Bhakti Yoga

Ask a man to speak about God and he will speak endlessly. Ask a Bhakta to speak about God and he will say only two things: God is all Affection, God is all Sweetness. The Bhakta even goes one step further. He says, "I can try to live without bread, but never can I live without my Lord's Grace."

A Bhakta's prayer is very simple: "O my Lord God, do enter into my life with Thine Eye of Protection and with Thy Heart of Compassion." This prayer is the quickest way to knock at God's Door and also the easiest way to see God open the Door.

A Karma yogin and a Jnana yogin may suffer a moment of doubt about God's existence. But a Bhakta has no suffering of that type. To him, the existence of God is an axiomatic truth. More than that, it is his heart's spontaneous feeling. But alas, he too has to undergo a kind of suffering. His is the suffering of separation from his Beloved. With the tears of his heart's devotion, he cries to re-establish his sweetest union with God.

The reasoning mind does not charm the Bhakta devotee. The hard facts of life fail to draw his attention, let alone absorb him. He wants to live constantly in a God-intoxicated realm.

A devotee feels that when he walks towards God, God runs towards him. A devotee feels that when he thinks of God for a second, God cries for him for an hour. A devotee feels that when he goes to God with a drop of his love to quench God's ceaseless thirst, God enfolds him in the sea of His ambrosial Love.

The relation between a devotee and God can only be felt, never described. Poor God thinks that no man on earth can ever capture Him, for He is priceless and invaluable. Alas, He has forgotten that He has already granted devotion to His Bhakta. To His greatest surprise, to His deepest joy, His devotee's surrendered devotion is able to capture Him.

There are people who mock the Bhakta. They say that a Bhakta's God is nothing but a personal God, an infinite God with form, a glorified human being. To them I say, "Why should a Bhakta not feel thus?" A Bhakta sincerely feels that he is a tiny drop and that God is the infinite Ocean. He feels that his body is an infinitesimal portion of God the boundless Whole. A devotee thinks of a God and prays to a God in his own image. And he is absolutely right to do so. Just enter into a cat's consciousness and you will see that its idea of an omnipotent Being takes the form of a cat — only in a gigantic form. Just enter into the consciousness of a flower and you will see that the flower's idea of something infinitely more beautiful than itself takes the image of a flower.

The Bhakta does the same. He knows that he is a human being and he feels that his God should be human in every sense of the term. The only difference, he feels, is that he is a limited human being and God is a limitless human Being.

To a devotee, God is at once blissful and merciful. His heart's joy makes him feel that God is blissful and his heart's pangs make him feel that God is merciful.

A bird sings. A man sings. God too sings. He sings His sweetest songs of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality through the heart of His Bhakta.

Sri Chinmoy, Yoga and the spiritual life. The journey of India's Soul..First published by Agni Press in 1971.

This is the 3rd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Yoga and the spiritual life. The journey of India's Soul., made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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