The following is a Spiritual Discourse on Bhakti – Devotion,
by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
It has been said in Bhakti Shastra
“Bhaktir bhagavato seva. Bhaktih prema svaru’pin’ii.
Bhaktir ananda rupa cha. Bhaktih bhaktasya jiivanam.”
What is meant by ‘bhakti’ ? The word
‘bhakti’ has been derived from the root verb ‘bhaj’ by
adding the suffix ‘ktin’- ‘Bhaj’ means ‘to call with
devotion’. That is to call the Lord with utmost devotion,
taking Him to be everything of one’s life, is bhakti. In
other words, bhakti is to move towards Him after withdrawing
all the expressions of one’s mind.
Now what is shastra ?
Shasanat tarayet yastu sa shastra parikiirtitah. That which
governs or disciplines for liberation or all-round salvation
is shastra. In the case where the parents govern their
children only for the sake of governing, when the children
grow up and realise this they begin to disobey them. But
where the discipline and control is aimed at salvation or
liberation, that discipline is the discipline of shastra.
And what is bhagavan ? The word has been derived form the
root word ‘bhaga’ plus ‘moetup’ suffix. ‘Bhagavan’ means one
who possesses the following six qualities: aeshvarya,
pratipa, yasha, shrii, jinana and vaeragya. ‘Aeshvarya’
means ‘occult power’, which in Sam’skrta is also known as
‘vibhu’ti’. ‘Vibhuti’ has two meanings’ash’ and
Here ‘occult-powers’ are eight in number,
namely an’ima, mahimi, lagbima, prapti’, prakamya,
vashistva, iishvaratva and antarya’mitva.
In the English language, ‘aeshvarya’ is known as ‘occult-power’,
that is, that which is acquired by cult is ‘occult’. Pratipa : He
establishes Himself by His own power. Those who are not
dharmikas get scared by His power, and those who are
dharmikas find supreme protection in Him. Yasha: By His
advent two things happen simultaneously.
On the one hand, He gets staunch supporters, and on the other,
sworn enemies. The whole human society gets clearly divided into
two camps – moralists and immoralists, the bad elements.
Everyone has to join either of the two camps, and complete polarisation
takes place. If one is the North Pole, the other one is the
South Pole. He is crowned with success and glory and at the
same time faces bitter criticism and infamy. This happened
to Lord Shiva and Lord Krs’n’a also. During their time also
the whole society got divided into two camps – the moralists
and the immoralists. Remember always dharmic people are
ultimately bound to be victorious.
Shrii : Shrii means ‘attraction’, the sweet touch of
attraction. This word is made up of ‘sha’, ‘ra’ and ‘ii’.
‘Sha’ is the acoustic root of the mutative force, ‘ra’ is
the acoustic root of the actional faculty, ‘ii’ denotes
feminine gender. Hence ‘shrii’ means ‘one who possesses the
actional faculty of the mutative force’.
Jina’na : ‘Jina’na means ‘knowledge of the self” The
knowledge of the self is the real knowledge. All other forms
of knowledge are not knowledge at all, rather they are only
shadows of knowledge. There is absence of true knowledge.
This knowledge of the self can’t be obtained from study of
books, but can be acquired by merging all one’s desires into
Him, as He is knowledge incarnate and knowledge personified.
Vaeragya: Non-attachment. In Sam’skrta the word ‘vaeragya’
has come from the root verb ‘arin ‘, as has ‘rainjana’,
which means ‘to paint’ or ‘to colour’ – that which colours
the mind. ‘Prabhata Rainjana’ means ‘he who colours the
dawn’. Every object is vibrational and has its own colour.
Due to the particular colour of an object, your mind gets
attracted to it. So, you should not be attracted to the
colour of any object.
So it has been said, ‘Bhaktirbhagavato seva’ –
‘Devotion is service to Bhagavat or Bhagavan’. Here
Bhagavan’ means ‘He who has bhaga’, that is, He who embodies
all the above-mentioned six qualities. Bhakti is service to
Bhagavan. ‘Bhaktih premasvarupin’ii’ that is, ‘devotion is
pure love’. ‘Bhaktiranada rupaca’ – ‘The only desire of
devotees is to give pleasure to Bhagavan.’ ‘Bhakti bhaktasya
jiivanam’ – ‘Devotion is the life of devotees.’ Just as a
fish cannot live without water, devotees cannot survive
without devotion. Devotion is the essence, the very source,
of life. What is then the most precious thing in human life?
It is devotion. If one has gotten devotion, one has gotten
everything, and nothing remains unrealised.
Devotees have to serve the Lord. Now, what is the true service?
To serve His creation is the real service. In common practice, we
see that the parents are pleased when their sons or daughters
are served. Similarly, the simplest and easiest way to
please Me is to serve humanity. Forget whatever you were in
the past, or whatever you did in the past, and from this
auspicious moment on dedicate yourself to the service of
Patna, September 1, 1978