sens que leur structure même s’oppose aux déviations de la bhakti. La structure de l’Hindouisme est trop primordiale pour ne pas être terriblement vulnérable à une époque comme la nôtre; il est presque impossible aux bhaktas contemporains de se maintenir tout à fait dans l’orthodoxie. ~ Frithjof Schuon,
96:Until a bhakta has not abandoned himself and his life to you, so that he is yours and you his, the passions of his heart are his enemies, his home is a prison, and all his attachments are bondage. Once the surrender is effected, and all these old enemies turned over to you, they transform themselves into the most potent gifts for the life of devotion. When the Lord becomes one’s own! With such bhakti, a man becomes a natural Sannyasi. ~ Ramesh Menon,
97:You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping Siva you acquire the nature of Siva. A devotee of Rama meditated on Hanuman day and night. He used to think he had become Hanuman. In the end he was firmly convinced that he had even grown a little tail. Jnana is the characteristic of Siva, and bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of Siva's nature becomes a jnani, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
98:... The sadhana of inner concentration consists in:
(1) Fixing the consciousness in the heart and concentrating there on the idea, image or name of the Divine Mother, whichever comes easiest to you.
(2) A gradual and progressive quieting of the mind by this concentration in the heart.
(3) An aspiration for the Mother's presence in the heart and the control by her of mind, life and action. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, Combining Work, Meditation and Bhakti,
99:Only love for the Supreme Lord is true Bhakti. Love for any other being, however great, is not Bhakti. The "Supreme Lord" here means Ishvara, the concept of which transcends what you in the West mean by the personal God. "He from whom this universe proceeds, in whom it rests, and to whom it returns, He is Ishvara, the Eternal, the Pure, the All-Merciful, the Almighty, the Ever-Free, the All-Knowing, the Teacher of all teachers, the Lord who of His own nature is inexpressible Love." ~ Swami Vivekananda,
100:Yoga tells us there are a few fundamental ways. If you employ your physical body to reach this ultimate union, we call this karma yoga, or the yoga of action. If you employ your intelligence to reach your ultimate nature, we call this gnana yoga, the yoga of intelligence. If you employ your emotions to reach your ultimate nature, we call this bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion. And if you use your energies to reach the supreme experience, we call this kriya yoga, the yoga of transforming energies. Every ~ Sadhguru,
101:The bhakti path winds in a delicate way. On this path there is no asking and not asking. The ego simply disappears the moment you touch him. The joy of looking for him is so immense that you just dive in, and coast around like a fish in the water. If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer his. Kabir's poems touch on the secrets of this bhakti. [bk1sm.gif] -- from The Kabir Book: Forty-Four fo the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir, Translated by Robert Bly

~ Kabir, The bhakti path winds in a delicate way
,
102:We are the Sublime Radiance, the Star of India, and the Sun of Glory," said the emperor, who knew a thing or two about flattery himself, "yet we were raised in that shit-hole dump of a town where men fuck women to make babies but fuck boys to make them men- raised watching out for the attacker who worked from behind as well the warrior straight ahead... Is that how a king should be raised, Bhakti Ram Jain?" the emperor roared, tipping over the basin in his wrath. "Illiterate, ass-guarding, savage- is that what a prince should be? ~ Salman Rushdie,
103:No matter how well one cultivates vairagya or how diligent one is in performing good actions or what measure of bhakti, devotion, one practises, one will not shed the sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ till one has attained knowledge. One can attain self-realisation only if one sheds this attachment to the ego. Only when this ‘I’ is done away with can one attain self-realisation. A man’s devotion to God is to be judged from the extent to which he gives up his stiffness and bends low in humility. Only then will he be, not an impostor, but a truly illumined man, a man of genuine knowledge. ~ Mahatma Gandhi,
104:As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that of the Mother or of my name and the Mother. The concentration in the heart and the concentration in the head can both be used - each has its own result. The first opens up the psychic being and brings bhakti, love and union with the Mother, her presence within the heart and the action of her Force in the nature. The other opens the mind to self-realisation, to the consciousness of what is above mind, to the ascent of the consciousness out of the body and the descent of the higher consciousness into the body. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II,
105:Ambedkar quoted John Stuart Mill, who cautioned citizens not ‘to lay their liberties at the feet of even a greatman, or to trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions’. This warning was even more pertinent here than in England, for in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays apart in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be the road to the salvation of a soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship. ~ Anonymous,
106:The Srimad Bhagavatam teaches nine primary forms of bhakti, as explained by Prahlada as:(1) śravaṇa ("listening" to the scriptural stories of Kṛṣṇa and his companions), (2) kīrtana ("praising," usually refers to ecstatic group singing), (3) smaraṇa ("remembering" or fixing the mind on Viṣṇu), (4) pāda-sevana (rendering service), (5) arcana (worshiping an image), (6) vandana (paying homage), (7) dāsya (servitude), (8) sākhya (friendship), and (9) ātma-nivedana (complete surrender of the self). ~ Bhagavata Purana (from Bhagavata Purana, 7.5.23-24) quoted in Acting as a Way of Salvation: A Study of Rāgānugā Bhakti Sādhana, p. 133,
107:conditions of the psychic opening :::
For the opening of the psychic being, concentration on the Mother and self-offering to her are the direct way. The growth of Bhakti which you feel is the first sign of the psychic development. A sense of the Mother's presence or force or the remembrance of her supporting and strengthening you is the next sign. Eventually, the soul within begins to be active in aspiration and psychic perception guiding the mind to the right thoughts, the vital to the right movements and feelings, showing and rejecting all that has to be put away and turning the whole being in all its movements to the Divine alone. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
108:The contribution of the psychic being to the sadhana is: (1) love and bhakti, a love not vital, demanding and egoistic but unconditioned and without claims, self-existent; (2) the contact or the presence of the Mother within; (3) the unerring guidance from within; (4) a quieting and purification of the mind, vital and physical consciousness by their subjection to the psychic influence and guidance; (5) the opening up of all this lower consciousness to the higher spiritual consciousness above for its descent into a nature prepared to receive it with a complete receptivity and right attitude - for the psychic brings in everything, right thought, right perception, right feeling, right attitude. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - III,
109:The other day I told you the meaning of bhakti. It is to adore God with body, mind, and words. 'With body' means to serve and worship God with one's hands, go to holy places with one's feet, hear the chanting of the name and glories of God with one's ears, and behold the divine image with one's eyes. 'With mind' means to contemplate and meditate on God constantly and to remember and think of His lila. 'With words' means to sing hymns to Him and chant His name and glories.
Devotion as described by Narada is suited to the Kaliyuga. It means to chant constantly the name and glories of God. Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
110:Yoga necessitates controlling the senses, and bhakti-yoga, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the process of purifying the senses. When the senses are purified, they are automatically controlled. One cannot stop the activities of the senses by artificial means, but if one purifies the senses by engaging in the service of the Lord, the senses not only can be controlled from rubbish engagement, but can be engaged in the Lord’s transcendental service, as aspired to by the four sages Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumāra. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not, therefore, a manufactured concoction of the speculative mind. It is the process enjoined in Bhagavad-gītā (9.34): man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru. ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
111:In bidding for popular support and competing with other cults as a parallel religion, the sangha had been losing ground throughout India since the time of the Guptas. Populist devotional cults emanating from south India (the so-called bhakti movement) were pre-empting Buddhism’s traditional appeal as a refuge from brahman authority and caste prejudice. At the same time a reform movement started by Sankara (788–820), a brahman from Kerala, was reclaiming for a distilled essence of Vedic philosophy (vedanta) the high moral and doctrinal ground previously enjoyed by the Noble Eightfold Path. As a result Buddhism was already largely confined to the peripheral regions of Sind, Kashmir, Nepal, and of course the Pala heartland in eastern India. ~ John Keay,
112:The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation aroused only for the preparation and increase of intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation. This path, too, as ordinarily practised, leads away from world-existence to an absorption, of another kind than the Monists, in the Transcendent and Supra-cosmic.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga,
113:Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can 'do' the Purna Yoga - i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the Yoga by one's own effort. No human being can do that. What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother's hands and open oneself to her by service, by bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supramental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother, 151 [T3],
114:The up and down movement which you speak of is common to all ways of Yoga. It is there in the path of bhakti, but there are equally alternations of states of light and states of darkness, sometimes sheer and prolonged darkness, when one follows the path of knowledge. Those who have occult experiences come to periods when all experiences cease and even seem finished for ever. Even when there have been many and permanent realisations, these seem to go behind the veil and leave nothing in front except a dull blank, filled, if at all, only with recurrent attacks and difficulties. These alternations are the result of the nature of human consciousness and are not a proof of unfitness or of predestined failure. One has to be prepared for them and pass through. They are the day and night of the Vedic mystics.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II,
115:Bhagavan: There are only two ways to conquer destiny or to be independent of it. One is to inquire whose this destiny is and discover that only the ego is bound by it and not the Self and that the ego is non-existent. The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord, realizing one's helplessness and saying all the time: "Not I, but Thou, oh Lord," giving up all sense of "I" and "mine" and leaving it to the Lord to do what He likes with you. Surrender can never be regarded as complete so long as the devotee wants this or that from the Lord. True surrender is the love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation. In other words, complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-inquiry or through bhakti-marga. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Day by Day, 28-6-46,
116:Parikshita asked, “I have heard there are a great many regions that souls of the earth attain after they die. Is this true, my lord?’ Suka said, “There are, O Kshatriya, as many hells as there heavens, and those that sin surely do find these narakas for themselves, until they are purified and rise to the higher realms again. The hells, like all conditions are states of mind, too, resulting from ignorance, avidya, and from violence.” Parikshita wanted to know, “Where are these hells situated?” “They are deep inside the three worlds, in the southern direction, below the earth and above the waters. Here, the manes called the Agnisvattas dwell. They worship the great Gods with deep bhakti and ask them to bless their descendants. Here, too, Surya Deva’s son, Yama, the Lord Death, dwells with his retinue. And those souls that his dutas bring to him, he punishes according to their crimes, ~ Ramesh Menon,
117:The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest and most natural way to reach the great divine end in view; it's great disadvantage is that in its lower forms it oftentimes degenerates into hideous fanaticism. The fanatical crew in Hinduism, Mohammedanism, or Christianity, have always been almost exclusively recruited from these worshippers [sic] on the lower planes of Bhakti. That singleness of attachment (Nishthâ) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of the denunciation of everything else. All the weak and undeveloped minds in every religion or country have only one way of loving their own ideal, i.e., by hating every other ideal. Herein is the explanation of why the same man who is so lovingly attached to his own ideal of God, so devoted to his own ideal of religion, becomes a howling fanatic as soon as he sees or hears anything of any other ideal. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
118:One of the strangest controversies in the history of Orientalism turned upon the “origin of bhakti”, as if devotion had at some given moment been a new idea and thenceforth a fashionable one. It would have been simpler to observe that the word bhakti means primarily a given share, and therefore also the devotion or love that all liberality presupposes; and so that inasmuch as one “gives God his share” (bhagam), i.e. sacrifces, one is his bhakta. Thus in the hymn, “If thou givest me my share” amounts to saying “If thou lovest me”. It has often been pointed out that the Sacrifice was thought of as a commerce between Gods and men: but not often realised that by introducing into traditional conceptions of trade notions derived from our own internecine commercial transactions, we have falsified our understanding of the original sense of such a commerce, which was actually more of the potlatsh type, a competition in giving, than like our competitions in taking. ~ Ananda K Coomaraswamy,
119:Generally, the conditioned soul is mad because he is always engaged in activities that are the causes of bondage and suffering.” The spirit soul in his original condition is joyful, blissful, eternal and full of knowledge. Only by his implication in material activities has he become miserable, temporary and full of ignorance. This is due to vikarma. Vikarma means “actions which should not be done.” Therefore, we must practice sādhana-bhakti – which means to offer maṅgala-ārati (Deity worship) in the morning, to refrain from certain material activities, to offer obeisances to the spiritual master and to follow many other rules and regulations that will be discussed here one after another. These practices will help one become cured of madness. As a man’s mental disease is cured by the directions of a psychiatrist, so this sādhana-bhakti cures the conditioned soul of his madness under the spell of māyā, material illusion. Nārada Muni mentions this sādhana-bhakti in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Seventh Canto, first chapter, verse 32. He says there to King Yudhiṣṭhira, “My dear King, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa by any means.” That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. ~ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhup da,
120:There are two Sanskrit words that are used for 'path': marga, which also carries the sense of 'way, method or means' and upaya, that by which one reaches one's aim. In reality, it must be the case that we are already who we really are. Who else could we be? It is the illusory ego that believes that we are in some way limited and that wants to become eternally happy. Whilst this state of affairs continues, the search is doomed to failure. Paths and practices are therefore needed not in order that we may find something new but in order that we may uncover what is already here now.

The reason why different paths are needed is that minds, bodies and egos function differently. All paths aim effectively to remove the obscuring effect of this ego. This can be done through the practices of devotion and surrender to a God, for example, in the case of bhakti yoga. It can also be achieved in simple day to day life of working, at whatever may be our particular job, by doing the work for its own sake and giving up any claim to the results, in the case of karma yoga. And it can be achieved by enquiry and reason, using the mind and intellect to appreciate the truth of the non-existence of the ego, in the case of jnana yoga. ~ Dennis Waite,
121:Bhakti Yoga, the Path of Devotion; :::
   The path of Devotion aims at the enjoyment of the supreme Love and Bliss and utilses normally the conception of the supreme Lord in His personality as the divine Lover and enjoyer of the universe. The world is then realised as a a play of the Lord, with our human life as its final stages, pursued through the different phases of self-concealment and self-revealation. The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation are used only for the preparation and increase the intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation. ... We can see how this larger application of the Yoga of Devotion may be used as to lead to the elevation of the whole range of human emotion, sensation and aesthetic perception to the divine level, its spiritualisation and the justification of the cosmic labour towards love and joy in humanity.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Introduction - The Conditions of the Synthesis, The Systems of Yoga,
122:When the Peace is established, this higher or Divine Force from above can descend and work in us. It descends usually first into the head and liberates the inner mind mind centres, then into the heart centre and liberates fully the psychic and emotional being, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner vital, then into the Muladhara and below and liberates the inner vital, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner physical being. It works at the same time for perfection as well as liberation; it takes up the whole nature part by part and deals with it, rejecting what has to be rejected, sublimating what has to be sublimated, creating what has to be created. It integrates, harmonises, establishes a new rhythm in the nature. It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assistance, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
123:Contact and Union with the Divine;
Seeing is of many kinds. There is a superficial seeing which only erects or receives momentarily or for some time an image of the Being seen; that brings no change, unless the inner bhakti makes it a means for change. There is also the reception of the living image of the Divine in one of his forms into oneself, - say, in the heart, - that can have an immediate effect or initiate a period of spiritual growth. There is also the seeing outside oneself in a more or less objective and subtle physical or physical way. As for milana, the abiding union is within and that can be there at all times; the outer milana or contact is not usually abiding. There are some who often or almost invariably have the contact whenever they worship, the Deity may become living to them in the picture or other image they worship, may move and act through it; others may feel him always present, outwardly, subtle-physically, abiding with them where they live or in the very room, but sometimes this is only for a period. Or they may feel the Presence with them, see it frequently in a body (but not materially except sometimes), feel its touch or embrace, converse with it constantly - that is also a kind of milana. The greatest milana is one in which one is constantly aware of the Deity abiding in oneself, in everything in the world, holding all the world in him, identical with existence and yet supremely beyond the world - but in the world too one sees, hears, feels nothing but him, so that the very senses bear witness to him alone - and this does not exclude such specific personal manifestations as those vouchsafed to Krishnaprem and his guru. The more ways there are of the union, the better. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [T4],
124:One can concentrate in any of the three centres which is easiest to the sadhak or gives most result. The power of the concentration in the heart-centre is to open that centre and by the power of aspiration, love, bhakti, surrender remove the veil which covers and conceals the soul and bring forward the soul or psychic being to govern the mind, life and body and turn and open them all-fully-to the Divine, removing all that is opposed to that turning and opening.
   This is what is called in this Yoga the psychic transformation. The power of concentration above the head is to bring peace, silence, liberation from the body sense, the identification with mind and life and open the way for the lower (mental vital-physical) consciousness to rise up to meet the higher Consciousness above and for the powers of the higher (spiritual or divine) Consciousness to descend into mind, life and body. This is what is called in this Yoga the spiritual transformation. If one begins with this movement, then the Power from above has in its descent to open all the centres (including the lowest centre) and to bring out the psychic being; for until that is done there is likely to be much difficulty and struggle of the lower consciousness obstructing, mixing with or even refusing the Divine Action from above. If the psychic being is once active this struggle and these difficulties can be greatly minimised. The power of concentration in the eyebrows is to open the centre there, liberate the inner mind and vision and the inner or Yogic consciousness and its experiences and powers. From here also one can open upwards and act also in the lower centres; but the danger of this process is that one may get shut up in one's mental spiritual formations and not come out of them into the free and integral spiritual experience and knowledge and integral change of the being and nature.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [where to concentrate?],
125:... The first opening is effected by a concentration in the heart, a call to the Divine to manifest within us and through the psychic to take up and lead the whole nature. Aspiration, prayer, bhakti, love, surrender are the main supports of this part of the sadhana - accompanied by a rejection of all that stands in the way of what we aspire for. The second opening is effected by a concentration of the consciousness in the head (afterwards, above it) and an aspiration and call and a sustained will for the descent of the divine Peace, Power, Light, Knowledge, Ananda into the being - the Peace first or the Peace and Force together. Some indeed receive Light first or Ananda first or some sudden pouring down of knowledge. With some there is first an opening which reveals to them a vast infinite Silence, Force, Light or Bliss above them and afterwards either they ascend to that or these things begin to descend into the lower nature. With others there is either the descent, first into the head, then down to the heart level, then to the navel and below and through the whole body, or else an inexplicable opening - without any sense of descent - of peace, light, wideness or power or else a horizontal opening into the cosmic consciousness or, in a suddenly widened mind, an outburst of knowledge. Whatever comes has to be welcomed - for there is no absolute rule for all, - but if the peace has not come first, care must be taken not to swell oneself in exultation or lose the balance. The capital movement however is when the Divine Force or Shakti, the power of the Mother comes down and takes hold, for then the organisation of the consciousness begins and the larger foundation of the Yoga.

   The result of the concentration is not usually immediate - though to some there comes a swift and sudden outflowering; but with most there is a time longer or shorter of adaptation or preparation, especially if the nature has not been prepared already to some extent by aspiration and tapasya. ... ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
126:In the Indian spiritual tradition, a heart's devotion to God, called Bhakti, is regarded as the easiest path to the Divine. What is Bhakti? Is it some extravagant religious sentimentalism? Is it inferior to the path of Knowledge? What is the nature of pure and complete spiritual devotion to God and how to realise it?

What Is Devotion?

...bhakti in its fullness is nothing but an entire self-giving. But then all meditation, all tapasya, all means of prayer or mantra must have that as its end... [SABCL, 23:799]

Devotion Is a State of the Heart and Soul

Bhakti is not an experience, it is a state of the heart and soul. It is a state which comes when the psychic being is awake and prominent. [SABCL, 23:776]

...Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. [SABCL, 21:525]

Devotion without Gratitude Is Incomplete

...there is another movement which should constantly accompany devotion. ... That kind of sense of gratitude that the Divine exists; that feeling of a marvelling thankfulness which truly fills you with a sublime joy at the fact that the Divine exists, that there is something in the universe which is the Divine, that it is not just the monstrosity we see, that there is the Divine, the Divine exists. And each time that the least thing puts you either directly or indirectly in contactwith this sublime Reality of divine existence, the heart is filled with so intense, so marvellous a joy, such a gratitude as of all things has the most delightful taste.

There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion-indeed so deep, so intense-that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine.

So I find that devotion without gratitude is quite incomplete, gratitude must come with devotion. ~ The Mother,
127:He continuously reflected on her image and attributes, day and night. His bhakti was such that he could not stop thinking of her. Eventually, he saw her everywhere and in everything. This was his path to illumination.

   He was often asked by people: what is the way to the supreme? His answer was sharp and definite: bhakti yoga. He said time and time again that bhakti yoga is the best sadhana for the Kali Yuga (Dark Age) of the present.

   His bhakti is illustrated by the following statement he made to a disciple:

   To my divine mother I prayed only for pure love.
At her lotus feet I offered a few flowers and I prayed:

   Mother! here is virtue and here is vice;
   Take them both from me.
   Grant me only love, pure love for Thee.
   Mother! here is knowledge and here is ignorance;
   Take them both from me.
   Grant me only love, pure love for Thee.
   Mother! here is purity and impurity;
   Take them both from me.
   Grant me only love, pure love for Thee.

Ramakrishna, like Kabir, was a practical man.
He said: "So long as passions are directed towards the world and its objects, they are enemies. But when they are directed towards a deity, then they become the best of friends to man, for they take him to illumination. The desire for worldly things must be changed into longing for the supreme; the anger which you feel for fellow man must be directed towards the supreme for not manifesting himself to you . . . and so on, with all other emotions. The passions cannot be eradicated, but they can be turned into new directions."

   A disciple once asked him: "How can one conquer the weaknesses within us?" He answered: "When the fruit grows out of the flower, the petals drop off themselves. So when divinity in you increases, the weaknesses of human nature will vanish of their own accord." He emphasized that the aspirant should not give up his practices. "If a single dive into the sea does not bring you a pearl, do not conclude that there are no pearls in the sea. There are countless pearls hidden in the sea.

   So if you fail to merge with the supreme during devotional practices, do not lose heart. Go on patiently with the practices, and in time you will invoke divine grace." It does not matter what form you care to worship. He said: "Many are the names of the supreme and infinite are the forms through which he may be approached. In whatever name and form you choose to worship him, through that he will be realized by you." He indicated the importance of surrender on the path of bhakti when he said:

   ~ Swami Satyananda Saraswati, A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya,
128:Talk 26

...

D.: Taking the first part first, how is the mind to be eliminated or relative consciousness transcended?

M.: The mind is by nature restless. Begin liberating it from its restlessness; give it peace; make it free from distractions; train it to look inward; make this a habit. This is done by ignoring the external world and removing the obstacles to peace of mind.

D.: How is restlessness removed from the mind?

M.: External contacts - contacts with objects other than itself - make the mind restless. Loss of interest in non-Self, (vairagya) is the first step. Then the habits of introspection and concentration follow. They are characterised by control of external senses, internal faculties, etc. (sama, dama, etc.) ending in samadhi (undistracted mind).

Talk 27.

D.: How are they practised?

M.: An examination of the ephemeral nature of external phenomena leads to vairagya. Hence enquiry (vichara) is the first and foremost step to be taken. When vichara continues automatically, it results in a contempt for wealth, fame, ease, pleasure, etc. The 'I' thought becomes clearer for inspection. The source of 'I' is the Heart - the final goal. If, however, the aspirant is not temperamentally suited to Vichara Marga (to the introspective analytical method), he must develop bhakti (devotion) to an ideal - may be God, Guru, humanity in general, ethical laws, or even the idea of beauty. When one of these takes possession of the individual, other attachments grow weaker, i.e., dispassion (vairagya) develops. Attachment for the ideal simultaneously grows and finally holds the field. Thus ekagrata (concentration) grows simultaneously and imperceptibly - with or without visions and direct aids.

In the absence of enquiry and devotion, the natural sedative pranayama (breath regulation) may be tried. This is known as Yoga Marga. If life is imperilled the whole interest centres round the one point, the saving of life. If the breath is held the mind cannot afford to (and does not) jump at its pets - external objects. Thus there is rest for the mind so long as the breath is held. All attention being turned on breath or its regulation, other interests are lost. Again, passions are attended with irregular breathing, whereas calm and happiness are attended with slow and regular breathing. Paroxysm of joy is in fact as painful as one of pain, and both are accompanied by ruffled breaths. Real peace is happiness. Pleasures do not form happiness. The mind improves by practice and becomes finer just as the razor's edge is sharpened by stropping. The mind is then better able to tackle internal or external problems. If an aspirant be unsuited temperamentally for the first two methods and circumstantially (on account of age) for the third method, he must try the Karma Marga (doing good deeds, for example, social service). His nobler instincts become more evident and he derives impersonal pleasure. His smaller self is less assertive and has a chance of expanding its good side. The man becomes duly equipped for one of the three aforesaid paths. His intuition may also develop directly by this single method. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramanasramam,
129:Questioner: In the tradition, we were always taught to be reverential towards God or the highest aspect. So how to reconcile this with Mirabai or Akka Mahadevi who took God as their lover? Sadhguru: Where there is no love, how can reverence come? When love reaches its peak, it naturally becomes reverence. People who are talking about reverence without love know neither this nor that. All they know is fear. So probably you are referring to God-fearing people. These sages and saints, especially the seers like Akka Mahadevi, Mirabai or Anusuya and so many of them in the past, have taken to this form of worship because it was more suitable for them – they could emote much more easily than they could intellectualize things. They just used their emotions to reach their Ultimate nature. Using emotion and reaching the Ultimate nature is what is called bhakti yoga. In every culture, there are different forms of worship. Some people worship God as the master and themselves as the slaves. Sometimes they even take God as their servant or as a partner in everything that they do. Yet others worship him as a friend, as a lover, or as their own child like Balakrishna. Generally, you become the feminine and you hold him as the ultimate purusha – masculine. How you worship is not at all the point; the whole point is just how deeply you relate. These are the different attitudes, but whatever the attitude, the love affair is such that you are not expecting anything from the other side. Not even a response. You crave for it. But if there is no response, you are not going to be angry, you are not going to be disappointed – nothing. Your life is just to crave and make something else tremendously more important than yourself. That is the fundamental thing. In the whole path of bhakti, the important thing is just this, that something else is far more important than you. So Akka, Mirabai and others like them, their bhakti was in that form and they took this mode of worship where they worshipped God – whether Shiva or Krishna – as their husband. In India, when a woman comes to a certain age, marriage is almost like a must, and it anyway happens. They wanted to eliminate that dimension of being married once again to another man, so they chose the Lord himself as their husband so that they don’t need any other relationship in their lives. How a devotee relates to his object of devotion does not really matter because the purpose of the path of devotion is just dissolution. The only objective of a devotee is to dissolve into his object of devotion. Whichever way they could relate best, that is how they would do it. The reason why you asked this question in terms of reverence juxtaposed with being a lover or a husband is because the word “love” or “being a lover” is always understood as a physical aspect. That is why this question has come. How can you be physical with somebody and still be reverential? This has been the tragedy of humanity that lovers have not known how to be reverential to each other. In fact the very objective of love is to dissolve into someone else. If you look at love as an emotion, you can see that love is a vehicle to bring oneness. It is the longing to become one with the other which we are referring to as love. When it is taken to its peak, it is very natural to become reverential towards what you consider worthwhile being “one” with. For whatever sake, you are willing to dissolve yourself. It is natural to be reverential towards that. Otherwise how would you feel that it is worthwhile to dissolve into? If you think it is something you can use or something you can just relate to and be benefited by, there can be no love. Always, the object of love is to dissolve. So, whatever you consider is worthwhile to dissolve your own self into, you are bound to be reverential towards that; there is no other way to be. ~ Sadhguru,
130:SECTION 1. Books for Serious Study
   Liber CCXX. (Liber AL vel Legis.) The Book of the Law. This book is the foundation of the New Æon, and thus of the whole of our work.
   The Equinox. The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation.
   Liber ABA (Book 4). A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers. In four parts: (1) Mysticism (2) Magical (Elementary Theory) (3) Magick in Theory and Practice (this book) (4) The Law.
   Liber II. The Message of the Master Therion. Explains the essence of the new Law in a very simple manner.
   Liber DCCCXXXVIII. The Law of Liberty. A further explanation of The Book of the Law in reference to certain ethical problems.
   Collected Works of A. Crowley. These works contain many mystical and magical secrets, both stated clearly in prose, and woven into the Robe of sublimest poesy.
   The Yi King. (S. B. E. Series [vol. XVI], Oxford University Press.) The "Classic of Changes"; give the initiated Chinese system of Magick.
   The Tao Teh King. (S. B. E. Series [vol. XXXIX].) Gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism.
   Tannhäuser, by A. Crowley. An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the Soul; the Tannhäuser story slightly remodelled.
   The Upanishads. (S. B. E. Series [vols. I & XV.) The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism.
   The Bhagavad-gita. A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu "Christ", expounds a system of Attainment.
   The Voice of the Silence, by H.P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O.M. Frater O.M., 7°=48, is the most learned of all the Brethren of the Order; he has given eighteen years to the study of this masterpiece.
   Raja-Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda. An excellent elementary study of Hindu mysticism. His Bhakti-Yoga is also good.
   The Shiva Samhita. An account of various physical means of assisting the discipline of initiation. A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices.
   The Hathayoga Pradipika. Similar to the Shiva Samhita.
   The Aphorisms of Patanjali. A valuable collection of precepts pertaining to mystical attainment.
   The Sword of Song. A study of Christian theology and ethics, with a statement and solution of the deepest philosophical problems. Also contains the best account extant of Buddhism, compared with modern science.
   The Book of the Dead. A collection of Egyptian magical rituals.
   Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, by Eliphas Levi. The best general textbook of magical theory and practice for beginners. Written in an easy popular style.
   The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. The best exoteric account of the Great Work, with careful instructions in procedure. This Book influenced and helped the Master Therion more than any other.
   The Goetia. The most intelligible of all the mediæval rituals of Evocation. Contains also the favourite Invocation of the Master Therion.
   Erdmann's History of Philosophy. A compendious account of philosophy from the earliest times. Most valuable as a general education of the mind.
   The Spiritual Guide of [Miguel de] Molinos. A simple manual of Christian Mysticism.
   The Star in the West. (Captain Fuller). An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley.
   The Dhammapada. (S. B. E. Series [vol. X], Oxford University Press). The best of the Buddhist classics.
   The Questions of King Milinda. (S. B. E. Series [vols. XXXV & XXXVI].) Technical points of Buddhist dogma, illustrated bydialogues.
   Liber 777 vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticæ Viæ Explicandæ, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicam Sanctissimorum Scientiæ Summæ. A complete Dictionary of the Correspondences of all magical elements, reprinted with extensive additions, making it the only standard comprehensive book of reference ever published. It is to the language of Occultism what Webster or Murray is to the English language.
   Varieties of Religious Experience (William James). Valuable as showing the uniformity of mystical attainment.
   Kabbala Denudata, von Rosenroth: also The Kabbalah Unveiled, by S.L. Mathers. The text of the Qabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject.
   Konx Om Pax [by Aleister Crowley]. Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick.
   The Pistis Sophia [translated by G.R.S. Mead or Violet McDermot]. An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism.
   The Oracles of Zoroaster [Chaldæan Oracles]. An invaluable collection of precepts mystical and magical.
   The Dream of Scipio, by Cicero. Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy.
   The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, by Fabre d'Olivet. An interesting study of the exoteric doctrines of this Master.
   The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Trismegistus. Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy.
   The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, reprint of Franz Hartmann. An invaluable compendium.
   Scrutinium Chymicum [Atalanta Fugiens]¸ by Michael Maier. One of the best treatises on alchemy.
   Science and the Infinite, by Sidney Klein. One of the best essays written in recent years.
   Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus [A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus &c. &c. &c.], by Richard Payne Knight [and Thomas Wright]. Invaluable to all students.
   The Golden Bough, by J.G. Frazer. The textbook of Folk Lore. Invaluable to all students.
   The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition.
   Rivers of Life, by General Forlong. An invaluable textbook of old systems of initiation.
   Three Dialogues, by Bishop Berkeley. The Classic of Subjective Idealism.
   Essays of David Hume. The Classic of Academic Scepticism.
   First Principles by Herbert Spencer. The Classic of Agnosticism.
   Prolegomena [to any future Metaphysics], by Immanuel Kant. The best introduction to Metaphysics.
   The Canon [by William Stirling]. The best textbook of Applied Qabalah.
   The Fourth Dimension, by [Charles] H. Hinton. The best essay on the subject.
   The Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley. Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose.
   ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Appendix I: Literature Recommended to Aspirants #reading list,
131:This, in short, is the demand made on us, that we should turn our whole life into a conscious sacrifice. Every moment and every movement of our being is to be resolved into a continuous and a devoted self-giving to the Eternal. All our actions, not less the smallest and most ordinary and trifling than the greatest and most uncommon and noble, must be performed as consecrated acts. Our individualised nature must live in the single consciousness of an inner and outer movement dedicated to Something that is beyond us and greater than our ego. No matter what the gift or to whom it is presented by us, there must be a consciousness in the act that we are presenting it to the one divine Being in all beings. Our commonest or most grossly material actions must assume this sublimated character; when we eat, we should be conscious that we are giving our food to that Presence in us; it must be a sacred offering in a temple and the sense of a mere physical need or self-gratification must pass away from us. In any great labour, in any high discipline, in any difficult or noble enterprise, whether undertaken for ourselves, for others or for the race, it will no longer be possible to stop short at the idea of the race, of ourselves or of others. The thing we are doing must be consciously offered as a sacrifice of works, not to these, but either through them or directly to the One Godhead; the Divine Inhabitant who was hidden by these figures must be no longer hidden but ever present to our soul, our mind, our sense. The workings and results of our acts must be put in the hands of that One in the feeling that that Presence is the Infinite and Most High by whom alone our labour and our aspiration are possible. For in his being all takes place; for him all labour and aspiration are taken from us by Nature and offered on his altar. Even in those things in which Nature is herself very plainly the worker and we only the witnesses of her working and its containers and supporters, there should be the same constant memory and insistent consciousness of a work and of its divine Master. Our very inspiration and respiration, our very heart-beats can and must be made conscious in us as the living rhythm of the universal sacrifice.
   It is clear that a conception of this kind and its effective practice must carry in them three results that are of a central importance for our spiritual ideal. It is evident, to begin with, that, even if such a discipline is begun without devotion, it leads straight and inevitably towards the highest devotion possible; for it must deepen naturally into the completest adoration imaginable, the most profound God-love. There is bound up with it a growing sense of the Divine in all things, a deepening communion with the Divine in all our thought, will and action and at every moment of our lives, a more and more moved consecration to the Divine of the totality of our being. Now these implications of the Yoga of works are also of the very essence of an integral and absolute Bhakti. The seeker who puts them into living practice makes in himself continually a constant, active and effective representation of the very spirit of self-devotion, and it is inevitable that out of it there should emerge the most engrossing worship of the Highest to whom is given this service. An absorbing love for the Divine Presence to whom he feels an always more intimate closeness, grows upon the consecrated worker. And with it is born or in it is contained a universal love too for all these beings, living forms and creatures that are habitations of the Divine - not the brief restless grasping emotions of division, but the settled selfless love that is the deeper vibration of oneness. In all the seeker begins to meet the one Object of his adoration and service. The way of works turns by this road of sacrifice to meet the path of Devotion; it can be itself a devotion as complete, as absorbing, as integral as any the desire of the heart can ask for or the passion of the mind can imagine.
   Next, the practice of this Yoga demands a constant inward remembrance of the one central liberating knowledge, and a constant active externalising of it in works comes in too to intensify the remembrance. In all is the one Self, the one Divine is all; all are in the Divine, all are the Divine and there is nothing else in the universe, - this thought or this faith is the whole background until it becomes the whole substance of the consciousness of the worker. A memory, a self-dynamising meditation of this kind, must and does in its end turn into a profound and uninterrupted vision and a vivid and all-embracing consciousness of that which we so powerfully remember or on which we so constantly meditate. For it compels a constant reference at each moment to the Origin of all being and will and action and there is at once an embracing and exceeding of all particular forms and appearances in That which is their cause and upholder. This way cannot go to its end without a seeing vivid and vital, as concrete in its way as physical sight, of the works of the universal Spirit everywhere. On its summits it rises into a constant living and thinking and willing and acting in the presence of the Supramental, the Transcendent. Whatever we see and hear, whatever we touch and sense, all of which we are conscious, has to be known and felt by us as That which we worship and serve; all has to be turned into an image of the Divinity, perceived as a dwelling-place of his Godhead, enveloped with the eternal Omnipresence. In its close, if not long before it, this way of works turns by communion with the Divine Presence, Will and Force into a way of Knowledge more complete and integral than any the mere creature intelligence can construct or the search of the intellect can discover.
   Lastly, the practice of this Yoga of sacrifice compels us to renounce all the inner supports of egoism, casting them out of our mind and will and actions, and to eliminate its seed, its presence, its influence out of our nature. All must be done for the Divine; all must be directed towards the Divine. Nothing must be attempted for ourselves as a separate existence; nothing done for others, whether neighbours, friends, family, country or mankind or other creatures merely because they are connected with our personal life and thought and sentiment or because the ego takes a preferential interest in their welfare. In this way of doing and seeing all works and all life become only a daily dynamic worship and service of the Divine in the unbounded temple of his own vast cosmic existence. Life becomes more and more the sacrifice of the eternal in the individual constantly self-offered to the eternal Transcendence. It is offered in the wide sacrificial ground of the field of the eternal cosmic Spirit; and the Force too that offers it is the eternal Force, the omnipresent Mother. Therefore is this way a way of union and communion by acts and by the spirit and knowledge in the act as complete and integral as any our Godward will can hope for or our soul's strength execute.
   It has all the power of a way of works integral and absolute, but because of its law of sacrifice and self-giving to the Divine Self and Master, it is accompanied on its one side by the whole power of the path of Love and on the other by the whole power of the path of Knowledge. At its end all these three divine Powers work together, fused, united, completed, perfected by each other.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, The Sacrifice, the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice [111-114],

IN CHAPTERS [215/215]



   67 Yoga
   65 Integral Yoga
   3 Occultism
   2 Poetry
   1 Sufism
   1 Philosophy
   1 Mysticism
   1 Education


  112 Sri Aurobindo
   49 Sri Ramakrishna
   13 Swami Vivekananda
   12 A B Purani
   6 The Mother
   6 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   4 Satprem
   3 Swami Sivananda Saraswati
   3 Swami Krishnananda
   3 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   2 Nirodbaran
   2 Mahendranath Gupta
   2 Kabir


   48 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
   26 Letters On Yoga II
   19 The Synthesis Of Yoga
   16 Letters On Yoga IV
   14 Letters On Yoga III
   13 Bhakti-Yoga
   12 Talks
   12 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
   11 Essays On The Gita
   5 Letters On Yoga I
   4 The Mother With Letters On The Mother
   4 Record of Yoga
   3 The Study and Practice of Yoga
   2 Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo
   2 Isha Upanishad
   2 Essays In Philosophy And Yoga
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01
   2 Amrita Gita
   2 Agenda Vol 03


0.00 - INTRODUCTION, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
   Sri Ramakrishna welcomed the visitor with great respect, described to her his experiences and visions, and told her of people's belief that these were symptoms of madness. She listened to him attentively and said: "My son, everyone in this world is mad. Some are mad for money, some for creature comforts, some for name and fame; and you are mad for God." She assured him that he was passing through the almost unknown spiritual experience described in the scriptures as mahabhava, the most exalted rapture of divine love. She told him that this extreme exaltation had been described as manifesting itself through nineteen physical symptoms, including the shedding of tears, a tremor of the body, horripilation, perspiration, and a burning sensation. The Bhakti scriptures, she declared, had recorded only two instances of the experience, namely, those of Sri Radha and Sri Chaitanya.
   Very soon a tender relationship sprang up between Sri Ramakrishna and the Brahmani, she looking upon him as the Baby Krishna, and he upon her as mother. Day after day she watched his ecstasy during the kirtan and meditation, his samadhi, his mad yearning; and she recognized in him a power to transmit spirituality to others. She came to the conclusion that such things were not possible for an ordinary devotee, not even for a highly developed soul. Only an Incarnation of God was capable of such spiritual manifestations. She proclaimed openly that Sri Ramakrishna, like Sri Chaitanya, was an Incarnation of God.
  --
   Vaishnavism is exclusively a religion of Bhakti. Bhakti is intense love of God, attachment to Him alone; it is of the nature of bliss and bestows upon the lover immortality and liberation. God, according to Vaishnavism, cannot be realized through logic or reason; and, without Bhakti, all penances, austerities and rites are futile. Man cannot realize God by self-exertion alone. For the vision of God His grace is absolutely necessary, and this grace is felt by the pure of heart. The mind is to be purified through Bhakti. The pure mind then remains for ever immersed in the ecstasy of God-vision. It is the cultivation of this divine love that is the chief concern of the Vaishnava religion.
   There are three kinds of formal devotion: tamasic, rajasic, and sattvic. If a person, while showing devotion, to God, is actuated by malevolence, arrogance, jealousy, or anger, then his devotion is tamasic, since it is influenced by tamas, the quality of inertia. If he worships God from a desire for fame or wealth, or from any other worldly ambition, then his devotion is rajasic, since it is influenced by rajas, the quality of activity. But if a person loves God without any thought of material gain, if he performs his duties to please God alone and maintains toward all created beings the attitude of friendship, then his devotion is called sattvic, since it is influenced by sattva, the quality of harmony. But the highest devotion transcends the three gunas, or qualities, being a spontaneous, uninterrupted inclination of the mind toward God, the Inner Soul of all beings; and it wells up in the heart of a true devotee as soon as he hears the name of God or mention of God's attributes. A devotee possessed of this love would not accept the happiness of heaven if it were offered him. His one desire is to love God under all conditions — in pleasure and pain, life and death, honour and dishonour, prosperity and adversity.
   There are two stages of Bhakti. The first is known as vaidhi- Bhakti, or love of God qualified by scriptural injunctions. For the devotees of this stage are prescribed regular and methodical worship, hymns, prayers, the repetition of God's name, and the chanting of His glories. This lower Bhakti in course of time matures into para- Bhakti, or supreme devotion, known also as prema, the most intense form of divine love. Divine love is an end in itself. It exists potentially in all human hearts, but in the case of bound creatures it is misdirected to earthly objects.
   To develop the devotee's love for God, Vaishnavism humanizes God. God is to be regarded as the devotee's Parent, Master, Friend, Child, Husband, or Sweetheart, each succeeding relationship representing an intensification of love. These bhavas, or attitudes toward God, are known as santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhur. The rishis of the Vedas, Hanuman, the cow-herd boys of Vrindavan, Rama's mother Kausalya, and Radhika, Krishna's sweetheart, exhibited, respectively, the most perfect examples of these forms. In the ascending scale the-glories of God are gradually forgotten and the devotee realizes more and more the intimacy of divine communion. Finally he regards himself as the mistress of his Beloved, and no artificial barrier remains to separate him from his Ideal. No social or moral obligation can bind to the earth his soaring spirit. He experiences perfect union with the Godhead. Unlike the Vedantist, who strives to transcend all varieties of the subject-object relationship, a devotee of the Vaishnava path wishes to retain both his own individuality and the personality of God. To him God is not an intangible Absolute, but the Purushottama, the Supreme Person.
  --
   Now one with Radha, he manifested the great ecstatic love, the mahabhava, which had found in her its fullest expression. Later Sri Ramakrishna said: "The manifestation in the same individual of the nineteen different kinds of emotion for God is called, in the books on Bhakti, mahabhava. An ordinary man takes a whole lifetime to express even a single one of these. But in this body [meaning himself] there has been a complete manifestation of all nineteen."
   The love of Radha is the precursor of the resplendent vision of Sri Krishna, and Sri Ramakrishna soon experienced that vision. The enchanting ing form of Krishna appeared to him and merged in his person. He became Krishna; he totally forgot his own individuality and the world; he saw Krishna in himself and in the universe. Thus he attained to the fulfilment of the worship of the Personal God. He drank from the fountain of Immortal Bliss. The agony of his heart vanished forever. He realized Amrita, Immortality, beyond the shadow of death.
  --
   Pratap Chandra Mazumdar, the right-hand man of Keshab and an accomplished Brahmo preacher in Europe and America, bitterly criticized Sri Ramakrishna's use of uncultured language and also his austere attitude toward his wife. But he could not escape the spell of the Master's personality. In the course of an article about Sri Ramakrishna, Pratap wrote in the "Theistic Quarterly Review": "What is there in common between him and me? I, a Europeanized, civilized, self-centred, semi-sceptical, so-called educated reasoner, and he, a poor, illiterate, unpolished, half-idolatrous, friendless Hindu devotee? Why should I sit long hours to attend to him, I, who have listened to Disraeli and Fawcett, Stanley and Max Muller, and a whole host of European scholars and divines? . . . And it is not I only, but dozens like me, who do the same. . . . He worships Siva, he worships Kali, he worships Rama, he worships Krishna, and is a confirmed advocate of Vedantic doctrines. . . . He is an idolater, yet is a faithful and most devoted meditator on the perfections of the One Formless, Absolute, Infinite Deity. . . . His religion is ecstasy, his worship means transcendental insight, his whole nature burns day and night with a permanent fire and fever of a strange faith and feeling. . . . So long as he is spared to us, gladly shall we sit at his feet to learn from him the sublime precepts of purity, unworldliness, spirituality, and inebriation in the love of God. . . . He, by his childlike Bhakti, by his strong conceptions of an ever-ready Motherhood, helped to unfold it [God as our Mother] in our minds wonderfully. . . . By associating with him we learnt to realize better the divine attributes as scattered over the three hundred and thirty millions of deities of mythological India, the gods of the Puranas."
   The Brahmo leaders received much inspiration from their contact with Sri Ramakrishna. It broadened their religious views and kindled in their hearts the yearning for God-realization; it made them understand and appreciate the rituals and symbols of Hindu religion, convinced them of the manifestation of God in diverse forms, and deepened their thoughts about the harmony of religions. The Master, too, was impressed by the sincerity of many of the Brahmo devotees. He told them about his own realizations and explained to them the essence of his teachings, such as the necessity of renunciation, sincerity in the pursuit of one's own course of discipline, faith in God, the performance of one's duties without thought of results, and discrimination between the Real and the unreal.

0.00 - THE GOSPEL PREFACE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Besides the prompting of his inherent instinct, the main inducement for M. to keep this diary of his experiences at Dakshineswar was his desire to provide himself with a means for living in holy company at all times. Being a school teacher, he could be with the Master only on Sundays and other holidays, and it was on his diary that he depended for 'holy company' on other days. The devotional scriptures like the Bhagavata say that holy company is the first and most important means for the generation and growth of devotion. For, in such company man could hear talks on spiritual matters and listen to the glorification of Divine attri butes, charged with the fervour and conviction emanating from the hearts of great lovers of God. Such company is therefore the one certain means through which Sraddha (Faith), Rati (attachment to God) and Bhakti (loving devotion) are generated. The diary of his visits to Dakshineswar provided M. with material for re-living, through reading and contemplation, the holy company he had had earlier, even on days when he was not able to visit Dakshineswar. The wealth of details and the vivid description of men and things in the midst of which the sublime conversations are set, provide excellent material to re-live those experiences for any one with imaginative powers. It was observed by M.'s disciples and admirers that in later life also whenever he was free or alone, he would be pouring over his diary, transporting himself on the wings of imagination to the glorious days he spent at the feet of the Master.
  During the Master's lifetime M. does not seem to have revealed the contents of his diary to any one. There is an unconfirmed tradition that when the Master saw him taking notes, he expressed apprehension at the possibility of his utilising these to publicise him like Keshab Sen; for the Great Master was so full of the spirit of renunciation and humility that he disliked being lionised. It must be for this reason that no one knew about this precious diary of M. for a decade until he brought out selections from it as a pamphlet in English in 1897 with the Holy Mother's blessings and permission. The Holy Mother, being very much pleased to hear parts of the diary read to her in Bengali, wrote to M.: "When I heard the Kathmrita, (Bengali name of the book) I felt as if it was he, the Master, who was saying all that." ( Ibid Part I. P 37.)

0.04 - The Systems of Yoga, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Lord, with our human life as its final stage, pursued through the different phases of self-concealment and self-revelation. The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation are used only for the preparation and increase of intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation.
  This path, too, as ordinarily practised, leads away from worldexistence to an absorption, of another kind than the Monist's, in the Transcendent and Supra-cosmic.

01.10 - Principle and Personality, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Religious bodies that are formed through the Bhakti and puja for one man, social reconstructions forced by the will and power of a single individual, have already in the inception this grain of incapacity and disease and death that they are not an integrally self-conscious creation, they are not, as a whole, intelligent and wide awake and therefore constantly responsive to the truths and ideals and realities for which they exist, for which at least, their founder intended them to exist. The light at the apex is the only light and the entire structure is but the shadow of that light; the whole thing has the aspect of a dark mass galvanised into red-hot activity by the passing touch of a dynamo. Immediately however the solitary light fails and the dynamo stops, there is nothing but the original darkness and inertiatoma asit tamasa gudham agre.
   Man, however great and puissant he may be, is a perishable thing. People who gather or are gathered round a man and cling to him through the tie of a personal relation must fall off and scatter when the man passes away and the personal tie loses its hold. What remains is a memory, a gradually fading memory. But memory is hardly a creative force, it is a dead, at best, a moribund thing; the real creative power is Presence. So when the great man's presence, the power that crystallises is gone, the whole edifice crumbles and vanishes into air or remains a mere name.

0 1961-08-02, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   But Theon had no idea of the path of Bhakti,5 none whatsoever. The idea of surrender to the Divine was absolutely alien to him. Yet he did have the idea of the Divine Presence here (Mother indicates the heart center), of the immanent Divine and of union with That. And he said that by uniting with That and letting That transform the being one could arrive at the divine creation and the transformation of the earth.
   Theon was the first one to give me the idea that the earth is symbolic, representativesymbolic of concentrated universal action allowing divine forces to incarnate and work concretely. I learned all this from him.

0 1962-06-30, #Agenda Vol 03, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Human experience, with this direct incarnation of the Supreme,9 is ultimately a UNIQUE experience, which has given a new orientation to universal history. Sri Aurobindo speaks of thishe speaks of the difference between the Vedic era, the Vedic way of relating to the Supreme, and the advent of Vedanta (I think its Vedanta): devotion, adoration, Bhakti, the God within.10 Well, this aspect of rapport with the Supreme could exist ONLY WITH MAN, because man is a special being in universal History the divine Presence is in him. And several of those great gods have taken human bodies JUST TO HAVE THAT.11 But not many of themthey were so fully aware of their own perfect independence and their almightiness that they didnt NEED anything (unlike man, you see, struggling to escape his slavery): they were absolutely free.
   And thats why. How many times Durga came! She would always come, and I had my eye on her (!), because in her presence I could clearly sense that there wasnt that rapport with the Supreme (she just didnt need it, she didnt need anything). And it wasnt that something acted on her consciously, deliberately, to obtain that result: it has been a contagion. I remember how she used to come, and my aspiration would be so intense, my inner attitude so concentrated and one day there was such a sense of power, of immensity, of ineffable bliss in the contact with the Supreme (it was a day when Durga was there), and she seemed to be taken and absorbed in it. And through that bliss she made her surrender.

0 1962-07-21, #Agenda Vol 03, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   I shall write and tell you afterwards what this way of yoga is. Or if you come here I shall speak to you about it. In this matter the spoken word is better than the written. At present I can only say that its root-principle is to make a harmony and unity of complete knowledge, complete works and complete Bhakti [Devotion], to raise all this above the mind and give it its complete perfection on the supramental level of Vijnana [Gnosis]. This was the defect of the old yoga the mind and the Spirit it knew, and it was satisfied with the experience of the Spirit in the mind. But the mind can grasp only the divided and partial; it cannot wholly seize the infinite and indivisible. The minds means to reach the infinite are Sannyasa [Renunciation], Moksha [Liberation] and Nirvana, and it has no others. One man or another may indeed attain this featureless Moksha, but what is the gain? The Brahman, the Self, God are ever present. What God wants in man is to embody Himself here in the individual and in the community, to realize God in life.
   The old way of yoga failed to bring about the harmony or unity of Spirit and life: it instead dismissed the world as Maya [Illusion] or a transient Play. The result has been loss of life-power and the degeneration of India. As was said in the Gita, These peoples would perish if I did not do worksthese peoples of India have truly gone down to ruin. A few sannyasins and bairagis [renunciants] to be saintly and perfect and liberated, a few bhaktas [lovers of God] to dance in a mad ecstasy of love and sweet emotion and Ananda [Bliss], and a whole race to become lifeless, void of intelligence, sunk in deep tamas [inertia]is this the effect of true spirituality? No, we must first attain all the partial experiences possible on the mental level and flood the mind with spiritual delight and illumine it with spiritual light, but afterwards we must rise above. If we cannot rise above, to the supramental level, that is, it is hardly possible to know the worlds final secret and the problem it raises remains unsolved. There, the ignorance which creates a duality of opposition between the Spirit and Matter, between truth of spirit and truth of life, disappears. There one need no longer call the world Maya. The world is the eternal Play of God, the eternal manifestation of the Self. Then it becomes possible to fully know and fully realize Godto do what is said in the Gita, To know Me integrally. The physical body, the life, the mind and understanding, the supermind and the Ananda these are the spirits five levels. The higher man rises on this ascent the nearer he comes to the state of that highest perfection open to his spiritual evolution. Rising to the Supermind, it becomes easy to rise to the Ananda. One attains a firm foundation in the condition of the indivisible and infinite Ananda, not only in the timeless Parabrahman [Absolute] but in the body, in life, in the world. The integral being, the integral consciousness, the integral Ananda blossoms out and takes form in life. This is the central clue of my yoga, its fundamental principle.
  --
   The peculiarity of this yoga is that until there is siddhi above the foundation does not become perfect. Those who have been following my course had kept many of the old samskaras; some of them have dropped away, but others still remain. There was the samskara of Sannyasa, even the wish to create an Aravinda Math [Sri Aurobindo monastery]. Now the intellect has recognized that Sannyasa is not what is wanted, but the stamp of the old idea has not yet been effaced from the prana [breath, life energy]. And so there was next this talk of remaining in the midst of the world, as a man of worldly activities and yet a man of renunciation. The necessity of renouncing desire has been understood, but the harmony of renunciation of desire with enjoyment of Ananda has not been rightly seized by the mind. And they took up my Yoga because it was very natural to the Bengali temperament, not so much from the side of Knowledge as from the side of Bhakti and Karma [Works]. A little knowledge has come in, but the greater part has escaped; the mist of sentimentalism has not been dissipated, the groove of the sattwic bhava [religious fervor] has not been broken. There is still the ego. I am not in haste, I allow each to develop according to his nature. I do not want to fashion all in the same mould. That which is fundamental will indeed be one in all, but it will express itself in many forms. Everybody grows, forms from within. I do not want to build from outside. The basis is there, the rest will come.
   What I am aiming at is not a society like the present rooted in division. What I have in view is a Samgha [community] founded in the spirit and in the image of its oneness. It is with this idea that the name Deva Samgha has been given the commune of those who want the divine life is the Deva Samgha. Such a Samgha will have to be established in one place at first and then spread all over the country. But if any shadow of egoism falls over this endeavor, then the Samgha will change into a sect. The idea may very naturally creep in that such and such a body is the one true Samgha of the future, the one and only centre, that all else must be its circumference, and that those outside its limits are not of the fold or even if they are, have gone astray, because they think differently.

0 1970-06-17, #Agenda Vol 11, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   The ways of the Divine are not like those of the human mind or according to our patterns and it is impossible to judge them or to lay down for Him what He shall or shall not do, for the Divine knows better than we can know. If we admit the Divine at all, both true reason and Bhakti seem to me to be at one in demanding implicit faith and surrender.
   Letters on Yoga, 23.596

04.01 - The March of Civilisation, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Turning to India we find a fuller and completerif not a globalpicture of the whole movement. India, we may say, is the spiritual world itself: and she epitomised the curve of human progress in a clearer and more significant manner. Indian history, not its political but its cultural and spiritual history, divides itself naturally into great movements with corresponding epochs each dwelling upon and dealing with one domain in the hierarchy of man's consciousness. The stages and epochs are well known: they are(l) Vedic, (2) Upanishadic, (3) Darshanasroughly from Buddha to Shankara, (4) Puranic, (5) Bhagavataor the Age of Bhakti, and finally (6) the Tantric. The last does not mean that it is the latest revelation, the nearest to us in time, but that it represents a kind of complementary movement, it was there all along, for long at least, and in which the others find their fruition and consummation. We shall explain presently. The force of consciousness that came and moved and moulded the first and the earliest epoch was Revelation. It was a power of direct vision and occult will and cosmic perception. Its physical seat is somewhere behind and or just beyond the crown of the head: the peak of man's manifest being that received the first touch of Surya Savitri (the supreme Creative Consciousness) to whom it bowed down uttering the invocation mantra of Gayatri. The Ray then entered the head at the crown and illumined it: the force of consciousness that ruled there is Intuition, the immediate perception of truth and reality, the cosmic consciousness gathered and concentrated at that peak. That is Upanishadic knowledge. If the source and foundation of the Vedic initiation was occult vision, the Upanishad meant a pure and direct Ideation. The next stage in the coming down or propagation of the Light was when it reached further down into the brain and the philosophical outlook grew with rational understanding and discursive argumentation as the channel for expression, the power to be cultivated and the limb to be developed. The Age of the Darshanas or Systems of Philosophy started with the Buddha and continued till it reached its peak in Shankaracharya. The age sought to give a bright and strong mental, even an intellectual body to the spiritual light, the consciousness of the highest truth and reality. In the Puranic Age the vital being was touched by the light of the spirit and principally on the highest, the mental level of that domain. It meant the advent of the element of feeling and emotiveness and imagination into the play of the Light, the beginning of their reclamation. This was rendered more concrete and more vibrant and intense in the next stage of the movement. The whole emotional being was taken up into the travailing crucible of consciousness. We may name it also as the age of the Bhagavatas, god-lovers, Bhaktas. It reached its climax in Chaitanya whose physical passion for God denoted that the lower ranges of the vital being (its physical foundations) were now stirred in man to awake and to receive the Light. Finally remains the physical, the most material to be worked upon and made conscious and illumined. That was the task of the Tantras. Viewed in that light one can easily understand why especial stress was laid in that system upon the esoteric discipline of the five m's (pancha makra),all preoccupied with the handling and harnessing of the grossest physical instincts and the most material instruments. The Tantric discipline bases itself upon Nature Power coiled up in Matter: the release of that all-conquering force through a purification and opening into the consciousness of the Divine Mother, the transcendent creatrix of the universe. The dynamic materialising aspect of consciousness was what inspired the Tantras: the others forming the Vedantic line, on the whole, were based on the primacy of the static being, the Purusha, aloof and withdrawing.
   The Indian consciousness, we say, presented the movement as an intensive and inner, a spiritual process: it dealt with the substance itself, man's very nature and sought to know it from within and shape it consciously. In Europe where the frontal consciousness is more stressed and valued, the more characteristic feature of its history is the unfoldment and metamorphosis of the forms and expressions, the residuary powers, as it were, of man's evolving personality, individual and social.

1.01 - Prayer, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  DEFINITION OF Bhakti
   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 Nrada 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 does 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 Shndilya or Narada, the great commentators on the Vysa-Sutras, evidently advocates of knowledge (Jnna), have also something very suggestive to say about 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 themselves to be easily manipulated in that fashion.
  There is not really so much difference between knowledge (Jnana) and love ( Bhakti) as people sometimes imagine. We shall see, as we go on, that in the end they converge and meet at the same point. So also is it with Rja-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.
  The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest and the most natural way to reach the great divine end in view; its great disadvantage is that in its lower forms it oftentimes degenerates into hideous fanaticism. The fanatical crew in Hinduism, or Mohammedanism, or Christianity, have always been almost exclusively recruited from these worshippers on the lower planes of Bhakti. That singleness of attachment (Nishth) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of the denunciation of everything else. All the weak and undeveloped minds in every religion or country have only one way of loving their own ideal, i.e. by hating every other ideal.
  Herein is the explanation of why the same man who is so lovingly attached to his own ideal of God, so devoted to his own ideal of religion, becomes a howling fanatic as soon as he sees or hears anything of any other ideal. This kind of love is somewhat like the canine instinct of guarding the master's property from intrusion; only, the instinct of the dog is better than the reason of man, for the dog never mistakes its master for an enemy in whatever dress he may come before it. Again, the fanatic loses all power of judgment. Personal considerations are in his case of such absorbing interest that to him it is no question at all what a man says whether it is right or wrong; but the one thing he is always particularly careful to know is who says it. The same man who is kind, good, honest, and loving to people of his own opinion, will not hesitate to do the vilest deeds when they are directed against persons beyond the pale of his own religious brotherhood.
  But this danger exists only in that stage of Bhakti which is called the preparatory (Gauni). When Bhakti has become ripe and has passed into that form which is called the supreme (Par), no more is there any fear of these hideous manifestations of fanaticism; that soul which is overpowered by this higher form of Bhakti is too near the God of Love to become an instrument for the diffusion of hatred.
  It is not given to all of us to be harmonious in the building up of our characters in this life: yet we know that that character is of the noblest type in which all these three knowledge and love and Yoga are harmoniously fused. Three things are necessary for a bird to fly the two wings and the tail as a rudder for steering. Jnana (Knowledge) is the one wing, Bhakti (Love) is the other, and Yoga is the tail that keeps up the balance. For those who cannot pursue all these three forms of worship together in harmony and take up, therefore, Bhakti alone as their way, it is necessary always to remember that forms and ceremonials, though absolutely necessary for the progressive soul, have no other value than taking us on to that state in which we feel the most intense love to God.
  There is a little difference in opinion between the teachers of knowledge and those of love, though both admit the power of Bhakti. The Jnanis hold Bhakti to be an instrument of liberation, the Bhaktas look upon it both as the instrument and the thing to be attained. To my mind this is a distinction without much difference. In fact, Bhakti, when used as an instrument, really means a lower form of worship, and the higher form becomes inseparable from the lower form of realisation at a later stage. Each seems to lay a great stress upon his own peculiar method of worship, forgetting that with perfect love true knowledge is bound to come even unsought, and that from perfect knowledge true love is inseparable.
  Bearing this in mind let us try to understand what the great Vedantic commentators have to say on the subject. In explaining the Sutra vrittirasakridupadesht (Meditation is necessary, that having been often enjoined.), Bhagavn Shankara says, "Thus people say, 'He is devoted to the king, he is devoted to the Guru'; they say this of him who follows his Guru, and does so, having that following as the one end in view. Similarly they say, 'The loving wife meditates on her loving husband'; here also a kind of eager and continuous remembrance is meant." This is devotion according to Shankara.
  "Meditation again is a constant remembrance (of the thing meditated upon) flowing like an unbroken stream of oil poured out from one vessel to another. When this kind of remembering has been attained (in relation to God) all bandages break. Thus it is spoken of in the scriptures regarding constant remembering as a means to liberation. This remembering again is of the same form as seeing, because it is of the same meaning as in the passage, 'When He who is far and near is seen, the bonds of the heart are broken, all doubts vanish, and all effects of work disappear' He who is near can be seen, but he who is far can only be remembered. Nevertheless the scripture says that he have to see Him who is near as well as Him who, is far, thereby indicating to us that the above kind of remembering is as good as seeing. This remembrance when exalted assumes the same form as seeing. . . . Worship is constant remembering as may be seen from the essential texts of scriptures. Knowing, which is the same as repeated worship, has been described as constant remembering. . . . Thus the memory, which has attained to the height of what is as good as direct perception, is spoken of in the Shruti as a means of liberation. 'This Atman is not to be reached through various sciences, nor by intellect, nor by much study of the Vedas. Whomsoever this Atman desires, by him is the Atman attained, unto him this Atman discovers Himself.' Here, after saying that mere hearing, thinking and meditating are not the means of attaining this Atman, it is said, 'Whom this Atman desires, by him the Atman is attained.' The extremely beloved is desired; by whomsoever this Atman is extremely beloved, he becomes the most beloved of the Atman. So that this beloved may attain the Atman, the Lord Himself helps. For it has been said by the Lord: 'Those who are constantly attached to Me and worship Me with love I give that direction to their will by which they come to Me.' Therefore it is said that, to whomsoever this remembering, which is of the same form as direct perception, is very dear, because it is dear to the Object of such memory perception, he is desired by the Supreme Atman, by him the Supreme Atman is attained. This constant remembrance is denoted by the word Bhakti." So says Bhagavn Rmnuja in his commentary on the Sutra Athto Brahma-jijns (Hence follows a dissertation on Brahman.).
  In commenting on the Sutra of Patanjali, Ishvara pranidhndv, i.e. "Or by the worship of the Supreme Lord" Bhoja says, "Pranidhna is that sort of Bhakti in which, without seeking results, such as sense-enjoyments etc., all works are dedicated to that Teacher of teachers." Bhagavan Vysa also, when commenting on the same, defines Pranidhana as "the form of Bhakti by which the mercy of the Supreme Lord comes to the Yogi, and blesses him by granting him his desires". According to Shndilya, " Bhakti is intense love to God." The best definition is, however, that given by the king of Bhaktas, Prahlda:
  "That deathless love which the ignorant have for the fleeting objects of the senses as I keep meditating on Thee may not that love slip away from my heart!" Love! For whom? For the Supreme Lord Ishvara. Love for any other being, however great cannot be Bhakti; for, as Ramanuja says in his Shri Bhshya, quoting an ancient chrya, i.e. a great teacher:
  "From Brahm to a clump of grass, all things that live in the world are slaves of birth and death caused by Karma; therefore they cannot be helpful as objects of meditation, because they are all in ignorance and subject to change." In commenting on the word Anurakti used by Shandilya, the commentator Svapneshvara says that it means Anu, after, and Rakti, attachment; i.e. the attachment which comes after the knowledge of the nature and glory of God; else a blind attachment to any one, e.g. to wife or children, would be Bhakti. We plainly see, therefore, that Bhakti is a series or succession of mental efforts at religious realisation beginning with ordinary worship and ending in a supreme intensity of love for Ishvara.
  next chapter: 1.02 - The Philosophy of Ishvara

1.028 - Bringing About Whole-Souled Dedication, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  We were discussing the relationship between abhyasa and vairagya in the system of yoga. The practice of yoga becomes effective when it is charged with the power of vairagya or the spirit of renunciation because, while practice is the endeavour to fix oneself in a particular attitude of consciousness, vairagya is a sympathetic attitude which simultaneously frees consciousness from attention to contrary objectives, or objectives which are irrelevant to the one that is taken up for the purpose of concentration and meditation. We cannot have a double attitude in yoga. That is, our attention cannot be diverted into two channels. Else, there would be split devotion, as they call it vyabhicharini Bhakti not whole-souled devotion.
  What is called for in this practice is wholeheartedness, and perhaps every other qualification is included in this. When we are wholehearted in anything, we shall succeed, whatever be the direction. But our difficulty seems to be that we can never be wholehearted in anything. It is merely a peculiar trait of the mind that it cannot give itself up entirely to any kind of effort, thought, feeling, or volition. There is an inherent inadequacy in the structural character of the mind, which makes it sometimes look like a double-edged sword, cutting both ways sometimes like a naughty child asking for what is impossible, and at other times trying to upset, every moment, what it is trying to achieve by its effort.

1.02 - IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  was taking him. He had only been told: "If you want to see a grog-shop, then come with me. You will see a huge jar of wine there." M. related this to Sri Ramakrishna, who laughed about it. The Master said: "The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine, the wine of ecstatic love. The goal of human life is to love God, Bhakti is the one essential thing. To know God through jnna and reasoning is extremely difficult."
  Then the Master sang:

1.02 - The Philosophy of Ishvara, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  We shall now try to understand what the great representative of the Advaita School has to say on the point. We shall see how the Advaita system maintains all the hopes and aspirations of the dualist intact, and at the same time propounds its own solution of the problem in consonance with the high destiny of divine humanity. Those who aspire to retain their individual mind even after liberation and to remain distinct will have ample opportunity of realising their aspirations and enjoying the blessing of the qualified Brahman. These are they who have been spoken of in the Bhgavata Purna thus: "O king, such are the, glorious qualities of the Lord that the sages whose only pleasure is in the Self, and from whom all fetters have fallen off, even they love the Omnipresent with the love that is for love's sake." These are they who are spoken of by the Snkhyas as getting merged in nature in this cycle, so that, after attaining perfection, they may come out in the next as lords of world-systems. But none of these ever becomes equal to God (Ishvara). Those who attain to that state where there is neither creation, nor created, nor creator, where there is neither knower, nor knowable, nor knowledge, where there is neither I, nor thou, nor he, where there is neither subject, nor object, nor relation, "there, who is seen by whom?" such persons have gone beyond everything to "where words cannot go nor mind", gone to that which the Shrutis declare as "Not this, not this"; but for those who cannot, or will not reach this state, there will inevitably remain the triune vision of the one undifferentiated Brahman as nature, soul, and the interpenetrating sustainer of both Ishvara. So, when Prahlda forgot himself, he found neither the universe nor its cause; all was to him one Infinite, undifferentiated by name and form; but as soon as he remembered that he was Prahlada, there was the universe before him and with it the Lord of the universe "the Repository of an infinite number of blessed qualities". So it was with the blessed Gopis. So long as they had lost sense of their own personal identity and individuality, they were all Krishnas, and when they began again to think of Him as the One to be worshipped, then they were Gopis again, and immediately Bhakti, then, can be directed towards Brahman, only in His personal aspect.
   "The way is more difficult for those whose mind is attached to the Absolute!" Bhakti has to float on smoothly with the current of our nature. True it is that we cannot have; any idea of the Brahman which is not anthropomorphic, but is it not equally true of everything we know? The greatest psychologist the world has ever known, Bhagavan Kapila, demonstrated ages ago that human consciousness is one of the elements in the make-up of all the objects of our perception and conception, internal as well as external. Beginning with our bodies and going up to Ishvara, we may see that every object of our perception is this consciousness plus something else, whatever that may be; and this unavoidable mixture is what we ordinarily think of as reality. Indeed it is, and ever will be, all of the reality that is possible for the human mind to know. Therefore to say that Ishvara is unreal, because He is anthropomorphic, is sheer nonsense. It sounds very much like the occidentals squabble on idealism and realism, which fearful-looking quarrel has for its foundation a mere play on the word "real". The idea of Ishvara covers all the ground ever denoted and connoted by the word real, and Ishvara is as real as anything else in the universe; and after all, the word real means nothing more than what has now been pointed out. Such is our philosophical conception of Ishvara.
  (Bhagavata) "Unto them appeared Krishna with a smile on His lotus face, clad in yellow robes and having garlands on, the embodied conqueror (in beauty) of the god of love."
  --
  next chapter: 1.03 - Spiritual Realisation, The aim of Bhakti-Yoga

1.02 - The Recovery, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  We reached the month of April. Sri Aurobindo's rapid progress became widely known and people began to clamour for a Darshan; they had already missed two of them, and for the next one in August it would be too painfully long to wait. The Mother also began to plead on behalf of the bhaktas, though not much pleading was needed. For we know that when the Mother's heart had melted, the Father's would not take long to do so. Besides, the Mother probably wanted Sri Aurobindo to take up his regular activities as soon as possible. Even for him she would not make any exception. Her dynamic nature cannot brook too long an ease. April 24th was then fixed for the Darshan, as it was the day of the Mother's final arrival in Pondicherry. Thenceforth the April Darshan became a permanent feature. The date well suited the professors and students, since it fell within the span of the summer holidays. But the darshan time had to be changed from the morning to the afternoon and it would be a darshan in the true sense of the word. For the devotees would simply come and stand for a brief while before the Mother and the Master, have their darshan and quietly leave. Sri Aurobindo tersely remarked, "No more of that long seven-hour darshan!" Formerly the Darshan was observed with a great ceremonial pomp. Starting at about 7.30 a.m., it ran with one breathing interval, up to 3 p.m. The devotees offered their garlands and flowers, did two, even three or four pranams to the Mother and the Master who remained glued to one place throughout the ordeal, and endured another martyrdom under this excessive display of Bhakti even as Raman Maharshi suffered from the "plague of prasads". Now, all that was cut down at one stroke by the force of external circumstances, and all expression transformed into a quiet inner adoration which is a characteristic of this Yoga. Sri Aurobindo's accident made the ceremonial Darshan a thing of past history.
  On the eve of the Darshan, the Mother washed Sri Aurobindo's hair with our help. It was such an elaborate and complicated affair that had it been left in our hands, it would have ended in confusion, particularly because it had to be done in the bedroom. Hot and cold water, basins, soap, powder, etc., etc., had to be kept ready. What a ceremony really, this washing was! No wonder ladies go in for bob or shingle. Formerly, Sri Aurobindo, it seems, used to wash his long hair every night, but I am sure he did without all this paraphernalia. His secluded life had, of course, simplified the whole complex process. Later on when a bathroom adjoining his living room was built, washing lost its formidable character. Sri Aurobindo bore all this torture as a part of the game, I suppose.

1.032 - Our Concept of God, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  But wholly dedicating ourself for the sake of God these feelings for God, in a whole-souled fashion, though in a rarefied form of the ordinary loves in the world, are called the bhavas in Bhakti yoga. A bhava is a feeling. Our feeling for God is called a bhava. Here, the basic difference that seems to be there between man and God is taken for granted, and it is not solved, because it cannot be solved so easily. If we go on trying to solve this question, our whole life will be spent in only answering this question. Therefore, the teachers of the path of devotion emphasised the necessity to love God, somehow or other, even if it be a magnified form of human love; and the answer to the difficulty as to whether human love is really divine love was that when human love gets magnified into infinity, it becomes divine love. There is a great point in this answer, because when the finite is lifted up into an unconditioned expanse to the extent possible for the mind, it loses the sting of finitude. The doctrine here is that when this human affection is expanded into the vastness of creation, though it may be true that in quality it has not changed, because of the fact that it has transformed itself into an utterly inconceivable magnitude of quantity, it will be free from the stigma of finitude of affection, and will be able to achieve certain miraculous results which finite love cannot.
  These bhavas or feelings of love for God are, therefore, human affections diverted to God in an all-absorbing manner, so that the conditioning factors of human affection are removed as far as possible, and God is taken for granted as a permanent Being - not like an ordinary object in the world which can die one day or the other, but as a perpetually existent Being and the necessity for loving that permanent Being is emphasised. Here, the feeling for God is similar to the feeling we have towards human relationships. These bhavas of Bhakti are the central features of one path of yoga, called Bhakti yoga, where God can be loved as a father, for instance. This is called shanta bhava, where emotions are least present.
  We do not have a lot of emotion in respect of our father. We have a reverence for our father, a respect and a feeling of awe, coupled with a sustained emotion of love not in the form of an ebullition of emotion, but as a controlled form of feeling which is designated as the peaceful attitude, or the shanta bhava. Most religions regard God as a father, and very few religions have any other attitude. He is the Supreme Father, and our relation to God is the relation that we have to a father, and we feel for God in the same way as we feel for our father. What is our feeling for our father? Fear is also a part of this love when God is regarded as a parent, because we fear our father not because we dislike him, but because he has certain regulating principles which may not always be commensurate with our whims and fancies of personality.
  The juristic concept of God as a lawgiver, a lawmaker and a dispenser of justice is a pre-eminent feature in the concept of God in most religions. This feeling can be regarded as one of the channelising factors which can draw all the forces of the mind towards God. The teachers of Bhakti tell us that if God is regarded as All-in-all, as the Supreme Maker and the All-powerful Being, even if He be the Creator in the sense of an ordinary maker of things, a day will come when this quantitative expanse of devotion will automatically bring about, in a subtle manner, a qualitative transformation also, so that human love can become divine love.

1.03 - Meeting the Master - Meeting with others, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Haribhai: No. But I have taken the Yoga, and Kashibhai is staying there, his son Mahesh has taken the Yoga and Bhaktiben has been given instructions for Bhakti Yoga.
   Gandhi: What is the method of Yoga? How do you meditate? Do you meditate on an image or do you practise Pranayama, Dhyana and Dharana?

1.03 - Spiritual Realisation, The aim of Bhakti-Yoga, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  object:1.03 - Spiritual Realisation, The aim of Bhakti-Yoga
  author class:Swami Vivekananda
  --
  SPIRITUAL REALISATION, THE AIM OF Bhakti-YOGA
  To the Bhakta these dry details are necessary only to streng then his will; beyond that they are of no use to him. For he is treading on a path which is fitted very soon to lead him beyond the hazy and turbulent regions of reason, to lead him to the realm of realisation. He, soon, through the mercy of the Lord, reaches a plane where pedantic and powerless reason is left far behind, and the mere intellectual groping through the dark gives place to the daylight of direct perception. He no more reasons and believes, he almost perceives. He no more argues, he senses. And is not this seeing God, and feeling God, and enjoying God higher than everything else? Nay, Bhaktas have not been wanting who have maintained that it is higher than even Moksha liberation. And is it not also the highest utility? There are people and a good many of them too in the world who are convinced that only that is of use and utility which brings to man creature-comforts. Even religion, God, eternity, soul, none of these is of any use to them, as they do not bring them money or physical comfort. To such, all those things which do not go to gratify the senses and appease the appetites are of no utility. In every mind, utility, however, is conditioned by its own peculiar wants. To men, therefore, who never rise higher than eating, drinking, begetting progeny, and dying, the only gain is in sense enjoyments; and they must wait and go through many more births and reincarnations to learn to feel even the faintest necessity for anything higher. But those to whom the eternal interests of the soul are of much higher value than the fleeting interests of this mundane life, to whom the gratification of the senses is but like the thoughtless play of the baby, to them God and the love of God form the highest and the only utility of human existence. Thank God there are some such still living in this world of too much worldliness.

1.040 - Re-Educating the Mind, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  As I mentioned, the main point to be remembered here is that while concentrating on any object, no external thought should be allowed, because the thought of an external object is the distraction which prevents concentration. The mind cannot be wholly present in the given object if there is another thing side by side or along with it. This is then vyabhicharini Bhakti or divided devotion, as they call it. When we think of two things at the same time because of the presence of another thing outside that given object, the devotion is split. The force of the mind gets diminished on account of a channelisation of the mental energy in two directions. In the beginning, the mind will refuse to concentrate like this because it is fed by diverse food. So what is essential in the beginning is to diminish the directions in which the mind moves to the minimum possible. Though it is not possible to bring the mind to a single point, we can bring it to the minimum possible or conceivable number of items of concentration.
  This is the purpose of satsanga, listening to discourses of a spiritual and philosophical nature, study of sacred scriptures, svadhyaya, etc. Direct meditation is impossible, for reasons well known; therefore, we go to satsangas and listen to discourses touching upon various subjects, though within a limited circle. The subjects are variegated and yet limited to certain features. Similar is the case with study. If we study the Srimad Bhagavata, or the Ramayana, or the Bhagavadgita, the mind is given a large scope to think of many ideas and to bring into it notions of various features of reality. Though there is a variety presented in the study of a scripture of this kind, this variety is ultimately limited to a particular pattern of thinking.

1.04 - ADVICE TO HOUSEHOLDERS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  THE MASTER WAS CONVERSING with Kedr and some other devotees in his room in the temple garden. Kedr was a government official and had spent several years at Dcc, in East Bengal, where he had become a friend of Vijay Goswami. The two would spend a great part of their time together, talking about Sri Ramakrishna and his spiritual experiences. Kedr had once been a member of the Brahmo Samaj. He followed the path of Bhakti. Spiritual talk always brought tears to his eyes.
  It was five o'clock in the afternoon. Kedr was very happy that day, having arranged a religious festival for Sri Ramakrishna. A singer had been hired by Ram, and the whole day passed in joy.

1.04 - The Core of the Teaching, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Knowledge. The last step is Bhaktiyoga, adoration and seeking of the supreme Self as the Divine Being, and here the insistence is on devotion; but the knowledge is not subordinated, only raised, vitalised and fulfilled, and still the sacrifice of works continues; the double path becomes the triune way of knowledge, works and devotion. And the fruit of the sacrifice, the one fruit still placed before the seeker, is attained, union with the divine Being and oneness with the supreme divine nature.

1.04 - The Sacrifice the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is clear that a conception of this kind and its effective practice must carry in them three results that are of a central importance for our spiritual ideal. It is evident, to begin with, that, even if such a discipline is begun without devotion, it leads straight and inevitably towards the highest devotion possible; for it must deepen naturally into the completest adoration imaginable, the most profound God-love. There is bound up with it a growing sense of the Divine in all things, a deepening communion with the Divine in all our thought, will and action and at every moment of our lives, a more and more moved consecration to the Divine of the totality of our being. Now these implications of the Yoga of works are also of the very essence of an integral and absolute Bhakti. The seeker who puts them into living practice makes in himself continually a constant, active and effective representation of the very spirit of self-devotion, and it is inevitable that out of it there should emerge the most engrossing worship of the Highest to whom is given this service. An absorbing love for the Divine Presence to whom he feels an always more intimate closeness, grows upon the consecrated worker. And with it is born or in it is contained a universal love too for all these beings, living forms and creatures that are habitations of the Divinenot the brief restless grasping emotions of division, but the settled selfless love that is the deeper vibration of oneness. In all the seeker begins to meet the one Object of his adoration and service. The way of works turns by this road of sacrifice to meet the path of Devotion; it can be itself a devotion as complete, as absorbing, as integral as any the desire of the heart can ask for or the passion of the mind can imagine.
  Next, the practice of this Yoga demands a constant inward remembrance of the one central liberating knowledge, and a constant active externalising of it in works comes in too to intensify the remembrance. In all is the one Self, the one Divine is all; all are in the Divine, all are the Divine and there is nothing else in the universe,this thought or this faith is the whole background until it becomes the whole substance of the consciousness of the worker. A memory, a self-dynamising meditation of this kind, must and does in its end turn into a profound and uninterrupted vision and a vivid and all-embracing consciousness of that which we so powerfully remember or on which we so constantly meditate. For it compels a constant reference at each moment to the Origin of all being and will and action and there is at once an embracing and exceeding of all particular forms and appearances in That which is their cause and upholder. This way cannot go to its end without a seeing vivid and vital, as concrete in its way as physical sight, of the works of the universal Spirit everywhere. On its summits it rises into a constant living and thinking and willing and acting in the presence of the Supramental, the Transcendent. Whatever we see and hear, whatever we touch and sense, all of which we are conscious, has to be known and felt by us as That which we worship and serve; all has to be turned into an image of the Divinity, perceived as a dwelling-place of his Godhead, enveloped with the eternal Omnipresence. In its close, if not long before it, this way of works turns by communion with the Divine Presence, Will and Force into a way of Knowledge more complete and integral than any the mere creature intelligence can construct or the search of the intellect can discover.

1.05 - Bhakti Yoga, #Amrita Gita, #Swami Sivananda Saraswati, #Hinduism
  object:1.05 - Bhakti Yoga
  class:chapter
  --
  2. Bhakti is supreme love towards God. It is love for loves sake. The devotee wants God and God alone. There is no selfish expectation here.
  3. Bhakti is the greatest power on this earth. It gushes from ones pure heart. It redeems and saves. It purifies the heart.
  4. Devotion is the seed. Faith is the root. Service of saints is the shower. Communion with the Lord is the fruit.
  5. Bhakti is of two kinds, viz., Apara Bhakti (lower type of devotion) and Para Bhakti (highest Bhakti or Supreme Love). Ringing bells and waving lights is Apara Bhakti. In Para Bhakti, there is no ritualistic worship. The devotee is absorbed in God.
  6. In Supreme Love, the devotee forgets his self entirely. He has only thoughts of God.
  7. Para Bhakti and Jnana are one. Bhakti melts into wisdom in the end. Two have become one now.
  8. Bhakti grows gradually just as you grow a flower or a tree in a garden. Cultivate Bhakti in the garden of your heart gradually.
  9. Faith is necessary for attaining God-realisation. Faith can work wonders. Faith can move mountains. Faith can take you to the inner chambers of the Lord, where reason dares not enter.
  10. Japa, Kirtan, prayer, service of saints, study of books on Bhakti are all aids to devotion.
  11. Sattvic food is a help to devotion. Take milk, fruits, etc.
  --
  20. Practise the nine modes of devotion or Nava-vidha Bhakti, viz., Sravana (hearing the Lilas of the Lord), Kirtan (singing His Name), Smarana (His remembrance), Padasevana (service of His Feet), Archana (offering flowers), Vandana (prostrations), Dasyam (servant-Bhava), Sakhya (His friendship), and Atmanivedana (self-surrender).
  21. Say unto the Lord: I am Thine, all is Thine, Thy Will be done. Feel you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord, that the Lord works through your mind, body and senses. Offer all your actions and the fruits of the actions unto the Lord. This is the way to do self-surrender.
  --
  30. Bhakti is immortalising nectar. It transmutes a man into divinity. It makes him perfect. It bestows on him everlasting peace and bliss.
  THUS ENDS Bhakti YOGA
  OR THE YOGA OF DEVOTION

1.05 - THE MASTER AND KESHAB, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "Karmayoga is very hard indeed. In the Kaliyuga it is extremely difficult to perform the rites enjoined in the scriptures. Nowadays man's life is centred on food alone. He cannot perform many scriptural rites. Suppose a man is laid up with fever. If you attempt a slow cure with the old-fashioned indigenous remedies, before long his life may be snuffed out. He can't stand much delay. Nowadays the drastic 'D Gupta' mixture is appropriate. In the Kaliyuga the best way is Bhaktiyoga, the path of devotion-singing the praises of the Lord, and prayer. The path of devotion alone is the religion for this age. (To the Brahmo devotees) Yours also is the path of devotion. Blessed you are indeed that you chant the name of Hari and sing the Divine Mother's glories. I like your attitude. You don't call the world a dream like the non-dualists. You are not Brahmajnanis like them; you are bhaktas, lovers of God. That you speak of Him as a Person is also good. You are devotees. You will certainly realize Him if you call on Him with sincerity and earnestness."
  The boat cast anchor at Kayalaghat and the passengers prepared to disembark. On coming outside they noticed that the full moon was up. The trees, the buildings, and the boats on the Ganges were bathed in its mellow light. A carriage was hailed for the Master, and M. and a few devotees got in with him. The Master asked for Keshab.

1.06 - THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Three kinds of Bhakti
  "Similarly, Bhakti, devotion, has its sattva. A devotee who possesses it meditates on God in absolute secret, perhaps inside his mosquito net. Others think he is asleep.
  Since he is late in getting up, they think perhaps he has not slept well during the night.
  --
  "An aspirant possessed of rajasic Bhakti puts a tilak on his forehead and a necklace of holy rudraksha beads, interspersed with gold ones, around his neck. (All laugh.) At worship he wears a silk cloth.
  "A man endowed with tamasic Bhakti has burning faith. Such a devotee literally extorts boons from God, even as a robber falls upon a man and plunders his money. 'Bind!
  Beat! Kill!'-that is his way, the way of the dacoits."
  --
  "Yours is the path of Bhakti. That is very good; it is an easy path. Who can fully know the infinite God? and what need is there of knowing the Infinite? Having attained this rare human birth, my supreme need is to develop love for the Lotus Feet of God.
  "If a jug of water is enough to remove my thirst, why should I measure the quantity of water in a lake? I become drunk on even half a bottle of wine-what is the use of my calculating the quantity of liquor in the tavern? What need is there of knowing the Infinite?
  --
  And a pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah. Through Bhakti an untouchable becomes pure and elevated."
  Entanglement of householders
  --
  much relishes the Bhakti of the poor and the lowly, just as the cow relishes fodder mixed with oil-cake. King Duryodhana showed Krishna the splendour of his wealth and riches, but Krishna accepted the hospitality of the poor Vidura. God is fond of His devotees. He runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf."
  The Master sang:
  --
  Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of Bhakti,
  In the Vrindvan of my heart,
  --
  MASTER: "Is it possible to understand God's action and His motive? He creates, He preserves, and He destroys. Can we ever understand why He destroys? I say to the Divine Mother: 'O Mother, I do not need to understand. Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet.' The aim of human life is to attain Bhakti. As for other things, the Mother knows best. I have come to the garden to eat mangoes. What is the use of my calculating the number of trees, branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and leaves."
  Baburam, M., and Ramdayal slept that night on the floor of the Master's room.

1.07 - THE MASTER AND VIJAY GOSWAMI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "Even after attaining samdhi, some retain the 'servant ego' or the 'devotee ego'. The bhakta keeps this 'I-consciousness'. He says, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant; Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee.' He feels that way even after the realization of God. His 'I' is not completely effaced. Again, by constantly practising this kind of 'I-consciousness', one ultimately attains God. This is called Bhaktiyoga.
  "One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, by following the path of Bhakti. God is all-powerful. He may give His devotee Brahmajnna also, if He so wills. But the devotee generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother and he the child."
  VIJAY: "But those who discriminate according to the Vedanta philosophy also realize Him in the end, don't they?"
  Path of Bhakti is easy
  MASTER: "Yes, one may reach Him by following the path of discrimination too: that is called Jnanayoga. But it is an extremely difficult path. I have told you already of the seven planes of consciousness. On reaching the seventh plane the mind goes into samdhi. If a man acquires the firm knowledge that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory, then his mind merges in samdhi. But in the Kaliyuga the life of a man depends entirely on food. How can he have the consciousness that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory? In the Kaliyuga it is difficult to have the feeling, 'I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the twenty-four cosmic principles; I am beyond pleasure and pain, I am above disease and grief, old age and death.' However you may reason and argue, the feeling that the body is identical with the soul will somehow crop up from an unexpected quarter. You may cut a peepal-tree to the ground and think it is dead to its very root, but the next morning you will find a new sprout shooting up from the dead stump. One cannot get rid of this identification with the body; therefore the path of Bhakti is best for the people of the Kaliyuga. It is an easy path.
  "And, 'I don't want to become sugar; I want to eat it.' I never feel like saying, 'I am Brahman.' I say, 'Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.' It is better to make the mind go up and down between the fifth and sixth planes, like a boat racing between two points. I don't want to go beyond the sixth plane and keep my mind a long time in the seventh. My desire is to sing the name and glories of God. It is very good to look on God as the Master and oneself as His servant. Further, you see, people speak of the waves as belonging to the Ganges; but no one says that the Ganges belongs to the waves. The feeling, 'I am He', is not wholesome. A man who entertains such an idea, while looking on his body as the Self, causes himself great harm. He cannot go forward in spiritual life; he drags himself down. He deceives himself as well as others. He cannot understand his own state of mind.
  --
  "But it isn't any and every kind of Bhakti that enables one to realize God. One cannot realize God without prema- Bhakti. Another name for prema- Bhakti is raga- Bhakti. God cannot be realized without love and longing. Unless one has learnt to love God, one cannot realize Him.
  "There is another kind of Bhakti, known as vaidhi Bhakti, according to which one must repeat the name of God a fixed number of times, fast, make pilgrimages, worship God with prescribed offerings, make so many sacrifices, and so forth and so on. By continuing such practices a long time one gradually acquires raga- Bhakti. God cannot be realized until one has raga- Bhakti. One must love God. In order to realize God one must be completely free from worldliness and direct all of one's mind to Him.
  "But some acquire raga- Bhakti directly. It is innate in them. They have it from their very childhood. Even at an early age they weep for God. An instance of such Bhakti is to be found in Prahlada. Vaidhi Bhakti is like moving a fan to make a breeze. One needs the fan to make the breeze. Similarly, one practises japa, austerity, and fasting, in order to acquire love of God. But the fan is set aside when the southern breeze blows of
  itself.
  --
  "A man with 'green' Bhakti cannot assimilate spiritual talk and instruction; but one with 'ripe' Bhakti can. The image that falls on a photographic plate covered with black film5
  is retained. On the other hand, thousands of images may be reflected on a bare piece of glass, but not one of them is retained. As the object moves away, the glass becomes the same as it was before. One cannot assimilate spiritual instruction unless one has already developed love of God."
  VIJAY: "Is Bhakti alone sufficient for the attainment of God, for His vision?"
  MASTER: "Yes, one can see God through Bhakti alone. But it must be 'ripe' Bhakti, prema- Bhakti and raga- Bhakti. When one has that Bhakti, one loves God even as the mother loves the child, the child the mother, or the wife the husband.
  "When one has such love and attachment for God, one doesn't feel the attraction of maya to wife, children, relatives, and friends. One retains only compassion for them. To such a man the world appears a strange land, a place where he has merely to perform his duties. It is like a man's having his real home in the country, but coming to Calcutta for work; he has to rent a house in Calcutta for the sake of his duties. When one develops love of God, one completely gets rid of one's attachment to the world and worldly wisdom.
  --
  MASTER: "The path of Bhakti, or zealous love of God. Weep for God in solitude, with a restless soul, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind! And how can She hold Herself from you? "
  MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the meaning of the worship of the Personal God? And what is the meaning of God without form or attribute?"

1.08 - Adhyatma Yoga, #Amrita Gita, #Swami Sivananda Saraswati, #Hinduism
  22. All actions culminate in Jnana or wisdom. Bhakti also terminates in wisdom. Without Bhakti, Jnana is impossible.
  23. Knowledge of Atman burns all actions. There is no purifier in this world like Brahma-Jnana.

1.08 - Attendants, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  Such appalling mist could only be dissolved by counterbalancing incidents like the one of our old doctor Becharlal, a true bhakta by nature. Sri Aurobindo remarked that his Bhakti was genuine. How many times he was on the point of shedding tears on seeing his "Bhagawan suffer"! Apart from his age, his emotional nature rendered him incapable of doing anything but light work and we gave him only such work. Neither would he ask for more, since he knew himself quite well. If he could just breathe the nearness of the Lord, that was all he wanted. That was his lifelong aspiration, it appeared, and it was fulfilled. He was called Dadaji by us and given his due respect. During the early days of the accident, in the tranquil atmosphere of the room, we would hear some sudden sobbing trying in vain to control itself. It was our doctor who had been moved to sorrow by the "painful condition" of his beloved Lord! Or sometimes there were tears of spiritual fervour.
  When after his bath Sri Aurobindo lay down for a little rest, our doctor would squat behind or beside him and gaze on the reclining god who was in serene repose with both hands locked above the head. Becharlal said that at those moments especially, Sri Aurobindo appeared to him just like Lord Shiva and he felt a great impulse to embrace him. Stretched at full length on the bed, his well-formed body almost filling it without any covering on the upper part, the large full head and the radiant face, caring nothing for earthly vanities, yet the Lord of the world, captured not only Dr. Becharlal's heart but ours as well. Dr. Becharlal would be full of peace and rapture in his presence but could not stay long because of his old-age infirmities. Dr. Manilal remarked to Sri Aurobindo that among all of us Dr. Becharlal profited most from his association with Sri Aurobindo.
  --
  Dr. Satyendra is an unassuming and nice person, did his part of the job in a quiet and steady way. He was cleaning, for a time, the windows and furniture in Sri Aurobindo's room. Ready to serve but never pushing and not over eager, he kept a closeness and happy relation with all. He used to express very often that he was more of a retiring nature and more intent on personal realisation through Bhakti. Karmayoga did not suit his temperament very well. Whatever might be his particular bent, we saw that he did his own work like a karmayogi, in a genuine spirit of service to the Master whom he always addressed as Sir. His talks with Sri Aurobindo showed his sense of humour, his insight into philosophy, politics and mysticism. Sri Aurobindo seemed to like his company, his quiet devotion, in spite of his constantly grumbling against the integral Yoga and the Supermind. While cleaning the Master's nails as he lay in bed, he would start his old unvarying tale about the necessity of the personal touch, his close contact with his former guru. Sri Aurobindo would listen quietly to his nostalgic monologue. There must be some expression of love, was his constant burden, to which Sri Aurobindo once replied that unity of consciousness is the root and love is its fine flower. A shrewd observer of human and divine nature, it was he who made the pertinent remark that in this Yoga only two persons have achieved complete surrender: the Mother to Sri Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo to the Mother! As an example he related this story: Sri Aurobindo was lying in bed one day, and the ceiling-fan was revolving at full speed. Satyendra felt that he wanted something, so he approached the Master and asked, "Are you looking for something, Sir?" "Oh, no.... Is Nirod there?" "No, Sir. But can I do anything?" he asked. "I was wondering if the speed of the fan could be reduced," he replied. "I can do it, Sir." "Oh, can you?" he asked. Sri Aurobindo enquired about me because I was given charge of the fan by the Mother, and he would not violate the rule. As for the reduction of the speed, that too was in deference to the wishes of the Mother, for once on entering Sri Aurobindo's room, she saw the fan turning at full speed and remarked, "Oh, what a storm!" To give another instance: when we wanted to move the table-fan a bit nearer him, he said, "No, Mother has kept it there." This is how we learnt submission and obedience not only in big matters, but even in small trivialities.
  The Mother told Satyendra recently on his birthday that Sri Aurobindo had come to her on the eve of his interview with her and said that he had taken good care of Sri Aurobindo's body. What a touching recognition from Sri Aurobindo! Even after leaving the body, the Guru remembers a kind act, some help rendered to him by his disciple! What a Divine Magnanimity! We know also that all those who had served him during his accident period have had their reward in some form or other, in the material and spiritual life.

1.08 - THE MASTERS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "For the Kli Yuga the path of Bhakti is especially good. One can realize God through Bhakti too. As long as one is conscious of the body, one is also conscious of objects.
  Form, taste, smell, sound, and touch-these are the objects. It is extremely difficult to get rid of the consciousness of objects. And one cannot realize 'I am He' as long as one is aware of objects.
  --
  MASTER: "Through that kind of love. But one must force one's demand on God. One should be able to say: 'O God, wilt Thou not reveal Thyself to me? I will cut my throat with a knife.' This is the tamas of Bhakti."
  DEVOTEE: "Can one see God?"
  --
  "The rishis followed the path of jnna. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the path of devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of Bhakti. The darkness of the mind disappears when God is realized. In the Purana it is said that it was as if a hundred suns were shining when Rama entered the court. Why, then, weren't the courtiers burnt up? It was because the brilliance of Rama was not like that of a material object. As the lotus blooms when the sun rises, so the lotus of the heart of the people assembled in the court burst into blossom."
  As the Master uttered these words, standing before the devotees, he suddenly fell into an ecstatic mood. His mind was withdrawn from external objects. No sooner did he say, "the lotus of the heart burst into blossom", than he went into deep samdhi. He stood motionless, his countenance beaming and his lips parted in a smile.
  --
  Likewise, through the cooling influence of Bhakti, one sees forms of God in the Ocean of the Absolute. These forms are meant for the bhaktas, the lovers of God. But when the Sun of Knowledge rises, the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before. Water above and water below, everywhere nothing but water. Therefore a prayer in the Bhagavata says: 'O Lord, Thou hast form, and Thou art also formless. Thou walkest before us, O Lord, in the shape of a man; again, Thou hast been described in the Vedas as beyond words and thought.'
  "But you may say that for certain devotees God assumes eternal forms. There are places in the ocean where the ice doesn't melt at all. It assumes the form of quartz."

1.08 - Worship of Substitutes and Images, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  Now worshipping Ishvara and Him alone is Bhakti; the worship of anything else Deva, or Pitri, or any other being cannot be Bhakti. The various kinds of worship of the various Devas are all to be included in ritualistic Karma, which gives to the worshipper only a particular result in the form of some celestial enjoyment, but can neither give rise to Bhakti nor lead to Mukti. One thing, therefore, has to be carefully borne in mind. If, as it may happen in some cases, the highly philosophic ideal, the supreme Brahman, is dragged down by Pratika-worship to the level of the Pratika, and the Pratika itself is taken to be the Atman of the worshipper or his Antarymin (Inner Ruler), the worshipper gets entirely misled, as no Pratika can really be the Atman of the worshipper.
  But where Brahman Himself is the object of worship, and the Pratika stands only as a substitute or a suggestion thereof, that is to say, where, through the Pratika the omnipresent Brahman is worshipped the Pratika itself being idealised into the cause of all, Brahman the worship is positively beneficial; nay, it is absolutely necessary for all mankind until they have all got beyond the primary or preparatory state of the mind in regard to worship. When, therefore, any gods or other beings are worshipped in and for themselves, such worship is only a ritualistic Karma; and as a Vidy (science) it gives us only the fruit belonging to that particular Vidya; but when the Devas or any other beings are looked upon as Brahman and worshipped, the result obtained is the same as by the worshipping of Ishvara. This explains how, in many cases, both in the Shrutis and the Smritis, a god, or a sage, or some other extraordinary being is taken up and lifted, as it were, out of his own nature and idealised into Brahman, and is then worshipped. Says the Advaitin, "Is not everything Brahman when the name and the form have been removed from it?" "Is not He, the Lord, the innermost Self of every one?" says the Vishishtdvaitin.
  --
  The same ideas apply to the worship of the Pratimas as to that of the Pratikas; that is to say, if the image stands for a god or a saint, the worship is not the result of Bhakti, and does not lead lo liberation; but if it stands for the one God, the worship thereof will bring both Bhakti and Mukti. Of the principal religions of the world we see Vedantism, Buddhism, and certain forms of Christianity freely using images; only two religions, Mohammedanism and Protestantism, refuse such help. Yet the Mohammedans use the grave of their saints and martyrs almost in the place of images; and the Protestants, in rejecting all concrete helps to religion, are drifting away every year farther and farther from spirituality till at present there is scarcely any difference between the advanced Protestants and the followers of August Comte, or agnostics who preach ethics alone. Again, in Christianity and Mohammedanism whatever exists of image worship is made to fall under that category in which the Pratika or the Pratima is worshipped in itself, but not as a "help to the vision" (Drishtisaukaryam) of God; therefore it is at best only of the nature of ritualistic Karmas and cannot produce either Bhakti or Mukti. In this form of image-worship, the allegiance of the soul is given to other things than Ishvara, and, therefore, such use of images, or graves, or temples, or tombs, is real idolatry; it is in itself neither sinful nor wicked it is a rite a Karma, and worshippers must and will get the fruit thereof.
  next chapter: 1.09 - The Chosen Ideal

1.09 - ADVICE TO THE BRAHMOS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MANILAL: "I asked him how to cultivate Bhakti. He said: 'Chant the name of God.
  Repeat the name of Rma.' "
  --
  Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of Bhakti,
  In the Vrindvan of my heart,

1.1.01 - Seeking the Divine, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  No, what you write in your letter was not at all what the Mother was trying to tell you. The question of ahaituk Bhakti and its opposite was settled long ago and the Mother did not intend to return upon it; it is understood that whatever the motive immediately pushing the mind or the vital, an asking for Ananda or knowledge or power, yet if there is a true seeking for the
  Divine in the being, it must lead eventually to the realisation of the Divine. The soul within has always the inherent (ahaituk) yearning for the Divine; the hetu or special motive is simply an impulsion used by it to get the mind and the vital to follow the inner urge. If the mind and the vital can feel and accept the soul's sheer love for the Divine for his own sake, then the sadhana gets its full power and many difficulties disappear; but even if they do not, they will get what they seek after in the Divine and through it they will come to realise something, even perhaps to pass beyond the limit of their original desire. I may say that the idea of a joyless God is an absurdity which only the ignorance of

1.1.02 - The Aim of the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  (4) To talk about the supramental and think of bringing it down in yourself is the most dangerous of all. It may bring an entire megalomania and loss of balance. What the sadhak has to seek is the full opening to the Divine, the psychic change of his consciousness, the spiritual change. Of that change of consciousness, selflessness, desirelessness, humility, Bhakti, surrender, calm, equality, peace, quiet, sincerity are necessary constituents. Until he has the psychic and spiritual change, to think of being supramental is an absurdity and an arrogant absurdity.
  All these egoistic ideas, if indulged, can only aggrandise the ego, spoil the sadhana and lead to serious spiritual dangers. They should be rejected altogether.

1.10 - THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES (II), #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Listen, Chandravali! I shall tell you of love: Mukti a man may gain, but rare is Bhakti.
  Solely for pure love's sake did I become

1.10 - The Methods and the Means, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  In regard to the method and the means of Bhakti-Yoga we read in the commentary of Bhagavan Ramanuja on the Vedanta-Sutras: "The attaining of That comes through discrimination, controlling the passions, practice, sacrificial work, purity, strength, and suppression of excessive joy." Viveka or discrimination is, according to Ramanuja, discriminating, among other things, the pure food from the impure. According to him, food becomes impure from three causes: (1) by the nature of the food itself, as in the case of garlic etc.; (2) owing to its coming from wicked and accursed persons; and (3) from physical impurities, such as dirt, or hair, etc. The Shrutis say, When the food is pure, the Sattva element gets purified, and the memory becomes unwavering", and Ramanuja quotes this from the Chhndogya Upanishad.
  The question of food has always been one of the most vital with the Bhaktas. Apart from the extravagance into which some of the Bhakti sects have run, there is a great truth underlying this question of food. We must remember that, according to the Sankhya philosophy, the Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, which in the state of homogeneous equilibrium form the Prakriti, and in the heterogeneous disturbed condition form the universe are both the substance and the quality of Prakriti. As such they are the materials out of which every human form has been manufactured, and the predominance of the Sattva material is what is absolutely necessary for spiritual development. The materials which we receive through our food into our body-structure go a great way to determine our mental constitution; therefore the food we eat has to be particularly taken care of. However, in this matter, as in others, the fanaticism into which the disciples invariably fall is not to be laid at the door of the masters.
  And this discrimination of food is, after all, of secondary importance. The very same passage quoted above is explained by Shankara in his Bhshya on the Upanishads in a different way by giving an entirely different meaning to the word hra, translated generally as food. According to him, "That which is gathered in is Ahara. The knowledge of the sensations, such as sound etc., is gathered in for the enjoyment of the enjoyer (self); the purification of the knowledge which gathers in the perception of the senses is the purifying of the food (Ahara). The word 'purification-of-food' means the acquiring of the knowledge of sensations untouched by the defects of attachment, aversion, and delusion; such is the meaning. Therefore such knowledge or Ahara being purified, the Sattva material of the possessor it the internal organ will become purified, and the Sattva being purified, an unbroken memory of the Infinite One, who has been known in His real nature from scriptures, will result."
  These two explanations are apparently conflicting, yet both are true and necessary. The manipulating and controlling of what may be called the finer body, viz the mood, are no doubt higher functions than the controlling of the grosser body of flesh. But the control of the grosser is absolutely necessary to enable one to arrive at the control of the finer. The beginner, therefore, must pay particular attention to all such dietetic rules as have come down from the line of his accredited teachers; but the extravagant, meaningless fanaticism, which has driven religion entirely to the kitchen, as may be noticed in the case of many of our sects, without any hope of the noble truth of that religion ever coming out to the sunlight of spirituality, is a peculiar sort of pure and simple materialism. It is neither Jnna, nor Bhakti, nor Karma; it is a special kind of lunacy, and those who pin their souls to it are more likely to go to lunatic asylums than to Brahmaloka. So it stands to reason that discrimination in the choice of food is necessary for the attainment of this higher state of mental composition which cannot be easily obtained otherwise.
  Controlling the passions is the next thing to be attended to. To restrain the Indriyas (organs) from going towards the objects of the senses, to control them and bring them under the guidance of the will, is the very central virtue in religious culture. Then comes the practice of self-restraint and self-denial.
  --
  Purity is absolutely the basic work, the bed-rock upon which the whole Bhakti-building rests.
  Cleansing the external body and discriminating the food are both easy, but without internal cleanliness and purity, these external observances are of no value whatsoever. In the list of qualities conducive to purity, as given by Ramanuja, there are enumerated, Satya, truthfulness; rjava, sincerity; Day, doing good to others without any gain to one's self; Ahims, not injuring others by thought, word, or deed; Anabhidhy, not coveting others' goods, not thinking vain thoughts, and not brooding over injuries received from another. In this list, the one idea that deserves special notice is Ahimsa, non-injury to others. This duty of non-injury is, so to speak, obligatory on us in relation to all beings. As with some, it does not simply mean the non-injuring of human beings and mercilessness towards the lower animals; nor, as with some others, does it mean the protecting of cats and dogs and feeding of ants with sugar with liberty to injure brother-man in every horrible way! It is remarkable that almost every good idea in this world can be carried to a disgusting extreme. A good practice carried to an extreme and worked in accordance with the letter of the law becomes a positive evil. The stinking monks of certain religious sects, who do not ba the lest the vermin on their bodies should be killed, never think of the discomfort and disease they bring to their fellow human beings. They do not, however, belong to the religion of the Vedas!
  --
  The next means to the attainment of Bhakti-Yoga is strength (Anavasda). "This Atman is not to be attained by the weak", says the Shruti. Both physical weakness and mental weakness are meant here.
  "The strong, the hardy" are the only fit students. What can puny, little, decrepit things do? They will break to pieces whenever the mysterious forces of the body and mind are even slightly awakened by the practice of any of the Yogas. It is "the young, the healthy, the strong" that can score success.

1.1.1 - The Mind and Other Levels of Being, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The ways of the Divine are not like those of the human mind or according to our patterns and it is impossible to judge them or to lay down for Him what He shall or shall not do, for the Divine knows better than we can know. If we admit the Divine at all, both true reason and Bhakti seem to me to be at one in demanding implicit faith and surrender.
  ***

1.11 - WITH THE DEVOTEES AT DAKSHINEWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Sri Ramakrishna asked M., "Well, what is the cause of Bhakti? Why should the spiritual feeling of young boys like Bhavanath be awakened?" M. remained silent.
  MASTER: "The fact is, all men may look alike from the outside, but some of them have fillings of 'condensed milk'. Cakes may have fillings of condensed milk or powdered black grams, but they all look alike from the outside. The desire to know God, ecstatic love of Him, and such other spiritual qualities are the 'condensed milk'."
  --
  "Hence the Bhakti scriptures describe this very world as a 'mansion of mirth'.
  Ramprasad sang in one of his songs, 'This world is a framework of illusion.' Another devotee gave the reply, 'This very world is a mansion of mirth.' As the saying goes, 'The devotee of Kali, free while living, is full of Eternal Bliss.' The bhakta sees that He who is God has also become maya. Again, He Himself has become the universe and all its living beings. The bhakta sees God, maya, the universe, and the living beings as one. Some devotees see everything as Rma: it is Rma alone who has become everything. Some see everything as Radha and Krishna. To them it is Krishna alone who has become the twenty-four cosmic principles. It is like seeing everything green through green glasses.
  "But the Bhakti scriptures admit that the manifestations of Power are different in different beings. It is Rma who has become everything, no doubt; but He manifests Himself more in some than in others. There is one kind of manifestation of Rma in the Incarnation of God, and another in men. Even the Incarnations are conscious of the body. Embodiment is due to maya. Rma wept for Sita. But the Incarnation of God puts a bondage over His eyes by His own will, like children playing blindman's buff. The children stop playing when their mother calls them. It is quite different, however, with the ordinary man. The cloth his eyes are bandaged with is fastened to his back with screws, as it were. There are eight fetters. Shame, hatred, fear, caste, lineage, good conduct, grief, and secretiveness-these are the eight fetters. And they cannot be unfastened without the help of a guru.
  Earnestness in spiritual life extolled
  --
  Result of yoga through Bhakti
  "The upshot of the whole thing is that, no matter what path you follow, yoga is impossible unless the mind becomes quiet. The mind of a yogi is under his control; he is not under the control of his mind. When the mind is quiet the prana stops functioning.
  Then one gets kumbhaka. One may have the same kumbhaka through Bhaktiyoga as well; the prana stops functioning through love of God too. In the kirtan the musician sings, 'Nitai amar mata hati!' Repeating this, he goes into a spiritual mood and cannot sing the whole sentence. He simply sings, 'Hati! Hati' When the mood deepens he sings only, 'Ha! Ha!' Thus his prana stops through ecstasy, and kumbhaka follows.
  "Suppose a man is sweeping a courtyard with his broom, and another man comes and says to him: 'Hello! So-and-so is no more. He is dead.' Now, if the dead person was not related to the sweeper, the latter goes on with his work, remarking casually: 'Ah! That's too bad. He is dead. He was a good fellow.' The sweeping goes on all the same. But if the dead man was his relative, then the broom drops from his hand. 'Ah!' he exclaims, and he too drops to the ground. His prana has stopped functioning. He can neither work nor think. Haven't you noticed, among women, that if one of them looks at something or listens to something in speechless amazement, the other women say to her, 'What? Are you in ecstasy?' In this instance, too, the prana has stopped functioning, and so she remains speechless, with mouth agape.
  --
  "Sattva begets Bhakti. Even Bhakti has three aspects: sattva, rajas, and tamas. The sattva of Bhakti is pure sattva. When a devotee acquires it he doesn't direct his mind to anything but God. He pays only as much attention to his body as is absolutely necessary for its protection.
  "But a paramahamsa is beyond the three gunas. Though they exist in him, yet they are practically non-existent. Like a child, he is not under the control of any of the gunas.
  --
  "Assume the tamasic aspect of Bhakti. Say with force: 'What? I have uttered the names of Rma and Kali. How can I be in bondage any more? How can I be affected by the law of karma?' "
  The Master sang:

1.12 - THE FESTIVAL AT PNIHTI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Different states of Bhakti
  MASTER: " Bhakti matured becomes bhava. Next is mahabhava, then prema, and last of all is the attainment of God. Gaurnga experienced the states of mahabhava and prema. When prema is awakened, a devotee completely forgets the world; he also forgets his body, which is so dear to a man. Gaurnga experienced prema. He jumped into the ocean, thinking it to be the Jamuna. The ordinary jiva does not experience mahabhava or prema. He goes only as far as bhava. But Gaurnga experienced all three states. Isn't that so?"

1.13 - THE MASTER AND M., #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "Whatever we see or think about is the manifestation of the glory of the Primordial Energy, the Primal Consciousness. Creation, preservation, and destruction, living beings and the universe, and further, meditation and the meditator, Bhakti and prema-all these are manifestations of the glory of that Power.
  "But Brahman is identical with Its Power. On returning from Ceylon, Hanuman praised Rma, saying: 'O Rma, You are the Supreme Brahman, and Sita is Your akti. You and She are identical' Brahman and akti are like the snake and. its wriggling motion.

1.14 - INSTRUCTION TO VAISHNAVS AND BRHMOS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "The Incarnation of God is accepted by those who follow the path of Bhakti. A woman belonging to the Kartabhaja sect observed my condition, and remarked: 'You have inner realization. Don't dance and sing too much. Ripe grapes must be preserved carefully in cotton. The mother-in-law lessens her daughter-in-law's activities when the daughter-in-law is with child. One characteristic of God-realization is that the activities of a man with such realization gradually drop away. Inside this man [meaning Sri Ramakrishna]
  is the real Jewel.'
  --
  MASTER: "I feel very happy when I see Shivanath. He always seems to be absorbed in the bliss of Bhakti. Further, a man who is respected by so many surely possesses some divine power. But he has one great defect: he doesn't keep his word. Once he said to me that, he would come to Dakshineswar, but he neither came nor sent me word. That is not good. It is said that truthfulness alone constitutes the spiritual discipline of the Kaliyuga. If a man clings tenaciously to truth he ultimately realizes God. Without this regard for truth, one gradually loses everything. If by chance I say that I will go to the pine-grove, I must go there even if there is no further need of it, lest I lose my attachment to truth. After my vision of the Divine Mother, I prayed to Her, taking a flower in my hands: 'Mother, here is Thy knowledge and here is Thy ignorance. Take them both, and give me only pure love. Here is Thy holiness and here is Thy unholiness. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love. Here is Thy good and here is Thy evil. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love. Here is Thy righteousness, and here is Thy unrighteousness. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love.' I mentioned all these, but I could not say: 'Mother, here is Thy truth and here is Thy falsehood. Take them both.' I gave up everything at Her feet but could not bring myself to give up truth."
  Soon the service began according to the rules of the Brahmo Samaj. The preacher was seated on the dais. After the opening prayer he recited holy texts of the Vedas and was joined by the congregation in the invocation to the Supreme Brahman. They chanted in chorus: "Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, and Infinity. It shines as Bliss and Immortality.
  --
  Steps of Bhakti
  "First of all one acquires Bhakti. Bhakti is single-minded devotion to God, like the devotion a wife feels for her husband. It is very difficult to have unalloyed devotion to God. Through such devotion one's mind and soul merge in Him.
  "Then comes bhava, intense love. Through bhava a man becomes speechless. His nerve currents are stilled. Kumbhaka comes by itself. It is like the case of a man whose breath and speech stop when he fires a gun.

1.1.4 - The Physical Mind and Sadhana, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is the usual fit and the same round of thoughts mechanically repeated that you always get in these fits. These thoughts have no light in them and no truth, for the physical mind which engenders this routine wheel of suggestions is shut up in surface appearances and knows nothing of deeper truth or the things of the spirit. There is plenty of increment, but with this superficial part of the physical mind it is not likely or possible that you can see it. Your impression of the dwindling light is also an impression of this mind natural to it especially in its periods of darkness; for that matter when the periods of darkness come to any sadhak they always seem darker than before; that is the nature of the darkness, to give that impression always. It is also quite according to the rule of these reactions that it should have come immediately after a considerable progress in Bhakti and the will to surrender in the inner being for it comes from the spirit of darkness which attacks the sadhak whenever it can, and that spirit resents fiercely all progress made and hates the very idea of progress and its whole policy is to convince him by its attacks and suggestions that he has made none or that what progress he has made is after all null and inconclusive.
  The laws of this world as it is are the laws of the Ignorance and the Divine in the world maintains them so long as there is the Ignoranceif He did not, the universe would crumble to pieces, utsdeyur ime lok, as the Gita puts it. There are also, very naturally, conditions for getting out of the Ignorance into the Light. One of them is that the mind of the sadhak should cooperate with the Truth and that his will should cooperate with the Divine Power which, however slow its action may seem to the vital or to the physical mind, is uplifting the nature towards the Light. When that cooperation is complete, then the progress can be rapid enough; but the sadhak should not grudge the time and labour needed to make that cooperation fully possible to the blindness and weakness of human nature and effective.

1.16 - WITH THE DEVOTEES AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "The Vedantists do not accept hathayoga. There is also rajayoga. Rajayoga describes how to achieve union with God through the mind by means of discrimination and Bhakti.
  This yoga is good. Hathayoga is not good. The life of a man in the Kaliyuga is dependent on food."

1.17 - God, #Initiation Into Hermetics, #Franz Bardon, #Occultism
  The pure mystic wishes to approach his God only in the all-embracing love. The yogi, too, walks toward one single aspect of God. The Bhakti- yogi keeps to the road of love and devotion, the raja and hatha yogi choose the path of self-control or volition, the jnana yogi will follow that of wisdom and cognition.
  Now let us regard the idea of God from the magic standpoint, according to the four elements, the so-called tetragrammaton, the unspeakable, the supreme: the fiery principle involves the almightiness and the omnipotence, the airy principle owns the wisdom, purity and clarity, from which aspect proceeds the universal lawfulness.

1.17 - M. AT DAKSHINEWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  M: "Isn't it possible to develop both jnna and Bhakti by the practice of spiritual discipline?"
  MASTER: "Through the path of Bhakti a man may attain them both. If it is necessary, God gives him the Knowledge of Brahman. But a highly qualified aspirant may develop both jnna and Bhakti at the same time. Such is the case with the Isvarakotis-Chaitanya for example. But the case of ordinary devotees is different.
  "There are five kinds of light: the light of a lamp, the light of various kinds of fire, the light of the moon, the light of the sun, and lastly the combined light of the sun and the moon. Bhakti is the light of the moon, and jnna the light of the sun.
  "Sometimes it is seen that the sun has hardly set when the moon rises in the sky. In an Incarnation of God one sees, at the same time, the sun of Knowledge and the moon of Love.
  --
  Through the grace of God some may get both jnna and Bhakti."
  M. saluted the Master and went back to the bel-tree.
  --
  MASTER:"Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna are the three principal nerves. All the lotuses are located in the Sushumna. They are formed of Consciousness, like a tree made of wax-the branches, twigs, fruits, and so forth all of wax. The Kundalini lies in the lotus of the Muladhara. That lotus has four petals. The Primordial Energy resides in all bodies as the Kundalini. She is like a sleeping snake coiled up-'of the form of a sleeping snake, having the Muladhara for Her abode'. (To M.) The Kundalini is speedily awakened if one follows the path of Bhakti. God cannot be seen unless She is awakened. Sing earnestly and secretly in solitude:
  Waken, O Mother! O Kundalini, whose nature is Bliss Eternal!

1.18 - M. AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER: "Everything can be achieved through Bhakti alone. Those who want the Knowledge of Brahman will certainly achieve that also by following the trail of Bhakti.
  "Can a man blessed with the grace of God ever lack Knowledge? At Kamarpukur I have seen grain-dealers measuring paddy. As one heap is measured away another heap is pushed forward to be measured. The Mother supplies the devotees with the 'heap' of Knowledge. .
  --
  Sankaracharya kept the 'ego of Knowledge' in order to teach mankind. The gift of knowledge and devotion is far superior to the gift of food. Therefore Chaitanyadeva distributed Bhakti to all, including the outcaste. Happiness and suffering are the inevitable characteristics of the body. You have come to eat mangoes. Fulfil that desire. The one thing needful is jnna and Bhakti. God alone is Substance; all else is illusory.
  "It is God alone who does everything. You may say that in that case man may commit sin. But that is not true. If a man is firmly convinced that God alone is the Doer and that he himself is nothing, then he will never make a false step.

1.200-1.224 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Maharshi was reading G. U. Popes translation of Tiruvachakam and came across the stanzas describing the intense feeling of Bhakti as thrilling the whole frame, melting the flesh and bones, etc. He remarked: Manickavasagar is one of those whose body finally resolved itself in a blazing light, without leaving a corpse behind.
  Another devotee asked how it could be.

1.2.01 - The Call and the Capacity, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Divine, through whatever lever, heart or mind, or both. In your case it is likely to come through the heart, through increase of Bhakti or psychic purification of the heart: that is why I was pressing the psychic way upon you. I do not mean that nothing can come through meditation for you, but probably - barring the unexpected - only after the heart-experience.
  Do not allow these wrong ideas and feelings to govern you or your state of depression to dictate your decisions: try to keep a firm central will for the realisation - you can do so if you make up your mind to it - these things are not impossible for you; they are within the scope of your nature which is strong.
  --
  I repeat what I said before (though your physical mind does not yet believe) that these experiences show at once that your inner being is a Yogi capable of trance, ecstasy, intensest Bhakti, fully aware of Yoga and Yoga consciousness, and showing himself the very moment you get inside yourself, even as the outer man is very much the other way round, modernised, externalised, vigorously outward-vital (for the Yogi is inward-vital and psychic) and knowing nothing of Yoga or the world of inner experience.
  I could see at once when I saw you that there was this inner

1.2.07 - Surrender, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It [surrender] cannot be absolutely complete in the beginning, but it can be true - if the central will is sincere and there is the faith and the Bhakti. There may be contrary movements, but these will be unable to stand for long and the imperfection of the surrender in the lower part will not seriously interfere with the power and pervasiveness of the inner attitude.
  A complete surrender is not possible in so short a time, - for a complete surrender means to cut the knot of the ego in each part of the being and offer it, free and whole, to the Divine.
  --
  Surrender and Bhakti
  Surrender and love- Bhakti are not contrary things - they go together. It is true that at first surrender can be made through knowledge by the mind, but it implies a mental Bhakti and, as soon as the surrender reaches the heart, the Bhakti manifests as a feeling and with the feeling of Bhakti love comes.
  Self-surrender at first comes through love and Bhakti, more than through Atmajnana. But it is true that with Atmajnana the complete surrender becomes more possible.
  Surrender and the Brahmic Condition
  --
  Tapasya. Not only so, but in fact a double process of Tapasya and increasing surrender persists for a long time even when the surrender has fairly well begun. But a time comes when one feels the Presence and the Force constantly and more and more feels that that is doing everything - so that the worst difficulties cannot disturb this sense and personal effort is no longer necessary, hardly even possible. That is the sign of the full surrender of the nature into the hands of the Divine. There are some who take this position in faith even before there is this experience and if the Bhakti and the faith are strong it carries them through till the experience is there. But all cannot take this position from the beginning - and for some it would be dangerous since they might put themselves into the hand of a wrong Force thinking it to be the Divine. For most it is necessary to grow through
  Tapasya into surrender.

1.2.08 - Faith, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Divine, and that too is the condition of Bhakti.
  The Gospel of Faith

1.21 - A DAY AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  RAM: "Keshab's disciples say that he was the first to harmonize jnna and Bhakti."
  Synthesis of jnna and Bhakti
  MASTER (in surprise): "How is that? What then of the Adhytma Rmyana? It is written there that, while praying to Rma, Nrada said: 'O Rma, Thou art the Supreme Brahman described in the Vedas. Thou dwellest with us as a man; Thou appearest as a man. In reality Thou art not a man; Thou art that Supreme Brahman.' Rma said: 'Nrada, I am very much pleased with you. Accept a boon from Me.' Nrada replied: 'What boon shall I ask of Thee? Grant me pure love for Thy Lotus Feet, and may I never be deluded by Thy world-bewitching my!' The Adhytma Rmyana is full of such statements regarding jnna and Bhakti."
  The conversation turned to Amrita, a disciple of Keshab.

1.22 - ADVICE TO AN ACTOR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "Do you know how my faith in the name of Hari was all the more streng thened? Holy men, as you know, frequently visit the temple garden. Once a sdhu from Multan arrived. He was waiting for a party going to Gangasagar. (Pointing to M.) The sdhu was of his age. It was he who said to me, 'The way to realize God in the Kaliyuga is the path of Bhakti as prescribed by Nrada.'
  "One day Keshab came here with his followers. They stayed till ten at night. We were all seated in the Panchavati. Pratap and several others said they would like to spend the night here. Keshab said: 'No, I must go. I have some work to do.' I laughed and said: 'Can't you sleep without the smell of your fish-basket?
  --
  "After attaining mahabhava and prema one realizes that nothing exists but God. Bhakti pales before bhava. Bhva ripens into mahabhava and prema.
  (To Bannerji) "Do you still hear that gong-like sound at the time of meditation?"

1.23 - FESTIVAL AT SURENDRAS HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  They began to talk about Keshab. Pratap said: "Even in boyhood he showed non-attachment to worldly things, seldom making merry with other boys. He was a student in the Hindu College. At that time he became friendly with Satyendra and through him made the acquaintance of his father, Devendranath Tagore. Keshab cultivated Bhakti and at the same time practised meditation. At times he would be so much overcome with divine love that he would become unconscious. The main purpose of his life was to introduce religion among householders.
  The conversation next turned to a certain Marhatta lady.
  --
  The path of Bhakti for this age
  A DEVOTEE: "Then what is the way for those who have not seen God? Must they give up all the duties of the world?"
  MASTER: "The best path for this age is Bhaktiyoga, the path of Bhakti prescribed by Nrada: to sing the name and glories of God and pray to Him with a longing heart, 'O
  God, give me knowledge, give me devotion, and reveal Thyself to me!' The path of karma is extremely difficult. Therefore one should pray: 'O God, make my duties fewer and fewer; and may I, through Thy grace, do the few duties that Thou givest me without any attachment to their results! May I have no desire to be involved in many activities!'

1.240 - 1.300 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  M.: Bhakti fulfils your desire.
  D.: I want to know how I can gain that peace of mind. Kindly be pleased to advise me.
  --
  D.: It seems difficult. May we proceed by Bhakti marga?
  M.: It is according to individual temperament and equipment. Bhakti is the same as vichara.
  215
  --
  Of course, a few find vichara practicable. Others find Bhakti easier.
  D.: Did not Mr. Brunton find you in London? Was it only a dream?
  --
  "I long for Bhakti. I want more of this longing. Even realisation does not matter for me. Let me be strong in my longing."
  M.: If the longing is there, Realisation will be forced on you even if you do not want it. Subhechcha is the doorway for realisation.
  --
  (2) Bhakti; and (3) Sraddha. Ichcha means satisfaction of bodily wants without attachment to the body (such as hunger and thirst and evacuation). Unless it is done meditation cannot progress. Bhakti and Sraddha are already known.
  D.: There are two kinds of desires - the baser and the nobler. Is it our duty to transmute the baser one to the nobler?
  --
  D.: Does not Bhakti imply duality?
  M.: Swa swarupanusandhanam Bhaktirityabhidheeyate (Reflection on one's own Self is called Bhakti). Bhakti and Self-Enquiry are one and the same. The Self of the Advaitins is the God of the bhaktas.
  D.: Is there a spiritual hierarchy of all the original propounders of religions watching the spiritual welfare of the humans?
  --
  They obstruct Bhakti also.
  The interpreter advised the questioner to study Who am I? The doctor was ready with his protestations: "I have read it also. I cannot still make my mind concentrate."
  --
  M.: That Peace is the Real nature. Contrary ideas are only superimpositions. This is true Bhakti, true yoga, true jnana. You may say that this peace is acquired by practice. The wrong notions are given up by practice. This is all. Your true nature always persists.
  These flashes are only signs of the ensuing revelation of the Self.

1.240 - Talks 2, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  M.: Bhakti fulfils your desire.
  D.: I want to know how I can gain that peace of mind. Kindly be pleased to advise me.
  --
  D.: It seems difficult. May we proceed by Bhakti marga?
  M.: It is according to individual temperament and equipment. Bhakti is the same as vichara.
  D.: I mean meditation, etc.
  --
  Of course, a few find vichara practicable. Others find Bhakti easier.
  D.: Did not Mr. Brunton find you in London? Was it only a dream?
  --
  I long for Bhakti. I want more of this longing. Even realisation does not matter for me. Let me be strong in my longing.
  M.: If the longing is there, Realisation will be forced on you even if you do not want it. Subhechcha is the doorway for realisation.
  --
  (2) Bhakti; and (3) Sraddha. Ichcha means satisfaction of bodily wants without attachment to the body (such as hunger and thirst and evacuation). Unless it is done meditation cannot progress. Bhakti and Sraddha are already known.
  D.: There are two kinds of desires - the baser and the nobler. Is it our duty to transmute the baser one to the nobler?
  --
  D.: Does not Bhakti imply duality?
  M.: Swa swarupanusandhanam Bhaktirityabhidheeyate (Reflection on ones own Self is called Bhakti). Bhakti and Self-Enquiry are one and the same. The Self of the Advaitins is the God of the bhaktas.
  D.: Is there a spiritual hierarchy of all the original propounders of religions watching the spiritual welfare of the humans?
  --
  They obstruct Bhakti also.
  The interpreter advised the questioner to study Who am I? The doctor was ready with his protestations: I have read it also. I cannot still make my mind concentrate.
  --
  M.: That Peace is the Real nature. Contrary ideas are only superimpositions. This is true Bhakti, true yoga, true jnana. You may say that this peace is acquired by practice. The wrong notions are given up by practice. This is all. Your true nature always persists.
  These flashes are only signs of the ensuing revelation of the Self.
  --
  Sphurana. This is natural to the Jnani and is itself called jnana by jnanis, or Bhakti by bhaktas. Though ever present, including
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi in sleep, it is not perceived. It cannot be known in sleep all at once. It must first be realised in the waking state, for it is our true nature underlying all the three states. Efforts must be made only in the jagrat state and the Self realised here and now. It will afterwards be understood and realised to be continuous
  --
  Ekamevadwiteeyam = Only one without a second, representing Karma, Yoga, Bhakti and Jnana convey the same meaning.
  They are only the single Truth presented in different aspects.
  --
  M.: The sastras say: By karma, Bhakti and so on. My attendant asked the same question once before. He was told, By karma dedicated to God. It is not enough that one thinks of God while doing the karma, but one must continually and unceasingly think of Him. Then alone will the mind become pure.
  The attendant applies it to himself and says, It is not enough that I serve
  --
  Brahman), and Brahmaivaham (Brahman alone am I) is termed nididhyasana or atmanusandhana, i.e., constancy in the Self. This is otherwise called Bhakti, Yoga and Dhyana.
  Atmanusandhana has been likened to churning the curd to draw forth butter, the mind being compared to the churning rod, the heart to the curd and the practice of constancy in the Self to the process of churning. Just as by churning the curd butter is extracted and by friction fire is kindled, even so, by unswerving vigilant constancy in the Self, ceaseless like the unbroken filamentary flow of oil, is generated the natural or changeless trance or nirvikalpa samadhi, which readily and spontaneously yields that direct, immediate, unobstructed and universal perception of Brahman, which is at once Knowledge and Experience and which transcends time and space.
  --
  In Bhakti marga (path of devotion) these are the precursors to samadhi.
  D.: Are they not so in the path of jnana?
  --
  D.: What is the relation between Bhakti and jnana?
  M.: Eternal, unbroken, natural state is jnana. Does it not imply love of Self? Is it not Bhakti?
  D.: Idol worship does not seem good. They worship the formless
  --
  D.: This is Samkhya Yoga. Being the culmination of all kinds of other yogas, how can it be understood to start with? Is not Bhakti antecedent to it?
  M.: Has not Sri Krishna started the Gita with Sankhya?
  --
  Japa may be done even while engaged in other work. That which is, the One Reality. It may be represented by a form, a japa, mantra, vichara or any kind of attempt. All of them finally resolve themselves into that One Single Reality. Bhakti, vichara, japa are only different forms of our efforts to keep out the unreality. The unreality is an obsession at present. Reality is our true nature. We are wrongly persisting in unreality, that is, thoughts and worldly activities. Cessation of these will reveal the Truth. Our attempts are directed towards keeping them out. It is done by thinking of the Reality only. Although it is our true nature it looks as if we are thinking of the Reality. What we do really amounts to the removal of obstacles for the revelation of our true Being. Meditation or vichara is thus a reversion to our true nature.
  D.: Are our attempts sure to succeed?
  --
  M.: Dhyana or Bhakti, which mean the same thing.
  D.: What is meant by taking the name of God? How to reconcile the following two ideas?
  --
  (1) What is Bhakti?
  Just as the ankola fruit falling from the tree rejoins it or a piece of iron is drawn to magnet, so also thoughts, after rising up, lose themselves
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi in their original source. This is Bhakti. The original source of thoughts is the feet of the Lord, Isvara. Love of His Feet forms Bhakti. (61)
  (2) Fruit of Bhakti:
  The thick cloud of Bhakti, formed in the transcendental sky of the
  Lords Feet, pours down a rain of Bliss (ananda) and fills the lake of mind to overflowing. Only then the jiva, always transmigrating to no useful end, has his real purpose fulfilled. (76)
  (3) Where to place Bhakti?
  Devotion to gods, who have themselves their origin and end, can result in fruits similarly with origin and end. In order to be in Bliss everlasting our devotion must be directed to its source, namely the
  --
  (4) Bhakti is a matter only for experience and not for words:
  How can Logic or other polemics be of real use? Can the ghatapatas
  --
  (8) Karma Yoga also is Bhakti:
  To worship God with flowers and other external objects is troublesome. Only lay the single flower, the heart, at the feet of
  --
  The method is chosen according to ones own fitness. The goal for all is the same. Yet different names are given to the goal only to suit the process preliminary to reaching the goal. Bhakti, Yoga, Jnana are all the same. Svasvarupanusandhanam Bhaktirity abhidheeyate
  (Self contemplation is called Bhakti).
  D.: Does Sri Bhagavan advocate advaita?
  --
  D.: But surrender is Bhakti yoga.
  M.: Both are the same

1.24 - PUNDIT SHASHADHAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Efficacy of Bhakti for modern times
  MASTER: "For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion described by Nrada is best. Where can people find time now to perform their duties according to the scriptural injunctions?
  --
  Three yogas explained by Master "Innumerable are the ways that lead to God. There are the paths of jnna, of karma, and of Bhakti. If you are sincere, you will attain God in the end, whichever path you follow. Roughly speaking, there are three kinds of yoga: jnanayoga, karma yoga, and Bhaktiyoga.
  "What is jnanayoga? The Jnni seeks to realize Brahman. He discriminates, saying, 'Not this, not this'. He discriminates, saying, 'Brahman is real and the universe illusory.' He discriminates between the Real and the unreal. As he comes to the end of discrimination, he goes into samdhi and attains the Knowledge of Brahman.
  --
  "What is Bhaktiyoga? It is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories.
  For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion is easiest. This is indeed the path for this age.
  --
  "Therefore Bhaktiyoga is prescribed for this age. By following this path one comes to God more easily than by following the others. One can undoubtedly, reach God by following the paths of jnna and karma, but they are very difficult paths.
  God fulfils all desires of His devotees
  " Bhaktiyoga is the religion for this age. But that does not mean that the lover of God will reach one goal and the philosopher and worker another. It means that if a person seeks the Knowledge of Brahman he can attain It by following the path of Bhakti, too. God, who loves His devotee, can give him the Knowledge of Brahman if He so desires.
  "But the bhakta wants to realize the Personal God endowed with form and talk to Him.

1.25 - ADVICE TO PUNDIT SHASHADHAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The samdhi attained through the path of Bhakti is called 'chetana samdhi'. In this samdhi there remains the conciousness of 'I' the 'I' of the servant-and-Master relationship, of the lover-and-Beloved relationship, of the enjoyer-and-Food relationship.
  God is the Master; the devotee is the servant. God is the beloved; the devotee is the lover. God is the Food, and the devotee is the enjoyer. 'I don't want to be sugar. I want to eat it.' "
  --
  "Both Bhaktiyoga and jnanayoga are paths by which you can realize God. Whatever path you may follow, you will certainly realize Him. The path of Bhakti is an easy one. The path of knowledge and discrimination is very difficult. Why should one reason so much to know which path is the best? I talked about this with Vijay for many days. Once I told him about a man who used to pray, 'O God, reveal to me who and what You are.'
  "The path of knowledge and discrimination is difficult indeed. Parvati, the Divine Mother, revealed Her various forms to Her father and said, 'Father, if you want Brahmajnana, then live in the company of holy men.'
  --
  "Both negation and affirmation are ways to realize one and the same goal. Infinite are the opinions and infinite are the ways. But you must remember one thing. The injunction is that the path of devotion described by Nrada is best suited to the Kaliyuga. According to this path, first comes Bhakti; then bhava, when Bhakti is mature. Higher than bhava are mahabhava and prema. An ordinary mortal does not attain mahabhava and prema.
  He who has achieved these has realized the goal, that is to say, has attained God."
  --
  Three kinds of Bhakti
  PUNDIT: "By what kind of Bhakti does one realize God?"
  MASTER: "Three kinds of Bhakti are found, according to the nature of the man: sattvic Bhakti, rajasic Bhakti, and tamasic Bhakti.
  "Sattvic Bhakti is known to God alone. It makes no outward display. A man with such devotion loves privacy. Perhaps he meditates inside the mosquito net, where nobody sees him. When this kind of devotion is awakened, one hasn't long to wait for the vision of God. The appearance of the dawn in the east shows that the sun will rise before long.
  "A man with rajasic Bhakti feels like making a display of his devotion before others. He worships the Deity with 'sixteen ingredients', enters the temple wearing a silk cloth, and puts around his neck a string of rudrksha beads interspersed here and there with beads of gold and ruby.
  "A man with tamasic Bhakti shows the courage and boisterousness of a highway robber.
  A highway robber goes on his expedition openly, shouting, 'Kill! Plunder!' He isn't afraid even of eight police inspectors. The devotee with tamasic Bhakti also shouts like a madman:'Hara! Hara! Vyom! Vyom! Victory to Kli!' He has great strength of mind and burning faith.
  "A Sakta has such faith. He says: 'What? I have uttered once the name of Kli and of Durga! I have uttered once the name of Rma! Can there be any sin in me?'
  --
  MASTER: "To love God is the essence of the whole thing. Bhakti alone is the essence.
  Nrada said to Rma, 'May I always have pure love for Your Lotus Feet; and may I not be deluded by Your world-bewitching my!' Rma said to him, 'Ask for some other boon.' 'No,' said Nrada, 'I don't want anything else. May I have love for Your Lotus Feet. This is my only prayer.' "

1.26 - FESTIVAL AT ADHARS HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "The mature stage of Bhakti is bhava. When one attains it one remains speechless, thinking of Satchidananda. The feeling of an ordinary man can go only that far. When bhava ripens it becomes mahabhava. Prema is the last. You know the difference between a green mango and a ripe one. Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal.
  "Once Rma was pleased with the prayer of Nrada and told him to ask for a boon.
  --
  "How can a devotee attain such love? First, the company of holy men. That awakens raddh, faith in God. Then comes nishtha, single-minded devotion to the Ideal. In that stage the devotee does not like to hear anything but talk about God. He performs only those acts that please God. After nishtha comes Bhakti, devotion to God; then comes bhava. Next mahabhava, then prema, and last of all the attainment of God Himself.
  Only for Isvarakotis, such as the Incarnations, is it possible to have mahabhava or prema.

1.27 - AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER: "Stop, please! These ideas are outlandish and bizarre. Read something that will awaken Bhakti."
  The brahmin read:
  --
  MASTER (to the devotees): "The ebb-tide and flood-tide are indeed amazing. But notice one thing. Near the sea you see ebb-tide and flood-tide in a river, but far away from the sea the river flows in one direction only. What does this mean? Try to apply its significance to your spiritual life. Those who live very near God feel within them the currents of Bhakti, bhava, and the like. In the case of a few the Isvarakotis, for instanceone sees even mahabhava and prema.
  (To M.) "What is the explanation of the ebb-tide and flood-tide?"
  --
  "The aim of prayer, of spiritual discipline, of chanting the name and glories of God, is to realize just that. For that alone a devotee loves God. These youngsters are on a lower level; they haven't yet reached a high spiritual state. They are following the path of Bhakti. Please don't tell them such things as 'I am He'."
  Like the mother bird brooding over her chicks, Sri Ramakrishna was alert to protect his devotees.

1.300 - 1.400 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Sphurana. This is natural to the Jnani and is itself called jnana by jnanis, or Bhakti by bhaktas. Though ever present, including
  278
  --
  Ekamevadwiteeyam = Only one without a second, representing Karma, Yoga, Bhakti and Jnana convey the same meaning.
  They are only the single Truth presented in different aspects.
  --
  M.: The sastras say: "By karma, Bhakti and so on". My attendant asked the same question once before. He was told, "By karma dedicated to God". It is not enough that one thinks of God while doing the karma, but one must continually and unceasingly think of Him. Then alone will the mind become pure.
  The attendant applies it to himself and says, "It is not enough that I serve
  --
  Brahman), and Brahmaivaham (Brahman alone am I) is termed nididhyasana or atmanusandhana, i.e., constancy in the Self. This is otherwise called Bhakti, Yoga and Dhyana.
  Atmanusandhana has been likened to churning the curd to draw forth butter, the mind being compared to the churning rod, the heart to the curd and the practice of constancy in the Self to the process of churning. Just as by churning the curd butter is extracted and by friction fire is kindled, even so, by unswerving vigilant constancy in the Self, ceaseless like the unbroken filamentary flow of oil, is generated the natural or changeless trance or nirvikalpa samadhi, which readily and spontaneously yields that direct, immediate, unobstructed and universal perception of Brahman, which is at once Knowledge and Experience and which transcends time and space.
  --
  In Bhakti marga (path of devotion) these are the precursors to samadhi.
  D.: Are they not so in the path of jnana?
  --
  D.: What is the relation between Bhakti and jnana?
  366
  --
  M.: Eternal, unbroken, natural state is jnana. Does it not imply love of Self? Is it not Bhakti?
  D.: Idol worship does not seem good. They worship the formless
  --
  D.: This is Samkhya Yoga. Being the culmination of all kinds of other yogas, how can it be understood to start with? Is not Bhakti antecedent to it?
  M.: Has not Sri Krishna started the Gita with Sankhya?

1.3.02 - Equality The Chief Support, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The Yogic attitude consists in calm, detachment, equality, universality - added to this the psychic element, Bhakti, love, devotion to the Divine.
  Equality in Times of Trouble and Difficulty

1.400 - 1.450 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Japa may be done even while engaged in other work. That which is, the One Reality. It may be represented by a form, a japa, mantra, vichara or any kind of attempt. All of them finally resolve themselves into that One Single Reality. Bhakti, vichara, japa are only different forms of our efforts to keep out the unreality. The unreality is an obsession at present. Reality is our true nature. We are wrongly persisting in unreality, that is, thoughts and worldly activities. Cessation of these will reveal the Truth. Our attempts are directed towards keeping them out. It is done by thinking of the Reality only. Although it is our true nature it looks as if we are thinking of the Reality. What we do really amounts to the removal of obstacles for the revelation of our true Being. Meditation or vichara is thus a reversion to our true nature.
  D.: Are our attempts sure to succeed?
  --
  M.: Dhyana or Bhakti, which mean the same thing.
  D.: What is meant by taking the name of God? How to reconcile the following two ideas?
  --
  (1) What is Bhakti?
  Just as the ankola fruit falling from the tree rejoins it or a piece of iron is drawn to magnet, so also thoughts, after rising up, lose themselves
  --
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi in their original source. This is Bhakti. The original source of thoughts is the feet of the Lord, Isvara. Love of His Feet forms Bhakti. (61)
  (2) Fruit of Bhakti:
  The thick cloud of Bhakti, formed in the transcendental sky of the
  Lord's Feet, pours down a rain of Bliss (ananda) and fills the lake of mind to overflowing. Only then the jiva, always transmigrating to no useful end, has his real purpose fulfilled. (76)
  (3) Where to place Bhakti?
  Devotion to gods, who have themselves their origin and end, can result in fruits similarly with origin and end. In order to be in Bliss everlasting our devotion must be directed to its source, namely the
  --
  (4) Bhakti is a matter only for experience and not for words:
  How can Logic or other polemics be of real use? Can the ghatapatas
  --
  (8) Karma Yoga also is Bhakti:
  To worship God with flowers and other external objects is troublesome. Only lay the single flower, the heart, at the feet of
  --
  The method is chosen according to one's own fitness. The goal for all is the same. Yet different names are given to the goal only to suit the process preliminary to reaching the goal. Bhakti, Yoga, Jnana are all the same. Svasvarupanusandhanam Bhaktirity abhidheeyate
  (Self contemplation is called Bhakti).
  D.: Does Sri Bhagavan advocate advaita?
  --
  D.: But surrender is Bhakti yoga.
  M.: Both are the same
  --
  D.: Karma, Bhakti, yoga and jnana and their subdivisions only confuse the mind. To follow the elders' words seems to be the only right thing to do. What should I hold? Please tell me. I cannot sift the srutis and smritis; they are too vast. So please advise me.
  (No answer.)
  --
  Atma-vichara (self-quest). This is the method of knowledge (jnana marga), whereas the other master taught us Bhakti marga (method of devotion).
  What shall we do now? Are we to give up the other method and take to this new method? If once we change shall we not change many times more according to the masters we meet? What progress can be made by such frequent changes? Pray remove this doubt and bless us.

1.4.01 - The Divine Grace and Guidance, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Suicide solves nothing - it only brings one back to life with the same difficulties to be faced in worse conditions. If one wishes to escape from life altogether, it can only be by the way of complete inner renunciation and merging oneself in the Silence of the Absolute or by a Bhakti that becomes absolute or by a karmayoga that gives up one's own will and desires to the will of the Divine.
  I have said also that the Grace can at any moment act suddenly, but over that one has no control, because it comes by an incalculable Will which sees things that the mind cannot see. It is precisely the reason why one should never despair, - that and also because no sincere aspiration to the Divine can fail in the end.

1.4.03 - The Guru, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  To respect the spiritual attainment of X [another spiritual teacher] is all right, but it is a rule of this Yoga not to mix influences (and what he [a sadhak] has described is very much like undergoing an influence). Otherwise there may be harm done by two different methods getting mixed together - e.g. the vital being awakened to a Bhakti-Ananda influence on that plane before it is purified and ready.
  The Guru's Help in Difficulty
  --
  One can have a guru inferior in spiritual capacity (to oneself or to other gurus) carrying in him many human imperfections, and yet, if you have the faith, the Bhakti, the right spiritual stuff, contact the Divine through him, attain to spiritual experiences, to spiritual realisation, even before the guru himself. Mark the "if", - for that proviso is necessary; it isn't every disciple who can do that with every guru. From a humbug you can acquire nothing but humbuggery. The guru must have something in him which makes the contact with the Divine possible, something which works even if he is not himself in his outer mind quite conscious of its action. If there is nothing at all spiritual in him he is not a guru - only a pseudo. Undoubtedly, there can be considerable differences of spiritual realisation between one guru and the other; but much depends on the inner relation between guru and shishya. One can go to a very great spiritual man and get nothing or only a little from him; one can go to a man of less spiritual capacity and get all he has to give - and more. The causes of this disparity are various and subtle; I need not expand on them here. It differs with each man. I believe the guru is always ready to give what can be given, if the disciple can receive, or it may be when he is ready to receive. If he refuses to receive or behaves inwardly or outwardly in such a way as to make reception impossible or if he is not sincere or takes up the wrong attitude, then things become difficult. But if one is sincere and faithful and has the right attitude and if the guru is a true guru, then, after whatever time, it will come.
  What X quotes about the limitation of the power of the Guru to that of a teacher who shows the way but cannot help or guide is the conception of certain paths of Yoga such as the pure Adwaitin and the Buddhist which say that you must rely upon yourself and no one can help you; but even the pure Adwaitin does in fact rely upon the Guru and the chief mantra of Buddhism insists on saran.am to Buddha. For other paths of sadhana, especially those which like the Gita accept the reality of the individual soul as an "eternal portion" of the Divine or which believe that Bhagavan and the bhakta are both real, the help of the Guru has always been relied upon as an indispensable aid.

1.439, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: Karma, Bhakti, yoga and jnana and their subdivisions only confuse the mind. To follow the elders words seems to be the only right thing to do. What should I hold? Please tell me. I cannot sift the srutis and smritis; they are too vast. So please advise me.
  (No answer.)
  --
  Atma-vichara (self-quest). This is the method of knowledge (jnana marga), whereas the other master taught us Bhakti marga (method of devotion).
  What shall we do now? Are we to give up the other method and take to this new method? If once we change shall we not change many times more according to the masters we meet? What progress can be made by such frequent changes? Pray remove this doubt and bless us.
  --
  His. Such is surrender. This is Bhakti.
  Or, enquire to whom these questions arise. Dive deep in the Heart and remain as the Self. One of these two ways is open to the aspirant.
  --
  D.: Surrender is said to be Bhakti. But Sri Bhagavan is known to favour enquiry for the Self. There is thus confusion in the hearer.
  M.: Surrender can take effect only when done with full knowledge.
  --
  D.: How is the questioner satisfied then? The only alternative left is association with the wise or devotion to God (satsanga or Isvara Bhakti).
  M.: Smiled and said, Yes.
  --
  A large group of Punjabis arrived here in a pilgrim special. They came to the Ramanasramam at about 8-45 a.m. and sat quiet for a long time. At about 9-20 one of them said: Your reputation has spread in the Punjab. We have travelled a long distance to have your darsan. Kindly tell us something by way of instruction. There was no oral reply. Sri Bhagavan smiled and gazed on. After some time the visitor asked: Which is the best - the yoga, the Bhakti or the jnana path? Still Sri Bhagavan smiled and gazed as before.
  Sri Bhagavan left the hall for a few minutes. The visitors began to disperse. Still a sprinkling of them continued to sit in the hall. A long standing disciple told the visitor that Sri Bhagavan had replied to his questions by His Silence which was even more eloquent than words.
  --
   Bhakti helps concentration. People fall at the feet of the bhakta. If it does not happen he feels disappointed and his Bhakti fades.
  M.: The longing for happiness never fades. That is Bhakti.
  D.: How shall I get it quicker? Suppose I concentrate two hours today.
  --
  D.: How shall I get the Bhakti necessary for it?
  M.: It is Bhakti to get rid of thoughts which are only alien to you (i.e. the Self).
  D.: What is thought-force, mesmerism, etc.? There was a doctor in
  --
  D.: So Bhakti is necessary.
  M.: Everything depends on the outlook. One sees that all born in
  --
  Mantra, dhyana, Bhakti, etc., are all aids and finally lead to
  Swarupa, the Self, which is they themselves.
  --
  Dhyana, Bhakti, japa, etc., are aids to keep out the multiplicity of thoughts. A single thought prevails which too eventually dissolves in the Self.
  The questioner quoted that the mind starved of ideas amounted to realisation and asked what the experience is in that state. He himself read out a passage from Mr. Brunton that it was indescribable.
  --
  M.: Bhakti (devotion to God).
  D.: Non-resistance seems to be the only remedy for all kinds of evil such as slander.
  --
  This state is called Bhakti, Yoga and Karma.
  Talk 536.
  --
  Many visitors came on one occasion and they all saluted Sri Bhagavan with the single prayer, Make me a bhakta. Give me moksha. After they left Sri Bhagavan said, thinking aloud: All of them want Bhakti and moksha. If I say to them, Give yourself to me they will not. How then can they get what they want?
  Talk 544.
  --
  All the sadhanas are called yogas, e.g., Karma yoga; Bhakti yoga;
  Jnana yoga; Ashtanga yoga. What is yoga? Yoga means union.
  --
  Svasvarupanusandhanam Bhaktirityabhidhiyate.
  Again - Svatmatattvanusadhanam Bhaktirityapare joguh.
  What is the difference between the two?
  --
  D.: Will Bhakti lead to mukti?
  M.: Bhakti is not different from mukti. Bhakti is being as the Self
  (Swarupa). One is always that. He realises it by the means he
  adopts. What is Bhakti? To think of God. That means: only one
  thought prevails to the exclusion of all other thoughts. That thought
  --
  of thoughts is Bhakti. It is also mukti.
  The jnana method is said to be vichara (enquiry). That is nothing but
  --
  You think that Bhakti is meditation on the Supreme Being. So long
  as there is vi Bhakti (the sense of separateness), Bhakti (reunion)
  is sought. The process will lead to the ultimate goal as is said in
  --
  a second gives rise to fear. This is mukti. It is also Bhakti.
  23rd March, 1939

1.450 - 1.500 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  His. Such is surrender. This is Bhakti.
  Or, enquire to whom these questions arise. Dive deep in the Heart and remain as the Self. One of these two ways is open to the aspirant.
  --
  D.: Surrender is said to be Bhakti. But Sri Bhagavan is known to favour enquiry for the Self. There is thus confusion in the hearer.
  M.: Surrender can take effect only when done with full knowledge.
  --
  D.: How is the questioner satisfied then? The only alternative left is association with the wise or devotion to God (satsanga or Isvara Bhakti).
  M.: Smiled and said, "Yes."
  --
  A large group of Punjabis arrived here in a pilgrim special. They came to the Ramanasramam at about 8-45 a.m. and sat quiet for a long time. At about 9-20 one of them said: "Your reputation has spread in the Punjab. We have travelled a long distance to have your darsan. Kindly tell us something by way of instruction." There was no oral reply. Sri Bhagavan smiled and gazed on. After some time the visitor asked: "Which is the best - the yoga, the Bhakti or the jnana path?" Still Sri Bhagavan smiled and gazed as before.
  Sri Bhagavan left the hall for a few minutes. The visitors began to disperse. Still a sprinkling of them continued to sit in the hall. A long standing disciple told the visitor that Sri Bhagavan had replied to his questions by His Silence which was even more eloquent than words.
  --
   Bhakti helps concentration. People fall at the feet of the bhakta. If it does not happen he feels disappointed and his Bhakti fades.
  460
  --
  M.: The longing for happiness never fades. That is Bhakti.
  D.: How shall I get it quicker? Suppose I concentrate two hours today.
  --
  D.: How shall I get the Bhakti necessary for it?
  M.: It is Bhakti to get rid of thoughts which are only alien to you (i.e. the Self).
  D.: What is thought-force, mesmerism, etc.? There was a doctor in
  --
  D.: So Bhakti is necessary.
  M.: Everything depends on the outlook. One sees that all born in
  --
  Mantra, dhyana, Bhakti, etc., are all aids and finally lead to
  Swarupa, the Self, which is they themselves.
  --
  Dhyana, Bhakti, japa, etc., are aids to keep out the multiplicity of thoughts. A single thought prevails which too eventually dissolves in the Self.
  The questioner quoted that the mind starved of ideas amounted to realisation and asked what the experience is in that state. He himself read out a passage from Mr. Brunton that it was indescribable.

1.550 - 1.600 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  All the sadhanas are called yogas, e.g., Karma yoga; Bhakti yoga;
  Jnana yoga; Ashtanga yoga. What is yoga? Yoga means 'union'.

1.83 - Epistola Ultima, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  Swami Vivekananda summarised Yoga under four headings, and I do not think that one can improve on that classification. His four are: Gnana, Raja, Bhakti and Hatha, and comprise all divisions that it is desirable to make. As soon as one begins to add such sections as Mantra Yoga, you are adding to without enriching the classification, and once you begin where are you to stop? But I honestly believe that the excessive simplication given in Eight Lectures on Yoga is a practical advantage. Any given type of Yogas is the work of a lifetime and for that reason alone it is desirable to confine oneself from the beginning to an absolutely simple programme.
  What then is the difference between Yoga and Magick? Magick is extraversion, the discovery of and subsequently the classification of and finally the control of new worlds on new planes. So far as it concerns the development of the mind its object and method are perfectly simple. What is wanted is exaltation. The aim is to identify oneself with the highest essence of whatever world is under consideration.

1954-06-16 - Influences, Divine and other - Adverse forces - The four great Asuras - Aspiration arranges circumstances - Wanting only the Divine, #Questions And Answers 1954, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  He was speaking of human love manifesting as Bhakti, as a force of devotion for the Divine, and he says that at the beginning your love for the Divine is a very human love with all the characteristics of human love. He describes this very well, besides. Yet if you persist and make the necessary effort, it is not impossible for this human love to be transformed into divine love through identification with what you love. He has not said that the love between two persons can change into divine love. It is not that at all! He has always said the opposite. He spoke about someone who had asked him about devotion, you know, about the sadhaks love for the Divine. At the beginning your love is altogether human and he speaks of it even as commercial barter. If you make progress, your love will change into divine love, into true devotion.
  Why do we sometimes have a special preference for a certain chapter, for instance, the one on sincerity or aspiration?

1.kbr - The bhakti path..., #Songs of Kabir, #Kabir, #Sufism
  object:1.kbr - The Bhakti path...
  author class:Kabir
  --
  The Bhakti path winds in a delicate way.
  On this path there is no asking and no not asking.

1.kbr - The bhakti path winds in a delicate way, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  object:1.kbr - The Bhakti path winds in a delicate way
  author class:Kabir
  --
   English version by Robert Bly Original Language Hindi The Bhakti path winds in a delicate way. On this path there is no asking and not asking. The ego simply disappears the moment you touch him. The joy of looking for him is so immense that you just dive in, and coast around like a fish in the water. If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer his. Kabir's poems touch on the secrets of this Bhakti. [bk1sm.gif] -- from The Kabir Book: Forty-Four fo the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir, Translated by Robert Bly <
2.01 - AT THE STAR THEATRE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Hazra entered the room. He had been living with Sri Ramakrishna in the temple garden for the past two years and had first met the Master in 1880 at Sihore in the house of Hriday, the Master's nephew. Hazra's native village was near Sihore, and he owned some property there. He had a wife and children and also some debts. From youth he had felt a spirit of renunciation and sought the company of holy men and devotees. The Master had asked him to live with him at Dakshineswar and looked after his necessities. Hazra's mind was a jumble of undigested religious moods. He professed the path of knowledge and disapproved of Sri Ramakrishna's attitude of Bhakti and his longing for the young devotees. Now and then he thought of the Master as a great soul, but again he slighted him as an ordinary human being. He spent much of his time in telling his beads, and he criticized Rkhl and the other young men for their indifference to the practice. He was a strong advocate of religious conventions and rules of conduct, and made a fad of them.
  He was about thirty-eight years old.
  --
  HAZRA: "Does God listen to our prayer for Bhakti?"
  MASTER: "Surely. I can assure you of that a hundred times. But the prayer must be genuine and earnest. Do worldly-minded people weep for God as they do for wife and children? At Kamarpukur the wife of a certain man fell ill. The man thought she would not recover; he began to tremble and was about to faint. Who feels that way for God?"
  --
  "Radha was mad with prema, ecstatic love of God. But there is also the madness of Bhakti. Hanuman's was such. When he saw Sita entering the fire he was going to kill Rma. Then, too, there is the madness of Knowledge. I once saw a Jnni behaving like a madman. He came here very soon after the temple garden was dedicated. People said he belonged to the Brahmo Sabha of Rammohan Roy. He had a torn shoe on one foot, a stick in one hand, and a potted mango-plant in the other. After a dip in the Ganges he went to the Kli temple where Haladhri was seated. With great fervour he began to chant a hymn to the Divine Mother. Then he went up to a dog, held it by the ear, and ate some of its food. The dog didn't mind. Just at that time I too was about to experience the state of divine madness. I threw my arm around Hriday's neck and said, 'Oh, Hride! Shall I too fall into that plight?'
  Master's God-intoxicated condition
  --
  A DEVOTEE: "How can a householder keep on with his worldly duties if he is overwhelmed by such Bhakti-madness or Love-madness or Knowledge madness?"
  Two kinds of yogis
  --
  The first scene depicts a council of Sin and the Six Passions. On a forest path behind them walk Viveka, Vairgya, and Bhakti, engaged in conversation.
   Bhakti says to her companions: "Gaurnga is born in Nadia. Therefore the vidyadharis, the munis, and the rishis have come down to earth in disguise to pay their respects to him."

2.01 - On Books, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   These people have a very crude notion of Yoga. They think it is something like the Guru asking the disciple to repeat the Name, or the Mantra, and then the Guru's Kripa raining down in abundance upon them. All his pleading shows a want of balance and an emotional temperament. If he were in earnest he would have taken my refusal in another fashion. The old Bhakti Yoga seems to have done so much harm. People think that Yoga is very easy and simple.
   Disciple: X is very sincere, I don't think he knew about the rule of informing before coming here.
  --
   Disciple: Through one of the four Yogas: Raja, Jnana, Karma and Bhakti. One has to see this sense-world and the Super-ego-world in the light of the Absolute Divine.
   Disciple: He believes this is the spontaneous Purna Yoga.

2.01 - The Preparatory Renunciation, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  We have now finished the cobsideration of what may be called the preparatory Bhakti, and are entering on the study of the Para- Bhakti, or supreme devotion. We have to speak of a preparation to the practice of this Para- Bhakti. All such preparations are intended only for the purification of the soul. The repetition of names, the rituals, the forms, and the symbolsall these various things are for the purification of the soul. The greatest purifier among all such things, a purifier without which no one can enter the regions of this higher devotion (Para- Bhakti), is renunciation, This frightens many: yet, without it, there cannot be any spiritual growth.
  In all our Yogas this renunciation is necessary. This is the stepping-stone and the real centre and the real heart of all spiritual culture-renunciation. This is religionrenunciation.
  --
  Of all renunciations, the most natural, so to say, is that of the Bhakti-Yogi. Here, there is no violence, nothing to give up, nothing to tear off, as it were, from ourselves, nothing from which we have violently to separate ourselves; the Bhaktas renunciation is easy, smooth, flowing, and as natural as the things around us. We see the manifestation of this sort of renunciation, although more or less in the form of caricatures, every day around us. A man begins to love a woman; after a while he loves another, and the first woman he lets go. She drops out of his mind smoothly, gently, without his feeling the want of her at all. A woman loves .a man; she then begins to love another man, and the first one drops off from her mind quite naturally. A man loves his own city, then he begins to love his country; and the intense love for his little city drops off smoothly, naturally. Again, a man learns to love the whole world; his love for his country, his intense, fanatical patriotism drops off without hurting him, without any manifestation of violence. An uncultured man loves the pleasures of the senses intensely; as he becomes cultured, he begins to love intellectual pleasures, and his sense-enjoyments become less and less. No man can enjoy a meal with the same gusto or pleasure as a dog or a wolf; but those pleasures which a man gets from intellectual experiences and achievements, the dog can never enjoy. At first, pleasure, is in association with the lower senses; but as soon as an animal reaches a higher plane of existence, the lower kind of pleasures becomes less intense. In human society, the nearer the man is to the animal, the stronger is his pleasure in the senses; and the higher and the more cultured the man is, the greater is his pleasure in intellectual. and such other finer pursuits. So, when a man gets even higher than the plane of the intellect, higher than that of mere thought, when he gets to the plane of spirituality and of divine inspiration, he finds there a state of bliss, compared with which all the pleasures of the senses, or even of the intellect, are as nothing. When the moon shines brightly, all the stars become dim; and when the sun shines, the moon herself becomes dim. The renunciation necessary for the attainment of Bhakti is not obtained by killing anything, but just comes, in as naturally as in the presence of an increasingly stronger light, the less intense ones become dimmer and dimmer until they vanish away completely. So this love of the pleasures of the senses and of the intellect js all made dim and thrown aside and cast into the shade by the love of God Himself. That love of God grows and assumes a form which, is called Para- Bhakti, or supreme devotion. Forms vanish, rituals flyaway, books are superseded, images, temples, churches, religions and sects, countries and nationalitiesall these little limitations, and bondages fall off by their own nature from him who knows this love of God. Nothing remains to bind him or fetter his freedom. A ship, all of a sudden, comes near a .magnetic rock; and its iron bolts and bars are all attracted and drawn out, and the planks get loosened and freely float on the water. Divine grace thus loosens the binding bolts and bars of the soul, and it becomes free. So in this renunciation, auxiliary to devotion, there is no harshness, no dryness, no struggle, nor repression or suppression. The Bhakta has not to suppress any single one of his emotions, he only strives to intensify them and direct them to God.

2.01 - The Two Natures, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Gita related and synthetised works and knowledge. The vision of the World-Purusha intervenes in the eleventh chapter, gives a dynamic turn to this stage of the synthesis and relates it vividly to works and life. Thus again all is brought powerfully back to the original question of Arjuna round which the whole exposition revolves and completes its cycle. Afterwards the Gita proceeds by the differentiation of the Purusha and Prakriti to work out its ideas of the action of the gunas, of the ascension beyond the gunas and of the culmination of desireless works with knowledge where that coalesces with Bhakti, - knowledge, works and love made one, - and it rises thence to its great finale, the supreme secret of self-surrender to the Master of Existence.
  In this second part of the Gita we come to a more concise and easy manner of statement than we have yet had. In the first six chapters the definitions have not yet been made which give the key to the underlying truth; difficulties are being met and solved; the progress is a little laboured and moves through several involutions and returns; much is implied the bearing of which is not yet clear. Here we seem to get on to clearer ground and to lay hold of a more compact and pointed expression. But because of this very conciseness we have to be careful always
  --
  It must ground the supremacy of Bhakti over all other motives and powers of spiritual consciousness and action; it must be a knowledge of the supreme Lord of all creatures to whom alone the soul can offer itself in the perfect self-surrender which is the highest height of all love and devotion. This is what the
  266

2.01 - The Yoga and Its Objects, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   the divine existence. If this attitude of perfect self-surrender can be even imperfectly established, all necessity of Yogic kriya inevitably ceases. For then God himself in us becomes the sadhaka and the siddha and his divine power works in us, not by our artificial processes, but by a working of Nature which is perfectly informed, all-searching and infallibly efficient. Even the most powerful Rajayogic samyama, the most developed pran.ayama, the most strenuous meditation, the most ecstatic Bhakti, the most self-denying action, mighty as they are and efficacious, are comparatively weak in their results when set beside this supreme working. For those are all limited to a certain extent by our capacity, but this is illimitable in potency because it is God's capacity. It is only limited by his will which knows what is best for the world and for each of us in the world and apart from it.
  The first process of the yoga is to make the sankalpa of atmasamarpan.a. Put yourself with all your heart and all your strength into God's hands. Make no conditions, ask for nothing, not even for siddhi in the yoga, for nothing at all except that in you and through you his will may be directly performed. To those who demand from him, God gives what they demand, but to those who give themselves and demand nothing, he gives everything that they might otherwise have asked or needed and in addition he gives himself and the spontaneous boons of his love.
  --
   and free from egoism; for these three things are the chief enemies of self-surrender. If you are nirdvandva, you can be nih.spr.ha, but hardly otherwise, for every dvandva creates in the mind by the very nature of the mind some form of ragadves.a, like and dislike, attraction and repulsion, whether they are the lowest dualities that appeal to the mind through the body, hunger and thirst, heat and cold, physical pleasure and pain, or the middle sorts that appeal to it through the feelings and desires, success and failure, victory and defeat, fortune and misfortune, pleasure and displeasure, joy and grief, hate and love, or the highest which appeal to the mind through the discriminating buddhi, virtue and sin, reason and unreason, error and truth. These things can only be put under our feet by complete knowledge, the knowledge that sees God in all things and thus comes to understand the relations of things to each other in his great cosmic purpose, by complete Bhakti which accepts all things with joy,
  - thus abolishing the dvandvas, - because they come from the
  --
  Such knowledge, such Bhakti, such Karma come inevitably as the eventual result of the sankalpa of self-surrender and the practice of it.
  But it is ahankara that by making the relation and effect of things on ourselves or on things connected with us the standard of life, makes the dvandvas a chain for our bondage. Ahankara in its action on our life and sadhana will be seen to be of three kinds, rajasic, tamasic and sattwic. Rajas binds by desire and the craving in the nature for occupation and activity, it is always reaching after action and the fruit of action; it is in order that we may be free from the rajasic ahankara that we have the command, "Do not do works from the desire of fruit," ma karma-phala-hetur bhuh., and the comm and to give up our actions to God. Tamas binds by weakness and the craving in the nature for ease and inaction; it is always sinking into idleness, depression, confusion of mind, fear, disappointment, despondency and despair; it is in order that we may get rid of the tamasic

2.02 - On Letters, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Secondly, when it is awakened, the psychic being gives the sadhak the true Bhakti for God or for the Guru. That devotion is quite different from mental and vital devotion.
   In the mind one may have admiration for the intellectual ideas of someone, or one may have mental appreciation for some great intellect. But if it is merely mental, it does not carry matters very far; it is not sufficient by itself. It does not open the whole of the inner being; it only establishes a mental contact. Of course, there is no harm in having that. When K came here he had that mental admiration for what I have written in the Arya. One can get something from that kind of mental contact, but it is not what one can get by being in relation with the psychic being. I do not, for a moment, want to suggest that there was no truth in his Bhakti, but there was much mixture in it and even what was mental and vital was very much exaggerated.
   When he began the Yoga he had certain capacities. Of course, he was not half as tall as he thought himself to be. But if he had not exaggerated his capacities he would have been, by this time, farther than he is today.
  --
   But the psychic Bhakti is not like that. Because the soul is in contact with the Divinity behind, it is capable of true Bhakti. The psychic being has what is called ahaituk Bhakti, devotion without any motive. It does not make any demands, it makes no reservations in its surrender.
   The psychic being knows how to obey the Truth in the right way. It can give itself up fully to God or to the Guru; and because it gives itself up truly it receives also truly.

2.02 - The Bhakta.s Renunciation results from Love, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  Therefore, love, the intense longing for associa tion, the strong desire on the part of two to become oneand, it may be after all, of all to become merged in oneis being manifested everywhere in higher or lower forms as the case may be. Bhakti-Yoga is the science of higher love; it shows us how to direct it; it shows us I how to control it, how to manage it, how to use it, how to give it a new aim, as it were, and from it obtain the highest and most glorious results, that is, how to make it lead us to spiritual blessedness. Bhakti-Yoga does not say, Give up; it only says Love; love the Highest; and everything low naturally falls off from him, the object of whose love is this Highest.
  I cannot tell anything about Thee, except that Thou art my love. Thou art beautiful, Oh, Thou art beautiful! Thou art beauty itself. What is after all really required of us in this Yoga is, that our thirst after the beautiful should be directed to God. What is the beauty in the human face, in the sky, in the stars, and in the moon? It is only the partial apprehension of the real all-embracing Divine Beauty. He shining, everything shines. It is through His light that all things shine. Take this high position of Bhakti which makes you forget at once all your little personalities. Take yourself away from all the worlds little selfish clingings. Do not look upon humanity as the centre of all your human and higher interests. Stand as a witness, as a student, and observe the phenomena of nature. Have the feeling of personal non-attachment with regard to man, and see how this mighty feeling of love is working itself out in the world.
  Sometimes a little friction is produced, but that is only in the course of the struggle to attain the higher real love. Sometimes there is a little fight, or a little fall; but it is all only by the way. Stand aside, and freely let these frictions come.
  --
  The Bhakti-Yogi, however, knows the meaning of life's struggles; he understands it. He has passed through a long series of these struggles, and knows what they mean, and earnestly desires to be free from the friction thereof; he wants to avoid the clash and go direct to the centre of all attraction, the great Hari. This is the renunciation of the Bhakta: this mighty attraction in the direction of God makes all other attraction vanish for him; this mighty infinite love of God which enters his heart leaves no place for any other love to live there. How can it be otherwise? Bhakti fills his heart with the divine waters of the ocean of love, which is God Himself; there is no place there for little loves. That is to say, the Bhakta's renunciation is that Vairagya, or non-attachment for all things, that are not God, which results from Anuraga or great attachment to God.
  This is the ideal preparation for the attainment of the supreme Bhakti. When this renunciation comes, the gate opens for the soul to pass through and reach the lofty regions of Supreme Devotion or Para- Bhakti. Then it is that we begin to understand what Para- Bhakti is; and the man who has entered into the inner shrine of the Para- Bhakti, alone has the right to say that all forms and symbols are useless to him as aids to religious realisation. He alone has attained. that supreme state of love commonly called the brotherhood of man; the rest only talk. He sees no distinctions; the mighty ocean of love has entered Into h Im, and he sees not man in man, but beholds his Beloved everywhere. Through every face shines to him his Hari. The light in the sun or the moon is all His manifestation. Wherever there is beauty or sublimity, to him it is all His. Such Bhaktas are still living; the world is never without them. Such, though bitten by a serpent, only say that a messenger came to them from their Beloved. Such men alone have the right to talk of universal brotherhood.
  They feel no resentment; their minds never react in the form of hatred or jealousy. The external, the sensuous; has vanished from them for ever. How can they be angry when, through their love, they are always able to see the Reality behind the scenes ?

2.02 - THE DURGA PUJA FESTIVAL, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The ladies were seated behind the screen. Keshab, in the course of his talk, said, 'O God, please bless us that we may dive and disappear altogether in the river of Bhakti.' I said to Keshab with a smile: 'If you disappear altogether in the river of Bhakti, then what will be the fate of those behind the screen? By all means dive into the river, but you had better come back to dry land now and then: Don't disappear in the river altogether.' At these words Keshab and the others burst out laughing.
  "Never mind. One can realize God in the world, too, if only one is sincere. 'I' and 'mine'-

2.02 - The Ishavasyopanishad with a commentary in English, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Zen
  on the wings of Bhakti, but becomes He through God-devoted
  Karma, who gives himself up utterly for his family and friends,
  --
  the necessary fulfilment and completion of Jnana; that Bhakti,
  Karma and Jnana are not three but one and go inseparably
  --
  are two ways of Bhakti, one by devotion to the Self as Lord of
  all concentrated within you, the other by devotion to the Self

2.02 - The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Karmayogin who has unified his Yoga of works with the Yoga of knowledge. Not knowledge and works alone are demanded of him now, but Bhakti also, devotion to the Divine, love and adoration and the soul's desire of the Highest. This demand, not expressly made until now, had yet been prepared when the
  Teacher laid down as the necessary turn of his Yoga the conversion of all works into a sacrifice to the Lord of our being and fixed as its culmination the giving up of all works, not only into our impersonal Self, but through impersonality into the Being from whom all our will and power originate. What was there implied is now brought out and we begin to see more fully the
  --
   when it has firmly the vision of the one self everywhere and in all existences. Equality and vision of unity once perfectly gained, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktah., a supreme Bhakti, an all-embracing devotion to the Divine, becomes the whole and the sole law of the being. All other law of conduct merges into that surrender, sarva-dharman parityajya. The soul then becomes firm in this Bhakti and in the vow of self-consecration of all its being, knowledge, works; for it has now for its sure base, its absolute foundation of existence and action the perfect, the integral, the unifying knowledge of the all-originating Godhead, te bhajante mam dr.d.ha-vratah..
  From the ordinary point of view any return towards Bhakti or continuation of the heart's activities after knowledge and impersonality have been gained, might seem to be a relapse. For in Bhakti there is always the element, the foundation even of personality, since its motive-power is the love and adoration of the individual soul, the Jiva, turned towards the supreme and universal Being. But from the standpoint of the Gita, where the aim is not inaction and immergence in the eternal Impersonal, but a union with the Purushottama through the integrality of our being, this objection cannot at all intervene. In this Yoga the soul escapes indeed its lower personality by the sense of its impersonal and immutable self-being; but it still acts and all action belongs to the multiple soul in the mutability of Nature.
  If we do not bring in as a corrective to an excessive quietism the idea of sacrifice to the Highest, we have to regard this element of action as something not at all ourselves, some remnant of the play of the gunas without any divine reality behind it, a last dissolving form of ego, of I-ness, a continued impetus of the lower
  --
  Krishna later on, "and there is the mutable and personal spiritual being. But there is too another Highest (uttama purus.a) called the supreme self, Paramatman, he who has entered into this whole world and upbears it, the Lord, the imperishable. I am this Purushottama who am beyond the mutable and am greater and higher even than the immutable. He who has knowledge of me as the Purushottama, adores me (has Bhakti for me, bhajati), with all-knowledge and in every way of his natural being." And it is this Bhakti of an integral knowledge and integral self-giving which the Gita now begins to develop.
  For note that it is Bhakti with knowledge which the Gita demands from the disciple and it regards all other forms of devotion as good in themselves but still inferior; they may do well by the way, but they are not the thing at which it aims in the soul's culmination. Among those who have put away the sin of the rajasic egoism and are moving towards the Divine, the Gita distinguishes between four kinds of bhaktas. There are those who turn to him as a refuge from sorrow and suffering in the world, arta. There are those who seek him as the giver of good in the world, artharth. There are those who come to him in the desire for knowledge, jijnasu. And lastly there are those who adore him with knowledge, jnan. All are approved by the
  Gita, but only on the last does it lay the seal of its complete sanction. All these movements without exception are high and good, udarah. sarva evaite, but the Bhakti with knowledge excels them all, visis.yate. We may say that these forms are successively the Bhakti of the vital-emotional and affective nature,3 that of the
  The later Bhakti of ecstatic love is at its roots psychic in nature; it is vital-emotional only in its inferior forms or in some of its more outward manifestations.
  The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge
  --
  Therefore according to their nature, as they approach him, he accepts their Bhakti and answers to it with the reply of divine love and compassion. These forms are after all a certain kind of
  The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge
  --
  He is ever in constant union with him, nityayukta; his whole life and being are an eternal Yoga with the Transcendent than whom there is nothing higher, with the Universal besides whom there is none else and nothing else. On him is concentred all his Bhakti, eka Bhaktih., not on any partial godhead, rule or cult. This single devotion is his whole law of living and he has gone beyond all creeds of religious belief, rules of conduct, personal aims of life.
  He has no griefs to be healed, for he is in possession of the Allblissful. He has no desires to hunger after, for he possesses the highest and the All and is close to the All-Power that brings all fulfilment. He has no doubts or baffled seekings left, for all knowledge streams upon him from the Light in which he lives.

2.03 - Karmayogin A Commentary on the Isha Upanishad, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Zen
  becoming one with Jnana and Bhakti. Karma, Bhakti, Jnana,
  - Action, Love, Knowledge, are the three paths which lead out
  --
  beginning of Jnana, the beginning of Bhakti, the beginning of
  Karma. so_h\. He is the true & only I.
  --
  Jnana or Bhakti, is a good way, and there is none better; but
  the way of the Tyagin who lives among sense-objects and in the
  --
  for to the Karmayogin also Bhakti is necessary, and places like
  these which are saturated with the Bhakti of great saints and
  impassioned God-lovers best feed and streng then the impulse
  --
  utter Bhakti, - but he took as much delight in the Eternal
  manifested in phenomena & especially in man as in the pure
  --
  stress on Jnana & Bhakti, he will by no means banish Karma
  nor relegate it to an inferior place; the most significant portion
  --
  infuse his Jnana with Bhakti, yet eventually it is the way of Jnana
  he must take and no other. For that is his swabhava or nature, his
  --
  the Sudra or Vaisya, the child or woman, to Bhakti. If he is born
  saint or avatar, he will harmonize all three, but still with one
  --
  is Bhakti; and this love & knowledge cannot let him live to
  himself but will make him live to Brahman, and that is divine
  --
  illumined & desireless Karma as anything but a subordinate discipline whose only value is to prepare a man for Bhakti or Jnan.
  They will not easily concede that karma can be by itself a direct
  --
  that Bhakti leads to knowledge and the devotion of one's works
  to the Lord; therefore knowledge and works without desire bring
  a man to the Eternal and Bhakti is only a preliminary means;
  or that jnana leads to adoration of the Eternal and devotion
  of all one does to him, therefore Bhakti and works without
  desire alone bring the soul direct to God and jnana is only a
  --
  certain stage while Bhakti and Jnana do not cease, this too is
  inconsistent with experience. For Janaka and others did works
  --
  Jnana and Bhakti also are swallowed up in unfathomable being.
  Even of the Unknowable Parabrahman too it cannot be said that

2.03 - THE MASTER IN VARIOUS MOODS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "A man may be united with God either through action or through inwardness of thought, but he can know everything through Bhakti. Through Bhakti one spontaneously experiences kumbhaka. The nerve currents and breathing calm down when the mind is concentrated. Again, the mind is concentrated when the nerve currents and breathing calm down. Then the buddhi, the discriminating power, becomes steady. The man who achieves this state is not himself aware of it.
  Efficacy of Bhaktiyoga
  "One can attain everything through Bhakti yoga. I wept before the Mother and prayed, 'O Mother, please tell me, please reveal to me, what the yogis have realized through yoga and the jnanis through discrimination.' And the Mother has revealed everything to me. She reveals everything if the devotee cries to Her with a yearning heart. She has shown me everything that is in the Vedas, the Vednta, the Puranas, and the Tantra."
  MANILAL: "And what about hathayoga?"
  --
  "According to Nrada the devotee should sing the name and glories of God. The path of karma is not the right one for the Kaliyuga. Bhaktiyoga is the right path. Do your duties in the world as long as you need them to reap the fruit of the actions of your past lives.
  But you must develop love for God and be passionately attached to Him. The singing of the name and glories of God destroys the effect of past action.
  --
  (To M.) "Hazra said that a man could not be liberated unless he was born in a brahmin body. 'How is that?' I said. 'One attains liberation through Bhakti alone. Savari was the daughter of a hunter. She, Ruhidas, and others belonged to the sudra caste. They were liberated through Bhakti alone.' 'But still-Hazra insisted.
  "He recognized Dhruva's spiritual greatness, but not as much as he recognized Prahlada's. When Ltu said, 'Dhruva had great yearning for God from his boyhood', he kept still.
  "I said that there was nothing greater than the Bhakti that sought no end and had no selfish motive. Hazra contradicted me. I said to him, 'A wealthy man is annoyed when a petitioner comes to him. "There he comes", he says angrily. "Sit down", he says to him in an indifferent voice, and shows that he is much annoyed. He doesn't allow such a beggar to ride with him in his carriage.'
  "But Hazra said that God was not like such wealthy people of the world; did He lack wealth, that He should feel pinched to give it away? Hazra said further: 'When rain falls from the sky, the Ganges and all the big rivers and lakes overflow with water. Small tanks, too, are filled. Likewise, God out of His grace grants wealth and riches as well as knowledge and devotion.'
  --
  "You don't want anything of God but still you love Him. That is pure Bhakti, love of God with no motive behind it. Prahlada had it. He sought neither kingdom nor riches; he sought Hari alone."
  M: "Hazra is a chatterbox. He won't achieve anything unless he becomes silent."
  --
  MASTER: "But I have the desire for Bhakti. That is not bad. Rather, it is good. Sweets are bad, for they produce acidity. But sugar candy is an exception. Isn't that so?"
  SDHU: "Yes, sir."
  --
  MASTER (smiling): "God has kept you in the world for the sake of others. There are eight fetters. One cannot get rid of them all. God keeps one or two so that a man may live in the world and teach others. You have organized this theatrical company. How many people are being benefited by seeing your Bhakti! If you give up everything, then where will these musicians go?
  "God is now doing all these works through you. When they are finish, you will not return to them. The housewife finishes her household duties feeds everyone, including the menservants and maidservants, and then goes to take her bath. She doesn't come back then even if people shout for her."
  --
  "It is also said that God is beyond one and two. He is beyond speech and mind. To go up from the Lila to the Nitya and come down again from the Nitya to the Lila is mature Bhakti.
  "I love that song of yours about aspiring to reach the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother. It is enough to know that everything depends on the grace of God. But one must pray to God; it will not do to remain inactive. The lawyer gives all the arguments and finishes his pleading by saying to the judge: 'I have said all I have to say. Now the decision rests with Your Honour.' "

2.03 - The Naturalness of Bhakti-Yoga and its Central Secret, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  object:2.03 - The Naturalness of Bhakti-Yoga and its Central Secret
  author class:Swami Vivekananda
  --
  THE NATURALNESS OF Bhakti-YOGA AND ITS CENTRAL SECRET
  Those who with constant attention always worship You, and those who worship the Undifferentiated, the Absoluteof these who are the greater Yogis?Arjuna asked of Shri Krishna. The answer was: Those who concentrating their minds on Me worship Me with eternal constancy, and are endowed with the highest faiththey are My best worshippers, they are the greatest Yogis. Those that worship the Absolute, the Indescribable, the Undifferentiated, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the All-comprehending, the Immovable, and the Eternal, by controlling the play of their organs and having the conviction of sameness in regard to all things, they also, being engaged in doing good to all beings, come to Me alone. But to those whose minds have been devoted to the unmanifested Absolute, the difficulty of the struggle along the way is much greater, for it is indeed with great difficulty that the path of the unmanifested Absolute is trodden by any embodied being. Those who, having offered up all their work unto Me, with entire reliance on Me, meditate on Me and worship Me without any attachment to anything else them, I soon lift up from the ocean of ever-recurring births and deaths, as their mind is wholly attached to Me. JnanaYoga and Bhakti-Yoga are both referred to here. Both may be said to have been defined in the above passage. JnanaYoga is grand; it is high philosophy; and almost every human being thinks, curiously enough, that he can surely do every thing required of him by philosophy; but it is really very difficult to live truly the life of philosophy. We are often apt to run into great dangers in trying to guide our life by philosophy. This world may be said to be divided between persons of demoniacal nature who think the care-taking of the body to be the be-all and the end-all of existence, and persons of godly nature who realise that the body is simply a means to an end, an instrument intended for the culture of the soul. The devil can and indeed does quote the scriptures for his own purpose ; and thus the way of knowle.dge appears to offer justification to. what the bad man does. as much as it offers inducements to what the good man does.
  This is the great danger in Jnana-Yoga. But Bhakti-Yoga is natural, sweet, and gentle; the Bhakta does not take such high flights as the Jnana-Yogi, and, iherefore, he is. not apt to have such big falls. Until the bondages of the soul pass away, it cannot of course be free, whatever may be the nature of the path that the religious man takes. Here is a passage showing how, in the case of one of the blessed Gopis, the soul-binding chains of both merit and demerit were broken. The intense pleasure in meditating on God took away the binding effects of her good deeds. Then her intense misery of soul in not attaining unto Him washed off all her sinful propensities; and then she became free. (Vishnu-Purna).
  In Bhakti-Yoga the central secret is, therefore, to know that the various passions, and feelings, and emotions in the human heart are not wrong in themselves; only they have to be carefully controlled and given a higher and higher direction, until they attain the very highest condition of excellence.
  The highest direction is that which takes us to God; every other direction is lower. We find that pleasures and pains are very common and oft-recurring feelings in our lives. When a man feels pain, because he has not wealth or some such worldly thing, he is giving a wrong direction to the feeling.

2.03 - The Supreme Divine, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Yoga, a union with God in Bhakti, - the union by love is not here superseded by the featureless unification through knowledge, it remains to the end a part of the supreme force of the
  Yoga, - and the life-force entirely drawn up and set between the brows in the seat of mystic vision. All the doors of the sense are closed, the mind is shut in into the heart, the life-force taken up out of its diffused movement into the head, the intelligence concentrated in the utterance of the sacred syllable OM and its conceptive thought in the remembrance of the supreme
  --
   that we have become in the manifestation, not to carry up to it our whole inner consciousness in a combined concentration of the mind's knowledge, the heart's love, the Yogic will, the vital life-force. Especially, Bhakti seems inapplicable to the Absolute who is void of every relation, avyavaharya. "But" insists the
  Gita, - although this condition is supracosmic and although it is eternally unmanifest, - still "that supreme Purusha has to be won by a Bhakti which turns to him alone in whom all beings exist and by whom all this world has been extended in space." In other words, the supreme Purusha is not an entirely relationless
  Absolute aloof from our illusions, but he is the Seer, Creator and Ruler of the worlds, kavim anusasitaram, dhataram, and it is by knowing and by loving Him as the One and the All, vasudevah. sarvam iti, that we ought by a union with him of our whole conscious being in all things, all energies, all actions to seek the supreme consummation, the perfect perfection, the absolute release.

2.04 - ADVICE TO ISHAN, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER: "The one essential thing is Bhakti, loving devotion to God. Do the Theosophists seek Bhakti? They are good if they do. If Theosophy makes the realization of God the goal of life, then it is good. One cannot seek God if one constantly busies oneself with the mahatmas and the lunar, solar, and stellar planes. A man should practise sdhan
  and pray to God with a longing heart for love of His Lotus Feet. He should direct his mind to God alone, withdrawing it from the various objects of the world."
  --
  "Therefore a man should act in such a way that he may have Bhakti for the Lotus Feet of God and love God as his very own. You see this world around you. It exists for you only for a couple of days. There is nothing to it." PUNDIT (smiling): "Revered sir, I feel a spirit of total renunciation when I am here. I feel like going away, giving up the world."
  MASTER: "No, no! Why should you give up? Give up mentally. Live unattached in the world.
  --
  Reason, mere intellectual knowledge, is like a man who can go only as far as the outer court of the house. But Bhakti is like a woman who goes into the inner court.
  Different attitudes toward God
  --
  "When the Kundalini is awakened, one attains bhava, Bhakti, prema, and so on. This is the path of devotion.
  Path of karma
  --
  "You are no doubt in the world. What if you are? You must urrender the fruit of your action to God. You must not seek any result for yourself. But mark one thing. The desire for Bhakti cannot be called a desire. You may desire Bhakti and pray for it. Practise the tamas of Bhakti and force your demand upon the Divine Mother.
  This bitterly contested suit between the Mother and Her son-What sport it is! says Ramprasad. I shall not cease tormenting Thee

2.04 - The Forms of Love-Manifestation, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  Think of Him, think of Him alone, and give up all other vain words (ANya vacae ivmu< cw). Those who talk of Him alone, the Bhakta finds to be friendly to him; while those who talk of anything else appear to him to be unfriendly. A still higher stage of love is reached when life itself is maintained for the sake of the one Ideal of Love, when life itself is considered beautiful and worth living only on account of that Love (tdwRa[s Bhakti when he has become blessed, when he has attained God, when he has touched the feet of God, as it were. Then his whole nature is purified and completely changed. All his purpose in life then becomes fulfilled. Yet many such Bhaktas live on just to worship Him. That is the bliss, the only pleasure in life, which they will not give up. Oh king, such is the blessed quality of Hari that even those, who have become satisfied with everything, all the knots of whose hearts have been cut asunder, even they love the Lord for loves sake the Lord Whom all the gods worship, all the lovers of liberation, and all the knowers of the Brahman (Nri. Tap. Up.) Such is the power of love. When a man has forgotten himself altogether and does not feel that ahything belongs to him, then he acquires the state of Tadiyata; everything is sacred to him, because it belongs to the Beloved. Even in regard to earthly love, the lover thinks that everything belonging to his beloved is sacred and so dear to him. He loves even a piece of the cloth belonging to the darling of his heart. In the same way, when a person loves the Lord, the whole universe becomes dear to him, because it is all His.

2.04 - The Secret of Secrets, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   since his works are that Being's, he has to give up all his actions to the Godhead in him and the world by whom they are done in the divine mystery of Nature. This is the double condition of the divine birth of the soul, of its release from the mortality of the ego and the body into the spiritual and eternal, - knowledge first of one's timeless immutable self and union through it with the timeless Godhead, but knowledge too of that which lives behind the riddle of cosmos, the Godhead in all existences and their workings. Thus only can we aspire through the offering of all our nature and being to a living union with the One who has become in Time and Space all that is. Here is the place of Bhakti in the scheme of the Yoga of an integral self-liberation.
  It is an adoration and aspiration towards that which is greater than imperishable self or changing Nature. All knowledge then becomes an adoration and aspiration, but all works too become an adoration and aspiration. Works of nature and freedom of soul are unified in this adoration and become one self-uplifting to the one Godhead. The final release, a passing away from the lower nature to the source of the higher spiritual becoming, is not an extinction of the soul, - only its form of ego becomes extinct,

2.05 - On Poetry, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Disciple: In poems of Bhakti one can feel devotion.
   Sri Aurobindo: It is feeling only. It does not create for you a living and moving world. Feeling is not enough to be creative.

2.05 - Universal Love and how it leads to Self-Surrender, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  His body, His manifestation. How then may we hurt any one? How then may we not love anyone? With the love of God will come, as a sure effect, the love of everyone in the universe. The nearer we approach God, the more do we begin to see that all things are in Him. When the soul succeeds in appropriating the bliss of this supreme love, it also begins to see Him in everything. Our heart will thus become an eternal fountain of love. And when we reach even higher states of this love, all the little differences between the things of the world are entirely lost; man is seen no more as man, but only as God; the animal is seen no more as animal, but as God; even the tiger is no more a tiger but manifestation of God. Thus in this intense state of Bhakti, worship is offered to every one, to every life, and to every being.
  Knowing that Hari, the Lord, is in every being, the wise have thus to manifest unswerving love towards all beings.

2.05 - VISIT TO THE SINTHI BRAMO SAMAJ, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER (to the pundit): "Well, what is bhava and what is Bhakti?"
  PUNDIT: "Meditation on God mellows the mind. This mellowness is called bhava. It is like the thawing of ice when the sun rises."
  --
  MASTER: "Some people develop Bhakti and others do not; how do you explain that, sir?"
  PUNDIT: "There is no partiality in God. He is the Wish-fulfilling Tree. Whatever a man asks of God he gets. But he must go near the Tree to ask the boon."

2.06 - On Beauty, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Disciple: I want to know what connection this power of beauty has with Vaishnavism. Bhakti begins with emotion. Is there a connection between Bhakti and this power of beauty?
   Sri Aurobindo: How do you mean? I don't understand your question. Bhakti has not only the sense of beauty in it, there are many other elements besides.
   Disciple: There is the emotional element, but where or when does the element of beauty enter at the beginning or at the end?
  --
   Sri Aurobindo: In the path of devotion, the Bhakti Marga in India, God is regarded as the All-beautiful. In the case of other paths it is not so.
   Disciple: There is an idea that for art limitation is necessary. There can be no art if there is no restraint and every great artist imposes his own limitations.

2.06 - The Higher Knowledge and the Higher Love are one to the true Lover, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  The Upanishads distinguish between a higher knowledge and a lower knowledge; and to the Bhakta there is really no dfference between this higher knowledge and his higher love (Par- Bhakti). The Mundaka Upanishad says: The knowers of Brahman declare that there are two kinds of knowledge worthy to be known. namely, the Higher (Par) and the Lower (Apar). Of these the Lower (knowledge) consists of the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Smaveda, the Atharvaveda, the Shiksh (or the science dealing with pronunciation and accent), the Kalpa (or the sacrificial liturgy), Grammar, the Nirukta (or the science dealing with etymology and the meaning of words), Prosody, and Astronomy; and the Higher (knowledge) is that by which that unchangeable is known. The higher knowledge is thus clearly shown to be the knowledge of Brahman: and the Devi-Bhgavata gives us the following definition of the higher love (Par- Bhakti):As oil poured from one vessel to another falls in an unbroken line, so, when the mind in an unbroken stream thinks of the Lord, we have what is called Para- Bhakti or supreme love. This kind of undisturbed and ever steady direction of the mind and the heart to the Lord with an inseparable attactment is indeed the highest manifestation of mans love to God. All other forms of Bhakti are only preparatory to the attainment of this highest form thereof, viz. the Par- Bhakti which is also known as the love that comes after attachment (Rgnug). When this supreme love once comes into the heart of man, his mind will continuously think of God and remember nothing else.
  He will give no room in himself to thoughts other than those of God, and his soul will be unconquerably pure, and will alone break all the bonds of mind and matter and become serenely free. He alone can worship the Lord in his own heart; to him, forms, symbols, books, and doctrines are all unnecessary and are incapable of proving serviceable in any way. It is not easy to love the Lord thus. Ordinarily human love is seen to flourish only in places where it is returned; where love is not returned for love, cold indifference is the natural result. There are, however, rare instances in which we may notice love exhibiting itself even where there is no return of love. We may compare this kind of love, for purposes of illustration, to the love of the moth for the fire; the insect loves the fire, falls into it and dies. It is indeed in the nature of this insect to love so. To love, because it is the nature of love to love, is undeniably the highest and the most unselfish manifestation of love that may be seen in the world. Such love working itself out on the plane of spirituality necessarily leads to the attainment of Para Bhakti.

2.06 - WITH VARIOUS DEVOTEES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "And about the chatak bird. He will not drink anything but rain-water. And about jnanayoga and Bhaktiyoga."
  MASTER: "What did I say about them?"

2.06 - Works Devotion and Knowledge, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   of knowledge they come to the adoration of the Purushottama, jnana-yajnena yajanto mam upasate. This is a comprehension filled with Bhakti, because it is integral in its instruments, integral in its objective. It is not a pursuit of the Supreme merely as an abstract unity or an indeterminable Absolute. It is a heartfelt seeking and seizing of the Supreme and the Universal, a pursuit of the Infinite in his infinity and of the Infinite in all that is finite, a vision and embracing of the One in his oneness and of the One in all his several principles, his innumerable visages, forces, forms, here, there, everywhere, timelessly and in time, multiply, multitudinously, in endless aspects of his Godhead, in beings without number, all his million universal faces fronting us in the world and its creatures, ekatvena pr.thaktvena bahudha visvatomukham. This knowledge becomes easily an adoration, a large devotion, a vast self-giving, an integral self-offering because it is the knowledge of a Spirit, the contact of a Being, the embrace of a supreme and universal Soul which claims all that we are even as it lavishes on us when we approach it all the treasures of its endless delight of existence.3
  The way of works too turns into an adoration and a devotion of self-giving because it is an entire sacrifice of all our will and its activities to the one Purushottama. The outward Vedic rite is a powerful symbol, effective for a slighter though still a heavenward purpose; but the real sacrifice is that inner oblation in which the Divine All becomes himself the ritual action, the sacrifice and every single circumstance of the sacrifice. All the working and forms of that inner rite are the self-ordinance and self-expression of his power in us mounting by our aspiration towards the source of its energies. The Divine Inhabitant becomes himself the flame and the offering, because the flame is the Godward will and that will is God himself within us. And the offering too is form and force of the constituent Godhead in our nature and being; all that has been received from him is given up to the service and the worship of its own Reality,

2.07 - The Supreme Word of the Gita, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   tification of their being and their nature. From this need arise the religions of love and works, whose strength is that they satisfy and lead Godwards the most active and developed powers of our humanity, - for only by starting from these can knowledge be effective. Even Buddhism with its austere and uncompromising negation both of subjective self and objective things had still to found itself initially on a divine discipline of works and to admit as a substitute for Bhakti the spiritualised emotionalism of a universal love and compassion, since so only could it become an effective way for mankind, a truly liberating religion. Even illusionist Mayavada with its ultralogical intolerance of action and the creations of mentality had to allow a provisional and practical reality to man and the universe and to God in the world in order to have a first foothold and a feasible starting-point; it had to affirm what it denied in order to give some reality to man's bondage and to his effort for liberation.
  But the weakness of the kinetic and the emotional religions is that they are too much absorbed in some divine Personality and in the divine values of the finite. And, even when they have a conception of the infinite Godhead, they do not give us the full satisfaction of knowledge because they do not follow it out into its most ultimate and supernal tendencies. These religions fall short of a complete absorption in the Eternal and the perfect union by identity, - and yet to that identity in some other way, if not in the abstractive, since there all oneness has its basis, the spirit that is in man must one day arrive. On the other hand, the weakness of a contemplative quietistic spirituality is that it arrives at this result by a too absolute abstraction and in the end it turns into a nothing or a fiction the human soul whose aspiration was yet all the time the whole sense of this attempt at union; for without the soul and its aspiration liberation and union could have no meaning. The little that this way of thinking recognises of his other powers of existence, it relegates to an inferior preliminary action which never arrives at any full or satisfying realisation in the Eternal and Infinite. Yet these things too which it restricts unduly, the potent will, the strong yearning of love, the positive light and all-embracing intuition
  --
   discover his spiritual unity with all creatures, to see all in the self and the self in all beings, even to see all things and creatures as himself, atmaupamyena sarvatra, and accordingly think, feel and act in all his mind, will and living. This Godhead is the origin of all that is here or elsewhere and by his Nature he has become all these innumerable existences, abhut sarvan.i bhutani; therefore man has to see and adore the One in all things animate and inanimate, to worship the manifestation in sun and star and flower, in man and every living creature, in the forms and forces, qualities and powers of Nature, vasudevah. sarvam iti. He has to make himself by divine vision and divine sympathy and finally by a strong inner identity one universality with the universe. A passive relationless identity excludes love and action, but this larger and richer oneness fulfils itself by works and by a pure emotion: it becomes the source and continent and substance and motive and divine purpose of all our acts and feelings. Kasmai devaya havis.a vidhema, to what Godhead shall we give all our life and activities as an offering? This is that Godhead, this the Lord who claims our sacrifice. A passive relationless identity excludes the joy of adoration and devotion; but Bhakti is the very soul and heart and summit of this richer, completer, more intimate union.
  This Godhead is the fulfilment of all relations, father, mother, lover, friend and refuge of the soul of every creature. He is the one supreme and universal Deva, Atman, Purusha, Brahman,
  --
   worship and highest knowledge of the Eternal are the knowledge and the adoration of him as the supreme and divine Origin of all that is in existence and the mighty Lord of the world and its peoples of whose being all things are the becomings. It is, secondly, the declaration of a unified knowledge and Bhakti as the supreme Yoga; that is the destined and the natural way given to man to arrive at union with the eternal Godhead. And to make more significant this definition of the way, to give an illuminating point to this highest importance of Bhakti founded upon and opening to knowledge and made the basis and motivepower for divinely appointed works, the acceptance of it by the heart and mind of the disciple is put as a condition for the farther development by which the final comm and to action comes at last to be given to the human instrument, Arjuna. "I will speak this supreme word to thee" says the Godhead "from my will for thy soul's good, now that thy heart is taking delight in me," te pryaman.aya vaks.yami. For this delight of the heart in God is the whole constituent and essence of true Bhakti, bhajanti prtipurvakam. As soon as the supreme word is given, Arjuna is made to utter his acceptance of it and to ask for a practical way of seeing God in all things in Nature, and from that question immediately and naturally there develops the vision of the Divine as the Spirit of the universe and there arises the tremendous comm and to the world-action.1
  The idea of the Divine on which the Gita insists as the secret of the whole mystery of existence, the knowledge that leads to liberation, is one that bridges the opposition between the cosmic procession in Time and a supracosmic eternity without denying either of them or taking anything from the reality of either. It harmonises the pantheistic, the theistic and the highest transcendental terms of our spiritual conception and spiritual experience. The Divine is the unborn Eternal who has no origin; there is and can be nothing before him from which he proceeds, because he is one and timeless and absolute. "Neither the gods nor the great Rishis know any birth of me. . . . He who knows

2.08 - ALICE IN WONDERLAND, #God Exists, #Swami Sivananda Saraswati, #Hinduism
  I have been telling you sometimes that there is some secret meaning behind the last words in the Eleventh Chapter of the Gita where we are told that Bhakti is supreme. The Bhakti that Sri Krishna speaks of here is not ordinary obeisance to an idol. It is not a mass that you perform in the church. It is a melting of your being before the Absolute. Therefore Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, Not charity, not philanthropy, not study, not austerity, is capable of bringing about this great vision that you had, Arjuna! Only by devotion can I be seen, contacted. Only by devotion am I capable of being known, seen and entered into. These three words are used in the Bhagavad Gita at the end of the Eleventh Chapterknowing, seeing, and entering. Arjuna knew and saw, but never entered into It. Therefore, he was the same Arjuna after the Bhagavad Gita also. He never merged into the Supreme Being.
  Now, religion is knowing, seeing and entering into. Knowing is considered by such thinkers like Ramanuja, the great propounder of the Visishtadvaita philosophy, as inferior to devotion. I am now digressing a little bit from the point, into another thing altogether, which is also interesting.
  Knowledge or Jnana is not equal to Bhakti, says Ramanuja, the great propounder of the doctrine and philosophy called Visishtadvaita. And Acharya Sankara says that Jnana is superior to Bhakti. It may appear that they are quarrelling. They have some emphasis laid on different aspects of the same question. Why does Bhagavan Sri Krishna say that nothing can make you fit to see the vision of God, to behold Him, except Bhakti? It would seem that He speaks like Ramanuja and not like Sankara. But they are only speaking in different languages the same thing. There is no contradiction between them. Knowing, seeing and entering into signifies the process of contacting God by degrees. There is, in the parlance of Vedanta, two types of knowledgeParoksha Jnana and Aporkasha Jnana. Paroksha Jnana is direct knowledge. God exists is indirect knowledge. Now, we do not feel that we are inseparable from Gods being. That knowledge has not come to us. So we have not entered such a height of religious consciousness as to be convinced that we are inseparable from Gods existence. But we are convinced enough to feel that God exists.
  At least the people seated here are perhaps convinced that God must be. He is.
  --
  The way in which we are seeing the universe now is something like the possibility of a particular organism, called the cell in the body, separating itself in motionnot really of coursefrom the bodily organism and looking at the body. What would be the condition or the experience of a cell in our own body notionally isolating itself from the organism to which it belongs and considering the body as a world outside it? You can imagine the stupidity of it. This is exactly what we are doing. We think that the world is outside us. We can fly into space, drive in a motor car on a road, because a peculiar notion has become a reality in our mind, that the world is outside us though we are a part of the world. So, the idea that the Virat is an of perception, that the world is external to us, is notional and not realistic. All our difficulties are notional in the end. They have no reality or substance in themselves. We are bound by our minds, our thoughts, our feelings and our willings. So when Acharya Sankara says that Jnana is superior and Ramanuja says that Bhakti is superior, they are saying the same thing.
  By Bhakti, Ramanuja means that love of God which supersedes intellectual activity or a mere knowing that God exists. And when Sankara says that Jnana or knowledge is superior, he means knowledge which is identical with being and which is same as Para Bhakti or the love of God where the soul is in communion with the Being of God.
  The highest devotion is the same as the highest knowledge. Jnana and Para Bhakti are the same. The Gauna Bhakti or secondary love of God, which is more ritualistic and more formal, is inferior. But Ramanujas Bhakti is the surging of the soul and the melting of personality in God-experience. It is to become mad with God-love as we hear in the case of Spinoza, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mirabai and Tukaram. Their Bhakti was not simply love of God as that of churchmen or templemen. It is a kind of ecstasy in which the personality has lost itself in God-love and God-being. That is Jnana and that is Bhakti. So, there is no difference between Ramanuja and Sankara in the ultimate reaches. And Bhagavan Sri Krishnas dictum is also of a similar character.
  So now, when we are discussing the final point in our studies, we are gradually losing attachments to his obsessional notion that we are this little Mr. and Mrs. Body and that we are located in a part of the physical world called India or America, Japan or Russia. And we are slowly trying to become citizens of a larger dimension which is wider than this earth, perhaps larger than even the solar system and this physical cosmos.

2.08 - AT THE STAR THEATRE (II), #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "The other day I told you the meaning of Bhakti. It is to adore God with body, mind, and words. 'With body' means to serve and worship God with one's hands, go to holy places with one's feet, hear the chanting of the name and glories of God with one's ears, and behold the divine image with one's eyes. 'With mind' means to contemplate and meditate on God constantly and to remember and think of His lila. 'With words' means to sing hymns to Him and chant His name and glories.
  "Devotion as described by Nrada is suited to the Kaliyuga. It means to chant constantly the name and glories of God. Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands.
  --
  "Nishtha leads to Bhakti; Bhakti, when mature, becomes bhava; bhava, when concentrated, becomes mahabhava; and last of all is prema. Prema is like a cord: by prema God is bound to the devotee; He can no longer run away. An ordinary man can at best achieve bhava. None but an Isvarakoti attains mahabhava and prema.
  Chaitanyadeva attained them.
  --
  Prahlada sometimes was aware of his identity with Brahman. And sometimes he would see that God was one and he another; at such times he would remain in the mood of Bhakti.
  "Hanuman said, 'O Rma, sometimes I find that You are the whole and I a part, sometimes that You are the Master and I Your servant; but, O Rma, when I have the Knowledge of Reality, I see that You are I and I am You.'"
  --
  M: "In one place the author writes of Bhakti. Bhavani Pathak sent a girl named Nishi to keep Prafulla company. Nishi was full of piety and looked on Krishna as her husband.
  Prafulla was already married; she had lost her father and lived with her mother. The neighbours had created a scandal about her character and avoided her, and so her father-in-law had not allowed her to live with his son. Later her husb and had married again; but Prafulla was extremely devoted to her husband.
  --
  NISHI: "Bhavani Pathak has given me the name of Nishi, Night. I am the sister of Diva, Day. One day I shall introduce my sister to you. Let me continue what I was saying. God alone is the real Husband; and to a woman the husb and is her only God. Sri Krishna is the God of all. Why should we cherish two Deities, two Gods? If you divide to little Bhakti of this small heart, how little there will be!"
  PRAFULLA: "Don't be silly. Is there any limit to a woman's Bhakti?"
  NISHI: "There is no end to a woman's love. But Bhakti is one thing, and love another"
  Summarizing part of the book, M. said that Bhavani initiated Prafulla into spiritual life.
  --
  MASTER: "This is fine. These are the words of the Git; one cannot refute them. But something else must be noted. The author speaks about surrendering the fruit of action to Sri Krishna, but not about cultivating Bhakti for Him."
  M: "No, that is not especially mentioned here.
  --
  Yoga, as it is described in the Git, is of three kinds: jnna, Bhakti, and karma. One is able to see God through this telescope of yoga."
  MASTER: "That is very good. These are the words of the Git."
  --
  "You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping iva you acquire the nature of iva. A devotee of Rma meditated on Hanuman day and night. He used to think he had become Hanuman. In the end he was firmly convinced that he had even grown a little tail. Jnna is the characteristic of iva, and Bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of iva's nature becomes a Jnni, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta."
  Chaitanya & The Divine Incarnation and the ordinary man M: "But what about Chaitanyadeva? You said he had both knowledge and devotion."

2.08 - The God of Love is his own proof, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  What is the ideal of the lover who has quite passed beyond beyond the idea of selfishness, of bartering and bargaining, and who knows no fear? Even to the great God such a man will say, I will give You my all, and I do not want anything from You; indeed there is nothing that I can call my own. When a man has acquired this conviction, his ideal becomes one of perfect love, one of perfect fearlessness of love. The highest ideal of such a person has no narrowness of particularity about it; it is love universal, love without limits and bonds, love itself, absolute love. This grand ideal of the religion of love is worshipped and loved absolutely as such without the aid of any symbols or suggestions. This is the highest form of Para- Bhakti, the worship of such an all-comprehending ideal as the ideal; all the other forms of Bhakti are only stages on the way to reach it. All our failures and all our successes in following the religion of love are on the road to the reallsatlon of that one ideal. Object after object is taken up, and the inner ideal is successively projected on them all; and all such external objects are found inadequate as exponents of the everexpanding inner ideal, and are naturally rejected one after another. At last the aspirant begins to think that it is vain to try to realise the ideal in external objects, that all external objects are as nothing when compared with the ideal itself; and, in course of time, he acquires the power of realising the highest and the most generalised abstract ideal entirely as an abstraction that is to him quite alive and real. When the devotee has reached this point, he is no more impelled to ask whether God can be demonstrated or not, whether He is omnipotent and omniscient or not. To him He is only the God of Love: He is the highest ideal of love, and that is sufficient for all his purposes; He, as love, is self-evident; it requires no proofs to demonstrate the existence of the beloved to the lover. The magistrate-Gods of other forms of religion may require a good deal of proof to prove Them; but the Bhakta does pot and cannot think of such Gods at all. To him God exists entirely as love. None, O beloved, loves the husb and for the husbands sake, but it is for the sake of the Self who is in the husb and that the husb and is loved; none, O beloved, loves the wife for the wifes sake, but it is for the sake of the Self who is in the wife that the wife is loved. It is said by some that selfishness is the only motive power in regard to all human activities. That also is love lowered by being particularised. When I think of myself as comprehending the Universal, there can surely be no selfishness in me; but when I, by mistake, think that I am a little something, my love becomes particularised and narrowed.
  The mistake consists in making the sphere of love narrow and contracted. All things in the universe are of divine origin and deserve to be loved; it has, however, to be borne in mind that the love of the whole includes the love of the parts. This whole is the God of the Bhaktas and all the other Gods, Fathers in Heaven, or Rulers, or Creators, and all theories and doctrines and books have no purpose and no meaning for them, seeing that they have, through their supreme love and devotion, risen above those things altogether. When the heart is purified and cleansed and filled to the brim with the divine nectar of love, all other ideas of God become simply puerile, and are rejected as being inadequate or unworthy. Such is indeed the power of Para- Bhakti or Supreme Love; and the perfected Bhakta no more goes to see God in temples and churches; he knows no place where he will not find Him. He finds Him in the temple as well as out of the temple; he finds Him in the saints saintliness as well as in the wicked mans wickedness, because he has Him already seated in glory in his own heart, as the one Almighty, inextinguishable Light of Love, which is ever shining and eternally present.

2.09 - On Sadhana, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Sri Aurobindo: It is no use hurrying about psychic experiences and realisations. One must prepare the physical mind, the intelligence by common knowledge as well as knowledge pertaining to Yoga. One must understand what comes to him. Sometimes one does not even know what has come to him. One must also pay attention to Shuddhi, purification, by introspection, by Karma Yoga and by Bhakti. Then a step forward can be taken.
   The question was raised about the Guru giving spiritual experience to disciples.
  --
   Disciple: Ahaituk Bhakti and ahaituk kp means that there is no motive that is, human purpose or reason which man can attribute to them. But there is always some other purpose which man may not be knowing.
   Sri Aurobindo: That is a different matter; it may have no human purpose.

2.09 - THE MASTERS BIRTHDAY, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "Speaking of pure Bhakti, I say to Hazra, 'A real devotee does not pray to God for money or riches.' Hazra replies: 'When the flood of divine grace descends, the rivers overflow; and further, the pools and canals are filled. By the grace of God one gets not only pure devotion but also the six supernatural powers, and money too.' "
  Narendra and many other devotees were seated on the floor. Girish entered the room and joined them.
  --
  " Bhakti, love of God, is the only essential thing. One kind of Bhakti has a motive behind it. Again, there is a motiveless love, pure devotion, a love of God that seeks no return.
  Keshab Sen and the members of the Brahmo Samaj didn't know about motiveless love.
  --
  "There is another kind of love, known as urjhita Bhakti, an ecstatic love of God that overflows, as it were. When it is awakened, the devotee 'laughs and weeps and dances and sings'. Chaitanyadeva is an example of this love. Rma said to Lakshmana, 'Brother, if anywhere you see the manifestation of urjhita Bhakti, know for certain that I am there.'"
  GIRlSH: "Everything is possible through your grace. What was I before? And see what I am now."
  --
  MASTER: "Reasoning is one of the paths; it is the path of the Vedantists. But there is another path, the path of Bhakti. If a bhakta, weeps longingly for the Knowledge of Brahman, he receives that as well. These are the two paths: jnna and Bhakti.
  The ego of the Divine Incarnation
  "One may attain the Knowledge of Brahman by either path. Some retain Bhakti even after realizing Brahman, in order to teach humanity. An Incarnation of God is one of these.
  "A man cannot easily get rid of the ego and the consciousness that the body is the soul.
  --
  The path of Bhakti
  "Since one cannot easily get rid of the ego, a bhakta does not explain away the states of waking, dream, and deep sleep. He accepts all the states. Further, he accepts the three Guns-sattva, rajas, and tamas. A bhakta sees that God alone has become the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. He also sees that God reveals Himself to His devotees in a tangible form, which is the embodiment of Spirit.
  --
  Different aspects of Bhakti
  MASTER: " Bhakti is the only essential thing. Bhakti has different aspects: the sattvic, the rajasic, and the tamasic. One who has sattvic Bhakti is very modest and humble. But a man with tamasic Bhakti is like a highwayman in his attitude toward God. He says: 'O
  God, I am chanting. Your name; how can I be a sinner? O God, You are my own Mother; You must reveal yourself to me.' "
  GIRISH (smiling): "It is you, sir, who teach us tamasic Bhakti."
  Different kinds of samdhi

2.1.01 - The Central Process of the Sadhana, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  As regards Xs questionthis is not a Yoga of Bhakti alone; it is or at least it claims to be an integral Yoga, that is, a turning of all the being in all its parts to the Divine. It follows that there must be knowledge and works as well as Bhakti and, in addition, it includes a total change of the nature, a seeking for perfection, so that the nature also may become one with the nature of the Divine. It is not only the heart that has to turn to the Divine and change, but the mind alsoso knowledge is necessary, and the will and power of action and creation alsoso works too are necessary. In this Yoga the methods of other Yogas are taken uplike this of Purusha-Prakriti, but with a difference in the final object. Purusha separates from Prakriti, not in order to abandon her, but in order to know himself and her and to be no longer her plaything, but the knower, lord and upholder of the nature; but having become so or even in becoming so, one offers all that to the Divine. One may begin with knowledge or with works or with Bhakti or with Tapasya of self-purification for perfection (change of nature) and develop the rest as a subsequent movement or one may combine all in one movement. There is no single rule for all, it depends on the personality and the nature. Surrender is the main power of the Yoga, but the surrender is bound to be progressive; a complete surrender is not possible in the beginning, but only a will in the being for that completeness,in fact it takes time; yet it is only when the surrender is complete that the full flood of the sadhana is possible. Till then there must be the personal effort with an increasing reality of surrender. One calls in the power of the Divine Shakti and once that begins to come into the being, it at first supports the personal endeavour, then progressively takes up the whole action, although the consent of the sadhak continues to be always necessary. As the Force works, it brings in the different processes that are necessary for the sadhak, processes of knowledge, of Bhakti, of spiritualised action, of transformation of the nature. The idea that they cannot be combined is an error.
  ***
  The object of the sadhana is opening of the consciousness to the Divine and the change of the nature. Meditation or contemplation is one means to this but only one means; Bhakti is another; work is another. Chittashuddhi was practised by the Yogis as a first means towards realisation and they got by it the saintliness of the saint and the quietude of the sage. But the transformation of the nature of which we speak is something more than that, and this transformation does not come by contemplation alone; works are necessary, Yoga in action is indispensable.
  ***
  --
  You forget that men differ in nature and therefore each will approach the sadhana in his own wayone through work, one through Bhakti, one through meditation and knowledge and those who are capable of it through all together. You are perfectly justified in following your own way, whatever may be the theories of others but let them follow theirs. In the end all can converge together towards the same goal.
  ***
  Work, Meditation and Bhakti
  There is no opposition between work and sadhana. Work itself done in the right spirit is sadhana. Meditation is not the only means of sadhana. Work is one means; love and worship and surrender are another.
  --
  It [the value of work in sadhana] depends more on the intensity of the spirit put into it than on the intensity of the work itself. As for the line on which most stress is laid, it depends on the nature. There are some people who are not cut out for meditation and it is only by work that they can prepare themselves; there are also those who are the opposite. As for the enormous development of egoism, that can come whatever one follows. I have seen it blossom in the dhyn as well as in the worker; Krishnaprem says it does so in the bhakta. So it is evident that all soils are favourable to this Narcissus flower. As for no need of sadhana, obviously one who does not do any sadhana cannot change or progress. Work, meditation, Bhakti, all must be done as sadhana.
  ***
  I have always said that work done as sadhanadone, that is to say, as an outflow of energy from the Divine offered to the Divine or work done for the sake of the Divine or work done in a spirit of devotionis a powerful means of sadhana and that such work is especially necessary in this Yoga. Work, Bhakti and meditation are three supports of Yoga. One can do with all three, or two or one. There are people who cant meditate in the set way that one calls meditation, but they progress through work or through Bhakti or through the two together. By work and Bhakti one can develop a consciousness in which eventually a natural meditation and realisation become possible.
  ***
  The growth out of the ordinary mind into the spiritual consciousness can be effected either by meditation, dedicated work or Bhakti for the Divine. In our Yoga, which seeks not only a static peace or absorption but a dynamic spiritual action, work is indispensable. As for the Supramental Truth, that is a different matter; it depends only on the descent of the Divine and the action of the Supreme Force and is not bound by any method or rule.
  ***
  There are very few among the sadhaks here who at all concern themselves with the supermind or know anything about it except as something which the Mother and I will bring down some day and establish here. Most are seeking realisation through meditation, through love and worship or through activity and work. Meditation and silence are not necessary for everyone; there are some, even among those spoken of by you and others as the most advanced sadhaks, who do their sadhana not through meditation, for which they have no turn, but through activity, work or creation supported or founded on love and Bhakti. It is not the credo but the person who matters. We impose no credo; it is sufficient if there is an established and heart-felt relation between ourselves and the disciple.
  ***
  --
  Poetry by itself does not bring to the goal, but it can help as a means to express and deepen ones aspiration while it gives the vital an activity which can keep it from rusting and maintains its energy. Otherwise it may droop or go dry or sulk or non-cooperate. What will bring towards the goal is the growth of the psychic being, the increase in Bhakti, psychic clarity of vision with regard to ones inner movements and the will to get rid of the vital ego, increase in pure self-giving. Meditation and the rest can bring only partial results or often no results until there has been a sufficient psychic preparation. Even with those who begin with a flood of experiences because of some mental or vital preparation in past lives whose results happen to be near the surface, these lead to nothing definite till the psychic preparation is made; they often have all their struggle still to go through and some sink with their bag of experiences on their head and a magnified ego on their back. It was this psychic growth that suddenly began in you. Dont let it stop; for through that lies your way. Once that is done, you can meditate and do everything else that may be needful.
  ***
  --
  Love, Bhakti, surrender, the psychic opening are the only short cut to the Divineor can be; for if the love and Bhakti are too vital, then there is likely to be a seesaw between ecstatic expectation and viraha, abhimna, despair, which will make it not a short cut but a long one, a zigzag, not a straight flight, a whirling round ones own ego instead of a running towards the Divine.
  ***
  --
  I may stress one point, however, that there need not be only one way to realisation of the Divine. If one does not succeed or has not yet succeeded in reaching him, feeling him or seeing him by the established process of meditation or by other processes like japa, yet one may have made progress towards it by the frequent welling up of Bhakti in the heart or a constantly greater enlargement of it in the consciousness or by work for the Divine and dedication in service. You have certainly progressed in these two directions, increased in devotion and shown your capacity for service. You have also tried to get rid of obstacles in your vital nature and so effect a purification, not without success, in several difficult directions. The path of surrender is indeed difficult, but if one perseveres in it with sincerity, there is bound to be some success and a partial overcoming or diminution of the ego which may help greatly a farther advance upon the way. I can see no sufficient reason for the discouragement which so often overtakes you and sometimes makes you think that you are not cut out for the path; to indulge such a thought is always a mistake. A too ready proneness to discouragement and a consequent despondency is one of the weaknesses of your vital nature and to get rid of it would be a great help. One must learn to go forward on the path of Yoga, as the Gita insists, with a consciousness free from despondencyanirviacetas. Even if one slips, one must rectify the posture; even if one falls, one has to rise and go undiscouraged on the divine way. The attitude must be, The Divine has promised himself to me if I cleave to him always; that I will never cease to do whatever may come.
  ***
  It is altogether unprofitable to enquire who or what class will arrive first or last at the goal. The spiritual path is not a field of competition or a race that this should matter. What matters is ones own aspiration for the Divine, ones own faith, surrender, selfless self-giving. Others can be left to the Divine who will lead each according to his nature. Meditation, work, Bhakti are each means of preparative help towards fulfilment; all are included in this path. If one can dedicate oneself through work, that is one of the most powerful means towards the self-giving which is itself the most powerful and indispensable element of the sadhana.
  To cleave to the path means to follow it without leaving it or turning aside. It is a path of self-offering of the whole being in all its parts, the offering of the thinking mind and the heart, the will and actions, the inner and the outer instruments so that one may arrive at the experience of the Divine, the Presence within, the psychic and spiritual change. The more one gives of oneself in all ways, the better for the sadhana. But all cannot do it to the same extent, with the same rapidity, in the same way. How others do it or fail to do it should not be ones concernhow to do it faithfully oneself is the one thing important.
  --
  I have never put any ban on Bhakti. Also I am not conscious of having banned meditation either at any time. I have stressed both Bhakti and knowledge in my Yoga as well as works, even if I have not given any of them an exclusive importance like Shankara or Chaitanya.
  The difficulty you feel or any sadhak feels about sadhana is not really a question of meditation versus Bhakti versus works. It is a difficulty of the attitude to be taken, the approach or whatever you may like to call it.
  If you cant as yet remember the Divine all the time you are working, it does not greatly matter. To remember and dedicate at the beginning and give thanks at the end ought to be enough for the present. Or at the most to remember too when there is a pause. Your method seems to me rather painful and difficult,you seem to be trying to remember and work with one and the same part of the mind. I dont know if that is possible. When people remember all the time during work (it can be done), it is usually with the back of their minds or else there is created gradually a faculty of double thought or else a double consciousness one in front that works, and one within that witnesses and remembers. There is also another way which was mine for a long timea condition in which the work takes place automatically and without intervention of personal thought or mental action, while the consciousness remains silent in the Divine. The thing, however, does not come so much by trying as by a very simple constant aspiration and will of consecrationor else by a movement of the consciousness separating the inner from the instrumental being. Aspiration and will of consecration calling down a greater Force to do the work is a method which brings great results, even if in some it takes a long time about it. That is a great secret of sadhana, to know how to get things done by the Power behind or above instead of doing all by the minds effort. I dont mean to say that the minds effort is unnecessary or has no resultonly if it tries to do everything by itself, that becomes a laborious effort for all except the spiritual athletes. Nor do I mean that the other method is the longed-for short cut; the result may, as I have said, take a long time. Patience and firm resolution are necessary in every method of sadhana.

2.1.02 - Combining Work, Meditation and Bhakti, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:2.1.02 - Combining Work, Meditation and Bhakti
  author class:Sri Aurobindo
  --
  I mean by work action done for the Divine and more and more in union with the Divine for the Divine alone and nothing else. Naturally that is not easy at the beginning, any more than deep meditation and luminous knowledge are easy or even true love and Bhakti are easy. But like the others it has to be begun in the right spirit and attitude, with the right will in you, then all the rest will come.
  Works done in this spirit are quite as effective as Bhakti or contemplation. One gets by the rejection of desire, rajas and ego a quietude and purity into which the Peace ineffable can descend; one gets by the dedication of ones will to the Divine, by the merging of ones will in the Divine Will the death of ego and the enlarging into the cosmic consciousness or else the uplifting into what is above the cosmic; one experiences the separation of Purusha from Prakriti and is liberated from the shackles of the outer nature; one becomes aware of ones inner being and feels the outer as an instrument; one feels the universal Force doing ones works and the Self or Purusha watching or witness but free; one feels all ones works taken from one and done by the universal or the supreme Mother or by the Divine Power controlling and acting from behind the heart. By constant reference of all ones will and works to the Divine, love and adoration grow, the psychic being comes forward. By the reference to the Power above we can come to feel it above and its descent and the opening to an increasing consciousness and knowledge. Finally works, Bhakti and knowledge join together and self-perfection becomes possiblewhat we call the transformation of the nature.
  These results certainly do not come all at once; they come more or less slowly, more or less completely according to the condition and growth of the being. There is no royal road to the divine realisation.
  This is the Karmayoga as it is laid down in the Gita as I have developed it for the integral spiritual life. It is founded not on speculation and reasoning but on experience. It does not exclude meditation and it certainly does not exclude Bhakti, for the self-offering to the Divine, the consecration of all oneself to the Divine which is the essence of this Karmayoga are essentially a movement of Bhakti. Only it does exclude a life-fleeing exclusive meditation or an emotional Bhakti shut up in its own inner dream taken as the whole movement of the Yoga. One may have hours of pure absorbed meditation or of the inner motionless adoration and ecstasy, but they are not the whole of the integral Yoga.
  ***
  To say that one enters the stream of sadhana through work only is to say too much. One can enter it through meditation or Bhakti also, but work is necessary to get into full stream and not drift away to one side and go circling there. Of course all work helps provided it is done in the right spirit.
  ***
  --
  In spite of your disclaimer you practically come to the conclusion that all my nonsense about integral Yoga and karma being as much a way to realisation as jnana and Bhakti is either a gleaming chimaera or practicable only by Avatars or else a sheer laborious superfluitysince one can bump straight into the Divine through the open door of Bhakti or sweep majestically in on him by the easy high road of meditation; so why this scramble through the jungle of karma by which nobody ever reached anywhere? The old Yogas are true, are they not? Then why a new-fangled, more difficult Yoga with unheard talk about the supramental and God knows what else? There can be no answer to that; for I can only answer by a repetition of the statement of my own knowledge and experience that is what I have done in todays answer to Xand that amounts only to a perverse obstinacy in riding my gleaming and dazzling chimaera and forcing my nuisance of a superfluity on a world weary of itself and anxious to get a short easy cut to the Divine. Unfortunately, I dont believe in short cutsat any rate none ever led me where I wanted to go. However, let it rest there.
  I have never disputed the truth of the old Yogas I have myself had the experience of Vaishnava Bhakti and of Nirvana in the Brahman; I recognise their truth in their own field and for their own purpose the truth of their experience so far as it goesthough I am in no way bound to accept the truth of the mental philosophies founded on the experience. I similarly find that my Yoga is true in its own fielda larger field, as I think and for its own purpose. The purpose of the old is to get away from life to the Divineso, obviously, let us drop karma. The purpose of the new is to reach the Divine and bring the fullness of what is gained into life for that, Yoga by works is indispensable. It seems to me that there is no mystery about that or anything to perplex anybody it is rational and inevitable. Only you say that the thing is impossible; but that is what is said about everything before it is done.
  I may point out that Karmayoga is not a new but a very old Yoga: the Gita was not written yesterday and Karmayoga existed before the Gita. Your idea that the only justification in the Gita for works is that it is an unavoidable nuisance, so better make the best of it, is rather summary and crude. If that were all, the Gita would be the production of an imbecile and I would hardly have been justified in writing two volumes on it or the world in admiring it as one of the greatest scriptures, especially for its treatment of the problem of the place of works in spiritual endeavour. There is surely more in it than that. Anyhow your doubt whether works can lead to realisation or rather your flat and sweeping denial of the possibility contradicts the experience of those who have achieved this supposed impossibility. You say that work lowers the consciousness, brings you out of the inner into the outeryes, if you consent to externalise yourself in it instead of doing works from within; but that is just what one has to learn not to do. Thought and feeling can also externalise one in the same way; but it is a question of linking thought, feeling and act firmly to the inner consciousness by living there and making the rest an instrument. Difficult? Even Bhakti is not easy and Nirvana is for most men more difficult than all.
  You again try to floor me with Ramakrishna. But one thing puzzles me, as Shankaras stupendous activity of karma puzzles me in the apostle of inactionyou see you are not the only puzzled person in the world. Ramakrishna also gave the image of the jar which ceased gurgling when it was full. Well, but Ramakrishna spent the last years of his life in talking about the Divine and receiving disciples that was not action, not work? Did Ramakrishna become a half-full jar after being a full one or was he never full? Did he get far away from God and so begin a work? Or had he reached a condition in which he was bound neither to rajasic work and mental prattling nor to inactivity and silence, but could do from the divine realisation the divine work and speak from the inner consciousness the divine word? If the last, perhaps in spite of his dictum, his example at least is rather in my favour.
  --
  Finally, why suppose that I am against meditation or Bhakti? I have not the slightest objection to your taking either or both as the means of approach to the Divine. Only I saw no reason why anyone should fall foul of works and deny the truth of those who have reached, as the Gita says, through works perfect realisation and oneness of nature with the Divine, sasiddhim, sdharmyam, as did Janaka and others, simply because he himself cannot find or has not yet found their deeper secre thence my defence of works.
  ***
  --
  There are several sadhaks who have advanced very far by work alone, work consecrated to the Mother or else by work mainly with very little time for meditation. Others have advanced far by meditation mainly, but work also. Those who tried to do meditation alone and became impatient of work (because they could not consecrate it to the Mother) have generally been failures like X and Y. But one or two may succeed by meditation aloneif it is in their nature or if they have an intense and unshakable faith and Bhakti. All depends on the nature of the sadhak.
  As for the purtana mnua I do not see that the workers have their external being less changed than others. There are some who are where they were or only a little progressive, there are others who have changed a good dealnone is transformed altogether, though some have found a sure and sound spiritual and psychic basis. But that applies equally to workers who do not spend time in meditation and to those who spend a long time in meditation.
  --
  The ignorance underlying this attitude [that meditation is greater than work] is in the assumption that one must necessarily do only work or only meditation. Either work is the means or meditation is the means, but both cannot be! I have never said, so far as I know, that meditation should not be done. To set up an open competition or a closed one between works and meditation is a trick of the dividing mind and belongs to the old Yoga. Please remember that I have been declaring all along an integral Yoga in which Knowledge, Bhakti, workslight of consciousness, Ananda and love, will and power in worksmeditation, adoration, service of the Divine have all their place. Have I written seven volumes of the Arya all in vain? Meditation is not greater than Yoga of works nor works greater than Yoga by knowledgeboth are equal.
  Another thingit is a mistake to argue from ones own very limited experience, ignoring that of others, and build on it large generalisations about Yoga. This is what many do, but the method has obvious demerits. You have no experience of major realisations through work, and you conclude that such realisations are impossible. But what of the many who have had themelsewhere and here too in the Asram? That has no value? You kindly hint to me that I have failed to get anything by works? How do you know? I have not written the history of my sadhanaif I had, you would have seen that if I had not made action and work one of my chief means of realisationwell, there would have been no sadhana and no realisation except that, perhaps, of Nirvana.
  --
  I dont think you understood very well what Mother was trying to tell you. First of all she did not say that prayers or meditation either were no good how could she when both count for so much in Yoga? What she said was that the prayer must well up from the heart on a crest of emotion or aspiration, the Japa or meditation come in a live push carrying the joy or the light of the thing in it. If done mechanically and merely as a thing that ought to be done (stern grim duty!), it must tend towards want of interest and dryness and so be ineffective. It was what I meant when I said I thought you were doing Japa too much as a means for bringing about a result I meant too much as a device, a process laid down for getting the thing done. That again was why I wanted the psychological conditions in you to develop, the psychic, the mental for when the psychic is forward, there is no lack of life and joy in the prayer, the aspiration, the seeking, no difficulty in having the constant stream of Bhakti and when the mind is quiet and inturned and upturned there is no difficulty or want of interest in meditation. Meditation by the way is a process leading towards knowledge and through knowledge, it is a thing of the head and not of the heart; so if you want dhyana, you cant have an aversion to knowledge. Concentration in the heart is not meditation, it is a call on the Divine, on the Beloved. This Yoga too is not a Yoga of knowledge aloneknowledge is one of its means, but its base being self-offering, surrender, Bhakti, it is based on the heart and nothing can be eventually done without this base. There are plenty of people here who do or have done Japa and base themselves on Bhakti, very few comparatively who have done the head meditation; love and Bhakti and works are usually the basehow many can proceed by knowledge? Only the few.
  ***
  --
  To know about the sadhana with the mind is not indispensable. If one has Bhakti and aspires in the hearts silence, if there is the true love for the Divine, then the nature will open of itself, there will be the true experience and the Mothers power working within you, and the necessary knowledge will come.
  ***

2.10 - Conclusion, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  This electronic edition of Bhakti-Yoga was scanned / key-entered and proofed in November 2003 E.V. for Celephas Press, from the 1959 edition issued by Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta. No attempt has been made to retain the pagination of that edition.
  Further proof-reading of the Sanskrit is almost certainly necessary as my knowledge of that language is minimal. This document uses the Sanskrit 98 font from Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Rishikesh, India, with a few additions.

2.10 - THE MASTER AND NARENDRA, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "I-consciousness"after God-realization "The bhakta feels, 'O God, Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee.' This 'I' is the 'ego of Bhakti'. Why does such a lover of God retain the 'ego of Devotion'? There is a reason.
  The ego cannot begot rid of; so let the rascal remain as the servant of God, the devotee of God.
  --
  MASTER (to the younger Naren): "I have been eager to see you. You will succeed. Come here once in a while. Well, which do you prefer-jnna or Bhakti?"
  THE YOUNGER NAREN: "Pure Bhakti."
  MASTER: "But how can you love someone unless you know him? (Pointing to M, with a smile) How can you love him unless you know him? (To M.) Since a pure-souled person has asked for pure Bhakti, it must have some meaning.
  Genuine Bhakti
  "One does not seek Bhakti of one's own accord without inborn tendencies. This is the characteristic of prema- Bhakti. There is another kind of Bhakti, called jnna- Bhakti, which is love of God based on reasoning.
  (To the younger Naren) "Let me look at your body; take off your shirt. Fairly broad chest. You will succeed. Come here now and then."
  --
  MASTER: "Give up knowledge and reasoning; accept Bhakti. Bhakti alone is the essence.
  Is this the third day of your stay here?"
  --
  "Jnna goes as far as the outer court, but Bhakti can enter the inner court. The Pure Self is unattached. Both vidy and avidy are in It, but It is unattached. Sometimes there is a good and sometimes a bad smell in the air, but the air itself is unaffected.
  Nature of tman
  --
  MASTER (smiling): "A bullfrog was caught by a water-snake. The snake could neither swallow the frog nor let it go. As a result the frog suffered very much; he croaked continuously. And the snake suffered too. But if the frog had been seized by a cobra, he would have been quiet after one or two croaks. (All laugh.) (To the young devotees) "Read the Bhaktichaitanya-chandrika by Trailokya. Ask Trailokya for a copy. He has written well about Chaitanyadeva."
  A DEVOTEE: "Will he give it to us?"
  --
  MASTER: "But Mahima talks about Bhakti also. He loves to recite the hymn: 'what need is there of penance if God is worshipped with love?' "
  M. (smiling): "He says that because you make him say it."

2.1.1 - The Nature of the Vital, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is not at all a fact that your nature is incapable of love and Bhakti; on the contrary that is the right way for you. Meditation is all right, but it will be most profitable for you if it is directed towards the increase of love and devotion; the rest will come of itself afterwards.
  Also, it is not true that your nature is incapable of surrender; you made a great progress in that direction. But the complete surrender of all parts, especially of the whole vital, is certainly difficult. It can only come with the development of the consciousness. Meanwhile, that it has not fully come, is no reason for despair or giving up.

2.11 - The Vision of the World-Spirit - The Double Aspect, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  But the second suggestion is that what was figured in the human manifestation and the human relation is also a reality which accompanies and mitigates for our mind the tremendous character of the universal vision. The transcendence and cosmic aspect have to be seen, for without that seeing the limitations of humanity cannot be exceeded. In that unifying oneness all has to be included. But by itself that would set too great a gulf between the transcendent spirit and this soul bound and circumscribed in an inferior Nature. The infinite presence in its unmitigated splendour would be too overwhelming for the separate littleness of the limited, individual and natural man. A link is needed by which he can see this universal Godhead in his own individual and natural being, close to him, not only omnipotently there to govern all he is by universal and immeasurable Power, but humanly figured to support and raise him to unity by an intimate individual relation. The adoration by which the finite creature bows down before the Infinite, receives all its sweetness and draws near to a closest truth of companionship and oneness when it deepens into the more intimate adoration which lives in the sense of the fatherhood of God, the friendhood of God, the attracting love between the Divine Spirit and our human soul and nature. For the Divine inhabits the human soul and body; he draws around him and wears like a robe the human mind and figure. He assumes the human relations which the soul affects in the mortal body and they find in God their own fullest sense and greatest realisation. This is the Vaishnava Bhakti of which the seed is here in the Gita's words, but which received afterwards
  The Double Aspect
  --
   of the nervous parts or any bewilderment and confusion of the mind, because he descries not only what is terrible and overwhelming in its appearance, but also its high and reassuring significance. And thou also shouldst so envisage it without fear, without confusion of mind, without any sinking of the members; but since the lower nature in thee is not yet prepared to look upon it with that high strength and tranquillity, I will reassume again for thee my Narayana figure in which the human mind sees isolated and toned to its humanity the calm, helpfulness and delight of a friendly Godhead. The greater Form" - and this is repeated again after it has disappeared - "is only for the rare highest souls. The gods themselves ever desire to look upon it. It cannot be won by Veda or austerities or gifts or sacrifice; it can be seen, known, entered into only by that Bhakti which regards, adores and loves Me alone in all things."
  But what then is the uniqueness of this Form by which it is lifted so far beyond cognizance that all the ordinary endeavour of human knowledge and even the inmost austerity of its spiritual effort are insufficient, unaided, to reach the vision? It is this that man can know by other means this or that exclusive aspect of the one existence, its individual, cosmic or worldexcluding figures, but not this greatest reconciling Oneness of all the aspects of the Divinity in which at one and the same time and in one and the same vision all is manifested, all is exceeded and all is consummated. For here transcendent, universal and individual Godhead, Spirit and Nature, Infinite and finite, space and time and timelessness, Being and Becoming, all that we can strive to think and know of the Godhead, whether of the absolute or the manifested existence, are wonderfully revealed in an ineffable oneness. This vision can be reached only by the absolute adoration, the love, the intimate unity that crowns at their summit the fullness of works and knowledge. To know, to see, to enter into it, to be one with this supreme form of the Supreme becomes then possible, and it is that end which the Gita proposes for its Yoga. There is a supreme consciousness through which it is possible to enter into the glory of the Transcendent and contain in him the immutable Self and all mutable Becoming, -

2.11 - WITH THE DEVOTEES IN CALCUTTA, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  DEVOTEE: "He is writing an article on The Bhakti of the Paramahamsa'."
  MASTER: "Good! That will make Ram famous."

2.12 - THE MASTERS REMINISCENCES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER: "Sukadeva did not attain Knowledge through sdhan. Like Sukadeva, Nrada also had the Knowledge of Brahman. But he retained Bhakti in order to teach people.
  Prahlada sometimes assumed the attitude of 'I am He', sometimes that of a servant of God, and sometimes that of His child. Hanuman also was like that.
  --
  MASTER (to the devotees): "He looks thin. He has no small measure of Bhakti. He is overflowing with it, but it is of a rather troublesome nature." (Laughter.) Sri Ramakrishna used to address a certain devotee's wife by the name of "Habi's mother". Her brother, a college student aged about twenty, was there. He stood up, ready to go and play cricket. His younger brother, named Dwija, was also a devotee of the Master. Both brothers left the room. A few minutes later Dwija returned. The Master said, "Why didn't you go?" A devotee answered: "He wants to hear the music. Perhaps that is why he has come back."
  Trailokya, the Brahmo devotee, was to sing for the Master. Paltu arrived. The Master said: "Who is this? Ah! It is Paltu."

2.1.2 - The Vital and Other Levels of Being, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Your former sadhana was mostly on the vital plane. The experiences of the vital plane are very interesting to the sadhak but they are mixed, i.e. not all linked with the higher Truth. A greater, purer and firmer basis for the sadhana has to be established the psychic basis. For that reason all the old experiences are stopped. The heart has to be made the centre and through Bhakti and aspiration you have to bring forward the psychic being and enter into close touch with the Divine Shakti. If you can do this, your sadhana will begin again with a better result.
  ***

2.12 - The Way and the Bhakta, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  What then will be the divine nature, what will be the greater state of consciousness and being of the bhakta who has followed this way and turned to the adoration of the Eternal? The Gita in a number of verses rings the changes on its first insistent demand, on equality, on desirelessness, on freedom of spirit. This is to be the base always, - and that was why so much stress was laid on it in the beginning. And in that equality Bhakti, the love and
  404
  --
  This is the foundation, the condition, the means by which the supreme spiritual perfection is to be won, and those who have it in any way are all dear to me, says the Godhead, Bhaktiman me priyah.. But exceedingly dear, atva me priyah., are those souls nearest to the Godhead whose love of me is completed by the still wider and greatest perfection of which I have just shown to you the way and the process. These are the bhaktas who make the Purushottama their one supreme aim and follow out with a perfect faith and exactitude the immortalising Dharma described in this teaching. Dharma in the language of the Gita means the innate law of the being and its works and an action proceeding from and determined by the inner nature, svabhava-niyatam karma. In the lower ignorant consciousness of mind, life and body there are many dharmas, many rules, many standards and laws because there are many varying determinations and types
  406

2.13 - On Psychology, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Disciple: Christian mysticism derives its idea of rejoicing in suffering from intense Bhakti. Everything is seen to come from the beloved and welcomed.
   Sri Aurobindo: What does not come from God? Even evil and sin come from God. Why not accept them? If God drives you towards your neighbour's wife why not accept it? They sin and evil have their place in the universe to fulfil and in evolution also. But that is not the law of the human soul; the soul is not here for suffering. The Gita speaks of the Asuric Tapas and says that people who invite suffering torture the elements in the body and torture "Me", Krishna, who am seated in the body.

2.13 - THE MASTER AT THE HOUSES OF BALARM AND GIRISH, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MAHIMA (to Girish): "Yes, sir, both views are right. God has willed the path of knowledge. He has also willed the path of Bhakti. (Pointing to Sri Ramakrishna) As he says, by different paths people ultimately reach one and the same goal."
  MASTER (aside to Mahima): "You see, what I said was right, wasn't it?"
  --
  "Ah, what a state of mind I passed through! My mind would lose itself in the Indivisible Absolute. How many days I spent that way! I renounced Bhakti and bhakta, devotion and devotee. I became inert. I could not feel the form of my own head. I was about to die. I thought of keeping Ramlal's aunt near me.
  "I ordered the removal of all pictures and portraits from my room. When I regained outer consciousness, when the mind climbed down to the ordinary level, I felt as if I were being suffocated like a drowning person. At last I said to myself, 'If I can't bear people, then how shall I live?' Then my mind was again directed to Bhakti and bhakta.
  'What has happened to me?' I kept asking people. Bholanath said to me, 'This state of mind has been described in the Mahabharata.' How can a man live, on coming down from the plane of samdhi? Surely he requires devotion to God and the company of devotees. Otherwise, how will he keep his mind occupied?"
  --
  They too retained Bhakti after attaining samdhi."
  MAHIMA: "That is true, sir."
  --
  "Again, jnna and Bhakti are twin paths. Whichever you follow, it is God that you will ultimately reach. The Jnni looks on God in one way and the bhakta looks on Him in another way. The God of the Jnni is full of brilliance, and the God of the bhakta full of sweetness."
  Bhavanth was seated near the Master, listening to these words.
  --
  "By coming down a step or two from samdhi I enjoy Bhakti and bhakta.
  Vidy-my and Avidy-my

2.14 - AT RAMS HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The seed of Bhakti cannot be destroyed
  MASTER: "It can't be said that bhaktas need Nirvna. According to some schools there is an eternal Krishna and there are also His eternal devotees. Krishna is Spirit embodied, and His Abode also is Spirit embodied. Krishna is eternal and the devotees also are eternal. Krishna and the devotees are like the moon and the stars-always near each other. You yourself repeat: 'what need is there of penance if God is seen within and without?' Further, I have told you that the devotee who is born with an element of Vishnu cannot altogether get rid of Bhakti.
  Once I fell into the clutches of a Jnni, who made me listen to Vednta for eleven months. But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of Bhakti in me. No matter where my mind wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. Whenever I sang of Her, Nangta would weep and say, 'Ah! What is this?' You see, he was such a great Jnni and still he wept. (To the younger Naren and the others) Remember the popular saying that if a man drinks the juice of the lekh creeper, a plant grows inside his stomach. Once the seed of Bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits.
  "You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of Bhakti within you, you will surely come back to Hari."
  The devotees listened silently to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna asked Mahima, laughing, "What is the thing you enjoy most?"
  --
  "When I renounced everything with an offering of flowers at the Lotus Feet of the Mother, I said: 'Here, Mother, take Thy holiness, take Thy unholiness. Here, Mother, take Thy dharma, take Thy adharma. Here, Mother, take Thy sin, take Thy virtue. Here, Mother, take Thy good, take Thy evil. And give me only pure Bhakti.' But I could not say, 'Here, Mother, take Thy truth, take Thy falsehood.' "
  A devotee had brought some ice. Again and again the Master asked M., "Shall I eat it?"
  --
  MASTER: "Yes, yes. That's true. Dr. Durgacharan was a great drunkard. He used to drink twenty-four hours a day. But he was precise in his actions; he did not make any mistake in treating his patients. There is no harm in doing work after the attainment of Bhakti.
  But it is very hard. One needs intense tapasya.

2.14 - On Movements, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Sri Aurobindo: Yes, what is the good of doing Sadhana and working long years after it? It is in Bhakti Yoga that everything is done by Name and Bhava. Whether the path is easy or not depends on what Yoga you are doing. In the ordinary Bhakti Yoga you want a certain condition of emotional excitement and intensity. If you can get that you have done what you wanted.
   Disciple: Do you think that such an emotional intensity can be kept up permanently?
  --
   Sri Aurobindo: Oh yes, of course. I am not speaking of men who do the genuine Bhakti Yoga, they have to do a lot of things systematically and gradually.
   Disciple: There are very cheap yogis, some who used to give brahma darana vision of Brahman for five rupees. Some press the eyeballs and make people see the "light"!

2.1.5.4 - Arts, #On Education, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  About sadhana I should like to ask you: why not do sadhana through your music? Surely meditation is not the only way of doing sadhana. Through your music Bhakti and aspiration can grow and prepare the nature for realisation.
  If moments of meditation and concentration come of themselves then it is all right; but there is no need to force it.

2.15 - CAR FESTIVAL AT BALARMS HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Perfect Jnna and perfect Bhakti are one and the same thing. A man reasons, saying, 'Not this, not this'; he rejects the unreal. When his reasoning comes to an end, he attains the Knowledge of Brahman. Then he accepts what he rejected before. A man carefully climbs to the roof, rejecting the steps one by one. After reaching the roof he realizes that the steps are made of the same materials as the roof, namely, brick, lime, and brick-dust.
  "He who is aware of the high is also aware of the low. After the attainment of knowledge one looks alike on high and low.
  --
  "Jnna and Bhakti are one and the same thing. The difference is like this: one man says 'water', and another, 'a block of ice'.
  Two kinds of samdhi
  "Generally speaking there are two kinds of samdhi. First, sthita or jada samdhi: one attains it by following the path of knowledge-as a result of the destruction of the ego through reasoning. Second, bhava samdhi: one attains this by following the path of Bhakti. In this second samdhi a trace of ego remains, like a line, in order to enable the devotee to enjoy God, to taste His Lila. But one cannot understand all this if one is attached to 'woman and gold'.
  "I said to Kedr, 'You will never succeed if your mind dwells on "woman and gold".' I wanted to pass my hand over his chest, but I could not. He has knots and twists inside.

2.16 - VISIT TO NANDA BOSES HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER (smiling): "I see. You think as the intellectuals do: one reaps the results of one's actions. Give up these ideas. The effect of karma wears away if one takes refuge in God. I prayed to the Divine Mother with flowers in my hand: 'Here, Mother, take Thy sin; here, take Thy virtue. I don't want either of these; give me only real Bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy good; here, take Thy bad. I don't want any of Thy good or bad; give me only real Bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy dharma; here, take Thy adharma. I don't want any of Thy dharma or adharma; give me only real Bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy knowledge; here, take Thy ignorance. I don't want any of Thy knowledge or ignorance; give me only real Bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy purity; here, take Thy impurity. Give me only real Bhakti.' "
  NANDA "Can God violate law?"
  --
  MASTER: "There is the path of Jnna, and there is also the path of Bhakti. According to the Jnni everything can be eaten by applying the Knowledge of Brahman; but the follower of Bhakti keeps a little distinction."
  NANDA: "But I still maintain that you did not act rightly."

2.17 - December 1938, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Sri Aurobindo: It was the experience of psychic Bhakti.
   Disciple: But then it went away. How to retain that experience?

2.17 - THE MASTER ON HIMSELF AND HIS EXPERIENCES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  "I have practised all kinds of sdhan: Jnna yoga, karma yoga, and Bhakti yoga. I have even gone through the exercises of hathayoga to increase longevity. There is another Person dwelling in this body. Otherwise, after attaining samdhi, how could I live with the devotees and enjoy the love of God? Koar Singh used to say to me: 'I have never before seen a person who has returned from the plane of samdhi. You are none other than Nanak.'
  "I live in the midst of worldly people; on all sides I see 'woman and gold'. Nevertheless, this is the state of my mind: unceasing samdhi and bhava. That is the reason Pratap said, at the sight of my ecstatic mood: 'Good heavens! It is as if he were possessed by a ghost!' "
  --
  MASTER: "The book is filled with ideas of knowledge and devotion. The life of Savari and the hymn by Ahaly are filled with Bhakti.
  'But you must remember one thing: God is very far away from the mind tainted with worldliness."
  --
  "But how can I ask people to go forward? If worldly people go too far, then the bottom will drop out of their world. One day Keshab was conducting a religious service. He said, 'O God, may we all sink and disappear in the river of Bhakti!' When the warship was over I said to him: 'Look here. How can you disappear altogether in the river of Bhakti? If you do, what will happen to those seated behind the screen? But do one thing: sink now and then, and come back again to dry land."(All laugh.)
  Futility of argument

2.18 - January 1939, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Sri Aurobindo: I have found that Vaishnava Bhakti makes for very strong and rapid progress.
   Disciple: There is a line of Sadhus in Gujarat, who worship the Impersonal God.
  --
   Realisation is something very precious and one should guard it and live in it like in a fortress. One can go on adding whatever knowledge one wants or gets but always guarding ones realisation. For instance, it is not at all necessary to give up Bhakti to get Jnana.
   I found it difficult to go through his commentary on the Gita. It is more intellectual, it lacks the life and the heart. Otherwise, it was always a pleasure to read his writings. He seems to have lost the intensity of mental vision, the seeing mind which he had, but I thought that it was due to his turning towards Knowledge.

2.18 - SRI RAMAKRISHNA AT SYAMPUKUR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Surendra was disconsolate. He was crying to the Divine Mother and talking to Her. At this yearning of his beloved disciple Sri Ramakrishna could not control his tears. He looked at M. and said in a choked voice: "What Bhakti! Ah, what great love he feels for God!"
  MASTER (to Surendra): "Yesterday evening at seven or seven-thirty I saw your worship hall in a vision. I saw the divine image full of effulgence. This place and your hall were joined by a stream of light flowing between them."
  --
  DOCTOR: "Jnna makes a man speechless. He closes his eyes and sheds tears. Then he needs Bhakti."
  MASTER: " Bhakti may be likened to a woman who has access to the inner court of a house. Jnna can go only as far as the outer rooms."
  --
  MASTER: "A man may not know the right path, but if he has Bhakti and the desire to know God, then he attains Him through the force of sheer Bhakti. Once a sincere devotee set out on a pilgrimage to the temple of Jagannath in Puri. He did not know the way; he went west instead of south. He no doubt strayed from the right path, but he always eagerly asked people the way, and they gave him the right directions, saying, 'This is not the path; follow that one.' At last the devotee was able to get to Puri and worship the Deity. So you see, even if you are ignorant, someone will tell you the way if you are earnest."
  DOCTOR: "But the devotee in his ignorance did lose his way."
  --
  "Yes, God has form and, again, He has none. Do you know how it is? Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, is like a shoreless ocean. In the ocean visible blocks of ice are formed here and there by intense cold. Similarly, under the cooling influence, so to speak, of the Bhakti of Its worshippers, the Infinite transforms Itself into the finite and appears before the worshipper as God with form. That is to say, God reveals Himself to His bhaktas as an embodied Person. Again, as, on the rising of the sun, the ice in the ocean melts away, so, on the awakening of Jnna, the embodied God melts back into the infinite and formless Brahman."
  DOCTOR: "Yes. When the sun is up, the ice melts; and what is more, the heat of the sun turns the water into invisible vapour."
  --
  "Therefore people compare Bhakti, love of God, to the cooling light of the moon, and janana, knowledge, to the burning rays of the sun. I have heard that there are oceans in the extreme north and extreme south where the air is so cold that it freezes the water into huge blocks of ice here and there. Ships cannot move there; They are stopped by the ice."
  DOCTOR: "Then in the path of Bhakti the aspirant meets with obstacles."
  MASTER: "Yes, that is true. But it does not cause the devotee any harm. After all, it is the water of the Ocean of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, that is frozen into ice. It will not injure you if you continue to reason, saying, for instance, that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory. This reasoning will awaken in you Jnna, which, like the sun, will melt the ice of divine forms back into the infinite Ocean of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
  --
  Girindra Ghosh of PathuriaGhata once remarked, 'Since you cannot get rid of your passions-your lust, your anger, and so on-give them a new direction. Instead of desiring worldly pleasures, desire God. Have intercourse with Brahman. If you cannot get rid of anger, then change its direction. Assume the tamasic attitude of Bhakti, and say: 'What?
  I have repeated the hallowed name of Durga, and shall I not be liberated? How can I be a sinner any more? How can I be bound any more?' If you cannot get rid of temptation, direct it toward God. Be infatuated with God's beauty. If you cannot get rid of pride, then be proud to say that you are the servant of God, you are the child of God. Thus turn the six passions toward God."

2.19 - THE MASTER AND DR. SARKAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  How well he spoke last night of Bhakti! Bhakti, like a woman, can go into the inner court."
  DOCTOR: "Yes, that is very nice. But still one cannot give up Jnna."
  M: "But he does not say that. He accepts both knowledge and love, the Impersonal Truth and the Personal God. He says that through the cooling influence of Bhakti a part of the Reality takes the solid form of the Personal God; and with the rise of the sun of Jnna, the ice of form melts again into the formless water of the Absolute. In other words, you realize God with form through Bhaktiyoga, and the formless Absolute through Jnna yoga.
  "You must have noticed that he sees God so near him that he always converses with Him. When suffering from illness, he says to God, like a small child, 'Oh, Mother, it is hurting me!'
  --
  "There may be hollows on the top of a hill, but they cannot exist on the hill of the 'wicked ego'. Only if it is an 'ego of Knowledge' or an 'ego of Bhakti', does the pure water from the sky collect there.
  "It is true that the water from a hill-top may flow in all directions, but that is possible only from the hill of the 'ego of Knowledge'.

2.2.01 - The Outer Being and the Inner Being, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is the psychic being that feels love, Bhakti and union with the
  Letters on Yoga - I

2.2.01 - Work and Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The ordinary life consists in work for personal aim and satisfaction of desire under some mental or moral control, touched sometimes by a mental ideal. The Gitas Yoga consists in the offering of ones work as a sacrifice to the Divine, the conquest of desire, egoless and desireless action, Bhakti for the Divine, an entering into the cosmic consciousness, the sense of unity with all creatures, oneness with the Divine. This Yoga adds the bringing down of the supramental Light and Force (its ultimate aim) and the transformation of the nature.
  ***
  --
  The spiritual effectivity of work of course depends on the inner attitude. What is important is the spirit of offering put into the work. If one can in addition remember the Mother in the work or through a certain concentration feel the Mothers presence or force sustaining or doing the work, that carries the spiritual effectivity still farther. But even if one cannot in moments of clouding, depression or struggle do these things, yet there can be behind a love or Bhakti which was the original motive power of the work and that can remain behind the cloud and reemerge like the sun after dark periods. All sadhana is like that and it is why one should not be discouraged by the dark moments, but realise that the original urge is there and that therefore the dark moments are only an episode in the journey which will lead to greater progress when they are once over.
  ***
  --
  Yes, the use to which you have turned your vital capacities in Bengal and Bombay,to turn them into instruments of service and the Divine Work, is certainly the best possible. Through such action and such use of the vital power, one can certainly progress in Yoga. Vital power is necessary for work and you have an exceptional amount of it. Of course, to make a full Yogic use of it and of its force for action, the ego must gradually fade out and vital attachments and impulses be replaced by the spiritual motive. Bhakti, devotion to the Divine, and the spirit of service to the Divine are among the most powerful means for this change.
  ***
  --
  I may say however that I do not regard business as something evil or tainted, any more than it was so regarded in ancient spiritual India. If I did, I would not be able to receive money from X or from those of our disciples who in Bombay trade with East Africa; nor could we then encourage them to go on with their work but would have to tell them to throw it up and attend to their spiritual progress alone. How are we to reconcile Xs seeking after spiritual light and his mill? Ought I not to tell him to leave his mill to itself and to the devil and go into some Ashram to meditate? Even if I myself had had the comm and to do business as I had the comm and to do politics I would have done it without the least spiritual or moral compunction. All depends on the spirit in which a thing is done, the principle on which it is built and use to which it is turned. I have done politics and the most violent kind of revolutionary politics, ghora karma, and I have supported war and sent men to it, even though politics is not always or often a very clean occupation nor can war be called a spiritual line of action. But Krishna calls upon Arjuna to carry on war of the most terrible kind and by his example encourage men to do every kind of human work, sarvakarmi. Do you contend that Krishna was an unspiritual man and that his advice to Arjuna was mistaken or wrong in principle? Krishna goes farther and declares that a man by doing in the right way and in the right spirit the work dictated to him by his fundamental nature, temperament and capacity and according to his and its dharma can move towards the Divine. He validates the function and dharma of the Vaishya as well as of the Brahmin and Kshatriya. It is in his view quite possible for a man to do business and make money and earn profits and yet be a spiritual man, practise Yoga, have an inner life. The Gita is constantly justifying works as a means of spiritual salvation and enjoining a Yoga of works as well as of Bhakti and Knowledge. Krishna, however, superimposes a higher law also that work must be done without desire, without attachment to any fruit or reward, without any egoistic attitude or motive, as an offering or sacrifice to the Divine. This is the traditional Indian attitude towards these things, that all work can be done if it is done according to the dharma and, if it is rightly done, it does not prevent the approach to the Divine or the access to spiritual knowledge and the spiritual life.
  There is of course also the ascetic ideal which is necessary for many and has its place in the spiritual order. I would myself say that no man can be spiritually complete if he cannot live ascetically or follow a life as bare as the barest anchorites. Obviously, greed for wealth and money-making has to be absent from his nature as much as greed for food or any other greed and all attachment to these things must be renounced from his consciousness. But I do not regard the ascetic way of living as indispensable to spiritual perfection or as identical with it. There is the way of spiritual self-mastery and the way of spiritual self-giving and surrender to the Divine, abandoning ego and desire even in the midst of action or of any kind of work or all kinds of work demanded from us by the Divine. If it were not so, there would not have been great spiritual men like Janaka or Vidura in India and even there would have been no Krishna or else Krishna would have been not the Lord of Brindavan and Mathura and Dwarka or a prince and warrior or the charioteer of Kurukshetra, but only one more great anchorite. The Indian scriptures and Indian tradition, in the Mahabharata and elsewhere, make room both for the spirituality of the renunciation of life and for the spiritual life of action. One cannot say that one only is the Indian tradition and that the acceptance of life and works of all kinds, sarvakarmi, is un-Indian, European or Western and unspiritual.

2.2.02 - Becoming Conscious in Work, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  As for the feeling from within, it depends on being able to go inside. Sometimes it comes of itself with the deepening of the consciousness by Bhakti or otherwise; sometimes it comes by practicea sort of referring the matter and listening for the answerlistening is of course a metaphor but it is difficult to express it otherwiseit doesnt mean that the answer comes necessarily in the shape of words, spoken or unspoken, though it does sometimes or for some; it can take any shape. The main difficulty for many is to be sure of the right answer. For that it is necessary to be able to contact the consciousness of the Guru inwardly that comes best by Bhakti. Otherwise it may become a delicate and ticklish job. Obstacles, (1) normal habit of relying on outward means for everything, (2) ego, substituting its suggestions for the right answer, (3) mental activity, (4) intruder nuisances. I think you need not be eager for this, but rely on the growth of the inner consciousness. The above is only by way of general explanation.
  ***

2.2.03 - The Psychic Being, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Nature but supporting their evolution though not involved in it. Through this realisation silence, freedom, wideness, mastery, purity, a sense of universality in the individual as one centre of this divine universality become the normal experience. The psychic is realised as the Purusha behind the heart. It is not universalised like the Jivatman, but is the individual soul supporting from its place behind the heart-centre the mental, vital, physical, psychic evolution of the being in Nature. Its realisation brings Bhakti, self-giving, surrender, turning of all the movements Godward, discrimination and choice of all that belongs
  The Psychic Being
  --
  These things, love, compassion, kindness, Bhakti, Ananda are the nature of the psychic being, because the psychic being is formed from the Divine Consciousness, it is the divine part within you. But the lower parts are not yet accustomed to obey or value the influence and control of the psychic for in men the vital and physical are accustomed to act for themselves and do not care for what the soul wants. When they do care and obey the psychic, that is their conversion - they begin to put on themselves the psychic or divine nature.
  The psychic is the support of the individual evolution; it is connected with the universal both by direct contact and through the mind, vital and body.

2.20 - THE MASTERS TRAINING OF HIS DISCIPLES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  There are other aspects of feeling, such as Bhakti. When it runs to excess, some can suppress It and some cannot."
  M: "Divine ecstasy may or may not be explainable; but, sir, it cannot be denied that ecstasy, or love of God, is a unique thing. I have seen in your library Stebbing's book on Darwinism. According to Stebbing the human mind is wonderful, whether it be the result of evolution or of special creation. He gives a beautiful illustration from the theory of light. Light is wonderful, whether you know the wave theory of light or not."
  --
  "There is an element of joy in it, no doubt; but it is not a worldly joy; it is the joy of Bhakti and prema, devotion to God and ecstatic love of Him. I used to go to Sambhu Mallick's house. Once he said to me: 'You come here frequently. Yes, you come because you feel happy talking with me.' Yes, there is that element of happiness.
  "But there is a state higher than this. When a man attains It, he moves about aimlessly, like a child. As the child goes along, perhaps he sees a grasshopper and catches it. The man of that exalted mood, too, has no definite aim.

2.21 - 1940, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   Disciple: K. M. Munshi had written that Bhakti is nothing but sublimation of the sex impulse, and tried to trace its origin to that Rik. I had contradicted his view and shown that Shishnadeva only means sensualist.
   Sri Aurobindo: Quite so. And what do they have to say about the Dravidian tribe in Baluchistan? Is it black and flat-nosed? How the devil do they find out all these things from the Rigveda nomadic existence, gambling, crossing of the rivers, etc? I find that the fight between the Tritsus and Sudansahs in the eighth mandala is not a battle at all; it is something symbolic.

2.21 - IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES AT SYAMPUKUR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Dr. Sarkar on Bhakti and jnna
  DOCTOR (smiling, to M.): "You see, these goldfish are staring at me like devotees staring at God. They haven't noticed the food I have thrown into the water. Therefore I say, what will you gain by mere Bhakti? You need knowledge too. (M. smiles.) Look there at the sparrows! They flew away when I threw flour pellets to them. They were frightened. They have no Bhakti because they are without knowledge. They don't know that flour is their food."
  Dr. Sarkar and M. entered the drawing-room. There were shelves all around filled with books. The doctor rested a little. M. looked at the books. He picked up Canon Farrar's Life of Jesus and read a few pages. Dr. Sarkar told M. how the first homeopathic hospital was started in the teeth of great opposition. He asked M. to read the letters relating to it, which had been published in the "Calcutta Journal of Medicine" in 1876. Dr. Sarkar was much devoted to homeopathy.
  --
  M: "Dr. Sarkar was feeding the goldfish with cardamom shells and the sparrows with flour pellets. He said to me: 'Did you notice? The fish didn't see the cardamom shells and therefore went away. First of all we want knowledge, and then Bhakti. Did you notice those sparrows? They too flew away when I threw the pellets of flour. They have no jnna; therefore they have no Bhakti.' "
  MASTER (smiling): "That knowledge means the knowledge of the physical world, the knowledge of 'science'."
  --
  Referring to the Master, the doctor said: "What will a man accomplish with mere Bhakti?
  He needs jnna too."
  M. explains Master's conceptions of jnna and Bhakti M: "Why, the Master says that Bhakti comes after jnna. But his conception of jnna and Bhakti is quite different from yours. When he says that one obtains Bhakti after jnna, he means that first comes the Knowledge of Reality and then Bhakti; first the Knowledge of Brahman and then Bhakti; first the Knowledge of God and then love for Him. When you speak of jnna you mean the knowledge obtained through the senses. The jnna Sri Ramakrishna speaks of cannot be verified by our standards. The Knowledge of Reality cannot be tested by the knowledge obtained through the senses. But your jnna, the knowledge through the senses, can be verified."
  The doctor remained silent. Then he referred to the subject of Divine Incarnation.

2.21 - Towards the Supreme Secret, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  This decisive departure of the Gita's thought is indicated in the next two verses, of which the first runs with a significant sequence, "When one has become the Brahman, when one neither grieves nor desires, when one is equal to all beings, then one gets the supreme love and devotion to Me." But in the narrow path of knowledge Bhakti, devotion to the personal Godhead, can be only an inferior and preliminary movement; the end, the climax is the disappearance of personality in a featureless oneness with the impersonal Brahman in which there can be no place for Bhakti: for there is none to be adored and none to adore; all else is lost in the silent immobile identity of the Jiva with the Atman. Here there is given to us something yet higher than the Impersonal, - here there is the supreme Self who is the supreme Ishwara, here there is the supreme Soul and its supreme nature, here there is the Purushottama who is beyond the personal and impersonal and reconciles them on his eternal heights. The ego personality still disappears in the silence of the Impersonal, but at the same time there remains even with this silence at the back the action of a supreme Self, one greater than the Impersonal.
  There is no longer the lower blind and limping action of the ego and the three gunas, but instead the vast self-determining movement of an infinite spiritual Force, a free immeasurable Shakti.
  --
  This knowledge comes, says the Gita, by a highest Bhakti.
  It is attained when the mind exceeds itself by a supramental and high spiritual seeing of things and when the heart too rises in unison beyond our more ignorant mental forms of love and devotion to a love that is calm and deep and luminous with widest knowledge, to a supreme delight in God and an illimitable adoration, the unperturbed ecstasy, the spiritual Ananda. When the soul has lost its separative personality, when it has become the Brahman, it is then that it can live in the true Person and can attain to the supreme revealing Bhakti for the Purushottama and can come to know him utterly by the power of its profound Bhakti, its heart's knowledge, bhaktya mam abhijanati. That is the integral knowledge, when the heart's fathomless vision completes the mind's absolute experience, - samagram mam jnatva.
  "He comes to know Me," says the Gita, "who and how much I am and in all the reality and principles of my being, yavan yas casmi tattvatah.." This integral knowledge is the knowledge of the Divine present in the individual; it is the entire experience of the Lord secret in the heart of man, revealed now as the supreme Self of his existence, the Sun of all his illumined consciousness, the Master and Power of all his works, the divine Fountain of all his soul's love and delight, the Lover and Beloved of his worship and adoration. It is the knowledge too of the Divine extended in the universe, of the Eternal from whom all proceeds and in whom all lives and has its being, of the Self and Spirit of the cosmos, of Vasudeva who has become all this that is, of the Lord of cosmic existence who reigns over the works of Nature. It is the knowledge of the divine Purusha luminous in his transcendent eternity, the form of whose being escapes from the thought of the mind but not from its silence; it is the entire living experience of him as absolute Self, supreme Brahman, supreme Soul, supreme Godhead: for that seemingly incommunicable Absolute is at the same time and even in that highest status the originating Spirit of the cosmic action and Lord of all these existences. The soul of the liberated man thus enters by a reconciling knowledge, penetrates by a perfect simultaneous delight of the transcendent Divine, of the Divine in the individual and of the Divine in the universe into the Purushottama, mam visate tadanantaram. He becomes one with him in his self-knowledge and self-experience, one with him in his being and consciousness and will and worldknowledge and world-impulse, one with him in the universe and in his unity with all creatures in the universe and one with him beyond world and individual in the transcendence of the eternal Infinite, sasvatam padam avyayam. This is the culmination of the supreme Bhakti that is at the core of the supreme knowledge.
  And it then becomes evident how action continual and unceasing and of all kinds without diminution or abandonment of any part of the activities of life can be not only quite consistent with a supreme spiritual experience, but as forceful a means of reaching this highest spiritual condition as Bhakti or knowledge.
  Nothing can be more positive than the Gita's statement in this matter. "And by doing also all actions always lodged in Me he attains by my grace the eternal and imperishable status." This liberating action is of the character of works done in a profound union of the will and all the dynamic parts of our nature with the Divine in ourself and the cosmos. It is done first as a sacrifice with the idea still of our self as the doer. It is done next without that idea and with a perception of the Prakriti as the sole doer. It is done last with the knowledge of that Prakriti as the supreme power of the Divine and a renunciation, a surrender of all our actions to him with the individual as a channel only and an instrument. Our works then proceed straight from the Self and Divine within us, are a part of the indivisible universal action, are initiated and performed not by us but by a vast transcendent Shakti. All that we do is done for the sake of the Lord seated in the heart of all, for the Godhead in the individual and for the fulfilment of his will in us, for the sake of the Divine in the world, for the good of all beings, for the fulfilment of the world action and the world purpose, or in one word for the sake of the Purushottama and done really by him through his universal Shakti. These divine works, whatever their form or outward character, cannot bind, but are rather a potent means for rising out of this lower Prakriti of the three gunas to the perfection of the supreme, divine and spiritual nature. Disengaged from these mixed and limited dharmas we escape into the immortal Dharma which comes upon us when we make ourselves one in all our consciousness and action with the Purushottama. That oneness here brings with it the power to rise there into the immortality beyond Time. There we shall exist in his eternal transcendence.

2.2.2 - Sorrow and Suffering, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The gloom and other difficulties come from a resistance of inertia in the lower vital and physical consciousness. What you have to do is to prepare the consciousness by getting rid of the inertia. A sattwic gladness and calm and confidence is the proper temperament for this Yoga; gloom, depression and weeping should not be indulged in, as they stand in the way of the opening, unless the tears are the psychic weeping of release or adoration or a moved love and Bhakti. The progress made in controlling the sex and other rajasic movements of the lower vital is a good preparation, but not enough; by itself it is only the negative side, though indispensable. Aspire for a positive sattwic opening for strength, for light, for peace and do not worry or repine if the progress is slow at first, nor grudge the time and labour of preparation necessary before there can be a rapid advance in the Yoga.
  ***

2.22 - THE MASTER AT COSSIPORE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  M: "You said to the pundit of the Marwaris from Burrabazar that you had the desire for Bhakti. Isn't the desire for Bhakti to be counted as a desire?"
  MASTER: "No, just as hinche greens are not to be counted as greens. Hinche restrains the secretion of bile.
  --
  "Even after attaining jnana, the jnani can live in the world, retaining vidyamaya, that is to say, Bhakti, compassion, renunciation, and such virtues. This serves him two purposes: first, the teaching of men, and second, the enjoyment of divine bliss. If a jnani remains silent, merged in samadhi, then men's hearts will not be illumined. Therefore Sankaracharya kept the 'ego of Knowledge'. And further, a jnani lives as a devotee, in the company of bhaktas, in order to enjoy and drink deep of the Bliss of God.
  "The 'ego of Knowledge' and the 'ego of Devotion' can do no harm; it is the 'wicked I' that is harmful. After realizing God a man becomes like a child. There is no harm in the 'ego of a child'. It is like the reflection of a face in a mirror: the reflection cannot call names. Or it is like a burnt rope, which appears to be a rope but disappears at the slightest puff. The ego that has been burnt in the fire of Knowledge cannot injure anybody. It is an ego only in name.

2.22 - The Supreme Secret, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Gita assigns to Bhakti, to the love of God, to the adoration of the
  Highest, as the inmost spirit and motive of the supreme action and the crown and core of the supreme knowledge. The phrases used and the spiritual emotion with which they vibrate seem to give the most intense prominence possible and an utmost importance to the personal truth and presence of the Godhead. It is no abstract Absolute of the philosopher, no indifferent impersonal
  --
  Time who compels the action of the world and the Sun of all knowledge and the Lover and Beloved of the soul and the Master of all works and sacrifice. The result of an inmost opening to this deeper, truer, more secret mystery is the Gita's Yoga of integral knowledge, integral works and integral Bhakti. It is the simultaneous experience of spiritual universality and a free and perfected spiritual individuality, of an entire union with God and an entire dwelling in him as at once the frame of the soul's immortality and the support and power of our liberated action in the world and the body.
  And now there comes the supreme word and most secret thing of all, guhyatamam, that the Spirit and Godhead is an

2.2.3 - Depression and Despondency, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The difficulty you feel or any sadhak feels about sadhana is not really a question of meditation versus Bhakti versus works, it is a difficulty of the attitude to be taken, the approach or whatever you like to call it. Yours seems to be characterised on one side by a tremendous effort in the mind, on the other by a gloomy certitude in the vital which seems to watch and mutter under its breath if not aloud, Yes, yes, go ahead, my fine fellow, but , , ,1 and at the end of the meditation, What did I tell you, .2 A vital so ready to despair that even after a glorious flood of poetry, it uses the occasion to preach the gospel of despair. I have passed through most of the difficulties of the sadhak, but I cannot recollect to have looked on delight of poetical creation or concentration in it as something undivine and a cause for despair. This seems to me excessive.
  ***
  --
  This movement [of restlessness, sadness, gloom] is one that always tries to come when you have a birthday or a darshan and is obviously a suggestion of forces that want to disturb you and give you a bad birthday or bad darshan. You must get rid of the idea that it is in any way helpful for sadhana, e.g. makes you remember the Divine etc.if it does it makes you remember the Divine in the wrong way and in addition brings up the weakness, also depression, self-distrust etc. etc. quoi bon cheerfulness? It puts you in the right condition for the psychic to work and without knowing it you grow in just the right perceptions and right feelings for the spiritual attitude. This growth I have been observing in you for a fairly long time now and it is in the cheerful states that it is the most active. Japa, thinking of the Divine is all right, but it must be on this basis and in company with work and mental activity, for then the instrument is in a healthy condition. But if you become restlessly eager to do nothing but japa and think of nothing but the Divine and of the progress you have or have not made (Ramana Maharshi says you should never think of progress, it is according to him a movement of the ego), then all the fat is in the firebecause the system is not yet ready for a Herculean effort and it begins to get upset and think it is unfit and will never be fit. So be a good cheerful worker and offer your Bhakti to the Divine in all ways you can but rely on him to work out things in you.
  ***

2.23 - THE MASTER AND BUDDHA, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  HALDAR: "You are right, sir. I have seen enough of jnana. Now all I need in order to live in the world is a little Bhakti. The other day I came to you with a problem on my mind, and you solved it."
  MASTER (eagerly): "What was it?"
  --
  MASTER: "Yes, that may be true. When the river of Bhakti overflows, the land all around is flooded with water to the depth of a pole.
  "When a man is inebriated with divine love, he doesn't abide by the injunctions of the Vedas. He picks durva grass for the worship of the Deity, but he doesn't clean it. He picks whatever he lays his hands on. While gathering tulsi-leaves he even breaks the branches. Ah! What a state of mind I passed through!
  --
  Narendra had a little indigestion. He said to M.: "If one follows the path of Bhakti, then the mind comes down a little to the body. Otherwise, who am I? Neither man nor God. I have neither pleasure nor pain."
  It was about nine o'clock in the evening. Surendra and a few other devotees entered Sri Ramakrishna's room and offered him garlands of flowers. Baburam, Latu, and M. were also in the room.

2.25 - AFTER THE PASSING AWAY, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  NARENDRA: "Kali has a craving for knowledge. I scold him for that. Is knowledge so easy to get? Let his Bhakti first mature. The Master told Tarak at Dakshineswar that emotion and Bhakti are by no means the last word."
  M: "What other things did he say about you?"

2.25 - List of Topics in Each Talk, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Zen
   | 10-10-23 | Fitness for Yoga, The Yoga and Its Objects, Bhakti and Grace |
   | 09-02-24 | Kalelkar's The Gospel of Swadeshi, Gandhi on machines, wars |
  --
   | 12-03-26 | Bhawanipore centre; Siddhi and effort; Bhakti Yoga; seeing Light; Hatha Yoga |
   | 06-05-26 | Letter to Tirupari; this Yoga: vital being, asceticism; conditions for meditation |
  --
   | 17-01-39 | Shakti; Bhakti; Impersonal and Personal God; Vishnu Purna; Veda, Tantra, Vedanta |
   | 19-01-39 | Problems of society, communes; propaganda, morality; psychic and evolution; saints and yogis; boons of Krishna and Shiva; Bhakti, Jnana, Buddhism |
   | 20-01-39 | European politics and war. Western visitors and Ashramites |

2.3.01 - Concentration and Meditation, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  One can concentrate in any of the three centres which is easiest to the sadhak or gives most result. The power of the concentration in the heart-centre is to open that centre and by the power of aspiration, love, Bhakti, surrender remove the veil which covers and conceals the soul and bring forward the soul or psychic being to govern the mind, life and body and turn and open them all - fully - to the Divine, removing all that is opposed to that turning and opening.
  This is what is called in this Yoga the psychic transformation. The power of concentration above the head is to bring peace, silence, liberation from the body sense, the identification with mind and life and open the way for the lower (mentalvital-physical) consciousness to rise up to meet the higher Consciousness above and for the powers of the higher (spiritual or divine) Consciousness to descend into mind, life and body. This is what is called in this Yoga the spiritual transformation. If one begins with this movement, then the Power from above has in its descent to open all the centres (including the lowest centre) and to bring out the psychic being; for until that is done there is likely to be much difficulty and struggle of the lower consciousness obstructing, mixing with or even refusing the Divine Action from above. If the psychic being is once active this struggle and these difficulties can be greatly minimised.

2.3.02 - Mantra and Japa, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that of the Mother or of my name and the Mother. The concentration in the heart and the concentration in the head can both be usedeach has its own result. The first opens up the psychic being and brings Bhakti, love and union with the Mother, her presence within the heart and the action of her Force in the nature. The other opens the mind to self-realisation, to the consciousness of what is above mind, to the ascent of the consciousness out of the body and the descent of the higher consciousness into the body.
  ***
  --
  The name of the Divine is usually called in for protection, for adoration, for increase of Bhakti, for the opening up of the inner consciousness, for the realisation of the Divine in that aspect. As far as it is necessary to work in the subconscious for that, the Name must be effective there.
  ***
  --
  I am sorry the old reaction to the japa has recurred. Perhaps the mind is doing it too much as a means for a result. The japa is usually successful only on one of two conditions,if it is repeated with a sense of its significance, a dwelling of something in the mind on the nature, power, beauty, attraction of the Godhead it signifies and is to bring into the consciousness, that is the mental way,or if it comes up from the heart or rings in it with a certain sense or feeling of Bhakti making it alive, that is the emotional way. Either the mind or the vital has to give it support or sustenance. But if it makes the mind dry and the vital restless, it must be missing that support and sustenance. There is of course a third way, the reliance on the power of the mantra or name in itself, but then one has to go on till that power has sufficiently impressed its vibrations on the inner being to make it at a given moment suddenly open to the Presence or the Touch. But if there is a struggling or insistence for the result, then this effect which needs a quiet receptivity in the mind is impeded. That is why I insisted so much on mental quietude and on not too much straining or effortto give time to allow the psychic and the mind to develop the necessary condition of receptivitya receptivity as natural as when one receives an inspiration for poetry and music. It is also why I do not want you to discontinue your poetryit helps and does not hinder the preparation because it is a means of developing the right position of receptivity and bringing out the Bhakti which is there in the inner being. To spend all the energy on japa or meditation is a strain which even those who are accustomed to successful meditation find it difficult to dounless in periods when there is an uninterrupted flow of experiences from above.
  ***

2.3.02 - Opening, Sincerity and the Mother's Grace, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   oneself in the Mother's hands and open oneself to her by service, by Bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supramental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to
  April 1929 decide and do in you.
  --
  The direct opening of the psychic centre is easy only when the ego-centricity is greatly diminished and also if there is a strong Bhakti for the Mother. A spiritual humility and sense of submis16 July 1936 sion and dependence is necessary.
  164

2.3.04 - The Mother's Force, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  There are two ways of doing Yoga, one by knowledge and one's own efforts, the other by reliance on the Mother. In the last way one has to offer one's mind and heart and all to the Mother for her Force to work on it, call her in all difficulties, have faith and Bhakti. At first it takes time, often a long time, for the consciousness to be prepared in this way and during that time many difficulties can come up, but if one perseveres a time comes when all is ready, the Mother's Force opens the consciousness fully to the Divine, then all that must develop develops within, spiritual experience comes and with it the knowledge and union
  9 April 1937 with the Divine.
  --
  It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher Nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assisted, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and Bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine.
  That is the fundamental rationale of the Sadhana. It will be evident that the two most important things here are the opening of the heart centre and the opening of the mind centres to all that is behind and above them. For the heart opens to the psychic being and the mind centres open to the higher consciousness and the nexus between the psychic being and the higher consciousness is the principal means of the Siddhi. The first opening is effected by a concentration in the heart, a call to the Divine to manifest within us and through the psychic to take up and lead the whole nature. Aspiration, prayer, Bhakti, love, surrender are the main supports of this part of the Sadhana - accompanied by a rejection of all that stands in the way of what we aspire for. The second opening is effected by a concentration of the consciousness in the head (afterwards, above it) and an aspiration and call and a sustained will for the descent of the divine Peace, Power, Light, Knowledge, Ananda into the being
  - the Peace first or the Peace and Force together. Some indeed receive Light first or Ananda first or some sudden pouring down of Knowledge. With some there is first an opening which reveals to them a vast infinite Silence, Force, Light or Bliss above them
  --
  What happens in such cases is that when someone is accepted, the Mother sends out something of herself to him and this is with him wherever he goes and is always in connection with her being here. So when he does anything like what you did in this case with faith and Bhakti, it reaches, through that emanation of herself which is with him, the Mother's consciousness inner or outer and the Force goes in return for the result.
  241

2.3.05 - Sadhana through Work for the Mother, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  If they do it in the right spirit, then it may be sufficient for them, as it will bring the rest - because of the spirit in which they do it. It is a matter of idiosyncrasy - there are some who cannot get anything by meditation, so that work or Bhakti is their only
  24 May 1933 resource.
  --
  What you received and kept in the work is indeed the true basic consciousness of Karmayoga - the calm consciousness from above supporting and the strength from above doing the work, with that the Bhakti which feels it to be the Mother's consciousness present and working. You know now by experience what is the secret of Karmayoga.
  15 September 1936

2.3.07 - The Mother in Visions, Dreams and Experiences, #The Mother With Letters On The Mother, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  That she has brought down and planted Bhakti, I suppose.
  Today while meditating in the Pranam hall before the Mother came down, I saw: From a high place the Mother is coming down in us, wearing a rosy coloured sari and having a "Divine

2.3.1 - Ego and Its Forms, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Human nature has always been egoistic in its basis and so it brings in the ego motive into the work for the Divine also. That can only be overcome slowly, for what is ingrained in the human vital nature and has been active through hundreds of lives cannot disappear at once. To be conscious and to have the steady will to change and make the inner motive of Bhakti and self-giving prevail over the outer motives is the one thing necessary.
  ***
  --
  Your nature like that of almost everybody has been largely ego-centric and the first stages of the sadhana are with almost everybody ego-centric. The main idea in it is always ones own sadhana, ones own endeavour, ones own development, perfection, siddhi. It is inevitable for most, for without that personal endeavour there would not be sufficient will or push to bring about the first necessary changes. But none of these thingsdevelopment, perfection or siddhican really come in any degree of completeness or unmixed finality until this ego-centric attitude changes into the God-centric, until it becomes the development, perfection, siddhi of the Divine Consciousness, its will and its instrumentation in this body and that can only be when these things become secondary, and Bhakti for the Divine, love for the Divine, oneness with the Divine in consciousness, will, heart and body, become the sole aim the rest is then only the fulfilment of the Divine Will by the Divine Power. This attitude is never difficult for the psychic, it is its natural position and feeling, and whenever your psychic was in front, you had it in your central consciousness. But there were the outer mind, vital and physical that brought in their mixture of desire and ego and there could be no effective liberation in life and action till these were liberated. The thinking mind and higher vital can accept without too much difficulty, but the difficulty is with the lower vital and physical and especially with the most external parts of them; for these are entirely creatures of habit, recurring movement, an obstinate repetition of the same movement always. This habit is so blind and obstinate and persistent as to seem almost invincible, especially when it is used at a juncture like this by the Forces of Ignorance as their last refuge or point of attack. But the apparent invincibility is not true. The most ego-centric can change and do change by the psychic principle becoming established in the external nature. That it can be done only by the Divine Grace and Power is true (that is true of all spiritual change)but with the full consent of the being. As it was done in the inner being, so it can be done in the outer; give the adhesion of your full will and faith and, whatever the difficulty, it will be done.
  ***
  --
  Ego is not so easy to get rid of. It remains not only in spite of work, but in spite of knowledge or Bhakti. The disappearance of ego means complete mukti. But even the Yogi who feels his separate being swallowed up in cosmic consciousness or some kind of transcendental consciousness, yet when it comes to outward action and reaction finds the superficial ego still there. That is why the ascetic has a horror of action and says that without ego it cant be done. It can, but fully only when even these outermost things are finally taken up by the higher Consciousness entirely.
  ***

2.3.2 - Desire, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The desire for the Divine or Bhakti for the Divine is the one desire which can free one from all the othersat the core it is not a desire, but an aspiration, a soul need, the breath of existence of the inmost being, and as such it cannot be counted among desires.
    The correspondent wrote that when he had tried to fulfil a vital desire, it led to a condition of unquietness and misery.Ed.

2.4.01 - Divine Love, Psychic Love and Human Love, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The love that belongs to the spiritual planes is of a different kind the psychic has its own more personal love, Bhakti, surrender. Love in the higher or spiritual mind is more universal and impersonal. The two must join together to make the highest divine love.
  ***
  --
  And first about human love in the sadhana. The souls turning through love to the Divine must be through a love that is essentially divine, but as the instrument of expression at first is a human nature, it takes the forms of human love and Bhakti. It is only as the consciousness deepens, heightens and changes that that greater eternal love can grow in it and openly transform the human into the divine. But in human love itself there are several kinds of motive-forces. There is a psychic human love which rises from deep within and is the result of the meeting of the inner being with that which calls it towards a divine joy and union; it is, once it becomes aware of itself, something lasting, self-existent, not dependent upon external satisfactions, not capable of diminution by external causes, not self-regarding, not prone to demand or bargain but giving itself simply and spontaneously, not moved to or broken by misunderstandings, disappointments, strife and anger, but pressing always straight towards the inner union. It is this psychic love that is closest to the divine and it is therefore the right and best way of love and Bhakti. But that does not mean that the other parts of the being, the vital and physical included, are not to be used as means of expression or that they are not to share in the full play and the whole meaning of love, even of divine love. On the contrary, they are a means and can be a great part of the complete expression of divine love,provided they have the right and not the wrong movement. There are in the vital itself two kinds of love,one full of joy and confidence and abandon, generous, unbargaining, ungrudging and very absolute in its dedication and this is akin to the psychic and well-fitted to be its complement and a means of expression of the divine love. And neither does the psychic love or the divine love despise a physical means of expression wherever that is pure and right and possible: it does not depend upon that, it does not diminish, revolt or go out like a snuffed candle when it is deprived of any such means; but when it can use it, it does so with joy and gratitude. Physical means can be and are used in the approach to divine love and worship; they have not been allowed merely as a concession to human weakness, nor is it the fact that in the psychic way there is no place for such things. On the contrary they are one means of approaching the Divine and receiving the Light and materialising the psychic contact, and so long as it is done in the right spirit and they are used for the true purpose they have their place. It is only if they are misused or the approach is not right because tainted by indifference and inertia, or revolt or hostility, or some gross desire, that they are out of place and can have a contrary effect.
  But there is another way of vital love which is more usually the way of human nature and that is a way of ego and desire. It is full of vital craving, desire and demand; its continuance depends upon the satisfaction of its demands; if it does not get what it craves, or even imagines that it is not being treated as it deserves for it is full of imaginations, misunderstandings, jealousies, misinterpretationsit at once turns to sorrow, wounded feeling, revolt, pride, anger, all kinds of disorder, finally cessation and departure. A love of this kind is in its very nature ephemeral and unreliable and it cannot be made a foundation for divine love. There has been too much of this kind in the relations of the sadhaks with the Motherapproaching her, I suppose, as a human mother with all the reactions of the lower vital nature. For a long time it was perforce tolerated and this was the concession made to human weaknesseven accepted in the beginning as a thing too prominent in the human being not to be there to some extent but to be transformed by degrees; but too often, it has refused to transform itself and has made itself a source of confusion, disorder, asiddhi, sometimes complete disaster. It is for this reason that we discourage this lower vital way of human love and would like people to reject and eliminate these elements as soon as may be from their nature. Love should be a flowering of joy and union and confidence and self-giving and Ananda,but this lower vital way is only a source of suffering, trouble, disappointment, disillusion and disunion. Even a slight element of it shakes the foundations of peace and replaces the movement towards Ananda by a fall towards sorrow, discontent and Nirananda.
  In your own case you often write in your wrong moods as if human love, even with some of these lower ingredients, were the only thing possible to you. But that is not so at all, for it contradicts your own deepest experiences. Always what your inner being has asked is Love, Bhakti, Ananda and whenever it comes to the surface it is, even if only in a first elementary form, the divine love which it brings with it. A basis of deep and intense calm and stillness, a great intensity of emotion and Bhakti, an inrush of Ananda, this is in these moments your repeated experience. On the other hand when you insist too much on the love which exists by external cravings, what comes is the other movementfits of despondency, sorrow, Nirananda. In stressing on the psychic basis, in wishing you to conquer this other movement, I am only pointing you to the true way of your own natureof which the psychic Bhakti, the true vital love are the real moving forces, and the other is only a superficial immixture.
  ***

2.4.02.09 - Contact and Union with the Divine, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Being seen; that brings no change, unless the inner Bhakti makes
  it a means for change. There is also the reception of the living

2.4.02 - Bhakti, Devotion, Worship, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:2.4.02 - Bhakti, Devotion, Worship
  author class:Sri Aurobindo
  --
  Emotion is necessary in the Yoga and it is only the excessive emotional sensitiveness which makes one enter into despondency over small things that has to be overcome. The very basis of this Yoga is Bhakti and if one kills ones emotional being there can be no Bhakti. So there can be no possibility of emotion being excluded from the Yoga.
  ***
  --
  The very object of Yoga is a change of consciousness it is by getting a new consciousness or by unveiling the hidden consciousness of the true being within and progressively manifesting and perfecting it that one gets first the contact and then the union with the Divine. Ananda and Bhakti are part of that deeper consciousness, and it is only when one lives in it and grows in it that ananda and Bhakti can be permanent. Till then, one can only get experiences of ananda and Bhakti, but not the constant and permanent state. But the state of Bhakti and constantly growing surrender does not come to all at an early stage of the sadhana; many, most indeed, have a long journey of purification and tapasya to go through before it opens, and experiences of this kind, at first rare and interspaced, afterwards frequent, are the landmarks of their progress. It depends on certain conditions, which have nothing to do with superior or inferior Yoga capacity, but rather with a predisposition in the heart to open, as you say, to the Sun of the divine Influence.
  ***
  You are no doubt right about asking for the Bhakti, for I suppose it is the master-claim of your nature: for that matter, it is the strongest motive force that sadhana can have and the best means for all else that has to come. It is why I said that it is through the heart that spiritual experience must come to you. The loyalty and the rest that you have for me and the Mother may not, as you say, be part of the Bhakti itself, but they could not be there were not the Bhakti deep inside. It is its coming out in full force into the surface consciousness that is to be brought about and it seems to me that it is inevitable that it should come as the outer coverings fall off. What is within must surely make its way to the surface.
  ***
  You believe in traditional ideas of Yogawell, according to traditional ideas also, the one easiest method is that of Bhakti, reliance, self-giving, Bhakti, nirbhara, samarpaa. What still stands in your way for it was and is growing towards that in you, is an old confusion in mind and vital. The heart says, I want Bhakti, the mind says, No, no, let us reason, the vital says, Nonsense, I cant surrender. What you need is to quiet down that confusion created by the minds past sanskaras and either fix on the one thing or harmonise. Bhakti as the basic force, knowledge, strength and joy in the Divine as the result that is the harmony proposed in this Yoga. But in either way, if either is done, then peace becomes easily possible.
  ***
  What I meant by the change was the great improvement in your mental and vital attitude and reactions to outward things and to life which was very evident in your letters and account of happenings and gave them quite a new atmosphere warm and clear and psychic. Naturally the change is not yet absolute and integral, but it does seem to be fundamental. Moreover, it is certainly due to a growing Bhakti within, especially an acceptance of Bhakti as your path and of the implications of that acceptance. The mind has taken a new poise less intellectual and more psychic. What prevents you from seeing the growth of Bhakti (sometimes you have seen it and written about it) is a continuance of the physical mind which sets going with a constant repetitionary whirl of its fixed ideas whenever there is any touch of depression. One of these ideas is that you dont progress, will not progress and can never progress, the old thing that used to say, Yoga is not for the likes of me etc. The activity of the physical mind (next to the wrong activity of the vital) is what most keeps ones consciousness on the surface and prevents it from being conscious within and of what goes on within; it can see something of what happens on the surface of the nature, the results of the inner movement but not the cause of the happenings, which is the inner movement itself. That is one reason why I like to see the physical mind occupied in poetry and music etc. and other salubrious activities which help the inner growth and in which the inner Bhakti can express itself, for that keeps the physical mind busy, unoccupied with the mechanical rotatory movement and allows and helps the inner growth. The rotatory movement is less than it was before and I expect it one of these days to get tired of itself and give up altogether.
  ***
  --
  If it is the way of ahaituk Bhakti that you want to follow, that can be no obstacle; for there can be none better. For in that way everything can be made a meanspoetry and music for instance become not merely poetry and music and not merely even an expression of Bhakti, but themselves a means of bringing the experience of love and Bhakti. Meditation itself becomes not an effort of mental concentration, but a flow of love and adoration and worship. If simply and sincerely followed, the way of ahaituk Bhakti can lead as far as any other.
  ***
  --
  These [arguments against external Bhakti] are the exaggerations made by the mind taking one side of Truth and ignoring the other sides.1 The inner Bhakti is the main thing and without it the external becomes a form and mere ritual, but the external has its place and use when it is straightforward and sincere.
  ***
  --
  A Bhakti which claims everything from the Divine and does not give itself is not real Bhakti.
    The correspondent had been asked by a fellow-sadhak, "Why do you want to meditate on a photograph of Sri Aurobindo? If you can meditate within, this external form of Bhakti is not necessary."Ed.
  ***
  --
  The nature of Bhakti is adoration, worship, self-offering to what is greater than oneself the nature of love is a feeling or seeking for closeness and union. Self-giving is the character of both; both are necessary in the Yoga and each gets its full force when supported by the other.
  ***
  Love is not a name of the Divine, it is a power of his consciousness and being. Bhakti and love are not quite the same thing, but love is one of the elements of Bhakti. There are different kinds of Bhakti and that which is of the nature of love is the strongest and is considered the highest, most intense and ecstatic of all. Also in love itself that form of it which is made of self-giving; surrender, absolute adoration, urge towards a selfless union is the true kind of Bhakti that is love. Conquering love or Love the victor1 means love prevailing over all that stands in the way of its reign, over ignorance, falsehood, selfishness, ego, passion and lust, outward or self-regarding desires and all else till it reigns alone and victorious, bringing down all the other gifts of the Divine Consciousness. It is by force of love and selflessness and self-giving that the sadhak can help Love to conquer.
  ***
  I suppose it [prema Bhakti] is Bhakti with love as its basis; there can be Bhakti of worship, submission, reverence, obedience etc. but without love.
  ***
  Selflessness, self-giving, entire faith and confidence, absence of demand and desire, surrender to the Divine Will, love concentrated on the Divineare some of the main signs [of true love and Bhakti].
    These are probably the names of two roses named by the Mother according to their significance.Ed.
  --
  Emotional Bhakti
  It is a misunderstanding to suppose that I am against Bhakti or against emotional Bhaktiwhich comes to the same thing, since without emotion there can be no Bhakti. It is rather the fact that in my writings on Yoga I have given Bhakti the highest place. All that I have said at any time which could account for this misunderstanding was against an unpurified emotionalism which, according to my experience, leads to want of balance, agitated and disharmonious expression or even contrary reactions and, at its extreme, nervous disorder. But the insistence on purification does not mean that I condemn true feeling and emotion any more than the insistence on a purified mind or will means that I condemn thought and will. On the contrary, the deeper the emotion, the more intense the Bhakti, the greater is the force for realisation and transformation. It is oftenest through intensity of emotion that the psychic being awakes and there is an opening of the inner doors to the Divine.
  ***
  --
  Vital Bhakti
  Vital Bhakti is usually full of desires and demands,it expects a return for what it gives; it loves the Divine more for its own sake than for the sake of the Divine. If it does not get what it wants, it is capable of revolting or turning elsewhere. It is often pursued by jealousy, misunderstanding, unfaithfulness, anger etc.,the usual imperfections of human love, and can turn these against its object of Bhakti. On the other hand, if there is vital Bhakti governed by the psychic, these defects disappear and the vital gives an ardour and enthusiasm to the love and Bhakti which gives it a greater push for effectuation in action and life. The vital should always be the instrument of the soul for self-expression in life and not act on its own account (ego, desire) or on its own separate impulse.
  ***
  The vital Bhakti is egoistic, usually full of claims and demands on the Divine and revolting when they are not satisfied. The mental is simply a worship in the thought and idea without love in the heart.
  ***
  It [an inner state of dryness] is because it is the analysing mind that is active that always brings a certain dryness; the higher mind or the intuition bring a much more spontaneous and complete knowledge the beginning of the real Jnana without this effect. The Bhakti which you feel is psychic, but with a strong vital tinge; and it is the mind and the vital between them that bring in the opposition between the Bhakti and the Jnana. The vital concerned only with emotion finds the mental knowledge dry and without rasa, the mind finds the Bhakti to be a blind emotion fully interesting only when its character has been analysed and understood. There is no such opposition when the psychic and the higher plane knowledge act together predominantly the psychic welcomes knowledge that supports its emotion, the higher thought consciousness rejoices in the Bhakti.
  ***
  It is a mistake to think that a constant absence of vykulat is a sign that the aspiration or will for the Divine is not true. It is only in certain exclusive forms of Bhakti Yoga that a constant vykulat or weeping or hhkra (the latter is more often vital than psychic) is the rule. Here though the psychic yearning may come sometimes or often in intense waves, what comes as the basis is a quietude of the being and in that quietude a more and more steady perception of the truth and seeking for the Divine and need of the Divine so that all is turned towards that more and more. It is into this that the experience and growing realisation come. Because the opening is growing in you, you are getting this bhsa of the presence (beyond form) of the Mother. It is as the inner realisation grows that the presence in the physical form takes its full value.
  ***
  --
  I have not had time yet to write about the enmity theory. I will do so more fully in two or three days. But I may say at once that the idea does not seem to me at all true that by enmity to the Divine one can reach the Divine and that too more quickly than by Bhakti. The idea is contrary to the spiritual truth of things, to reason, to nature and to experience.
  ***
  --
  Seeing is of many kinds. There is a superficial seeing which only erects or receives momentarily or for some time an image of the Being seen; that brings no change, unless the inner Bhakti makes it a means for change. There is also the reception of the living image of the Divine in one of his forms into oneself,say, in the heart,that can have an immediate effect or initiate a period of spiritual growth. There is also the seeing outside oneself in a more or less objective and subtle physical or physical way.
  As for milana, the abiding union is within and that can be there at all times; the outer milana or contact is not usually abiding. There are some who often or almost invariably have the contact whenever they worship; the Deity may become living to them in the picture or other image they worship, may move and act through it; others may feel him always present, outwardly, subtle-physically, abiding with them where they live or in the very room; but sometimes this is only for a period. Or they may feel the Presence with them, see it frequently in a body (but not materially except sometimes), feel its touch or embrace, converse with it constantly,that is also one kind of milana. The greatest milana is one in which one is constantly aware of the Deity constantly abiding in oneself, in everything in the world, holding all the world in him, identical with existence and yet supremely beyond the world but in the world too one sees, hears, feels nothing but him, so that the very senses bear witness to him alone and this does not exclude such specific personal manifestations as those vouchsafed to Krishnaprem and his guru. The more ways there are of the union, the better.
  --
  If the prapratih brings down a powerful Presence [into an image], that may remain there long after the one who has brought it has left his body. Usually it is maintained by the Bhakti of the officiant and the sincerity of belief and worship of those who come to the temple for adoration. If these fail there is likely to be a withdrawal of the Presence.
  ***
  The scientific explanation [for the disappearance of food offered to a deity in a temple] would be that somebody, a servant perhaps, disregarding prohibitions got secretly in and polished off the food of offering when there was nobody to see! That however assumes that occult manifestations are impossible, which is not the case; it is besides only a probable inference or theory. Occultists, or some of them, hold that the food offered to unseen beings is sometimes (but not by any means always) taken in its subtle elements, leaving the outward body of the food as it was. The actual taking of the food, physically, is rare, but instances are believed to have happened where the Bhakti was very strong.
  ***

2.4.1 - Human Relations and the Spiritual Life, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  I take it therefore that the condition you describe is a period of transition and change, negative in its beginning, as these movements often are at first, so as to create a vacant space for the new positive to appear and live in it and fill it. But the vital, not having a long continued or at all sufficient or complete experience of what is to fill the vacancy, feels only the loss and regrets it even while another part of the being, another part even of the vital, is ready to let go what is disappearing and does not yearn to keep it. If it were not for this movement of the vital (which in your case has been very strong and large and avid of life), the disappearance of these things would, at least after the first sense of void, bring only a feeling of peace, relief and a still expectation of greater things. What is intended in the first place to fill the void was indicated in the peace and joy which came to you as the touch of Shivanaturally, this would not be all but a beginning, a basis for a new self, a new consciousness, an activity of a greater nature; as I told you, it is a deep spiritual calm and peace that is the only stable foundation for a lasting Bhakti and Ananda. In that new consciousness there would be a new basis for relations with others; for an ascetic dryness or isolated loneliness cannot be your spiritual destiny since it is not consonant with your Swabhava which is made for joy, largeness, expansion, a comprehensive movement of the life-force. Therefore do not be discouraged; wait upon the purifying movement of Shiva.
  ***

3.01 - Love and the Triple Path, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Love fulfilled does not exclude knowledge, but itself brings knowledge; and the completer the knowledge, the richer the possibility of love. ''By Bhakti'' says the Lord in the Gita ''shall a man know Me in all my extent and greatness and as I am in the principles of my being, and when he has known Me in the principles of my being, then he enters into Me.'' Love without knowledge is a passionate and intense, but blind, crude, often dangerous thing, a great power, but also a stumbling-block; love, limited in knowledge, condemns itself in its fervour and often by its very fervour to narrowness; but love leading to perfect knowledge brings the infinite and absolute union. Such love is not inconsistent with, but rather throws itself with joy into divine works; for it loves God and is one with him in all his being, and therefore in all beings, and to work for the world is then to feel and fulfil multitudinously one's love for God. This is the trinity of our powers, the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start on our journey by the path of devotion with Love for the Angel of the Way to find in the ecstasy of the divine delight of the All-Lover's being the fulfilment of ours, its secure home and blissful abiding-place and the centre of its universal radiation.
  Since then in the union of these three powers lies our base of perfection, the seeker of an integral self-fulfilment in the Divine must avoid or throw away, if he has them at all, the misunderstanding and mutual depreciation which we often find existent between the followers of the three paths. Those who have the cult of knowledge seem often, if not to despise, yet to look downward from their dizzy eminence on the path of the devotee as if it were a thing inferior, ignorant, good only for souls that are not yet ready for the heights of the Truth. It is true that devotion without knowledge is often a thing raw, crude, blind and dangerous, as the errors, crimes, follies of the religious have too often shown. But this is because devotion in them has not found its own path, its own real principle, has not therefore really entered on the path, but is fumbling and feeling after it, is on one of the bypaths that lead to it; and knowledge too at this stage is as imperfect as devotion, dogmatic, schismatic, intolerant, bound up in the narrowness of some single and exclusive principle, even that being usually very imperfectly seized. When the devotee has grasped the power that shall raise him, has really laid hold on love, that in the end purifies and enlarges him as effectively as knowledge can; they are equal powers, though their methods of arriving at the same goal are different. The pride of the philosopher looking down on the passion of the devotee arises, as does all pride, from a certain deficiency of his nature; for the intellect too exclusively developed misses what the heart has to offer. The intellect is not in every way superior to the heart; if it opens more readily doors at which the heart is apt to fumble in vain, it is, itself, apt to miss truths which to the heart are very near and easy to hold. And if when the way of thought deepens into spiritual experience, it arrives readily at the ethereal heights, pinnacles, skyey widenesses, it cannot without the aid of the heart fathom the intense and rich abysses and oceanic depths of the divine being and the divine Ananda.
  The way of Bhakti is supposed often to be necessarily inferior because it proceeds by worship which belongs to that stage of spiritual experience where there is a difference, an insufficient unity between the human soul and the Divine, because its very principle is love and love means always two, the lover and the beloved, a dualism therefore, while oneness is the highest spiritual experience, and because it seeks after the personal God while the Impersonal is the highest and the eternal truth, if not even the sole Reality. But worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. Love too as well as knowledge brings us to a highest oneness and it gives to that oneness its greatest possible depth and intensity. It is true that love returns gladly upon a difference in oneness, by which the oneness itself becomes richer and sweeter. But here we may say that the heart is wiser than the thought, at least than that thought which fixes upon opposite ideas of the Divine and concentrates on one to the exclusion of the other which seems its contrary, but is really its complement and a means of its greatest fulfilment. This is the weakness of the mind that it limits itself by its thoughts, its positive and negative ideas, the aspects of the Divine Reality that it sees, and tends too much to pit one against the other.
  Thought in the mind, vicra, the philosophic trend by which mental knowledge approaches the Divine, is apt to lend a greater importance to the abstract over the concrete, to that which is high and remote over that which is intimate and near. It finds a greater truth in the delight of the One in itself, a lesser truth or even a falsehood in the delight of the One in the Many and of the Many in the One, a greater truth in the impersonal and the Nirguna, a lesser truth or a falsehood in the personal and the Saguna. But the Divine is beyond our oppositions of ideas, beyond the logical contradictions we make between his aspects. He is not, we have seen, bound and restricted by exclusive unity; his oneness realises itself in infinite variation and to the joy of that love has the completest key, without therefore missing the joy of the unity. The highest knowledge and highest spiritual experience by knowledge find his oneness as perfect in his various relations with the Many as in his self-absorbed delight. If to thought the Impersonal seems the wider and higher truth, the Personal a narrower experience, the spirit finds both of them to be aspects of a Reality which figures itself in both, and if there is a knowledge of that Reality to which thought arrives by insistence on the infinite Impersonality, there is also a knowledge of it to which love arrives by insistence on the infinite Personality. The spiritual experience of each leads, if followed to the end, to the same ultimate Truth. By Bhakti as by knowledge, as the Gita tells us, we arrive at unity with the Purushottama, the Supreme who contains in himself the impersonal and numberless personalities, the qualityless and infinite qualities, pure being, consciousness and delight and the endless play of their relations.
  The devotee on the other hand tends to look down on the sawdust dryness of mere knowledge. And it is true that philosophy by itself without the rapture of spiritual experience is something as dry as it is clear and cannot give all the satisfaction we seek, that its spiritual experience even, when it has not left its supports of thought and shot up beyond the mind, lives too much in an abstract delight, and that what it reaches, is not indeed the void it seems to the passion of the heart, but still has the limitations of the peaks. On the other hand, love itself is not complete without knowledge. The Gita distinguishes between three initial kinds of Bhakti, that which seeks refuge in the Divine from the sorrows of the world, rta, that which, desiring, approaches the Divine as the giver of its good, arthrth, and that which attracted by what it already loves, but does not yet know, yearns to know this divine Unknown, jijsu; but it gives the palm to the Bhakti that knows. Evidently the intensity of passion which says, ''I do not understand, I love,'' and loving, cares not to understand, is not love's last self-expression, but its first, nor is it its highest intensity. Rather as knowledge of the Divine grows, delight in the Divine and love of it must increase. Nor can mere rapture be secure without the foundation of knowledge; to live in what we love, gives that security, and to live in it means to be one with it in consciousness, and oneness of consciousness is the perfect condition of knowledge. Knowledge of the Divine gives to love of the Divine its firmest security, opens to it its own widest joy of experience, raises it to its highest pinnacles of outlook.
  If the mutual misunderstandings of these two powers are an ignorance, no less so is the tendency of both to look down on the way of works as inferior to their own loftier pitch of spiritual achievement. There is an intensity of love, as there is an intensity of knowledge, to which works seem something outward and distracting. But works are only thus outward and distracting when we have not found oneness of will and consciousness with the Supreme. When once that is found, works become the very power of knowledge and the very outpouring of love. If knowledge is the very state of oneness and love its bliss, divine works are the living power of its light and sweetness. There is a movement of love, as in the aspiration of human love, to separate the lover and the loved in the enjoyment of their exclusive oneness away from the world and from all others, shut up in the nuptial chambers of the heart. That is perhaps an inevitable movement of this path. But still the widest love fulfilled in knowledge sees the world not as something other and hostile to this joy, but as the being of the Beloved and all creatures as his being, and in that vision divine works find their joy and their justification. This is the knowledge in which an integral Yoga must live. We have to start Godward from the powers of the mind, the intellect, the will, the heart, and in the mind all is limited. Limitations, exclusiveness there can hardly fail to be at the beginning and for a long time on the way. But an integral Yoga will wear these more loosely than more exclusive ways of seeking, and it will sooner emerge from the mental necessity. It may commence with the way of love, as with the way of knowledge or of works; but where they meet, is the beginning of its joy of fulfilment. Love it cannot miss, even if it does not start from it; for love is the crown of works and the flowering of knowledge.

3.02 - The Motives of Devotion, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  All our instincts and the movements of our being begin by supporting themselves on the ordinary motives of our lower human nature, - mixed and egoistic motives at first, but afterwards they purify and elevate themselves, they become an intense and special need of our higher nature quite apart from the results our actions bring with them; finally they exalt themselves into a sort of categorical imperative of our being, and it is through our obedience to this that we arrive at that supreme something self-existent in us which was all the time drawing us towards it, first by the lures of our egoistic nature, then by something much higher, larger, more universal, until we are able to feel its own direct attraction which is the strongest and most imperative of all. In the transformation of ordinary religious worship into the Yoga of pure Bhakti we see this development from the motived and interested worship of popular religion into a principle of motiveless and self-existent love. This last is in fact the touchstone of the real Bhakti and shows whether we are really in the central way or are only upon one of the bypaths leading to it. We have to throw away the props of our weakness, the motives of the ego, the lures of our lower nature before we can deserve the divine union.
  Faced with the sense of a Power or perhaps a number of Powers greater and higher than himself by whom his life in Nature is overshadowed, influenced, governed, man naturally applies to it or to them the first primitive feelings of the natural being among the difficulties, desires and dangers of that life, - fear and interest. The enormous part played by these motives in the evolution of the religious instinct, is undeniable, and in fact, man being what he is, it could hardly have been less; and even when religion has advanced fairly far on its road, we see these motives still surviving, active, playing a sufficiently large part, justified and appealed to by Religion herself in support of her claims on man. The fear of God, it is said, - or, it may be added for the sake of historical truth, the fear of the Gods, - is the beginning of religion, a half-truth upon which scientific research, trying to trace the evolution of religion, ordinarily in a critical and often a hostile rather than in a sympathetic spirit, has laid undue emphasis. But not the fear of God only, for man does not act, even most primitively, from fear alone, but from twin motives, fear and desire, fear of things unpleasant and maleficent and desire of things pleasant and beneficent, - therefore from fear and interest. Life to him is primarily and engrossingly, - until he learns to live more in his soul and only secondarily in the action and reaction of outward things, - a series of actions and results, things to be desired, pursued and gained by action and things to be dreaded and shunned, yet which may come upon him as a result of action. And it is not only by his own action but by that also of others and of Nature around him that these things come to him. As soon, then, as he comes to sense a Power behind all this which can influence or determine action and result, he conceives of it as a dispenser of boons and sufferings, able and under certain conditions willing to help him or hurt, save and destroy.
  --
  Along with these motives there arises another development of personal feeling, first of the awe which one naturally feels for something vast, powerful and incalculable beyond our nature by a certain inscrutability in the springs and extent of its action, and of the veneration and adoration which one feels for that which is higher in its nature or its perfection than ourselves. For, even while preserving largely the idea of a God endowed with the qualities of human nature, there still grows up along with it, mixed up with it or superadded, the conception of an omniscience, an omnipotence and a mysterious perfection quite other than our nature. A confused mixture of all these motives, variously developed, often modified, subtilised or glossed over, is what constitutes nine-tenths of popular religion; the other tenth is a suffusion of the rest by the percolation into it of nobler, more beautiful and profounder ideas of the Divine which minds of a greater spirituality have been able to bring into the more primitive religious concepts of mankind. The result is usually crude enough and a ready target for the shafts of scepticism and unbelief, - powers of the human mind which have their utility even for faith and religion, since they compel a religion to purify gradually what is crude or false in its conceptions. But what we have to see is how far in purifying and elevating the religious instinct of worship any of these earlier motives need to survive and enter into the Yoga of devotion which itself starts from worship. That depends on how far they correspond to any truth of the divine Being and its relations with the human soul; for we seek by Bhakti union with the Divine and true relation with it, with its truth and not with any mirage of our lower nature and of its egoistic impulses and ignorant conceptions.
  The ground on which sceptical unbelief assails Religion, namely, that there is in fact no conscient Power or Being in the universe greater and higher than ourselves or in any way influencing or controlling our existence, is one which Yoga cannot accept, as that would contradict all spiritual experience and make Yoga itself impossible. Yoga is not a matter of theory or dogma, like philosophy or popular religion, but a matter of experience. Its experience is that of a conscient universal and supracosmic Being with whom it brings us into union, and this conscious experience of union with the Invisible, always renewable and verifiable, is as valid as our conscious experience of a physical world and of visible bodies with whose invisible minds we daily communicate. Yoga proceeds by conscious union, the conscious being is its instrument, and a conscious union with the Inconscient cannot be. It is true that it goes beyond the human consciousness and in Samadhi becomes superconscient, but this is not an annullation of our conscious being, it is only its self-exceeding, the going beyond its present level and normal limits.
  So far, then, all Yogic experience is agreed. But Religion and the Yoga of Bhakti go farther; they attribute to this Being a Personality and human relations with the human being. In both the human being approaches the Divine by means of his humanity, with human emotions, as he would approach a fellow-being, but with more intense and exalted feelings; and not only so, but the Divine also responds in a manner answering to these emotions. In that possibility of response lies the whole question; for if the Divine is impersonal, featureless and relationless, no such response is possible and all human approach to it becomes an absurdity; we must rather dehumanise, depersonalise, annul ourselves in so far as we are human beings or any kind of beings; on no other conditions and by no other means can we approach it. Love, fear, prayer, praise, worship of an Impersonality which has no relation with us or with anything in the universe and no feature that our minds can lay hold of, are obviously an irrational foolishness. On such terms religion and devotion become out of the question. The Adwaitin in order to find a religious basis for his bare and sterile philosophy, has to admit the practical existence of God and the gods and to delude his mind with the language of Maya. Buddhism only became a popular religion when Buddha had taken the place of the supreme Deity as an object of worship.
  Even if the Supreme be capable of relations with us but only of impersonal relations, religion is robbed of its human vitality and the Path of Devotion ceases to be effective or even possible. We may indeed apply our human emotions to it, but in a vague and imprecise fashion, with no hope of a human response: the only way in which it can respond to us, is by stilling our emotions and throwing upon us its own impersonal calm and immutable equality; and this is what in fact happens when we approach the pure impersonality of the Godhead. We can obey it as a Law, lift our souls to it in aspiration towards its tranquil being, grow into it by shedding from us our emotional nature; the human being in us is not satisfied, but it is quieted, balanced, stilled. But the Yoga of devotion, agreeing in this with Religion, insists on a closer and warmer worship than this impersonal aspiration. It aims at a divine fulfilment of the humanity in us as well as of the impersonal part of our being; it aims at a divine satisfaction of the emotional being of man. It demands of the Supreme acceptance of our love and a response in kind; as we delight in Him and seek Him, so it believes that He too delights in us and seeks us. Nor can this demand be condemned as irrational, for if the supreme and universal Being did not take any delight in us, it is not easy to see how we could have come into being or could remain in being, and if He does not at all draw us towards him, - a divine seeking of us, - there would seem to be no reason in Nature why we should turn from the round of our normal existence to seek Him.
  --
  Secondly, this supreme Being is also the universal Being and our relations with the universe are all means by which we are prepared for entering into relation with him. All the emotions with which we confront the action of the universal existence upon us, are really directed towards him, in ignorance at first, but it is by directing them in growing knowledge towards him that we enter into more intimate relations with him, and all that is false and ignorant in them will fall away as we draw nearer towards unity. To all of them he answers, taking us in the stage of progress in which we are; for if we met no kind of response or help to our imperfect approach, the more perfect relations could never be established. Even as men approach him, so he accepts them and responds too by the divine Love to their Bhakti, tathaiva bhajate. Whatever form of being, whatever qualities they lend to him, through that form and those qualities he helps them to develop, encourages or governs their advance and in their straight way or their crooked draws them towards him. What they see of him is a truth, but a truth represented to them in the terms of their own being and consciousness, partially, distortedly, not in the terms of its own higher reality, not in the aspect which it assumes when we become aware of the complete Divinity. This is the justification of the cruder and more primitive elements of religion and also their sentence of transience and passing. They are justified because there is a truth of the Divine behind them and only so could that truth of the Divine be approached in that stage of the developing human consciousness and be helped forward; they are condemned, because to persist always in these crude conceptions and relations with the Divine is to miss that closer union towards which these crude beginnings are the first steps, however faltering.
  All life, we have said, is a Yoga of Nature; here in this material world life is her reaching out from her first inconscience towards a return to union with the conscient Divine from whom she proceeded. In religion the mind of man, her accomplished instrument, becomes aware of her goal in him, responds to her aspiration. Even popular religion is a sort of ignorant Yoga of devotion. But it does not become what we specifically call Yoga until the motive becomes in a certain degree clairvoyant, until it sees that union is its object and that love is the principle of union, and until therefore it tries to realise love and lose its separative character in love. When that has been accomplished, then the Yoga has taken its decisive step and is sure of its fruition. Thus the motives of devotion have first to direct themselves engrossingly and predominantly towards the Divine, then to transform themselves so that they are rid of their more earthy elements and finally to take their stand in pure and perfect love. All those that cannot coexist with the perfect union of love, must eventually fall away, while only those that can form themselves into expressions of divine love and into means of enjoying divine love, can remain. For love is the one emotion in us which can be entirely motiveless and self-existent; love need have no other motive than love. For all our emotions arise either from the seeking after delight and the possession of it, or from the baffling of the search, or from the failure of the delight we have possessed or had thought to grasp; but love is that by which we can enter directly into possession of the self-existent delight of the divine Being. Divine love is indeed itself that possession and, as it were, the body of the Ananda.
  These are the truths which condition our approach to this Yoga and our journey on this path. There are subsidiary questions which arise and trouble the intellect of man, but, though we may have yet to deal with them they are not essential. Yoga of Bhakti is a matter of the heart and not of the intellect. For even for the knowledge which comes on this way, we set out from the heart and not from the intelligence. The truth of the motives of the heart's devotion and their final arrival and in some sort their disappearance into the supreme and unique self-existent motive of love, is therefore all that initially and essentially concerns us. Such difficult questions there are as whether the Divine has an original supraphysical form or power of form from which all forms proceed or is eternally formless; all we need at present say is that the Divine does at least accept the various forms which the devotee gives to him and through them meets him in love, while the mixing of our spirits with his spirit is essential to the fruition of Bhakti. So too, certain religions and religious philosophies seek to bind down devotion by a conception of an eternal difference between the human soul and the Divine, without which they say love and devotion cannot exist, while that philosophy which considers that One alone exists, consigns love and devotion to a movement in the ignorance, necessary perhaps or at the least useful as a preparatory movement while yet the ignorance lasts, but impossible when all difference is abolished and therefore to be transcended and discarded. We may hold, however, the truth of the one existence in this sense that all in Nature is the Divine even though God be more than all in Nature, and love becomes then a movement by which the Divine in Nature and man takes possession of and enjoys the delight of the universal and the supreme Divine. In any case, love has necessarily a twofold fulfilment by its very nature, that by which the lover and the beloved enjoy their union in difference and all too that enhances the joy of various union, and that by which they throw themselves into each other and become one Self. That truth is quite sufficient to start with, for it is the very nature of love, and since love is the essential motive of this Yoga, as is the whole nature of love, so will be too the crown and fulfilment of the movement of the Yoga.
  

3.03 - The Godward Emotions, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
     The principle of Yoga is to turn Godward all or any of the powers of the human consciousness so that through that activity of the being there may be contact, relation, union. In the Yoga of Bhakti it is the emotional nature that is made the instrument. Its main principle is to adopt some human relation between man and the Divine Being by which through the ever intenser flowing of the heart's emotions towards him the human soul may at last be wedded to and grow one with him in a passion of divine Love. It is not ultimately the pure peace of oneness or the power and desireless will of oneness, but the ecstatic joy of union which the devotee seeks by his Yoga. Every feeling that can make the heart ready for this ecstasy the Yoga admits; everything that detracts from it must increasingly drop away as the strong union of love becomes closer and more perfect.
     All the feelings with which religion approaches the worship, service and love of God, the Yoga admits, if not as its final accompaniments, yet as preparatory movements of the emotional nature. But there is one feeling with which the Yoga, at least as practised in India, has very little dealing. In certain religions, in most perhaps, the idea of the fear of God plays a very large part, sometimes the largest, and the God-fearing man is the typical worshipper of these religions. The sentiment of fear is indeed perfectly consistent with devotion of a certain kind and up to a certain point; at its highest it rises into a worship of the divine Power, the divine Justice, divine Law, divine Righteousness, and ethical obedience, an awed reverence for the almighty Creator and Judge. Its motive is therefore ethico-religious and it belongs not so strictly to the devotee, but to the man of works moved by a devotion to the divine ordainer and judge of his works. It regards God as the King and does not approach too near the glory of his throne unless justified by righteousness or led there by a mediator who will turn away the divine wrath for sin. Even when it draws nearest, it keeps an awed distance between itself and the high object of its worship. It cannot embrace the Divine with all the fearless confidence of the child in his mother or of the lover in his beloved or with that intimate sense of oneness which perfect love brings with it.
  --
     But the highest and the greatest relation is that which starts from none of the ordinary religious motives, but is rather of the very essence of Yoga, springs from the very nature of love itself; it is the passion of the Lover and the Beloved. Wherever there is the desire of the soul for its utter union with God, this form of the divine yearning makes its way even into religions which seem to do without it and give it no place in their ordinary system. Here the one thing asked for is love, the one thing feared is the loss of love, the one sorrow is the sorrow of separation of love; for all other things either do not exist for the lover or come in only as incidents or as results and not as objects or conditions of love. All love is indeed in its nature self-existent because it springs from a secret oneness in being and a sense of that oneness or desire of oneness in the heart between souls that are yet able to conceive of themselves as different from each other and divided. Therefore all these other relations too can arrive at their self-existent motiveless joy of being for the sake of love alone. But still they start from and to the end they, to some extent, find a satisfaction of their play in other motives. But here the beginning is love and the end is love and the whole aim is love. There is indeed the desire of possession, but even this is overcome in the fullness of the self-existent love and the final demand of the Bhakta is simply that his Bhakti may never cease nor diminish. He does not ask for heaven or for liberation from birth or for any other object, but only that his love may be eternal and absolute.
     Love is a passion and it seeks for two things, eternity and intensity, and in the relation of the Lover and Beloved the seeking for eternity and for intensity is instinctive and self-born. Love is a seeking for mutual possession, and it is here that the demand for mutual possession becomes absolute. Passing beyond desire of possession which means a difference, it is a seeking for oneness, and it is here that the idea of oneness, of two souls merging into each other and becoming one finds the acme of its longing and the utterness of its satisfaction. Love, too, is a yearning for beauty, and it is here that the yearning is eternally satisfied in the vision and the touch and the joy of the All-beautiful. Love is a child and a seeker of Delight, and it is here that it finds the highest possible ecstasy both of the heart-consciousness and of every fibre of the being. Moreover, this relation is that which as between human being and human being demands the most and, even while reaching the greatest intensities, is still the least satisfied, because only in the Divine can it find its real and its utter satisfaction. Therefore it is here most that the turning of human emotion Godwards finds its full meaning and discovers all the truth of which love is the human symbol, all its essential instincts divinised, raised, satisfied in the bliss from which our life was born and towards which by oneness it returns in the Ananda of the divine existence where love is absolute, eternal and unalloyed.

3.04 - The Way of Devotion, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   Bhakti in itself is as wide as the heart-yearning of the soul for the Divine and as simple and straightforward as love and desire going straight towards their object. It cannot therefore be fixed down to any systematic method, cannot found itself on a psychological science like the Rajayoga, or a psycho-physical like the Hathayoga, or start from a definite intellectual process like the ordinary method of the Jnanayoga. It may employ various means or supports, and man, having in him a tendency towards order, process and system, may try to methodise his resort to these auxiliaries: but to give an account of their variations one would have to review almost all man's numberless religions upon their side of inner approach to the Deity. Really, however, the more intimate yoga of Bhakti resolves itself simply into these four movements, the desire of the Soul when it turns towards God and the straining of its emotion towards him, the pain of love and the divine return of love, the delight of love possessed and the play of that delight, and the eternal enjoyment of the divine Lover which is the heart of celestial bliss. These are things that are at once too simple and too profound for methodising or for analysis. One can at best only say, here are these four successive elements, steps, if we may so call them, of the siddhi, and here are, largely, some of the means which it uses, and here again are some of the aspects and experiences of the sadhana of devotion. We need only trace broadly the general line they follow before we turn to consider how the way of devotion enters into a synthetic and integral Yoga, what place it takes there and how its principle affects the other principles of divine living.
  All Yoga is a turning of the human mind and the human soul, not yet divine in realisation, but feeling the divine impulse and attraction in it, towards that by which it finds its greater being. Emotionally, the first form which this turning takes must be that of adoration. In ordinary religion this adoration wears the form of external worship and that again develops a most external form of ceremonial worship. This element is ordinarily necessary because the mass of men live in their physical minds, cannot realise anything except by the force of a physical symbol and cannot feel that they are living anything except by the force of a physical action. We might apply here the Tantric gradation of sadhana, which makes the way of the pasu, the herd, the animal or physical being, the lowest stage of its discipline, and say that the purely or predominantly ceremonial adoration is the first step of this lowest part of the way. It is evident that even real religion,--and Yoga is something more than religion,--only begins when this quite outward worship corresponds to something really felt within the mind, some genuine submission, awe or spiritual aspiration, to which it becomes an aid, an outward expression and also a sort of periodical or constant reminder helping to draw back the mind to it from the preoccupations of ordinary life. But so long as it is only an idea of the Godhead to which one renders reverence or homage, we have not yet got to the beginning of Yoga. The aim of Yoga being union, its beginning must always be a seeking after the Divine, a longing after some kind of touch, closeness or possession. When this comes on us, the adoration becomes always primarily an inner worship; we begin to make ourselves a temple of the Divine, our thoughts and feelings a constant prayer of aspiration and seeking, our whole life an external service and worship. It is as this change, this new soul-tendency grows, that the religion of the devotee becomes a Yoga, a growing contact and union. It does not follow that the outward worship will necessarily be dispensed with, but it will increasingly become only a physical expression or outflowing of the inner devotion and adoration, the wave of the soul throwing itself out in speech and symbolic act.
  --
  This is the ordinary movement by which what may be at first a vague adoration of some idea of the Divine takes on the hue and character and then, once entered into the path of Yoga, the inner reality and intense experience of divine love. But there is the more intimate Yoga which from the first consists in this love and attains only by the intensity of its longing without other process or method. All the rest comes, but it comes out of this, as leaf and flower out of the seed; other things are not the means of developing and fulfilling love, but the radiations of love already growing in the soul. This is the way that the soul follows when, while occupied perhaps with the normal human life, it has heard the flute of the Godhead behind the near screen of secret woodlands and no longer possesses itself, can have no satisfaction or rest till it has pursued and seized and possessed the divine fluteplayer. This is in essence the power of love itself in the heart and soul turning from earthly objects to the spiritual source of all beauty and delight. There live in this seeking all the sentiment and passion, all the moods and experiences of love concentrated on a supreme object of desire and intensified a hundredfold beyond the highest acme of intensity possible to a human love. There is the disturbance of the whole life, the illumination by an unseized vision, the unsatisfied yearning for a single object of the heart's desire, the intense impatience of all that distracts from the one preoccupation, the intense pain of the obstacles that stand in the way of possession, the perfect vision of all beauty and delight in a single form. And there are all the many moods of love, the joy of musing and absorption, the delight of the meeting and fulfilment and embrace, the pain of separation, the wrath of love, the tears of longing, the increased delight of reunion. The heart is the scene of this supreme idyll of the inner consciousness, but a heart which undergoes increasingly an intense spiritual change and becomes the radiantly unfolding lotus of the spirit. And as the intensity of its seeking is beyond the highest power of the normal human emotions, so also the delight and the final ecstasy are beyond the reach of the imagination and beyond expression by speech. For this is the delight of the Godhead that passes human understanding. Indian Bhakti has given to this divine love powerful forms, poetic symbols which are not in reality so much symbols as intimate expressions of truth which can find no other expression. It uses human relations and sees a divine person, not as mere figures, but because there are divine relations of supreme Delight and Beauty with the human soul of which human relations are the imperfect but still the real type, and because that Delight and Beauty are not abstractions or qualities of a quite impalpable metaphysical entity, but the very body and form of the supreme Being. It is a living Soul to which the soul of the bhakta yearns; for the source of all life is not an idea or a conception or a state of existence, but a real Being. Therefore in the possession of the divine Beloved all the life of the soul is satisfied and all the relations by which it finds and in which it expresses itself, are wholly fulfilled; therefore, too, by any and all of them can the Beloved be sought, though those which admit the greatest intensity, are always those by which he can be most intensely pursued and possessed with the profoundest ecstasy. He is sought within in the heart and therefore apart from all by an inward-gathered concentration of the being in the soul itself; but he is also seen and loved everywhere where he manifests his being. All the beauty and joy of existence is seen as his joy and beauty; he is embraced by the spirit in all beings; the ecstasy of love enjoyed pours itself out in a universal love; all existence becomes a radiation of its delight and even in its very appearances is transformed into something other than its outward appearance. The world itself is experienced as a play of the divine Delight, a Lila, and that in which the world loses itself is the heaven of beatitude of the eternal union.
  

3.06 - The Delight of the Divine, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  This delight which is so entirely imperative, is the delight in the Divine for his own sake and for nothing else, for no cause or gain whatever beyond itself. It does not seek God for anything that he can give us or for any particular quality in him, but simply and purely because he is our self and our whole being and our all. It embraces the delight of the transcendence, not for the sake of transcendence, but because he is the transcendent; the delight of the universal, not for the sake of universality, but because he is the universal; the delight of the individual not for the sake of individual satisfaction, but because he is the individual. It goes behind all distinctions and appearances and makes no calculations of more or less in his being, but embraces him wherever he is and therefore everywhere, embraces him utterly in the seeming less as in the seeming more, in the apparent limitation as in the revelation of the illimitable; it has the intuition and the experience of his oneness and completeness everywhere. To seek after him for the sake of his absolute being alone is really to drive at our own individual gain, the gain of absolute peace. To possess him absolutely indeed is necessarily the aim of this delight in his being, but this comes when we possess him utterly and are utterly possessed by him and need be limited to no particular status or condition. To seek after him in some heaven of bliss is to seek him not for himself, but for the bliss of heaven; when we have all the true delight of his being, then heaven is within ourselves, and wherever he is and we are, there we have the joy of his kingdom. So too to seek him only in ourselves and for ourselves, is to limit both ourselves and our joy in him. The integral delight embraces him not only within our own individual being, but equally in all men and in all beings. And because in him we are one with all, it seeks him not only for ourselves, but for all our fellows. A perfect and complete delight in the Divine, perfect because pure and self-existent, complete because all-embracing as well as all-absorbing, is the meaning of the way of Bhakti for the seeker of the integral Yoga.
  Once it is active in us, all other ways of Yoga convert themselves, as it were, to its law and find by it their own richest significance. This integral devotion of our being to God does not turn away from knowledge; the bhakta of this path is the God-lover who is also the God-knower, because by knowledge of his being comes the whole delight of his being; but it is in delight that knowledge fulfils itself, the knowledge of the transcendent in the delight of the Transcendent, the knowledge of the universal in the delight of the universal Godhead, the knowledge of the individual manifestation in the delight of God in the individual, the knowledge of the impersonal in the pure delight of his impersonal being, the knowledge of the personal in the full delight of his personality, the knowledge of his qualities and their play in the delight of the manifestation, the knowledge of the qualityless in the delight of his colourless existence and non-manifestation.

3.08 - The Mystery of Love, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is to this Godhead, this Being that the Bhakti of an integral
  Yoga will be poured out and uplifted. Transcendent, it will seek him in the ecstasy of an absolute union; universal, it will seek him in infinite quality and every aspect and in all beings with a universal delight and love; individual, it will enter into all human relations with him that love creates between person and person.
  --
  The way of the integral Yoga of Bhakti will be to universalise this conception of the Deity, to personalise him intimately by a multiple and an all-embracing relation, to make him constantly present to all the being and to devote, give up, surrender the whole being to him, so that he shall dwell near to us and in us and we with him and in him. Manana and darsana, a constant thinking of him in all things and seeing of him always and everywhere is essential to this way of devotion. When we look on the things of physical Nature, in them we have to see the divine object of our love; when we look upon men and beings, we have to see him in them and in our relation with them to see that we are entering into relations with forms of him; when breaking beyond the limitation of the material world we know or have relations with the beings of other planes, still the same thought and vision has to be made real to our minds. The normal habit of our minds which are open only to the material and apparent form and the ordinary mutilated relation and ignore the secret Godhead within, has to yield by an unceasing habit of all-embracing love and delight to this deeper and ampler comprehension and this greater relation. In all godheads we have to see this one God whom we worship with our heart and all our
  602

3.1.01 - Distinctive Features of the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  One thing I feel I must say in connection with your remark about the soul of India and Xs observation about this stress on this-worldliness to the exclusion of other-worldliness. I do not quite understand in what connection his remark was made or what he meant by this-worldliness, but I feel it necessary to state my own position in the matter. My own life and my Yoga have always been, since my coming to India, both this-worldly and other-worldly without any exclusiveness on either side. All human interests are, I suppose, this-worldly and most of them have entered into my mental field and some, like politics, into my life, but at the same time, since I set foot on Indian soil on the Apollo Bunder in Bombay, I began to have spiritual experiences, but these were not divorced from this world but had an inner and intimate bearing on it, such as a feeling of the Infinite pervading material space and the Immanent inhabiting material objects and bodies. At the same time I found myself entering supraphysical worlds and planes with influences and an effect from them upon the material plane, so I could make no sharp divorce or irreconcilable opposition between what I have called the two ends of existence and all that lies between them. For me all is the Brahman and I find the Divine everywhere. Everyone has the right to throw away this-worldliness and choose other-worldliness only and if he finds peace by that choice he is greatly blessed. I, personally, have not found it necessary to do this in order to have peace. In my Yoga also I found myself moved to include both worlds in my purview, the spiritual and the material, and to try to establish the divine Consciousness and the divine Power in mens hearts and in earthly life, not for personal salvation only but for a life divine here. This seems to me as spiritual an aim as any and the fact of this life taking up earthly pursuits and earthly things into its scope cannot, I believe, tarnish its spirituality or alter its Indian character. This at least has always been my view and experience of the reality and nature of the world and things and the Divine: it seemed to me as nearly as possible the integral truth about them and I have therefore spoken of the pursuit of it as the integral Yoga. Everyone is, of course, free to reject and disbelieve in this kind of integrality or to believe in the spiritual necessity of an entire other-worldliness excluding any kind of this-worldliness altogether, but that would make the exercise of my Yoga impossible. My Yoga can include indeed a full experience of the other worlds, the plane of the supreme Spirit and the other planes in between and their possible effects upon our life and material world; but it will be quite possible to insist only on the realisation of the supreme Being or Ishwara even in one aspect, Shiva, Krishna as Lord of the world and Master of ourselves and our works or else the universal Sachchidananda, and attain to the essential results of this Yoga and afterwards to proceed from them to the integral results if one accepted the ideal of the divine life and this material world conquered by the Spirit. It is this view and experience of things and of the truth of existence that enabled me to write The Life Divine and Savitri. The realisation of the Supreme, the Ishwara, is certainly the essential thing; but to approach him with love and devotion and Bhakti, to serve him with ones works and to know him, not necessarily by the intellectual cognition, but in a spiritual experience, is also essential in the path of the integral Yoga.
  ***

3.1.02 - Asceticism and the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is evident that something in you, perhaps continuing the unfinished curve of a past life, is pushing you on this path of vairagya and the more stormy way of Bhaktiin spite of our preference for a less painful one and yours also something that is determined to be drastic with the outer nature so as to make itself free to fulfil its secret aspiration. But do not listen to these suggestions of the voice that says, You shall not succeed and it is no use trying. That is a thing that need never be said in the Way of the Spirit, however difficult it may seem at the moment to be. Keep through all the aspiration which you express so beautifully in your poem; for it is certainly there and comes out from the depths, and if it is the cause of sufferingas great aspirations usually are in a world and nature where there is so much to oppose themit is also the promise and surety of emergence and victory in the future.
  ***
  --
  No, I didnt say that you chose the rajasic or tamasic vairagya. I only explained how it came, of itself, as a result of a movement of the vital in place of the sattwic vairagya which is supposed to precede and cause or accompany or result from a turning away from the world to seek the Divine. The tamasic vairagya comes from the recoil of the vital when it feels that it has to give up the joy of life and becomes listless and joyless; the rajasic comes when the vital begins to lose the joy of life but complains that it is getting nothing in its place. Nobody chooses such movements; they come independently of the mind as habitual reactions of the human nature. To replace these things by detachment, an increasing quiet aspiration, a pure Bhakti, an ardent surrender to the Divine, was what I suggested as the true forward movement.
  ***

3.1.02 - Spiritual Evolution and the Supramental, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Asram would be chock-full of supramental beings and every other Asram in India also. Spiritual experiences can fix themselves in the inner consciousness and alter it, transform it, if you like; one can realise the Divine everywhere, the Self in all and all in the Self, the universal Shakti doing all things; one can feel merged in the Cosmic Self or full of ecstatic Bhakti or Ananda. But one may and usually does still go on in the outer active parts of Nature thinking with the intellect or at best
  274

3.1.04 - Transformation in the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Ramakrishna himself never thought of transformation or tried for it. All he wanted was Bhakti for the Mother and along with that he received whatever knowledge she gave him and did whatever she made him do. He was intuitive and psychic from the beginning and only became more and more so as he went on. There was no need in him for the transformation which we seek; for although he spoke of the divine man (Ishwarakoti) coming down the stairs as well as ascending, he had not the idea of a new consciousness and a new race and the divine manifestation in the earth-nature.
  ***

31 Hymns to the Star Goddess, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  What do the Bhaktis know of Love? They see the Beloved everywhere.
  But when I am one with Thee, O Beloved, I shall not see Thee, for I shall know Theee as Thou art.

3.2.01 - The Newness of the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is true that I want the supramental not for myself but for the earth and souls born on the earth, and certainly therefore I cannot object if anybody wants the supramental. But there are the conditions. He must want the Divine Will first and the souls surrender and spiritual realisation (through works, Bhakti, knowledge, self-perfection) on the way.
  The central sincerity is the first thing and sufficient for an aspiration to be entertaineda total sincerity is needed for the aspiration to be fulfilled.
  --
  Plenty of people, I suppose, would go on with the old lines1for it is not likely that all would be able to take this line. As for the Darshanas most of them have fallen into disuse already except as a battlefield for Pandits. It is only the Vedanta and Patanjali and the later Bhakti Yoga that are still alive, not so much as darshanas but as traditional systems of Yoga.
    The correspondent asked, "Is it not likely that the Darshanas and Upanishads will be forgotten in the next hundred years as the New Yoga establishes itself in the world? If it is possible to get the necessary things from your writings and the Mother's, who would care to read the enigmatic sutras and concealed formulas of the Darshanas, Upanishads and Vedas?"Ed.

3.2.02 - The Veda and the Upanishads, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is not I only who have done what the Vedic Rishis did not do. Chaitanya and others developed an intensity of Bhakti which is absent in the Veda and many other instances can be given. Why should the past be the limit of spiritual experience?
  ***

3.2.03 - Jainism and Buddhism, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  There is no reason why the passage about Buddhism [in an essay of the correspondent] should be omitted. It gives one side of the Buddhistic teaching which is not much known or is usually ignored, for that teaching is by most rendered as Nirvana (Sunyavada) and a spiritualised humanitarianism. The difficulty is that it is these sides that have been stressed especially in the modern interpretations of Buddhism and any strictures I may have passed were in view of these interpretations and that onesided stress. I am aware of course of the opposite tendencies in theMahayana and the Japanese cult of Amitabha Buddha which is a cult of Bhakti. It is now being said even of Shankara that there was another side of his doctrine but his followers have made him stand solely for the Great Illusion, the inferiority of Bhakti, the uselessness of Karmajagan mithy.
  ***

3.2.05 - The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The Gita cannot be described as exclusively a gospel of love. What it sets forth is a Yoga of knowledge, devotion and works based on a spiritual consciousness and realisation of oneness with the Divine and of the oneness of all beings in the Divine. Bhakti, devotion and love of God carrying with it unity with all beings and love for all beings is given a high place but always in connection with knowledge and works.
  ***

3.2.06 - The Adwaita of Shankaracharya, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Still, I would have no objection, if your attraction towards Nirvana were not merely a mood of the mind and vital but an indication of the minds true road and the souls issue. But it seems to me that it is only the vital recoiling from its own disappointed desires in an extreme dissatisfaction, not the soul leaping gladly to its true path. This vairagya is itself a vital movement; vital vairagya is the reverse side of vital desirethough the mind of course is there to give reasons and say ditto. Even this vairagya, if it is one-pointed and exclusive, can lead or can point towards Nirvana. But you have many sides to your personality or rather many personalities in you; it is indeed their discordant movements each getting in the way of the other, as happens when they are expressed through the external mind, that have stood much in the way of your sadhana. There is the vital personality which was turned towards success and enjoyment and got it and wanted to go on with it but could not get the rest of the being to follow. There is the vital personality that wanted enjoyment of a deeper kind and suggested to the other that it could very well give up these unsatisfactory things if it got an equivalent in some faeryl and of a higher joy. There is the psycho-vital personality that is the Vaishnava within you and wanted the Divine Krishna and Bhakti and Ananda. There is the personality which is the poet and musician and a seeker of beauty through these things. There is the mental-vital personality which when it saw the vital standing in the way insisted on a grim struggle of Tapasya, and it is no doubt that also which approves vairagya and Nirvana. There is the physical-mental personality which is the Russellite, extrovert, doubter. There is another mental-emotional personality all whose ideas are for belief in the Divine, Yoga, Bhakti, Guruvada. There is the psychic being also which has pushed you into the sadhana and is waiting for its hour of emergence.
  What are you going to do with all these people? If you want Nirvana, you have either to expel them or stifle them or beat them into coma. All authorities assure us that this exclusive Nirvana business is a most difficult job (dukha dehavadbhi says the Gita), and your own fatal attempt at suppressing the others was not encouraging,according to your own account it left you as dry and desperate as a sucked orange, no juice left anywhere. If the desert is your way to the promised land, that does not matter. But
  Well, if it is not, then there is another wayit is what we call the integration, the harmonisation of the being. That cannot be done from outside, it cannot be done by the mind and vital beingthey are sure to bungle their affair. It can be done only from within by the soul, the Spirit which is the centraliser, itself the centre of these radii. In all of them there is a truth that can harmonise with the true truth of the others. For there is a truth in NirvanaNirvana is nothing but the peace and freedom of the Spirit which can exist in itself, be there world or no world, world-order or world-disorder. Bhakti and the hearts call for the Divine have a truthit is the truth of the divine Love and Ananda. The will for Tapasya has in it a truthit is the truth of the Spirits mastery over its members. The musician and poet stand for a truth, it is the truth of the expression of the Spirit through beauty. There is a truth behind the mental Affirmer; even there is a truth behind the mental doubter, the Russellian, though far behind him the truth of the denial of false forms. Even behind the two vital personalities there is a truth, the truth of the possession of the inner and outer worldsnot by the ego but by the Divine. That is the harmonisation for which our Yoga stands but it cannot be achieved by any outward arrangement, it can only be achieved by going inside and looking, willing and acting from the psychic and from the spiritual centre. For the truth of the being is there and the secret of Harmony also is there.
    In fact it is not an illusion in the sense of an imposition of something baseless and unreal on the consciousness, but a misinterpretation by the conscious mind and sense and a falsifying misuse of manifested existence.
  --
  The impulse towards laya is a creation of the mind, it is not the sole possible destiny of the soul. When the mind tries to abolish its own Ignorance, it finds no escape from it except laya, because it supposes that there is no higher principle of cosmic existence beyond itselfbeyond itself is only the pure Spirit, the absolute impersonal Divine. Those who go through the heart (love, Bhakti) do not accept laya, they believe in a state beyond of eternal companionship with the Divine or dwelling in the Divine without laya. All this quite apart from supramentalisation. What then becomes of your starting point that laya is the inevitable destiny of the soul and it is only the personal descent of the Avatar that saves it from inevitable laya?
  ***

3.2.08 - Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:3.2.08 - Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism
  author class:Sri Aurobindo
  --
  It is the Vaishnava theory that if you only repeat the name of Hari it is enoughnothing else needed. Even if you do it by accident, you will go posthaste to Heaven. It has always seemed to be the apotheosis of laziness and incompetence. There are plenty of people who have a little Bhakti for Krishna but I dont find them revelling in all the fruits of tapasya.
  ***
  If you can feel the Name bringing you peace, it should be able to bring everything else, Bhakti, joy, the revelation of the Power and the Presence and the full feeling and consciousness of it to you. That is indeed the process of the Vaishnava sadhana and the power of the Name in it. Only, keep your poise and persevere.
  ***
  --
  Vaishnava Bhakti and the Integral Yoga
  It is not necessary to repeat past forms [of Bhakti Yoga]to bring out the Bhakti of the psychic being and give it whatever forms come naturally in the development is the proper way for our sadhana.
  ***
  --
  I have no objection to them [vital manifestations of love and Bhakti] in their own place. But I must remind you that in my Yoga all vital movements must come under the control of the psychic and of the spiritual calm, knowledge and peace. If they conflict with the psychic or the spiritual control, they upset the balance and prevent the forming of the base of transformation. If unbalance is good for other paths, that is the business of those who follow them. It does not suit mine.
  ***
  Everybody must be made to understand clearly that this is not a sadhana of emotional and egoistic Bhakti, but of surrender. One who makes demands and threatens to commit suicide if his demands are not complied with, is not meant for this Yoga.
  This Yoga is not a Yoga of emotional egoistic vital Bhakti full of demands and desires. There is no room in it for bdr of any kind. It is only for those who surrender to the Divine and obey implicitly the directions given to them by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
  ***
  --
  Your whole-hearted acceptance of the Vaishnava idea and Bhakti becomes rather bewildering when it is coupled with an insistence that love cannot be given to the Divine until one has experience of the Divine. For what is more common in the Vaishnava attitude than the joy of Bhakti for its own sake? Give me Bhakti, it cries, whatever else you may keep from me. Even if it is long before I can meet you, even if you delay to manifest yourself, let my Bhakti, my seeking for you, my cry, my love, my adoration be always there. How constantly the Bhakta has sung, All my life I have been seeking you and still you are not there, but still I seek and cannot cease to seek and love and adore. If it were really impossible to love God unless you first experience him, how could this be? In fact your mind seems to be putting the cart before the horse. One seeks after God first, with persistence or with passion, one finds him afterwards, some sooner than others, but most after a long seeking. One does not find him first, then seek after him. Even a glimpse only comes after long or fervent seeking. One has the love of God or at any rate some hearts desire for him and afterwards one becomes aware of Gods love, its reply to the hearts desire, its response of the supreme joy and Ananda. One does not say to God, Show your love for me first, shower on me the experience of yourself, satisfy my demand, then I will see whether I can love you so long as you deserve it. It is surely the seeker who must seek and love first, follow the quest, become impassioned for the Sought then only does the veil move aside and the Light be seen and the Face manifest that alone can satisfy the soul after its long sojourn in the desert.
  Then again you may say, Yes, but whether I love or not, I want, I have always wanted and now I want more and more, but I get nothing. Yes, but wanting is not all. As you now begin to see, there are conditions that have to be metlike the purification of the heart. Your thesis was, Once I want God, God must manifest to me, come to me, at least give glimpses of himself to me, the real solid concrete experiences, not mere vague things which I cant understand or value. Gods Grace must answer my call for it, whether I yet deserve it or notor else there is no Grace. Gods Grace may indeed do that in certain cases, but where does the must come in? If God must do it, it is no longer Gods Grace, but Gods duty or an obligation or a contract or a treaty. The Divine looks into the heart and removes the veil at the moment which he knows to be the right moment to do it. You have laid stress on the Bhakti theory that one has only to call his name and he must reply, he must at once be there. Perhaps, but for whom is this true? For a certain kind of Bhakta surely who feels the power of the Name, who has the passion of the Name and puts it into his cry. If one is like that, then there may be the immediate replyif not, one has to become like that, then there will be the reply. But some go on using the Name for years, before there is an answer. Ramakrishna himself got it after a few months, but what months! and what a condition he had to pass through before he got it! Still he succeeded quickly because he had a pure heart already and that divine passion in it.
  It is not surely the Bhakta but the man of knowledge who demands experience first. He can say, How can I know without experience?, but even he goes on seeking like Tota Puri even though for thirty years, striving for the decisive realisation. It is really the man of intellect, the rationalist who says, Let God, if he exists, prove himself to me first, then I will believe, then I will make some serious and prolonged effort to explore him and see what he is like.
  --
  It is not by pryopaveana or anything of the kind that it must come, but by the increase of the pure and true Bhakti. You have been constantly told so by us and lately be Krishnaprem and his guru; remember that she told you that the presence of Krishna during your singing was a sure sign that it would come,not necessarily today or tomorrow or the day after, but that it would surely come. We cant be all of us wrong and your vital impatience only in the right. For heavens sake, get rid of it and settle down to quiet aspiration and an ever growing devotion and surrender leaving it to Krishna to do what he is sure to do in his own way and time.
  ***
  --
  The tradition of later Vaishnava Bhakti is an attempt to sublimate the vital impulses through love by turning human love towards the Divine. It made a strong and intense effort and had many rich and beautiful experiences; but its weakness was just there, that it remained valid only as an inner experience turned towards the inner Divine, but it stopped at that point. Chaitanyas prema was nothing but a psychic divine love with a strong sublimated vital manifestation. But the moment Vaishnavism before or after him made an attempt at greater externalisation, we know what happeneda vitalistic deterioration, much corruption and decline. You cannot appeal to Chaitanyas example as against psychic or divine love; it was not something merely vital-human; in its essence, though not in its form, it was very much the first step in the transformation, which we ask of the sadhaks, to make their love psychic and use the vital not for its own sake, but as an expression of the souls realisation. It is the first step and perhaps for some it may be sufficient, for we are not asking everybody to become supramental; but for any full manifestation on the physical plane the supramental is indispensable.
  In this later Vaishnava tradition the sadhana takes the form of an application of human vital love in all its principal turns to the Divine; viraha, abhimna, even complete separation (like the departure of Krishna to Mathura) are made prominent elements of this Yoga. But all that was only meantin the sadhana itself, not in the Vaishnava poemsas a passage of which the end is milana or complete union; but the stress laid on the untoward elements by some would almost seem to make strife, separation, abhimna, the whole means if not the very object of this kind of prema-yoga. Again, this method was only applied to the inner, not to a physically embodied Divine and had a reference to certain states and reactions of the inner consciousness in its seeking after the Divine. In the relations with the embodied Divine manifestation, or, I may add, of the disciple with the Guru, such things might rise as a result of human imperfection, but they were not made part of the theory of the relations. I do not think they formed a regular and authorised part of the relations of the bhaktas to Chaitanya or of the disciples at Dakshineshwar towards Ramakrishna! On the contrary, the relation of the disciple to the Guru in the Guruvada is supposed always to be that of worship, respect, complete happy confidence, unquestioning acceptance of the guidance. The application of the unchanged vital relations to the embodied Divine or the Guru may lead and has led to movements which are not conducive to the progress of the Yoga.
  --
  Different Approaches through Love and Bhakti
  It seems to me that these differences of valuation come from the mind laying stress on one side or another of the approach to the Divine or exalting one aspect of realisation over another. When there is the approach through the heart, through Love and Bhakti, its highest culmination is in a transcendent Ananda, an unspeakable Bliss or Beatitude of union with the Divine through Love. The school of Chaitanya laid especial and indeed sole emphasis on this way and made this the whole reality of Krishna consciousness. But the transcendent Ananda is there at the origin and end of all existence and this is not and cannot be the sole way to it. One can arrive at it also through the Vasudeva consciousness, which is a wider, more mentalised approachas in the method of the Gita where knowledge, works, Bhakti are all centred in Krishna, the One, the Supreme, the All and arrive through the cosmic consciousness to the luminous transcendence. There is the way too described in the Taittiriya Upanishad, the Vedantas Gospel of Bliss. These are certainly wider methods, for they take up the whole existence through all its parts and ways of being to the Divine. If less intense at their starting point, a vaster and slower movement, there is no reason to suppose that they are less intense on their summits of arrival. It is the same transcendence to which all arrive, either with a large movement gathering up everything spiritual in us to take it there in a vast sublimation, or in a single intense uplifting from one point, a single exaltation leaving all the rest aside. But who shall say which is profounder of the two? Concentrated love has a profundity of its own which cannot be measured; concentrated wisdom has a wider profundity but one cannot say that it is deeper.
  Cosmic values are only reflections of the truth of the Transcendence in a lesser truth of time experience which is separative and sees diversely a thousand aspects of the One. As one rises through the mind or any part of the manifested being, any one or more of these aspects can become more and more sublimated and tend towards its supreme transcendental intensity, and whatever aspect is so experienced is declared by the spiritualised mental consciousness to be the supreme thing. But when one goes beyond mind all tends not only to sublimate but to fuse together until the separated aspects recover their original unity, indivisible in the absoluteness of all made one. Mind can conceive and have experience of existence without consciousness or Ananda and this receives its utmost expression in the inconscience attributed to Matter. So also it can conceive of Ananda or Love as a separate principle; it even feels consciousness and existence losing themselves in a trance or swoon of Love or Ananda. So too the limited personal loses itself in the illimitable Person, the lover in the supreme Beloved, or else the personal in the Impersonal,the lover feels himself immersed, losing himself in the transcendental reality of Love or Ananda. The personal and the impersonal are themselves posited and experienced by mind as separate realitiesand one or other is declared and seen as supreme, so that the personal can have laya in the Impersonal or on the contrary the impersonal disappear into the absolute reality of the supreme and divine Person; the impersonal in that view is only an attri bute or power of the personal Divine. But at the summit of spiritual experience passing beyond mind one begins to feel the fusion of all these things into one. Consciousness, Existence, Ananda return to their indivisible unity, Sachchidananda. The personal and the impersonal become irrevocably one, so that to posit one as against the other appears as an act of ignorance. This tendency of unification is the basis of the supramental consciousness and experience; for cosmic or creative purposes the supermind can put forward one aspect prominently where that is needed, but it is aware of all the rest behind it or contained in it and does not admit into its view any separation or opposition anywhere. For that reason a supramental creation would be a multifold harmony and not a separative process fragmenting or analysing the One into parts and setting these parts over against each other or else putting them contradictorily against each other and having afterwards to synthetise and piece them together in order to arrive at harmony or else to exclude some or all of the parts in order to realise the indivisible One.
  --
  The difference of view between Shankara and Ramanuja and on the other side Chaitanya about Krishna arises from the turn of their experience. Krishna was only an aspect of Vishnu to the others because that ecstatic form of love and Bhakti which had become associated with Krishna was not for them the whole. The Gita, like Chaitanya, but from a different viewpoint, regarded Krishna as the Divine himself. To Chaitanya he was Love and Ananda, and Love and Ananda being for him the highest transcendental experience, so Krishna too must be the Supreme. For the writer of the Gita, Krishna was the source of Knowledge and Power as well as Love, the Destroyer, Preserver, Creator in one, so necessarily Vishnu was only an aspect of this universal Divine. In the Mahabharat indeed Krishna comes as an incarnation of Vishnu, but that can be turned by taking it that it was through the Vishnu aspect as his frontal appearance that he manifested, for that the greater Godhead can manifest later than others is logical if we consider the manifestation as progressive,just as Vishnu is in the Veda a younger Indra, Upendra, but gains upon his elder and subsequently takes place above him in the Trimurti.
  I cannot say much about the Vaishnava idea of the form of Krishna. Form is the basic means of manifestation and without it it may be said that the manifestation of anything is not complete. Even if the Formless logically precedes Form, yet it is not illogical to assume that in the Formless, Form is inherent and already existent in a mystic latency, otherwise how could it be manifested? For any other process would be the creation of the non-existent, not manifestation. If so, it would be equally logical to assume that there is an eternal form of Krishna, a spirit body. As for the highest Reality, it is no doubt absolute Existence, but is it only that? Absolute Existence as an abstraction may exclude everything else from itself and amount to a sort of very positive zero; but Absolute Existence as a realitywho shall define and say what is or is not in its inconceivable depths, its illimitable Mystery? Mind can ordinarily conceive of the Absolute Existence only as a negation of its own concepts spatial, temporal or other. But it cannot tell what is at the basis of manifestation or what manifestation is or why there is any manifestation at all out of its positive zero and the Vaishnavas, we must remember, do not admit this conception as the absolute and original truth of the Divine. It is therefore not rigidly impossible that what we conceive and perceive as spatial form may correspond to some mysterious power of the spaceless Absolute. I do not say all that as a definite statement of Truth, I am only pointing out that the Vaishnava position on its own ground is far from being logically or metaphysically untenable.
  --
  Love and Bhakti for Krishna
  As for Krishna, why not approach simply and straight? The simple approach means trust. If you pray, trust that he hears. If the reply takes long in coming, trust that he knows and loves and that he is wisest in the choice of the time. Meanwhile quietly clear the ground, so that he may not have to trip over stone and jungle when he comes. That is my suggestion and I know what I am saying for whatever you may say, I know very well all human difficulties and struggles and I know of the cure. That is why I press always on the things that would minimise and shorten the struggles and difficulties,the psychic turn, faith, perfect and simple confidence and reliance. These, let me remind you, are tenets of the Vaishnava Yoga. Of course, there is the other Vaishnava way which swings between yearning and despairardent seeking and the pangs of viraha. It is that you seem to be following and I do not deny that one can arrive by that as one can by almost any way, if followed sincerely. But then those who follow it find a rasa even in viraha, in the absence and the caprice of the Divine Lover. Some of them have sung that they have followed after him all their lives but always he has slipped away from their vision and even in that they find a rasa and never cease following. But you find no rasa in it. So you cannot expect me to approve of that for you. Follow after Krishna by all means, but follow with the determination to arrive: dont do it with the expectation of failure or admit any possibility of breaking off half-way.
  --
  The identification of the guru with the Divine is a common rule, not peculiar to the Vaishnava Bhakti. Ordinarily, so far as the outer mind is concerned, it is a firm belief; the outer mind can believe, can by its faith have some feeling of it, can with the help of the heart worship, adore, serve with humility and fidelity; ordinarily, this is enough and it prepares besides for something deeper. But to realise the identity is another matter, [incomplete]
  ***
  I do not know that I can answer your question about what Krishnaprem means by Krishnas light. It is certainly not what people ordinarily mean by knowledge. He may mean the light of the Divine Consciousness, or if you like, the light that is the Divine Consciousness or the light that comes from it or he may mean the luminous being of Krishna in which all things are in their supreme truth,the truth of Knowledge, the truth of Bhakti, the truth of ecstasy and Ananda, everything is there.
  There is also a manifestation of Light the Upanishads speak of jyotir brahma, the Light that is Brahman. Very often the sadhak feels a flow of Light upon him or around him or a flow of Light invading his centres or even his whole being and body, penetrating and illumining every cell and in that Light there grows the spiritual consciousness and one becomes open to all or many of its workings and realisations. Appositely I have a review of a book of Ramdas (of the Vision) before me in which is described such an experience got by the repetition of the Rama mantra, but, if I understand rightly, after a long and rigorous self-discipline. The mantra having stopped automatically, he beheld a small circular light before his mental vision. This yielded him thrills of delight. This experience having continued for some days, he felt a dazzling light like lightning, flashing before his eyes, which ultimately permeated and absorbed him. Now an inexpressible transport of bliss filled every pore of his physical frame. It does not always come like thatvery often it comes by stages or at long intervals, at first, working on the consciousness till it is ready.
  --
  But why limit oneself, insist on one thing alone and shut out every other? Whether it be by Bhakti or by Light or by Ananda or by Peace or by any other means whatsoever that one gets the initial realisation of the Divine, to get it is the thing and all means are good that bring it.
  If it is Bhakti that one insists on, it is by Bhakti that Bhakti comes and Bhakti in its fullness is nothing but an entire self-giving, as Krishnaprem very rightly indicates. Then all meditation, all tapasya, all means of prayer or mantra must have that as its end and it is when one has progressed sufficiently in that that the Divine Grace descends and the realisation comes and develops till it is complete. But the moment of its advent is chosen by the wisdom of the Divine alone and one must have the strength to go on till it arrives; for when all is truly ready it cannot fail to come.
  ***
  --
  As regards Krishna and devotion, I think I have already answered more than once. I have no objection at all to the worship of Krishna or the Vaishnava form of devotion, nor is there any incompatibility between Vaishnava Bhakti and my supramental Yoga. There is in fact no special and exclusive form of supramental Yoga: all ways can lead to the Supermind, just as all ways can lead to the Divine.
  Certainly, I will help you and am helping and will always help you; the idea that I can stop doing it or will send you away has no sense in it. If you persevere, you cannot fail to get the permanent Bhakti you want and the realisation you want, but you should learn to put an entire reliance on Krishna to give it when he finds all ready and the time come. If he wants you to clear out imperfections and impurities first, that is after all understandable. I dont see why you should not succeed in doing it, now that your attention is being so constantly turned on it. To see them clearly and acknowledge them is the first step, to have the firm will to reject them is the next, to separate yourself from them entirely so that if they enter at all it will be as foreign elements, no longer parts of your normal nature but suggestions from outside, brings their last state; even, once seen and rejected, they may automatically fall away and disappear; but for most the process takes time. These things are not peculiar to you; they are parts of universal human nature; but they can, do and will disappear.
  ***
  But I have already told you more than once that I have no objection to your seeking Krishna or to your asking for Ananda or milan or anything else. I have never pressed you or others either to seek after Supermind or to accept me as an Avatar. These things have risen as an answer to questions put by yourself or others and I have treated them as matters of knowledge. But each must go by his own way and his own nature to his own goal. Ahaituki Bhakti according to the Vaishnava ideal is the highest way and also the quickest, but if one does not feel equal to it, sahaituki Bhakti will do well enough. Or if one has no turn for Bhakti at all, there are plenty of other ways. Or if one does not care to follow any way, there is, as I said, in answer to Xs question, the pressure of something in the nature to find the Self, if that is what it is after, or God or Krishna or the Mother or whatever it may be.
  If you know the urge in you, well, follow it straight there is no need of questioning or going this side or that. Follow the hearts urge till it reaches what it is seeking.

3.2.4 - Sex, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is true that the removal of the sex-impulse in all its forms and, generally, of the vital woman-complex is a great liberation which opens up to the Divine considerable regions of the being which otherwise tend to remain shut up. These things are a degradation of the source in the being from which Bhakti, divine love and adoration arise. But the complex has deep roots in human nature and one must not be disappointed if it takes time to pull them up. A resolute detachment rejecting them as foreign elements, refusing to accept any inner association with them as well as outer indulgence even of the slightest kind is the best way to wear out their hold upon the nature.
  ***
  --
  Celibacy means first not marryingit can be extended to not having sexual (physical) relations with any woman, though that is not its proper meaning. It is not equivalent to Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is not binding in Bhaktimrga or karmayoga, but it is necessary for ascetic jnayoga as well as for Raja and Hatha yogas. It is also not demanded from Grihastha yogis. In this Yoga the position is that one must overcome sex, otherwise there can be no transformation of the lower vital and physical nature; all physical sexual connection should cease, otherwise one exposes oneself to serious dangers. The sex-push must also be overcome but it is not a fact that there can be no sadhana or no experience before it is entirely overcome, only without that conquest one cannot go to the end and it must be clearly recognised as one of the more serious obstacles and indulgence of it as a cause of considerable disturbance.
  ***

33.18 - I Bow to the Mother, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Now to come back to a personal experience. The first thing I heard and came to know about the Mother was that she was a great spiritual person. I did not know then that she might have other gifts; these were revealed to me gradually. First I came to know that she was a very fine painter; and afterwards that she was an equally gifted musician. But there were other surprises in store. For instance, she had an intellectual side no less richly endowed, that is to say, she had read and studied enormously, had been engaged in intellectual pursuits even as the learned do. I was still more surprised to find that while in France she had already studied and translated a good number of Indian texts, like the Gita, the Upanishads, the Yoga-sutras, the Bhakti-sutras of Narada. I mention all this merely to tell you that the Mother's capacity of making her mind a complete blank was as extraordinary as her enormous mental acquisitions. This was something unique. In the early days, when she had just taken charge of our spiritual life, she told me one day in private, perhaps seeing that I might have a pride in being an intellectual, "At one time I used to take an interest in philosophy and other intellectual pursuits. All that is now gone below the surface, but I can bring it up again at will." So, I need not have any fears on that score! It was as if the Mother was trying to apologise for her deficiencies in scholarship. This was how she taught me the meaning of humility, what we call Divine Humility.
   As I was saying, this capacity for an entire rejection of the past has been one of the powers of her spiritual consciousness and realisation. It is not an easy thing for a human being to wash himself clean of all his past acquisitions, be it intellectual knowledge or the habits of the vital, not to speak of the body's needs, and step forth in his nude purity. And yet this is the first and most important step in the spiritual discipline. The Mother has given us a living example of this. That is why she decided to shed all her past, forget all about it and begin anew the a-b-c of her training and initiation with Sri Aurobindo. And it was in fact at the hands of Sri Aurobindo that she received as a token and outward symbol her first lessons in Bengali and Sanskrit, beginning with the alphabet.

3.4.1.01 - Poetry and Sadhana, #Letters On Poetry And Art, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  What I wrote to you about poetry was an entirely general answer to the question of the relation of poetry to sadhana. I wrote how poetry could be part of sadhana and under what conditions, what were its limitations and also that it could not be a substitute for sadhana. I made no personal application; I have not said or suggested anywhere that the ideas or Bhakti expressed in your poetry were humbug or hypocrisy and I have not said or suggested anywhere that all our labour on you had been wasted and gone for nothing. These absurd ideas, like all the rest, are imaginations and inventions of the vital ego foisted by it on your mind in order to justify its pressure on you to leave Pondicherry and the Yoga.
  I understood from what you had written and said before that you wanted to concentrate altogether on the sadhanato do what I call the gathering up of the whole life and nature and turning it towards the one aim, and I wrote that the lack of this was the defect of the majority of the sadhaks here. What I wrote implied therefore an approval of your resolution. No doubt, it implied also that you had not yet made this total gathering up and turning; if you had, there would have been no need of this resolution of yours and no room for it. If your whole life and every part of your being has already been gathered up and entirely consecrated to the Divine, then you are on the perfect way and there is obviously no need of any change in your way of life or your sadhana. But this can be said of very few in the Ashram. But that does not mean that all the people in the Ashram except a few are insincere and that all our work on them has been thrown away. What it means is that for our work to be fully done, for the decisive realisations and the complete inner and outer change, the entire gathering up and turning of the whole life and nature is indispensable and that if it is only partially done, it is a defect in the sadhana and stands in the way of a full working and decisive and total change of the consciousness. If your whole vital nature and all the movements of your outer life had been already gathered up and turned towards the Divine alone without any other aim or interest, how is it that this vital revolt came about? And how is it that it whirls furiously around such things as the refusal of an easy chair or an almirah or of a special room which the Mother has reserved for another purpose? Or around the gossip of sadhaks and what this one may have said or that one may have said or the attitude of sadhaks towards you? It is evident that the part of your vital which was concerned with these outward things or with the outward contacts with others was not yet turned solely towards the one aim, that it was still interested and affected by these things which have nothing to do with the realisation of the Divine or with Yoga.
  --
  Literature and art are or can be first introductions to the inner being the inner mind and vital; for it is from there that they come. And if one writes poems of Bhakti, poems of divine seeking etc., or creates music of that kind, it means that there is a bhakta or seeker inside who is supporting himself by that self expression. There is also the point of view behind Leles answer to me when I told him that I wanted to do Yoga but for work, for action, not for Sannyasa and Nirvana,but after years of spiritual effort I had failed to find the way and it was for that I had asked to meet him. His first answer was, It should be easy for you as you are a poet. But it was not from any point of view like that that Nirod put his question and it was not from that point of view that I gave my answer. It was about some special character-making virtue that he seemed to attribute to literature.
  18 November 1936
  --
  If such poems are put as a claim, or vaunted as a personal experience of Yoga, they may be objected to on that ground. But a poet is not bound to confine himself to his personal experience. A poet writes from inspiration or from imagination or vision. Milton did not need to go to Heaven or Hell or the Garden of Eden before he wrote Paradise Lost. Are all Dilips Bhakti poems an exact transcription of his inner state? If so, he must be a wonderful Yogi and bhakta.
  14 April 1938

3.4.2 - The Inconscient and the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  As for experiences, they are all right but the trouble is that they do not seem to change the nature, they only enrich the consciousness even the realisation, on the mind level, of the Brahman seems to leave the nature almost where it was, except for a few. That is why we insist on the psychic transformation as the first necessity for that does change the nature and its chief instrument is Bhakti, surrender etc.
  ***

3.6.01 - Heraclitus, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Heraclitus is using the old language of the Mysteries, though in his own new way and for his own individual purpose, when he speaks of Hades and Dionysus and the ever-living Fire or of the Furies, the succourers of Justice who will find out the Sun if he oversteps his measure. We miss his sense, if we see in these names of the gods only the poorer superficial meanings of the popular mythological religion. When Heraclitus speaks of the dry or the moist soul, it is of the soul and not the intellect that he is thinking, psuchē and not nous. Psuchē corresponds roughly to the cetas or citta of Indian psychology, nous to buddhi; the dry soul of the Greek thinker to the purified heart-consciousness, śuddha citta, of the Indian psychologists, which in their experience was the first basis for a purified intellect, viśuddha buddhi. The moist soul is that which allows itself to be perturbed by the impure wine of sense ecstasy, emotional excitement, an obscure impulse and inspiration whose source is from a dark under-world. Dionysus is the god of this wine-born ecstasy, the god of the Bacchic mysteries,-of the "walkers in the night, mages, bacchanals, mystics": therefore Heraclitus says that Dionysus and Hades are one. In an opposite sense the ecstatic devotee of the Bhakti path in India reproaches the exclusive seeker by the way of thought-discernment with his "dry knowledge", using Heraclitus' epithet, but with a pejorative and not a laudatory significance.
  To ignore the influence of the mystic thought and its methods of self-expression on the intellectual thinking of the Greeks from Pythagoras to Plato is to falsify the historical procession of the human mind. It was enveloped at first in the symbolic, intuitive, esoteric style and discipline of the Mystics,-Vedic and Vedantic seers, Orphic secret teachers, Egyptian priests. From that veil it emerged along the path of a metaphysical philosophy still related to the Mystics by the source of its fundamental ideas, its first aphoristic and cryptic style, its attempt to seize directly upon truth by intellectual vision rather than arrive at it by careful ratiocination, but nevertheless intellectual in its method and aim. This is the first period of the Darshanas in India, in Greece of the early intellectual thinkers. Afterwards came the full tide of philosophic rationalism, Buddha or the Buddhists and the logical philosophers in India, in Greece the Sophists and Socrates with all their splendid progeny; with them the intellectual method did not indeed begin, but came to its own and grew to its fullness. Heraclitus belongs to the transition, not to the noontide of the reason; he is even its most characteristic representative. Hence his cryptic style, hence his brief and burdened thought and the difficulty we feel when we try to clarify and entirely rationalise his significances. The ignoring of the Mystics, our pristine fathers, pūrve pitaraḥ, is the great defect of the modern account of our thought-evolution.

3 - Commentaries and Annotated Translations, #Hymns to the Mystic Fire, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  the signification, adore, worship. It has a strong sense of Bhakti,
  Mandala One

4.04 - The Perfection of the Mental Being, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  This is the first difficulty the Purusha has to deal with, a mixed and confused action of Nature, -- an action without clear self-knowledge, distinct motive, firm instrumentation, only an attempt at these things and a general relative success of effectuality, -- a surprising effect of adaptation in some directions, but also much distress of inadequacy. That mixed and confused action has to be mended; purification is an essential means towards self-perfection. All these impurities and inadequacies result in various kinds of limitation and bondage: but there are two or three primary knots of the bondage, -- ego is the principal knot, -- from which the others derive. These bonds must be got rid of; purification is not complete till it brings about liberation. Besides, after a certain purification and liberation has been effected, there is still the conversion of the purified instruments to the law of a higher object and utility, a large, real and perfect order of action. By the conversion man can arrive at a certain perfection of fullness of being, calm, power and knowledge, even a greater vital action and more perfect physical existence. One result of this perfection is a large and perfected delight of being, Ananda. Thus purification, liberation, perfection, delight of being are four constituent elements of the Yoga, -- suddhi, mukti, siddhi, Bhakti.
  But this perfection cannot be attained or cannot be secure and entire in its largeness if the Purusha lays stress on individuality. To abandon identification with the physical, vital and mental ego, is not enough; he must arrive in soul also at a true, universalised, not separative individuality. In the lower nature man is an ego making a clean cut in conception between himself and all other existence; the ego is to him self, but all the rest not-self, external to his being. His whole action starts from and is founded upon this self-conception and world-conception. But the conception is in fact an error. However sharply he individualises himself in mental idea and mental or other action, he is inseparable from the universal being, his body from universal force and matter, his life from the universal life, his mind from universal mind, his soul and spirit from universal soul and spirit. The universal acts on him, invades him, overcomes him, shapes itself in him at every moment; he in his reaction acts on the universal, invades, tries to impose himself on it, shape it, overcome its attack, rule and use its instrumentation.

4.1.01 - The Intellect and Yoga, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   widely or even diametrically from one's own are mistaken. But you need not be always solely dependent on this fallible and limited instrument; for, although you have not developed the mind of sight as Krishnaprem has done, it is certainly there. I have always seen that when you have been in a psychic condition with Bhakti or the higher part of the mind and the vital uppermost in you this mind of sight has come out and your ideas, feelings and judgments have become remarkably clear, right and often luminous. This has only to develop, you will then be able to see more clearly what Krishnaprem sees and many of your difficulties will disappear and the equation you want to make may become clear to you.
  As for surrender, you already have it initially in your will to serve for the sake of service without claiming reward or success and without attachment to wealth or fame. If you extend that attitude into your whole sadhana, then realisation is sure. In any case, you should throw away all obsession of the sense of failure or the impossibility of success in your sadhana. Krishnaprem is surely right in telling you, when the Grace is on you and what he names as the Radhashakti is there to give you its unseen help, that the success of your sadhana is sure and the realisation will come. The impasse is a temporary block; your trust will become complete and the road to realisation clear.

4.1.1.04 - Foundations of the Sadhana, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  What you are experiencing is the true foundation of the spiritual life and realisation. It has three elements - first, the love which is the heart of Bhakti; then the descent of peace and equanimity which is the first necessary basis for realisation of self and the higher knowledge - what comes with it is the descent of the force which will work out in you the whole sadhana; thirdly, the feeling of a guiding presence or power which is the basis of Karma - of work and action founded in the spiritual consciousness.
  You can reply to X that the three experiences he is having are the right ones - viz. the opening of the psychic through the heart, the descent of peace and the consciousness of his true being as the witness. But these experiences must be developed, deepened, completed and made the ordinary state of the consciousness. So established they become the triple foundation of the sadhana.
  --
  There are two main things to be secured as the foundations of sadhana - the opening of the psychic being and the realisation of the Self above. For the opening of the psychic being, concentration on the Mother and self-offering to her are the direct way. The growth of Bhakti which you feel is the first sign of the psychic development. A sense of the Mother's presence or force or the remembrance of her supporting and streng thening you is the next sign. Eventually, the soul within begins to be active in aspiration and psychic perception guiding the mind to the right thoughts, the vital to the right movements and feelings, showing and rejecting all that has to be put away and turning the whole being in all its movements to the Divine alone. For the self-realisation, peace and silence of the mind are the first condition. Afterwards one begins to feel release, freedom, wideness, to live in a consciousness silent, tranquil, untouched by any or all things, existing everywhere and in all, one with or united with the Divine. Other experiences come on the way, or may come, such as the opening of the inner vision, the sense of the Force working within and various movements and phenomena of the working etc. One may also be conscious of ascents of the consciousness and descents of Force, Peace,
  Bliss or Light from above.

4.1.1.05 - The Central Process of the Yoga, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Divine, the Divine in his inner relations with us; it is especially the source of love and Bhakti. This upward opening puts us into direct relation with the whole Divine and can create in us the divine consciousness and a new birth or births of the spirit.
  For when the Peace is established, this higher or Divine Force from above can descend and work in us. It descends usually first into the head and liberates the inner mind centres, then into the heart centre and liberates fully the psychic and emotional being, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner vital, then into the Muladhara and below and liberates the inner physical being. It works at the same time for perfection as well as liberation; it takes up the whole nature part by part and deals with it, rejecting what has to be rejected, sublimating what has to be sublimated, creating what has to be created. It integrates, harmonises, establishes a new rhythm in the nature.
  It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher Nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assisted, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and Bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine.
  That is the fundamental rationale of the sadhana. It will be evident that the two most important things here are the opening of the heart centre and the opening of the mind centres to all that is behind and above them. For the heart opens to the psychic being and the mind centres open to the higher consciousness and the nexus between the psychic being and the higher consciousness is the principal means of the siddhi. The first opening is effected by a concentration in the heart, a call to the Divine to manifest within us and through the psychic to take up and lead the whole nature. Aspiration, prayer, Bhakti, love, surrender are the main supports of this part of the sadhana - accompanied by a rejection of all that stands in the way of what we aspire for. The second opening is effected by a concentration of the consciousness in the head (afterwards, above it) and an aspiration and call and a sustained will for the descent of the divine Peace, Power, Light, Knowledge, Ananda into the being
  - the Peace first or the Peace and Force together. Some indeed receive Light first or Ananda first or some sudden pouring down of knowledge. With some there is first an opening which reveals to them a vast infinite Silence, Force, Light or Bliss above them and afterwards either they ascend to that or these things begin to descend into the lower nature. With others there is either the descent, first into the head, then down to the heart level, then to the navel and below and through the whole body, or else an inexplicable opening - without any sense of descent - of peace, light, wideness or power or else a horizontal opening into the cosmic consciousness or, in a suddenly widened mind, an outburst of knowledge. Whatever comes has to be welcomed

4.1.1 - The Difficulties of Yoga, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  This Yoga is certainly difficult, but is any Yoga really easy? You speak of the lure of liberation into the extracosmic Absolute, but how many who set out on the path of Nirvana attain to it in this life or without a long, strenuous and difficult endeavour? Which of the paths has not to pass through the dry desert in order to reach the promised land? Even the path of Bhakti which is said to be the easiest is full of the lamentations of the bhaktas complaining that they call but the Beloved eludes their grasp, the place of meeting is prepared but even now Krishna does not come. Even if there is the joy of a brief glimpse or the passion of milana, it is followed by long periods of viraha. It is a mistake to think that any path of Yoga is facile, that any is a royal road or short cut to the Divine, or that like a system of French made easy or French without tears, so there can be a system of Yoga made easy or Yoga without tears. A few great souls prepared by past lives or otherwise lifted beyond the ordinary spiritual capacity may attain realisation more swiftly; some may have uplifting experiences at an early stage, but for most the siddhi of the path, whatever it is, must be the end of a long, difficult and persevering endeavour. One cannot have the crown of spiritual victory without the struggle or reach the heights without the ascent and its labour. Of all it can be said, Difficult is that road, hard to tread like the edge of a razor.
  You find the path dry precisely because you have not yet touched the fringe of it. But all paths have their dry periods and for most though not for all it is at the beginning. There is a long stage of preparation necessary in order to arrive at the inner psychological condition in which the doors of experience can open and one can walk from vista to vistathough even then new gates may present themselves and refuse to open until all is ready. This period can be dry and desert-like unless one has the ardour of self-introspection and self-conquest and finds every step of the effort and struggle interesting or unless one has or gets that secret of trust and self-giving which sees the hand of the Divine in every step of the path and even in the difficulty the grace or the guidance. The description of Yoga as bitter like poison in the beginning because of the difficulty and struggle but in the end sweet as nectar because of the joy of realisation, the peace of liberation or the divine Ananda and the frequent description by sadhaks and bhaktas of the periods of dryness shows sufficiently that it is no unique peculiarity of this Yoga. All the old disciplines recognised this and it is why the Gita says that Yoga should be practised patiently and steadily with a heart that refuses to be overcome by despondency. It is a recommendation applicable to this path but also to the way of the Gita and to the hard razor path of the Vedanta, and to every other. It is quite natural that the higher the Ananda to come down, the more difficult may be the beginning, the drier the deserts that have to be crossed on the way.
  --
  Nevertheless, even if that does not come at first, one can arrive at it by a patient perseverance the psychic change is indeed the indispensable preliminary of any approach to the supramental path and this change has for its very core the blossoming of the inner love, joy, Bhakti. Some may find a mental opening first and the mental opening may bring peace, light, a beginning of knowledge first, but this opening from above is incomplete unless it is followed by an opening inward of the heart. To suppose that the Yoga is dry and joyless because the struggles of your mind and vital have made your first approach to it dry is a misunderstanding and an error. The hidden springs of sweetness will reveal themselves if you persevere, even if now they are guarded by the dragons of doubt and unsatisfied longing. Grumble, if your nature compels you to it, but persevere.
  ***

4.12 - The Way of Equality, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The third way is that of submission, which may be the Christian resignation founded on submission to the will of God, or an unegoistic acceptance of things and happenings as a manifestation of the universal Will in time, or a complete surrender of the person to the Divine, to the supreme Purusha. As the first was a way of the will and the second a way of knowledge, of the understanding reason, so this is a way of the temperament and heart and very intimately connected with the principle of Bhakti. If it is pushed to the end, it arrives at the same result of a perfect equality. For the knot of the ego is loosened and the personal claim begins to disappear, we find that we are no longer bound to joy in things pleasant or sorrow over the unpleasant; we bear them without either eager acceptance or troubled rejection, refer them to the Master of our being, concern ourselves less and less with their personal result to us and hold only one thing of importance, to approach God, or to be in touch and tune with the universal and infinite Existence, or to be united with the Divine, his channel, instrument, servant, lover, rejoicing in him and in our relation with him and having no other object or cause of joy or sorrow. Here too there may be for some time a division between the lower mind of habitual emotions and the higher psychical mind of love and self-giving, but eventually the former yields, changes, transforms itself, is swallowed up in the love, joy, delight of the Divine and has no other interests or attractions. Then all within is the equal peace and bliss of that union, the one silent bliss that passes understanding, the peace that abides untouched by the solicitation of lower things in the depths of our spiritual existence.
  These three ways coincide in spite of their separate starting-points, first, by their inhibition of the normal reactions of the mind to the touches of outward things, bahya-sparsan, secondly, by their separation of the self or spirit from the outward action of Nature. Bat it is evident that our perfection will be greater and more ernbracingly complete, if we can have a more active equality which will enable us not only to draw back from or confront the world in a detached and separated calm, but to return upon it and possess it in the power of the calm and equal Spirit. This is possible because the world, Nature, action are not in fact a quite separate thing, but a manifestation of the Self, the All-Soul, the Divine. The reactions of the normal mind are a degradation of the divine values which would but for this degradation make this truth evident to us, --a falsification, an ignorance which alters their workings, an ignorance which starts from the involution of Self in a blind material nescience. Once we return to the full consciousness of Self, of God, we can then put a true divine value on things and receive and act on them with the calm, joy, knowledge, seeing will of the Spirit. When we begin to do that, then the soul begins to have an equal joy in the universe, an equal will dealing with all energies, an equal knowledge which takes possession of the spiritual truth behind all the phenomena of this divine manifestation. It possesses the world as the Divine possesses it, in a fullness of the infinite light, power and Ananda.

4.20 - The Intuitive Mind, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  A second movement is one which comes naturally to those who commence the Yoga with the initiative that is proper to the way of Bhakti. It is natural to them to reject the intellect and its action and to listen for the voice, wait for the impulsion or the command, the adesa, obey only the idea and will and power of the Lord within them, the divine Self and Purusha in the heart of'lle creature, isvarah sarvabhutanam hrddese. This is a movement which must tend more and more to intuitivise the whole nature, for the ideas, the will, the impulsions, the feelings which come from the secret Purusha in the heart are of the direct intuitive character. This method is consonant with a certain truth of our nature. The secret Self within us is an intuitive self and this intuitive self is seated in every centre of our being, the physical, the nervous, the emotional, the volitional, the conceptual or cognitive and the higher more directly spiritual centres. And in each part of our being it exercises a secret intuitive initiation of our activities which is received and represented imperfectly by our outer mind and converted into the movements of the ignorance in the external action of these parts of our nature. The heart or emotional centre of the thinking desire-mind is the strongest in the ordinary man, gathers up or at least affects the presentation of things to the consciousness and is the capital of the system. It is from there that the Lord seated in the heart of all creatures turns them mounted on the machine of Nature by the Maya of the mental ignorance. It is possible then by referring back all the initiation of our action to this secret intuitive Self and Spirit, the ever-present Godhead within us, and replacing by its influences the initiations of our personal and mental nature to get back from the inferior external thought and action to another, internal and intuitive, of a highly spiritualised character. Nevertheless the result of this movement cannot be complete, because the heart is not the highest centre of our being, is not supramental nor directly moved from the supramental sources. An intuitive thought and action directed from it may be very luminous and intense but is likely to be limited, even narrow in its intensity, mixed with a lower emotional action and at the best excited and troubled, rendered unbalanced or exaggerated by a miraculous or abnormal character in its action or at least in many of its accompaniments which is injurious to the harmonised perfection of the being. The aim of our effort at perfection must be to make the spiritual and supramental action no longer a miracle, even if a frequent or constant miracle, or only a luminous intervention of a greater than our natural power, but normal to the being and the very nature and law of all its process. The highest organised centre of our embodied being and of its action in the body is the supreme mental centre figured by the yogic symbol of the thousand-petalled lotus, sahasradala, and it is at its top and summit that there is the direct communication with the supramental levels. It is then possible to adopt a different and a more direct method, not to refer all our thought and action to the Lord secret in the heart-lotus but to the veiled truth of the Divinity above the mind and to receive all by a sort of descent from above, a descent of which we become not only spiritually but physically conscious. The siddhi or full accomplishment of this movement can only come when we are able to lift the centre of thought and conscious action above the physical brain and feel it going on in the subtle body. If we can feel ourselves thinking no longer with the brain but from above and outside the head in the subtle body, that is a sure physical sign of a release from the limitations of the physical mind, and though this will not be complete at once nor of itself bring the supramental action, for the subtle body is mental and not supramental, still it is a subtle and pure mentality and makes an easier communication with the supramental centres. The lower movements must still come, but it is then found easier to arrive at a swift and subtle discrimination telling us at once the difference, distinguishing the intuitional thought from the lower intellectual mixture, separating it from its mental coatings, rejecting the mere rapidities of the mind which imitate the form of the intuition without being of its true substance. It will be easier to discern rapidly the higher planes of the true supramental being and call down their power to effect the desired transformation and to refer all the lower action to the superior power and light that it may reject and eliminate, purify and transform and select among them its right material for the Truth that has to be organised within us. This opening up of a higher level and of higher and higher planes of it and the consequent re-formation of our whole consciousness and its action into their mould and into the substance of their power and luminous capacity is found in practice to be the greater part of the natural method used by the divine shakti.
  A fourth method is one which suggests itself naturally to the developed intelligence and suits the thinking man. This is to not to cherish its limitations, but to heighten its capacity, light, intensity, degree and force of activity until it borders on the thing that transcends it and can easily be taken up and transformed into that higher conscious action. This movement also is founded on the truth of our nature and enters into the course and movement of the complete Yoga of self-perfection. That course, as I have described it, included a heightening and greatening of the action of our natural instruments and powers till they constitute in their purity and essential completeness a preparatory perfection of the present normal movement of the shakti that acts in us. The reason and intelligent will, the Buddhi, is the greatest of these powers and instruments, the natural leader of the rest in the developed human being, the most capable of aiding the development of the others. The ordinary activities of our nature are all of them of use for the greater perfection we seek, are meant to be turned into material for them, and the greater their development, the richer the preparation for the supramental action.

4.2.1.02 - The Role of the Psychic in Sadhana, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The contri bution of the psychic being to the sadhana is: (1) love and Bhakti, a love not vital, demanding and egoistic but without conditions or claims, self-existent; (2) the contact or the presence of the Mother within; (3) an unerring guidance from within;
  (4) a quieting and purification of the mind, vital and physical consciousness by their subjection to the psychic influence and guidance; (5) the opening up of all this lower consciousness to the higher spiritual consciousness above for its descent into a nature prepared to receive it with a complete receptivity and right attitude - for the psychic brings in everything right thought, right perception, right feeling, right attitude.

4.2.1 - The Right Attitude towards Difficulties, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  There is no contradiction between my former statements about the sunlit path and what I have said about the difficult and unpleasant passages which the Yoga has to pass through in its normal development in the way of human nature. The sunlit path can be followed by those who are able to practise surrender, first a central surrender and afterwards a more complete self-giving in all the parts of the being. If they can achieve and preserve the attitude of the central surrender, if they can rely wholly on the Divine and accept cheerfully whatever comes to them from the Divine, then their path becomes sunlit and may even be straightforward and easy. They will not escape all difficulties, no seeker can, but they will be able to meet them without pain and despondency,as indeed the Gita recommends that Yoga should be practised, anirviacetas,trusting in the inner guidance and perceiving it more and more or else in the outer guidance of the Guru. It can also be followed even when one feels no light and no guidance if there is or if one can acquire a bright settled faith and happy Bhakti or has the nature of the spiritual optimist and the firm belief or feeling that all that is done by the Divine is done for the best even when we cannot understand his action. But all have not this nature, most are very far from it, and the complete or even the central surrender is not easy to get and to keep it always is hard enough for our human nature. When these things are not there, the liberty of the soul is not attained and we have instead to undergo the law or fulfil a hard and difficult discipline.
  That law is imposed on us by the Ignorance which is the nature of all our parts; our physical being is obviously a mass of ignorance, the vital is full of ignorant desires and passions, the mind is also an instrument of Ignorance struggling towards some kind of imperfect and mostly inferior and external knowledge. The path of the seeker proceeds through this ignorance; for a long time he can find no light of solid experience or realisation, only the hopes and ideas and beliefs of the mind which do not give the true spiritual seeing; or he gets glimpses of light or periods of light but the light often goes out and the luminous periods are followed by frequent or long periods of darkness. There are constant fluctuations, persistent disappointments, innumerable falls and failures. No path of Yoga is really easy or free from these difficulties or fluctuations; the way of Bhakti is supposed to be the easiest, but still we find constant complaints that one is always seeking but never finding and even at the best there is a constant ebb and tide, milana and viraha, joy and weeping, ecstasy and despair. If one has the faith or in the absence of faith the will to go through, one passes on and enters into the joy and light of the divine realisation. If one gets some habit of true surrender, then all this is not necessary; one can enter into the sunlit way. Or if one can get some touch of what is called pure Bhakti, uddh Bhakti, then whatever happens that is enough; the way becomes easy, or if it does not, still this is a sufficient start to support us to the end without the sufferings and falls that happen so often to the ignorant seeker.
  In all Yoga there are three essential objects to be attained by the seeker: union or abiding contact with the Divine, liberation of the soul or the Self, the Spirit, and a certain change of the consciousness, the spiritual change. It is this change, which is necessary for reaching the other two objects, necessary at least to a certain degree, that is the cause of most of the struggles and difficulties; for it is not easy to accomplish it; a change of the mind, a change of the heart, a change of the habits of the will is called for and is obstinately resisted by our ignorant nature. In this Yoga a complete transformation of the nature is aimed at because that is necessary for the complete union and the complete liberation not only of the soul and the spirit but of the nature itself. It is also a Yoga of works and of the integral divine life; for that the integral transformation of nature is evidently necessary; the union with the Divine has to carry with it a full entrance into the divine consciousness and the divine nature; there must be not only syujya or slokya but sdya or, as it is called in the Gita, sdharmya. The full Yoga, Purna Yoga, means a fourfold path, a Yoga of knowledge for the mind, a Yoga of Bhakti for the heart, a Yoga of works for the will and a Yoga of perfection for the whole nature. But, ordinarily, if one can follow wholeheartedly any one of these lines, one arrives at the result of all the four. For instance, by Bhakti one becomes close to the Divine, becomes intensely aware of Him and arrives at knowledge, for the Divine is the Truth and the Reality; by knowing Him, says the Upanishads, one comes to know all. By Bhakti also the will is led into the road of the works of love and the service of the Divine and the government of the nature and its acts by the Divine, and that is Karmayoga. By Bhakti also comes spiritual change of the consciousness and the action of the nature which is the first step towards its transformation. So it is with all the other lines of the fourfold path.
  But it may be that there are many obstacles in the being to the domination of the mind and heart and will by Bhakti and the consequent contact with the Divine. The too great activity of the intellectual mind and its attachment to its own pride of ideas, its prejudices, its fixed notions and its ignorant reason may shut the doors to the inner light and prevent the full tide of Bhakti from flooding everything; it may also cling to a surface mental activity and refuse to go inside and allow the psychic vision and the feelings of the inner heart to become its guides, though it is by this vision and this feeling that Bhakti grows and conquers. So too the passions and desires of the vital being and its ego may block the way and prevent the self-giving of the mind and heart to the Divine. The inertia, ignorance and inconscience of ones physical consciousness, its attachment to fixed habits of thought and feeling and action, its persistence in the old grooves may come badly in the way of the needed change. In such circumstances the Divine may have to bide his time; but if there is real hunger in the heart, all that cannot prevent the final realisation; still, it may have to wait till the obstructions are removed or at least so much cleared out as to admit an unimpeded working of the Divine Power on the surface nature. Till then, there may be periods of inner ease and some light in the mind, periods also of the feeling of Bhakti or of peace, periods of the joy of self-consecration in works and service; for these will take long to stay permanently and there will be much struggle and unrest and suffering. In the end the Divines working will appear and one will be able to live in his presence.
  I have described the difficulties of Yoga at their worst, as they may hamper and afflict even those predestined to the realisation but as often there is an alternation or a mixture of the light and the darkness, initial attainment perhaps and heavy subsequent difficulties, progress and attacks and retardations, strong movements forward and a floundering in the bogs of the Ignorance. Even great realisations may come and high splendours of light and spiritual experience and yet the goal is not attained; for in the phrase of the Rig Veda, As one climbs from peak to peak there is made clear the much that is still to be done. But there is always something that either carries us on or forces us on. This may take the shape of something conscious in front, the shape of a mastering spiritual idea, indestructible aspiration or fixed faith which may seem sometimes entirely veiled or even destroyed in periods of darkness or violent upheaval, but always they reappear when the storm has passed or the blackness of night has thinned, and reassert their influence. But also it may be something in the very essence of the being deeper than any idea or will in the mind, deeper and more permanent than the hearts aspiration but hidden from ones own observation. One who is moved to Yoga by some curiosity of the mind or even by its desire for knowledge can turn aside from the path from disappointment or any other cause; still more can those who take it up from some inner ambition or vital desire turn away through revolt or frustration or the despondency of frequent check and failure. But if this deeper thing is there, then one cannot permanently leave the path of spiritual endeavour: one may decide to leave the path but is not allowed from within to do it or one may leave but is obliged to return to it by the secret spiritual need within him.

4.2.2.01 - The Meaning of Psychic Opening, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It does not matter if strenuous meditation leads to experiences or not. Remember what I told you that it is the psychic growth and not experiences that are the road for you just now. That means three things - 1st, the drawing back from the vital ego and its perturbations to a quiet attitude of faith and surrender; 2nd, the growth of something within that sees what is to be changed in the nature and gives the impulse to change it; 3rd, the psychic feeling in sadhana which presses towards the growth of Bhakti, feels it a joy simply to think, feel, write, speak of, remember the Divine, grows full of a quiet self-upliftment towards the
  Divine and lives in that more than in outward things. When the consciousness is full of these things altogether, i.e. when there is the full psychic state or opening, then experiences begin to come of themselves. The first two at least had started of themselves in you - let them grow and the third should necessarily follow. The psychic opening first, the higher consciousness and its experiences afterwards.

4.2.2.02 - Conditions for the Psychic Opening, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  If there is any kind of egoistic turn or insincerity of motive, if the Yoga is done under a pressure of vital demands, or partly or wholly to satisfy some spiritual or other ambition, pride, vanity or seeking after power, position or influence over others or with any push towards satisfying any vital desire with the help of the Yogic force, then the psychic cannot open, or opens only partially or only at times and shuts again because it is veiled by the vital activities; the psychic fire fails in the strangling vital smoke. Also, if the mind takes the leading part in the Yoga and puts the inner soul into the background, or, if the Bhakti or other movements of the sadhana take more of a vital than of a psychic form, there is the same inability. Purity, simple sincerity and the capacity of an unegoistic unmixed self-offering without pretension or demand are the conditions of an entire opening of the psychic being.
  If desire is rejected and no longer governs the thought, feeling or action and there is the steady aspiration of an entirely sincere self-giving, the psychic usually after a time opens of itself.

4.2.2.05 - Opening and Coming in Front, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  In using the expression "opening of the psychic" I was thinking not of an ordinary psychic opening producing some amount of psychic (as opposed to vital) love and Bhakti, but of what is called the coming in front of the psychic. When that happens one is aware of the psychic being with its simple spontaneous self-giving and feels its increasing direct control (not merely a veiled or half-veiled influence) over mind, vital and physical.
  Especially there is the psychic discernment which at once lights up the thoughts, emotional movements, vital pushes, physical habits and leaves nothing there obscure, substituting the right movements for the wrong ones. It is this that is difficult and rare, more often the discernment is mental and it is the mind that tries to put all in order. In that case, it is the descent of the higher consciousness through the mind that opens the psychic, instead of the psychic opening directly.
  --
  The direct opening of the psychic centre is easy only when the ego-centricity is greatly diminished and also if there is a strong Bhakti for the Mother. A spiritual humility and sense of submission and dependence is necessary.

4.2.2 - Steps towards Overcoming Difficulties, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The intense love and Bhakti does not come at once. It comes as the power of the psychic grows more and more in the being. But to aspire for it is right and the sincere aspiration is sure to fulfil itself. Always seek to progress in quietude, happiness and confidence, that is the most helpful attitude. Do not listen to contrary suggestions from outside.
  ***

4.2.3.02 - Signs of the Psychic's Coming Forward, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  A central love, Bhakti, surrender, giving everything, a sight within that sees always clearly what is spiritually right or wrong and automatically rejects the latter - a movement of entire consecration and dedication of all in one to the Mother [are the signs of the psychic's coming forward].
  It is your psychic being which came in front, probably, or else it is the true vital being in you which was able to come in front because you took the psychic attitude. When the psychic being comes in front, then there is an automatic perception of the true and untrue, the divine and the undivine, the spiritual right and wrong of things and the false vital and mental movements and attacks are immediately exposed and fall away and can do nothing; gradually the vital and physical as well as the mind get full of this psychic light and truth and sound feeling and purity and such violent attacks as you have are impossible. When the true vital being comes forward, it is something wide and strong and calm, an unmoved and powerful warrior for the Divine and the Truth repelling all enemies, bringing in a true strength and force and opening the vital to the greater Consciousness above.

4.2.3.03 - The Psychic and the Relation with the Divine, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The realisation of the psychic being, its awakening and the bringing of it in front depend mainly on the extent to which one can develop a personal relation with the Divine, a relation of Bhakti, love, reliance, self-giving, rejection of the insistences of the separating and self-asserting mental, vital and physical ego.
  It may be either way [that the psychic comes to the front - before the realisation of the Divine or after it]. There is a touch and the realisation comes and the psychic takes its proper place as the result; or the psychic may come to the front and prepare the nature for the realisation.

4.2.3.04 - Means of Bringing Forward the Psychic, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   Bhakti and love are part of the psychic movement, a large part of it; in aspiring for the psychic change, you are aspiring for Bhakti and love. But it is not useful to restrict your aspiration by a single movement like that of the Vaishnava sadhana; for this Yoga is more ample and contains, but is not confined to, what is essential in the Vaishnava sadhana. Whether you visit the physical Brindavan or not does not matter; what is necessary is to find the inner union through love and Bhakti.
  As for weeping, there is nothing against the tears that come from the inner aspiration; it is only when it is vital, outward, too much on the surface that it becomes a movement of disturbance and emotional disorder. Intensity of prayer is not at all to be rejected; it is one of the most powerful means of the sadhana.

4.2.4.06 - Agni and the Psychic Fire, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Agni is the psychic fire - it is not the Divine Presence. If the psychic is active and open, the Presence may be felt - it is not necessary for that that it should be in the front. Also it may be in the front, but the Divine Presence in the heart may not be felt as yet, there may be only the aspiration, Bhakti, self-giving. There is no fixed law about these things - it develops differently in different natures.

4.2.4.09 - Psychic Tears or Weeping, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is quite correct that [ordinary] weeping brings in the forces that should be kept outside - for the weeping is a giving way of the inner control and an expression of vital reaction and ego. It is only the psychic weeping that does not open the door to these forces - but that weeping is without affliction, tears of Bhakti, spiritual emotion or Ananda.
  Your experience was a very beautiful one - the inner being realises by such experiences that which must be established in the waking state as the foundation of the spiritual consciousness and spiritual life.

4.2.4 - Time and CHange of the Nature, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  My words about the great secret of sadhana1 simply pointed out that that was the most effective way if one could get the things done by the Power behind, did not rule out mental effort so long as one could not do that. Ramakrishnas way of putting it was the image of the baby monkey and baby cat; I have only said the same thing in other words; both are permissible methods, only one is more easily effective. Any method sincerely and persistently followed can end by bringing the opening. You yourself chose the method of prayer and japa because you believed in that, and I acquiesced because it does prepare something in the consciousness and, if done with persistent faith and Bhakti, it can open all the doors. Another method is concentration and aspiration in the heart which opens the inner emotional being. Another is the concentration in the head of which I spoke which opens the inner mind or opens the passage through the Brahmarandhra to the higher consciousness. These things are no fantastic invention of mine which one can dismiss as a new-fangled and untested absurdity; they are recognised methods which have succeeded in thousands of cases and here also there are plenty who have found their effect. But whatever method is used will not bring its effect at once; it must be done persistently, simply, directly till it succeeds. If it is done with a mind of doubt or watching it as an experiment to see if it succeeds or if it is continually crossed by a spirit of hasty despondency saying constantly, You see it is all useless, then it ought to be obvious that the opening will be very difficult, because there is that clogging it every time there is a pressure or a push to open. That is why I wanted you to get rid of these two things and have harped on that so much, because I know by my own experience and that of others how strongly they can stand in the way of what you seek. For you are not the only one who have been troubled by these two obstacles; most have had to struggle against them. If one can get rid of them in their central action, the survival of their activity in the circumference does not so much matter; for then the opening becomes possible, both to make and to keep and the rest can follow.
  The six years of which you speak have been spent by you mainly in struggling with sex and doubt and vital difficultiesmany take more than that time about it. What I have been wanting you to do now is to get the right positive attitude within at the centre free from these things. Its basis must be what I have said, I want the Divine and the Divine only; since I want and need, I shall surely arrive, however long it takes, and till I do, I shall persist and endure with patience and courage. I do not mean by that that you should have no activity but prayer and concentration; few can do that; but whatever is done should be done in that spirit.

4.2.5.01 - Psychisation and Spiritualisation, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Psychisation means the change of the lower nature, bringing right vision into the mind, right impulse and feeling into the vital, right movement and habit into the physical - all turned towards the Divine, all based on love, adoration, Bhakti - finally, the vision and sense of the Mother everywhere in all as well as in the heart, her Force working in the being etc., faith, consecration, surrender.
  The spiritual change is the established descent of the peace, light, knowledge, power, bliss from above, the awareness of the self and the Divine and of a higher cosmic consciousness and the change of the whole consciousness to that.

4.26 - The Supramental Time Consciousness, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Karma and Bhakti also and so with each path. It was intended when the Self-Perfection was finished, to suggest a way in which all could be combined, but this was never written.
  One can gauge how much of The Synthesis of Yoga remained to be written by comparing the actually completed chapters of "The Yoga

4.3.2.02 - Breaking into the Spiritual Consciousness, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  1 In a letter to the correspondent, Krishnaprem said that there are two stages of Bhakti.
  In the first stage of rapturous adoration, the light and bliss of Krishna rush down into

4.3.2 - Attacks by the Hostile Forces, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Krishnaprems letter is admirable from start to finish and every sentence hits the truth with great point and force. He has evidently an accurate knowledge both of the psychological and the occult forces that act in Yoga; all he says is in agreement with my own experience and I concur. His account of the rationale of your present difficulties is quite correct and no other explanation is neededexcept what I was writing in my unfinished letter about the descent of the sadhana into the plane of the physical consciousness and that does not disaccord with but only completes what he says. He is quite right in saying that the heaviness of these attacks was due to the fact that you had taken up the sadhana in earnest and were approaching, as one might say, the gates of the Kingdom of Light. That always makes these forces rage and they strain every nerve and use or create every opportunity to turn the sadhak back or, if possible, drive him out of the path altogether by their suggestions, their violent influences and their exploitation of all kinds of incidents that always crop up more and more when these conditions prevail, so that he may not reach the gates. I have written to you more than once alluding to these forces, but I did not press the point because I saw that like most people whose minds have been rationalised by a modern European education you were not inclined to believe in or at least to attach any importance to this knowledge. People nowadays seek the explanation for everything in their ignorant reason, their surface experience and in outside happenings. They do not see the hidden forces and inner causes which were well-known and visualised in the traditional Indian and Yogic knowledge. Of course, these forces find their point dappui in the sadhak himself, in the ignorant parts of his consciousness and its assent to their suggestions and influences; otherwise they could not act or at least could not act with any success. In your case the chief points dappui have been the extreme sensitiveness of the lower vital ego and now also the physical consciousness with all its fixed or standing opinions, prejudices, prejudgments, habitual reactions, personal preferences, clinging to old ideas and associations, its obstinate doubts and its maintaining these things as a wall of obstruction and opposition to the larger light. This activity of the physical mind is what people call intellect and reason, although it is only the turning of a machine in a circle of mental habits and is very different from the true and free reason, the higher Buddhi which is capable of enlightenment and still more from the higher spiritual light or that insight and tact of the psychic consciousness which sees at once what is true and right and distinguishes it from what is wrong and false. This insight you had very constantly whenever you were in a good condition and especially whenever Bhakti became strong in you. When the sadhak comes down into the physical consciousness, leaving the mental and higher vital ranges on which he had first turned towards the Divine, these opposite things become very strong and sticky and, as ones more helpful states and experiences draw back behind the veil and one can hardly realise that one ever had them, it becomes difficult to get out of this condition. The only thing then, as Krishnaprem has told you and I also have insisted, is to stick it out. If once one can get and keep the resolution to refuse to accept the suggestions of these forces, however plausible they may seem, then either quickly or gradually this condition can diminish and will be overpassed and cease. To give up Yoga is no solution; you could not successfully do it as both Krishnaprem and I have told you and as your own mind tells you when it is clear. A temporary absence from the Asram for relief from the struggle is a different matter. I do not think, however, that residence in the Ramana Asram would be eventually helpful except for bringing back some peace of mind; Ramana Maharshi is a great Yogi and his realisation very high on its own line; but it does not seem to me that it is a line which you could successfully follow as you certainly can follow the path of Bhakti if you stick to it, and there might then be the danger of your falling between two stools, losing your own path and not being able to follow the path of another nature.
  ***

4.3 - Bhakti, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:4.3 - Bhakti
  author class:Sri Aurobindo

4.4.4.02 - Peace, Calm, Quiet as a Basis for the Descent, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  sure basis into which all else (Ananda, light, knowledge, Bhakti)
  can descend in the future and stand on it or play safely. The

5.1.02 - The Gods, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  (Jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by Ananda, Love and Bhakti.
  The Devi is the Divine Shakti - the Consciousness and

9.99 - Glossary, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
    Adhyatma Ramayana: A book dealing with the life of Rama and harmonizing the ideals of jnana and Bhakti.
    advaita: Non-duality; a school of the Vedanta philosophy, declaring the oneness of God, soul, and universe.
  --
    bhakta: A follower of the path of Bhakti, divine love; a worshipper of the Personal God.
     Bhakti: Love of God; single-minded devotion to one's Chosen Ideal.
     Bhaktiyoga: The path of devotion, followed by dualistic worshippers.
    Bharadvaja: A sage mentioned in the Purana.
  --
    Narada Pancharatra: A scripture of the Bhakti cult.
    Naralila: God manifesting Himself as man.

Guru Granth Sahib first part, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  You Yourself are Bhakti, loving devotional worship. You Yourself unite us in Union with Yourself.
  O Nanak, may I never forget the Naam! As is Your Pleasure, so is Your Will. ||9||13||

Liber 111 - The Book of Wisdom - LIBER ALEPH VEL CXI, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
   that practice of Bhakti Yoga which is written in he book called Eight
   Score and Fifteen, or Astarte, by this mine Hand when I was in Gaul the

r1914 05 07, #Record of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   1) Bhakti
   2) Shakti
  --
   Bhakti entered into the Krishnadarshana suddenly, after the lipi, & seems to be established there, but the darshana is not yet of universal application except by smarana.
   At night connected dream, but constant interference of present associations. Initial stability of vision seems to be established.

r1914 08 16, #Record of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   This carries with it a corresponding andha visvasa & Bhakti for the Ishwara, with anandamaya submission, but not faith in particular kriti. Sense of responsibility is repelled and begins to disappear. Vak is being definitely renounced into the hands of the Ishwara. The demand for truth is disappearing in its remnants, also the idea that anything done can be wrong or have the wrong results.
   The perception of Krishna everywhere and all as forms & names of his play is definitely & irrevocably established. Intensity of the perception with chanda ananda is being added to the fixity.

r1914 11 20, #Record of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   Image of large, bare room with one chair etc, & a young Brahmachari, slim & fine-featured of Bengali type, hastening full of respect & Bhakti, to answer the call of his Guru.
   Image of self, wearing dress with peculiar border & long hair, some hanging over the breast on the border. Queryfuture or idealised past?

r1915 01 10, #Record of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   Mahalaxmi brings with her Bhakti & prema, the stable permanence of which was so long denied.
   ***

Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (text), #Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The Master: Bhakti alone is supreme Bhakti or devotion to God. Do they care for Bhakti? If they do,
  that is well. It is well if they have God-realization for their aim and goal. But remember, to be engrossed
  --
  progressed in Bhakti Yoga or the path of devotion.
  123. What is the nature of the feelings and impulses of one who has the attitude of the 'servant I'? If his
  --
  (Viveka, Vairagya and Bhakti. My entry)
  271. What are you to do when you are placed in this world? Give up everything to Him, resign yourself
  --
  place. Enter the world after gaining Jnana and Bhakti. The best curd is formed when the milk is left quite
  still; shaking, or even changing the pot, spoils it. Janaka was unattached; hence one of the epithets
  --
  whence all come. I tell them to pray for Bhakti, and base their lives on it.
  289. Always consider that your family concerns are not yours; they are God's and you are His servant
  --
  357. Sing with Bhakti the hallowed 'name' of the Lord, and the mountain of your sins will vanish, just as
  a mountain of cotton will bum to ashes and disappear if but a spark of fire falls on it.
  --
  Narada said to Ramachandra, "O Rama, grant that I may be favoured with Bhakti (love, devotion and
  self-surrender) for Thy lotus-feet." "Be it so, Narada," said Rama, "but will you not ask for anything
  --
  530. Have Bhakti within, and give up all cunning and deceit. Those who are engaged in business, such as
  work in office or trade, should also stick to truth. Truthfulness is the Tapasya (austerity) of this age of
  --
  state of Kumbhaka. The Kumbhaka comes even through Bhakti Yoga; through intense love of God also,
  the breath is suspended.
  --
  Rama as an Avatara. God incarnates in the human form to teach man true Jnana and Bhakti.
  Nara Lila1 = God has four distinct aspects of manifestation. One aspect of His is Isvara, the supreme
  --
  firmament at one and the same time. The manifestation of Jnana and Bhakti in one and the same person
  is as unique an occurrence as the phenomenon referred to above.
  --
  JNANA, Bhakti AND KARMA1
  I. Path of Knowledge: What is Jnana Yoga-Method of Jnana Yoga-Difficulties of Jnana Yoga- II. Path of
  Love: Bhakti and the conditions of its growth- Bhakti and Worldly love-Effects of Bhakti-Stages and
  aspects of Bhakti-Prema or Para Bhakti (ecstatic Love )-Love of the Gopis- Viraha and Mahabhava-Ill.
   Bhakti and Jnana: Bhakti and Jnana the same in the end-How Bhakti leads to Jnana-Difference in the
  temperaments of the Jnani and the Bhakta-IV. Path of Work:
  --
  JNANA, Bhakti AND KARMA1 These Sanskrit words may roughly be translated into English as
  Knowledge, Love and Work; and Yogas are spiritual disciplines connected with them. So there are the
  --
  the chemicals of Bhakti, the image of Divinity can be impressed.
  748. It is a rare thing-this love of God; Bhakti can arise only when there is whole-hearted devotion to
  God like the devotion of a chaste wife to her husband. Pure Bhakti is very difficult to obtain. Through
   Bhakti the mind and soul must be absorbed in God. Then comes Bhava (the higher form of Bahkti). In
  --
  Effects of Bhakti
  757. A devotee: Is it necessary, Sir, that one should first get one's senses controlled by right
  --
  The Master: Well, that is one path-the path of right discrimination. In the path of Bhakti, self-control
  comes of itself and it comes very easily. The more one's love of God increases, the more insipid become
  --
  763. It may be that one does not know the right path and yet has Bhakti for God, the intense desire to
  know Him. Such a devotee gains Him through the sheer force of that Bhakti. There was a great devotee
  who started to see Jagannath, but not knowing the way to Puri (where the temple of Jagannath is
  --
  Stages and Aspects of Bhakti 207
  764. Devotion effloresces into right discrimination, renunciation, love of all creatures, service to pious
  --
  Stages and Aspects of Bhakti
  767. Love is of three kinds: unselfish (Samartha), reciprocal (Samanjasa) and ordinary or selfish
  --
  768. As there are shades of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in worldliness, so Bhakti has its corresponding
  aspects. There is one type of Bhakti that partakes of the humility of Sattva, another that is characterised
  by the ostentation of Rajas, and a third that is marked by the brute force of Tamas.
  --
  relating to the Spirit; (3) Nishtha or single-minded devotion to one's ideal; (4) Bhakti or
  intense love of God; (5) Bhava or the state of speechless absorption in the thought of God ;
  --
  772. There is the kind of Bhakti which is called Vaidhi Bhakti (devotion as enjoined by the scriptures).
  Repeating the 'name' of God a certain number of times, fasting on certain occasions, making pilgrimages
  --
  773. Love of God is of two kinds: First, the Bhakti which is enjoined by the scriptures. We are to worship
  in a certain way or repeat the 'name' of the Lord so many times, and so on. All this belongs to what is
  --
  to desire. One endowed with such Bhakti says, "O Lord, I do not want riches, fame, health, happiness or
  anything else. Grant that I may have pure devotion to Thy lotus feet!"
  --
  795. Here is a Puranic story which reconciles Jnana and Bhakti. Once Ramachandra, God-incarnate, said
  to his great devotee Hanuman, "My son, tell Me in what relation you regard Me, and how you meditate
  --
  merely once in a way, it comes again to trouble us; but when the heart is hedged in with Bhakti and
  Jnana, it is permanently kept away. Indeed, it is only thus that God becomes manifest to human vision.
  How Bhakti leads to Jnana
  797. Knowledge of Non-duality is the highest; but God should be worshipped first as a master is
  --
  devotee hungers and thirsts after it. Thus the Jnana Yogi will attain Jnana as well as Bhakti. It will be
  given to him to realise Brahman; the Lord willing, he will also realise the Personal God of the Bhakta.
  --
  Brahman of the Upanishads, Yet the Lord makes him heir to His infinite glory and grants him Bhakti as
  well as Jnana, and the realisation of God, Personal as well as Impersonal. For if a man can manage to
  --
  discrimination (Vichara). Again you may come to it through Bhakti. The essence of Bhakti consists in
  unceasing prayer for light and love, and self-surrender to Her. First, come to my Divine Mother (the
  --
  810. Narada and other teachers took to Bhakti for the good of the world, even after gaining Knowledge.
  811. The Master: Bhakti is the moon, while Jnana is the sun. I have heard that there are oceans in the
  extreme north and south, where it is so cold that the waters in them freeze in part, forming masses of
  --
  A devotee: Are men likewise caught half-way in the path of Bhakti?
  The Master: Yes, they are, indeed. But it matters nothing; for the ice in which one is held is the solidified
  --
  812. Jnana is like a man and Bhakti is like a woman. Knowledge has entry only up to the drawing-room of
  God, but Love can enter His inner apartments.
  --
  so practised, and are accompanied with Bhakti (devotion to the Supreme), they will lead to God."
  823. Should you think of God only at the time of meditation and remain forgetful of Him at all other
  --
  Herein is the reconciliation between Jnana and Bhakti.
  881. As water, when congealed, becomes ice, so also the visible form of the Almighty is the materialised
  --
  the latter Bhakti.
  909. Really God can be seen, my boys. As we are sitting and talking together, in the very same way God
  --
  To another he said, "Bhava (divine ecstasy) and Bhakti these are not final."
  930. On another occasion Sri Ramakrishna asked the same question to Narendra, and received the same
  --
  only pure Bhakti, Mother." But when I said all these to Mother, I could not say, "Take back Thy truth and
  untruth." All else I could return to Mother, but not truth.

SB 1.1 - Questions by the Sages, #Bhagavata Purana, #unset, #Zen
  Thanks to Gopalakrishnan S; Gert Leerdam; Srikanth Kyatham; Srikanta dasa; HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami; Nilachal; Usha, Kuppuswamy, Vivek, Varsha, Ramani, Rajeswari, Raj, Ramya, Ridhvik, Radha; Bimal Gupta; Jayadharma das; Radhapati Das; Aishwarya Balaraj; Gostabihari das and Mahavisnupriya dasi; Yogendra Sharad Puranik; Indradyumna Swami; Krishna & Family; Thomas; Geetanjali Nath; Mario; Joeie; Susheela and Rama Krishna Reddy Patlolla; Jai Devaki Parks; Ashmi Chakraborty; Hari-kirtana das; Ramesta das; Prasad Buddhavarapu; Harakumara dasa; Kresna Sucandra; Late Mr. S. Sundaram; Esekiel Jaggernauth; Isvari Priya DD & Lokadhyaksa dasa and all others for supporting this site.
  His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupda, Founder-crya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
  Content used with permission of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. All rights reserved.

Talks 026-050, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
    M.: An examination of the ephemeral nature of external phenomena leads to vairagya. Hence enquiry (vichara) is the first and foremost step to be taken. When vichara continues automatically, it results in a contempt for wealth, fame, ease, pleasure, etc. The I thought becomes clearer for inspection. The source of I is the Heart - the final goal. If, however, the aspirant is not temperamentally suited to Vichara Marga (to the introspective analytical method), he must develop Bhakti (devotion) to an ideal - may be God, Guru, humanity in general, ethical laws, or even the idea of beauty. When one of these takes possession of the individual, other attachments grow weaker, i.e., dispassion (vairagya) develops. Attachment for the ideal simultaneously grows and finally holds the field. Thus ekagrata (concentration) grows simultaneously and imperceptibly
    - with or without visions and direct aids.
  --
    M.: The I casts off the illusion of I and yet remains as I. Such is the paradox of Self-Realisation. The realised do not see any contradiction in it. Take the case of Bhakti - I approach Iswara and pray to be absorbed in Him. I then surrender myself in faith and by concentration. What remains afterwards? In place of the original
    I, perfect self-surrender leaves a residuum of God in which the I is lost. This is the highest form of devotion (para Bhakti), prapatti, surrender or the height of vairagya.
  --
    M.: Perfect Bliss is Brahman. Perfect Peace is of the Self. That alone exists and is conscious. The same conclusion is arrived at: (a) judged metaphysically, and (b) inferred by Bhakti Marga (Path of Devotion).
    We pray to God for Bliss and receive it by Grace. The bestower of bliss must be Bliss itself and also Infinite. Therefore, Iswara is the Personal
  --
    M.: Jnana Marga and Bhakti Marga (prapatti) are one and the same.
    Self-surrender leads to realisation just as enquiry does. Complete self-surrender means that you have no further thought of I. Then all your predispositions (samskaras) are washed off and you are free. You should not continue as a separate entity at the end of either course.
  --
    Wisdom, Devotion, Action (jnana, Bhakti, karma) are all interlocked. Meditation on forms is according to ones own mind.
    It is meant for ridding oneself of other forms and confining oneself to one form. It leads to the goal. It is impossible to fix the mind in the Heart to start with. So these aids are necessary. Krishna says that there is no birth (janma) to you, me, etc., and later says he was born before Aditya, etc. Arjuna disputes it. Therefore it is certain that each one thinks of God according to his own degree of advancement.
  --
    Sri Bhagavan read out, from the Prabuddha Bharata, Kabirs saying that all know that the drop merges into the ocean but few know that the ocean merges into the drop. This is para Bhakti, said he.
  5th June, 1935

Talks 051-075, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
    M.: The word dhyana usually signifies meditation on some object, whereas nididhyasana is used for enquiry into the Self. The triads persist until the Self is realised. Dhyana and nididhyasana are the same so far as the aspirant is concerned, because they involve trinity and are synonymous with Bhakti.
    D.: How should dhyana be practised?
  --
  Yoga. If engaged in japa, dhyana, Bhakti, etc., just a little control of breath will suffice to control the mind. The mind is the rider and the breath the horse. Pranayama is a check on the horse. By that check the rider is checked.
  Pranayama may be done just a little. To watch the breath is one way of doing it. The mind abstracted from other activities is engaged in watching the breath. That controls the breath; and in its turn the mind is controlled.
  --
  M.: Yes. By proper Bhakti he could become a good rishi. Repentance and prayer will set him right.
  D.: With all your penance for so many years what have you got?

Talks 076-099, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  Unbroken I-I is the ocean infinite, the ego, I thought, remains only a bubble on it and is called jiva, i.e., individual soul. The bubble too is water; when it bursts it only mixes in the ocean. When it remains a bubble it is still a part of the ocean. Ignorant of this simple truth, innumerable methods under different denominations, such as yoga, Bhakti, karma....... each again with many modifications, are being taught with great skill and in intricate detail only to entice the seekers and confuse their minds. So also are the religions and sects and dogmas. What are they all for? Only for knowing the Self.
  They are aids and practices required for knowing the Self.

Talks 125-150, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  M.: Surrender is Bhakti Yoga. To reach the source of the I-thought is the destruction of the ego, is the attainment of the goal, is prapatti
  (surrender), jnana, etc.
  --
  In reply to a sadhu who asked if Bhakti consisted in forgetting the body, etc. Sri Bhagavan said:
  What do you care for the body? Practise Bhakti and dont worry about what happens to the body.
  Talk 150.

Talks 151-175, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  When asked if there are any food restrictions, Sri Bhagavan said: Mita hita bhuk - agreeable food in moderate quantity. When asked about the efficacy of Bhakti, Sri Bhagavan said: So long as there is vi Bhakti, there must be Bhakti. So long as there is viyoga, there must be yoga.
  So long as there is duality, there must be God and devotee. Similarly also in vichara. So long as there is vichara, there is duality too. But merging into the Source there is unity only. So it is with Bhakti too.
  Realising the God of devotion, there will be unity only. God too is thought of in and by the Self. So God is identical with the Self. If one is told to have
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi Bhakti for God and he does so straightaway, it is all right. But there is another kind of man who turns round and says: There are two, I and
  God. Before knowing the far-off God, let me know the more immediate and intimate I. For him the vichara-marga has to be taught. There is in fact no difference between Bhakti and vichara.
  Talk 155.

Talks 176-200, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: Which is the best of the different yogas, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti or Hatha?
  M.: See stanza 10 of Upadesa Sara. To remain in the Self amounts to all these in their highest sense.
  --
  Ramakrishna says that Bhakti is the best means for salvation.
  M.: It is according to the standpoint of the aspirant. You have studied the Gita. Sri Krishna said: There was never a time when I, and you, and these kings were not; nor will they not be in future. That which is unreal never exists. But that which is real never disappears. All that ever was even now is and will ever be. Again, I taught this
  --
  Sakti, Consciousness, Yoga, Bhakti, Jnana, etc.
  D.: Not clear yet.

Talks 500-550, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  M.: Bhakti (devotion to God).
  D.: Non-resistance seems to be the only remedy for all kinds of evil such as slander.
  --
  This state is called Bhakti, Yoga and Karma.
  530
  --
  Many visitors came on one occasion and they all saluted Sri Bhagavan with the single prayer, "Make me a bhakta. Give me moksha." After they left Sri Bhagavan said, thinking aloud: All of them want Bhakti and moksha. If I say to them, 'Give yourself to me' they will not. How then can they get what they want?
  Talk 544.

Talks 600-652, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  Svasvarupanusandhanam Bhaktirityabhidhiyate.
  Again - Svatmatattvanusadhanam Bhaktirityapare joguh.
  What is the difference between the two?
  --
  D.: Will Bhakti lead to mukti?
  M.: Bhakti is not different from mukti. Bhakti is being as the Self
  (Swarupa). One is always that. He realises it by the means he adopts. What is Bhakti? To think of God. That means: only one thought prevails to the exclusion of all other thoughts. That thought is of God which is the Self or it is the Self surrendered unto God.
  When He has taken you up nothing will assail you. The absence of thoughts is Bhakti. It is also mukti.
  The jnana method is said to be vichara (enquiry). That is nothing but
  --
  You think that Bhakti is meditation on the Supreme Being. So long as there is vi Bhakti (the sense of separateness), Bhakti (reunion)
  630
  --
  (single-minded devotion). The Jnani is the finality because he has become the Self and there is nothing more to do. He is also perfect and so fearless, dwitiyat vai bhayam bhavati - only the existence of a second gives rise to fear. This is mukti. It is also Bhakti.
  23rd March, 1939

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 1, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  SRI AUROBINDO: I have found that Vaishnava Bhakti leads to very intense and
  rapid progress.
  SATYENDRA: There is a line of Sadhus in Gujarat who have Bhakti for the impersonal God.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Bhakti for the impersonal God?
  158
  --
  of nature; it tends to be more etherealised. Nor does it seem to be very powerful as regards Knowledge. Here Bhakti predominates over Knowledge.
  SATYENDRA: I have seen many instances of Bhakti and Knowledge combined.
  SRI AUROBINDO: I am not speaking of exceptions.
  --
  necessary to give up Bhakti for Knowledge. After all that ground gained,
  one can add more and more.
  --
  chapter "The Triple transformation". Though it is more related to Bhakti, I
  thought it could as well as applied to psychic transformation because Bhakti
  may lead to it.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Yes, but Bhakti is only one aspect of the psychic. One can go
  to the psychic through the mind also, not only through the heart.
  --
  told the judge, "By your ready embrace seems you have realised Bhakti." He
  should have been given some compliments, too.
  --
  NIRODBARAN: But in poems of Bhakti, devotion, you do feel the Bhakti.
  SRI AUROBINDO: It is a feeling only. It doesn't create a world for you to live
  --
  about the definition of creative force as applied to Bhakti poems. Why
  shouldn't they be considered creative if one feels Bhakti by them?
  SATYENDRA: He is putting his own question into my mouth.
  --
  as Bhakti, devotion.
  SRI AUROBINDO: People who follow the path of love and Bhakti rely most on
  Grace.
  --
  a Madrasi lady who is an automatic writer and has great Bhakti. She keeps
  your photo and Ramana Maharshi's and goes into trances. In her planchette
  --
  money-question comes, their Bhakti disappears. (Sri Aurobindo was enjoying the talk.)
  DR. MANILAL: If money is the test, then robbers also are Bhaktas. Some of
  them rob people and offer part of their plunder to their god. Is that Bhakti?
  [1] The Lord who forgives and forgets.
  --
  offer it as a bribe. Is that true Bhakti?
  SRI AUROBINDO: What is true Bhakti? There is no true or false Bhakti. Bhakti
  is Bhakti. Commercial people rob others and give offerings to God. Is it not
   Bhakti?
  --
  who offers money obtained by doubtful means does that out of Bhakti.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Is a robber worse than a conqueror? A conqueror does the
  --
  do with spirituality. The question is whether one feels the Bhakti and, if he
  feels it, it is quite genuine.
  --
  kinds of Bhakti: Sahaituki and Ahaituki. Sahaituki Bhakti is that type which
  may have a motive but it does not mean that it is not Bhakti. Ahaituki is, of
  course, without motive or demand. If the Divine were to accept offerings
  --
  like him. Then you also wrote to Dilip that he has brought some new element in his poems, the element of Bhaktiwhich no other poet had done
  before.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Bhakti? I couldn't have said that.
  PURANI: Perhaps the psychic element, and you didn't include Tagore.

WORDNET



--- Overview of noun bhakti

The noun bhakti has 1 sense (no senses from tagged texts)
                    
1. bhakti ::: ((Hinduism) loving devotion to a deity leading to salvation and nirvana; open to all persons independent of caste or sex)


--- Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun bhakti

1 sense of bhakti                          

Sense 1
bhakti
   => devotion
     => prayer, supplication
       => worship
         => activity
           => act, deed, human action, human activity
             => event
               => psychological feature
                 => abstraction, abstract entity
                   => entity


--- Hyponyms of noun bhakti
                                    


--- Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun bhakti

1 sense of bhakti                          

Sense 1
bhakti
   => devotion




--- Coordinate Terms (sisters) of noun bhakti

1 sense of bhakti                          

Sense 1
bhakti
  -> devotion
   => bhakti
   => novena
   => Stations, Stations of the Cross




--- Grep of noun bhakti
bhakti



IN WEBGEN [10000/110]

Wikipedia - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Wikipedia - A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada -- Indian spiritual teacher and the founder-preceptor of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (1896-1977)
Wikipedia - Achintya Bheda Abheda -- A school of Bhakti-Yoga Vedanta Vaishnava representing the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference
Wikipedia - Basava -- 12th-century Hindu philosopher, statesman, Kannada Bhakti poet of Lingayatism
Wikipedia - Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha
Wikipedia - Bhakti Charu Swami -- Indian Hare Krishna
Wikipedia - Bhakti Hridaya Bon
Wikipedia - Bhakti Kulkarni -- Indian chess woman grandmaster
Wikipedia - Bhakti Mein Shakti -- 1978 film
Wikipedia - Bhakti movement -- Period of common people's devotion to God in the Medieval Indian Subcontinent
Wikipedia - Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami
Wikipedia - Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar -- Indian guru
Wikipedia - Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Wikipedia - Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Wikipedia - Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami
Wikipedia - Bhakti Tirtha Swami
Wikipedia - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust -- Publisher of books concerning Krishna and the philosophy, religion, and culture of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition
Wikipedia - Bhaktivedanta Swami
Wikipedia - Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Wikipedia - Bhaktivinoda Thakur bibliography -- Wikipedia bibliography
Wikipedia - Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Wikipedia - bhakti
Wikipedia - Bhakti -- Devotional love, a concept in Indian religions
Wikipedia - Bhakti Yadav -- Indian doctor
Wikipedia - Bhakti Yoga
Wikipedia - Bhakti yoga -- Spiritual path in Hinduism focused on devotion
Wikipedia - Category:Bhakti-era Hindu sects
Wikipedia - Category:Bhakti movement
Wikipedia - Hero - Bhakti Hi Shakti Hai -- Indian television series
Wikipedia - Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead -- Book by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Praphupada
Wikipedia - Narada Bhakti Sutra -- Sutra in Hinduism
Wikipedia - Ramananda -- 14th century Vaishnava Bhakti poet-saint from India
Wikipedia - Ravidas -- 16 century Indian mystic poet-sant of the Bhakti movement
Wikipedia - Sree Bhakti Samvardhinini Yogam -- Charitable trust in India
Wikipedia - Warta Bhakti -- Former left-wing news publication in Indonesia
Bhakti Charu Swami ::: Born: September 17, 1945;
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada ::: Born: September 1, 1896; Died: November 14, 1977; Occupation: Spiritual teacher;
Bhakti Tirtha Swami ::: Born: February 25, 1950; Died: June 27, 2005;
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati ::: Born: February 6, 1874; Died: January 1, 1937;
Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami ::: Born: December 9, 1937; Died: October 2, 2006;
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14758987-sri-bhaktisiddhanta-vaibhava
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1894677.Narada_Bhakti_Sutra
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/200153.Karma_Yoga_Bhakti_Yoga
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26056392-narada-bhakti-sutras
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34303828-the-bhakti-coloring-book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35964369-bhakti-blossoms
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2986149.Bhakti_Seva
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/401818.Srila_Bhaktivinoda_Thakura
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4300129.Bhakti_Vikasa_Swami
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/59327.A_C_Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhup_da
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7426042.Bhakti_Mathur
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8328201.Sri_Srimad_Bhaktivedanta_Narayana_Gosvami_Maharaja
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8617108.Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada
Goodreads author - Bhakti_Vikasa_Swami
Goodreads author - A_C_Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhup_da
Goodreads author - Sri_Srimad_Bhaktivedanta_Narayana_Gosvami_Maharaja
https://religion.wikia.org/wiki/Bhakti
Kheper - nonduality_and_bhakti -- 60
Kheper - bhakti -- 31
selforum - guru bhakti yoga
selforum - bhakti movements in medieval india were
wiki.auroville - Bhakti
Dharmapedia - A._C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada
Dharmapedia - Bhakti
Psychology Wiki - Bhakti
Psychology Wiki - Bhakti_Yoga
Psychology Wiki - Bhakti_yoga
Psychology Wiki - Hinduism#CITEREFBhaktivedanta1997
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/A._C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bhakti
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bhaktisiddhanta_Sarasvati
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bhakti_Tirtha_Swami
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Puja_by_a_Bhakti_Yogi.jpg
https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/Bhakti
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg#file
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg#filehistory
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg#filelinks
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg#metadata
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File_talk:Bhakti_tradition_of_the_Mahrashtra_state_in_India.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:CreateAccount&returnto=File:Bhakti+tradition+of+the+Mahrashtra+state+in+India.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&returnto=File:Bhakti+tradition+of+the+Mahrashtra+state+in+India.jpg
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bhakti
Bhakti Bhushan Mandal
Bhakti Caitanya Swami
Bhakti Charu Swami
Bhakti Fest
Bhakti Hridaya Bon
Bhakti movement
Bhakti Prajnan Keshava
Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati bibliography
Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami
Bhakti Tirtha Swami
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Bhaktivedanta Hospital
Bhaktivedanta Manor
Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Bhakti Without Borders
Bhakti Yadav
Bhakti yoga
Hero - Bhakti Hi Shakti Hai
Narada Bhakti Sutra
Rajabhakti Park
SMK Bhakti Anindya
Vihara Bahtera Bhakti



convenience portal:
recent: Section Maps - index table - favorites
Savitri -- Savitri extended toc
Savitri Section Map -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
authors -- Crowley - Peterson - Borges - Wilber - Teresa - Aurobindo - Ramakrishna - Maharshi - Mother
places -- Garden - Inf. Art Gallery - Inf. Building - Inf. Library - Labyrinth - Library - School - Temple - Tower - Tower of MEM
powers -- Aspiration - Beauty - Concentration - Effort - Faith - Force - Grace - inspiration - Presence - Purity - Sincerity - surrender
difficulties -- cowardice - depres. - distract. - distress - dryness - evil - fear - forget - habits - impulse - incapacity - irritation - lost - mistakes - obscur. - problem - resist - sadness - self-deception - shame - sin - suffering
practices -- Lucid Dreaming - meditation - project - programming - Prayer - read Savitri - study
subjects -- CS - Cybernetics - Game Dev - Integral Theory - Integral Yoga - Kabbalah - Language - Philosophy - Poetry - Zen
6.01 books -- KC - ABA - Null - Savitri - SA O TAOC - SICP - The Gospel of SRK - TIC - The Library of Babel - TLD - TSOY - TTYODAS - TSZ - WOTM II
8 unsorted / add here -- Always - Everyday - Verbs


change css options:
change font "color":
change "background-color":
change "font-family":
change "padding":
change "table font size":
last updated: 2022-05-07 15:44:16
142473 site hits