Every being, ignorant or all knowing in this variegated world is an inherent part of ever truthful, conscious and blissful ‘Brahman’. Ergo, every being is naturally levitating to transcend himself towards the innate state of never diminishing, ever increasing happiness. Ergo, every being will unflinchingly endeavour to remain in that state for eternity unless it is realised. This statement is in itself an ordinance which requires no further promulgation. Hitherto, every being imperatively should search for true guidance to realize that infinite source of happiness.
That uniquely stands beyond all religions.
SEARCH FOR TRUE GUIDANCE
Every being is levitating towards the innate state
Every ‘jeev’ is theist
There is no one purposely theist or atheist in this world. According to the definition of theist- it is he who believes in God or believes that there is God. According to Vedanta, God is personification of Bliss. It implicitly corroborates that, every being is naturally in search of happiness or God. This itself proves that every being is eternally theist. Then again, if we accept the identity of theist as someone who believes in God, ‘embodiment of divine bliss’, it means every being is theist. Then in such a case how every being from time immemorial is under the clutches of powerful ‘Maya’? Rationally speaking, the fact is that any being can never transform into theist until he relishes spiritual or divine experiences. The moot point is- Yes, it is true that knowledge is gained through experiences, it leads to faith, but realisation or experience of ‘Divine Bliss’ can only be possible through divine grace. So analogically, without Divine Grace the existence of spiritual knowledge cannot be thought of and without spiritual knowledge there would be no ensue of faith. Hitherto, divine grace is key for the ‘being’ being a theist.
Tulsi Ji states:
“tumhinkripa tum hinraghunandan
The above views vindicate that every ‘jeev’ is theist but devoid of spiritual realization. There are only some God-realized theists, revered as ‘Mahapurush’, who have attained spiritual transcendence through Divine Grace. There are distinctions among insentient theists. Some theists believe and internalize the words of scriptures under the guidance of God-realized saints and prepare themselves for being capable of receiving Divine Grace; others are those who remain frenzied by the numerous flavours of ‘maya’, showing no belief in the words of transcendental saints and are known as ‘atheists’ by scriptures. This ‘atheism’ observed is not perpetual in nature. In twinkle of an eye, according to his ‘samskaras’, ’he would abandon the lust for wealth, physical worldly relationships, pride etc. and take refuge under the shade of ‘Mahapurush’. Moreover, ‘jeev’ has plethora of divine qualities, which is prominently expressed in his actions. Hence, one who is an atheist in this moment might undergo transition into devout theist in another moment. Saints like Valmiki are exemplars of such transformation. Thus, who aspire for Divine Bliss should not commit spiritual transgression by having a differentiating attitude towards atheists or theists.
Every jeev pursuit superlative degree of happiness
There are two forms of ‘Ananda’ or Bliss. One, which is limited and transient, leads to misery, whereas the other which is infinite and eternal, leads to timeless happiness. Every individual has experienced ephemeral happiness, which with passage of time leads to sorrow. Such type of happiness prevails up to celestial abode ‘Brahmalok’ by varying degree; but it cannot satiate the superlative degree of happiness, which we are in pursuit of. This has been a common experience among ‘jeev’ irrespective of caste, creed, gender and society. Blatantly speaking, even those being who are having at peak of their endeavours, they still feel the ‘helplessness’ of under achieving, missing out and discontentment.
SEEKING TRUE HAPPINESS
Categorization of Bliss
God is the only veritable source of true, eternal and infinite bliss. Hence our pursuit should be for realizing such happiness. God realized saints have categorised ‘Ananda’ related to God into two according to the degree of happiness:
Brahmananda: The Bliss of Nirakar Brahm (formless God) is called ‘Brahmananda’. It is a perfect Divine peace, devoid of any kind of mayic suffering. This Blissful state is attained by Yogis and Gyanis after liberation from maya. The Bliss of ‘Brahmananda’ is unlimited and everlasting.
Premananda: The Bliss of ‘Premanand’ is Beyond the Bliss of ‘Brahmanand’. This is the Bliss of Divine love. This Bliss is also unlimited, everlasting, perfect and beyond the reach of mayic sufferings. This is the Bliss of Sakar Brahm, where you get to experience God with all of your senses. However, Premanand is beyond Brahmanand and Bhagwadanand because, in the Divine love abode of God, there is something very special which a soul receives- a personal relationship and closeness with his beloved God, Shri RadhaKrishna. In this Divine abode, jeev participate in the Divine leelas, which are ever-new and ever-exciting, forever multiplying the Bliss of Premanand into new and exciting experiences. Premanand is so special that even Vishnu, Shiv, Brahma, Lakshmi etc. desire for it.
Although after attaining Brahmananda or Premananda every jeev transcends the mayic realm but every Brahmananadi desires premananada but vice-versa is not witnessed. So, ‘Premananda’ is superior to ‘Brahmananda’ which lures ‘Paramhans’ (those who have been enlightened) also. Shiva, Janak, Shukadev are exemplars of ‘Brahmanandi’, bewitched by ‘Premananda’.
Another thing to ponder about is- only that person, who is fully detached from all kinds of worldly attachments and attractions, is qualified for the path of Gyan. Hence, from the perspective of qualification also, the path of Gyan is very difficult to tread on because one must have control over senses and mind. He should be unruffled while hostile situations and unperturbed even when he faces utmost adverse conditions.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH
The Path of ‘Bhakti’: simplest, sweetest and noblest
Even if one become eligible to practise the path of Gyan, one would not be able to attain the state of liberation or ‘Mukti, ’because the Bliss referring to the totality of intellect (buddhi), mind (manas), ego (ahankara) and consciousness (chit) which is known as ‘antahakarana’ will be prevailed in the absence of Bhakti.
The path of Yoga is even challenging, what to say of ‘Gyan’ in this Kali Yug! If someone still attempts to tread on the path of Gyan, then he would accumulate false ego, which would cause downfall of the aspirant. So, for every individual who is neither too much attached nor completely detached, should practice devotion. Therefore, according to spiritually enlightened saints, the path of ‘Bhakti’ is regarded as simplest, sweetest and noblest.
Ultimate goal of every being
Although, omnipotent God is embodiment of infinite divine attributes, still the sweetest, cupid, alluring personal form of Shri Krishna is for those, who crave to experience the felicity of exhilarating Bliss. Radharani is the life and soul of all-loving and all-beautiful Shri Krishna. Shri Radha and Shri Krishna are one but for the sake of sweetness of ‘leela’, they appear in two forms. Leelas are eternal, thus the forms of Shri Radha and Shri Krishna are also eternal. If one considers them to be different in real dimensions, one would commit grave spiritual transgression. The devotee can meditate upon both, Vrishabhanunandini Radhika Ji and Nandanadan Shyamsundar together or separately according to his personal choice. Thus, it is established that the ultimate goal of every being is to receive the divine love of Shri RadhaKrishna.
Bhakti or Selfless Love
Bhakti or Love is the nucleus of ‘Hladini Shakti, the cynosure among all energies of Lord Krishna. Divine Love cannot be annexed through any means, rather it is received through grace of one and only God and His saints. But to make oneself capable of receiving God’s grace, one has to endure spiritual practice which is known as devotion. When devotion is performed with the intention of attaining liberation or ‘moksha’, then it is regarded as ‘Sakam Bhakti’ or devotion with the desire of attaining something for one’s own happiness; but performing devotion to provide pleasure to God and deriving happiness therein by making Him happy, is selfless devotion or ‘Niskamta’. There are many detriments in doing devotion with material desires. Therefore, the only duty of every being is to selflessly love the conjugal or ‘Yugal’ form of Shri RadhaKrishna.
THE HIGHEST FORM OF DEVOTION
The higher meditative state: ‘Madhurya Bhao’
Devotion to God can be done by meditating on the leelas of all the five kinds of loving emotions ‘bhao’ i.e. ‘Shant Bhao’ (the feelings a subject has for a king), ‘Dasya Bhao’ (the love a servant has for his master) ‘Sakhya Bhao’ (the love a friend has for his friend), ‘Vatsalya Bhao’ (the love a mother has for his child), ‘Madhurya Bhao’ (the love that Gopis have for Krishna). The meditative states are mentioned in chronologically, the higher meditative state includes all its lower meditative states. Accordingly, all the states are included in the highest meditative state of ‘Madhurya Bhao’ i.e. devotee of ‘Madhurya Bhao’ can meditate by establishing loving relationship with God as subject, servant, friend, mother and lover alike without any constraints. Therefore, the goal of every being is to selflessly love the conjugal form of Shri RadhaKrishna in ‘Madhurya Bhao’.
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION
How this goal can be achieved?
Now, a fundamental query arises- How this goal can be achieved? Firstly, we need to understand the nature of material world and detach our mind subsequently from the world. This will be possible by continuously contemplating upon the ceasing and transient nature of this world. Once the minds starts to limit its attachment with the material world by continuously thinking about its momentary existence, the mind will be receptive towards spiritual realm believing on the eternal happiness there in and the mind will be naturally attracted towards God and develop firm faith upon Him. But it is not so easy. Proper guidance is needed for it.
Surrender to spiritual master
So secondly, he has to surrender himself completely before a true saint for it. Undoubtedly, without surrendering to a true saint, a devotee cannot tread on the path of spiritual realization only by reading the mysterious scriptures. Even if one egoistically tries to scale this daunting task alone, he is doomed to be deprived from realizing Divine Love. One needs to pay caution while identifying a true saint. Without relying on their external attributes of saint’s dressing, dwelling, living and lifestyle, one has to assess him through inferential evidence of His internal divine emotions ‘Sattvic Bhao’, which manifests in the body of a true Saint in the remembrance of his Divine beloved. By developing firm faith and regular association of that saint, we could identify Him as true Saint. Once identification of a true saint is done, we need to completely surrender our body, mind, senses and intellect to Him and perform actions according to His guidance. Only after complete surrender, one gets bounded by the Guru-disciple relationship and after the complete cleansing of ‘antahkarana’, Guru felicitates the disciple with ‘divine love’. This surrender has to be performed by both mind and intellect. This is the mother of all worries!! One has to primarily focus on his complete surrender towards Guru, his spiritual master.
Spiritual practice: Chanting
Guru devises spiritual practice to someone according to one’s inherent impressions (samskara) in his subconscious mind (chitta). Out of the nine devotional practices devised by saints, devotion through hearing and chanting are effective but among them too chanting is of utmost important. Chanting is primarily singing God’s names, forms, attributes, pastimes, abode and His saints. It should be noted that God’s names, forms, attributes, pastimes, abode and His saints are all one and same. Attachment of mind to any of them bears alike results.
THE ULTIMATE PATH
‘Roopdhyan’: The essence of devotion
Chanting of God’s names, forms, attributes, pastimes should be done along with remembrance through Mind. Without contemplation, the mind will not stay focused, and without fixation of mind, one could not experience the euphoria. Remembrance or ‘Roopdhyan’ is the essence of devotion.
HOW IT IS DONE
During devotion, the mind should meditate upon the alluring form or leelas of Shri RadhaKrishna. Initially it is difficult to contemplate upon God, so any image or idol according to one’s liking, can be taken as an aid to help during meditation. There is no bond for any particular form during meditation. One can meditate upon Shri Radha and Krishna together or Shri Radha and Krishna separately. When one’s meditation form is Shri Krishna, Shri Radha should be imbued in Him and vice-versa. If during meditation, one faces difficulty in entailing focus upon His/her whole body, then it can be done upon any part, i.e. eyes, ears, lips, mouth or feet etc. With regular and continuous practice, one can easily master the ultimate devotional technique ‘Roopdhyan’. In ‘Roopdhyan’, one can meditate upon newly born silken Shri Krishna as well as charming teen Shri Krishna.
In ‘roopdhyan’ chanting of names, attributes and pastimes of Shri RadhaKrishna should be practised, believing that He is omnipresent in them. One should always look upon himself as a humble, pauper and ordinary devotee. Thinking of the innumerable crimes committed during his innumerable lifetimes, one should ardently long to meet Shri Krishna, and shed tears in despair requesting his forgiveness for the heinous crimes. While chanting humbly His names, attributes and pastimes, the shed tears will cleanse our ‘Anthakaran’, on which layers of sinful impressions had been imprinted.
Single-Mindedness and Devotion
During devotion, single-mindedness is of extreme importance. Single mindedness, ‘ananyata’ in devotion means ‘no other’. Therefore to love only Shyamasundar and no other is ‘ananyata’. If a devotee has any other affliction in mind other than Krishna, then there will be an obstacle in his single-mindedness and Krishna cannot become his Divine beloved.
Devotion and Spiritual Transgressions
Along with devotion, one has to secure himself from committing spiritual transgressions. These transgressions have been depicted as ‘kusang’ or bad association by saints. There are two substances, the true or Divine dimension and the false or unreal mayic world. Association with that of Divine is called ‘Satsang’, and association with that which is false is ‘kusang’. True satsang is when the mind, intellect and all of one’s emotions is fully associated with the Divine subjects. Apart from these, all other subjects that remain are influenced by the mayic qualities of ‘Sattva’, ‘Raj’ And ‘Tam’ (pious, selfish, and impious) and association of mind in any of them is regarded as ‘Kusang’. ‘Kusang’ is such sweet poison that it destroys the spiritual practice accumulated over thousand years in an instant. Seeing faults in others is a very serious form of bad association as it leads to abuse and vile later. One should always refrain from arguing or debating with faithless or unqualified people regarding one’s spiritual path or devotion. This also degrades the humbleness in one’s benediction. The aim of impressing others with one’s spiritual prowess or accomplishments is also another serious form.
Generally, spiritual aspirants have the bad habit of thinking that the particular descension of God they worship is superior and other forms of God. This constitutes the greatest spiritual transgression, called ‘Namaparadh’. If ‘Namaparadh’ is committed against saints, then it is unbearable and unforgivable by God even. Hence, we should not harbour ill feeling even towards a foolish person. Likewise, one needs to secure himself from committing these grave spiritual transgressions and whole-heartedly follow the advice of saints.
THE BEAUTIFUL CONCLUSION