There are quite a few ways to realization of God. One of them is the path of bhakti or devotion to efforts in order to come face-to- face with the Ultimate Reality of Existence. If the doctrine of devotion gets immersed in the inner frame of the individual, then it leads to enlightenment, to the discovery of truth and to the experience of that truth. It takes one to the logical consummation of blissful knowledge. The essential prerequisites that can be easily be mustered are the reinforcements of the true end and aim, enthusiasm and devotion in the pursuit of God realization as the path of bhakti is the one which prompts and guides many a spiritual seeker.
It should be said that one who constantly strives to elevate one’s knowledge of bliss is to be called a pure one about to acquire the spiritual symbol; of the very life force, a pure soul, a good-natured knowledgeable and realized one and standing upright as a person of unwavering mental frame and intellect, besides one who has attained a state of self-fulfilment. It will not be an exaggeration to say that this ultimate in bhakti is exactly what leads one to the widest ocean of knowledge.
However, it should be noted that only the Omniscient God knowing everything comes to know of everything that goes on in the universe and no one else can command this knowledge nor can anyone find it easy to know all about oneself. Accordingly, if we are in a position to promote the internal attributes of devotion and love, then that will indeed prove to be the path dear to the Paramatman. That is verily the pure, profound and perfectly natural way to reach the Paramatman or Supreme God. Overwhelmed by the power of the devotee, the grace of providence pushes one precisely on the righteous way forward.
If we review the subtleties of devotion and love par excellence by going deep into them, there is no doubt, that all the bliss it gives, takes shape on the path of truth and righteousness culminating in an exalted attainment. It is analogous to crossing a river and reaching the bank with a purity of thought and intention to achieve the goal. And there should be no doubt about our reaching the goal. This indeed is the truth. Every individual has been experiencing this state of exalted love consistent with his individualistic thoughts across the mental and intellectual horizons. “What kind of universal love is it?” one may well ask. In accordance with the implications of this vital question, it may well be stated that there are three types of love of an exceptional nature that converge into a common place like the intermingling waters of a holy confluence of rivers.
The love that rules the mother and child relationship, the grace and devotion that characterize the Guru-shishya (preceptor-pupil) connection and the instinctual love that inhabits the cow and calf attachment are examples of universal love. These three forms merit the description of love, attachment and kindness whose currents flow like rivers in flood or inundation, not without leaving everlasting forms and features of the Paramatman innate in the goal –reaching exercise and shedding light simultaneously on his mystic manifestations of indescribable love. Oh, Man! Let me take up the instance of instant love between mother and child for you to understand the unique bond of relationship.
Mother and child
Have you seen the extraordinary exhibition of passionate love between mother and child as it springs forward and falls into open arms of the mother? At the same time, the mother embraces it and presses it to her bosom. She explains away this instantaneous action and reaction as an act of God, as the leela (play) of the Lord! Why does she say so?
Unmindful of the bodily existence, as the mother gives an ardent hug to the child moving towards her in ecstasy, a fountain of love springs up from her heart without a modicum of awareness of the mind or head, spontaneously emerging from the heart of the inner frame to take a peep into the kid’s eyes. The romance of the hug brings her bliss. As the maternal instinct glows on her face and finds a thrilling reciprocity in the twinkling expressions of peace and puerility, the spring waters of attachment overflow the barriers of her physical frame. The only conclusion that becomes inescapable is that the love for the little one inherent in her undergoes an obvious external change towards open affection and attachment and brings it closest to her heart. If this is what exactly overtakes a mother simpliciter, then it should be categorically asserted that the mother of mothers who created the world of worlds, the Divine Mother of unfathomable depth of love and inexhaustible kindness without a cause embraces everything in the Universe created by her. In other words, there is no doubt that the love that exists between the Universal Mother and the numerous human subjects created by her on the one hand and the love and affection subsisting between a mother and child on the other hand are shining symbols of divine love.
Oh, Man! I shall relate to you one more example of this bondage of external value.
“Love of devotion
Is state of salvation”
You are aware of the mirror; call it a “standing mirror”if you like. Have a good look at your mirror image. If only you look at it after wiping out accumulations of dust on the mirror, many matters pregnant with meaning become visible. Beneath the clean surface of the wiped mirror, many images of good intentions appear to lie hidden. The fact that the image is a pure, clean image, that the intention is a good one, that the flow of thought is an enlightened one, that the path is a truthful one, that the grace is one from the Guru, that the one in hand shedding light is a realistic one is a cluster of philosophical ideas the ideal of which is shown to you with a pointed finger towards the exalted path. The greatness of God- the real father by virtue of his role- visible in the path is the privileged possession of the gathering or group of great devotees who aim at the sole realization of love and affection focussed on the central figure of divinity. Emerging from their infinite love possessed by them and its display is the resulting efflorescence of divine grace as if a flow of nectarine energy overtakes them in a process of elevation. We can experience bliss and joy by spelling out statements of truth in an ecstatic mood that “love of devotion is the state of salvation”, that it is the path of righteousness, that it is the form of enlightenment, that it is the very personification of knowledge, of the knower and of the one to be known, that it is the one transcending the territorial limits and frontiers of knowledge and that transcendence is the field of knowledge of the secret doctrine to be imbibed, that the state of transcendental knowledge is like the vast ocean on which a ship called the Guru embarks on a voyage of discovery of and merger with truth. One endowed with the gift of this outlook will get the experience of inner vision, transform oneself into an exalted state of inner purity, acquire and develop the internal vista of divine knowledge and wisdom, perceive the delightful form of the Lotus Feet of the Omnipresent God who has shown many a way to reach him, witness the form of fullness in him and identify that very form everywhere and deep within oneself and further succeed in unravelling the mystic doctrine in order to reach the ultimate limits of knowledge within one’s inner frame in order to stay constantly in truth and wisdom.
The Innate truth of Inner Light
One’s outlook on the Almighty will stabilize and the experience will be as clear as and commensurate with the mirror image, the inner experience making one an introvert bringing in a sense of obliviousness which in turn promotes the comprehension of inner truth and the visualization of the inner light. The light divine which one sees within oneself is indeed the very one which in the vast universe illumines every spot and corner at all times; one comes to know about this very soon. One also acquires the knowledge of the primordial energy called Brahma Chaitanya which is the seed of all creation, and destroyer of the fear of or rebirth; it is :-
At the centre of lotus of heart
As unmainifest and unseen sort,
Only to Hari, Hara and Brahma known
And by the yogi in deep contemplation,
That can destroy the fear of death
And the apprehension of re-birth,
That stays as sat-chit form
And as seed of all creative storm,
Of every word conceivable
As energy pure and primordial
Is Brahma –Chaitanya quintessential!
Among elements on the verge of breakage
Brahma- Chaitanya is the bondage;
Universal creation it sustains
Individual longevity it maintains;
Fear of conflict vanishes
Scourge of war it banishes!
Meditate on the prenatal vitality
Shuddha-Chaitanya, the supreme reality!
One who knows the origin of illumination of the elemental structure of the Universe as Brahma-Chaitanya is a jnani without doubt and becomes a personification of jnana itself. An enlightened and effulgent one radiates the light of wisdom and merges with the Supreme Light called Parabrahmam just as light mingles with light and effulgence with effulgence.
One comes face- to- face with the omnipresent Paramatman who is a symbol of light, fullness and transcendental bliss, takes a look at all the fantastic things created by Paramatman, discovers the innate but unmanifest Chaitanya in all those things, feels ecstatic about the facets of perfection, finds the bliss of wisdom melts and overflows in such a way as to promote inner peace in order to witness the pure Brahmic illumination and on the verge of attainment of the sense of obliviousness and on the verge of dissolution in the Paramatman for any individual, discerns the greatness of Universal creation in the light of what it holds out for an individual and so in the process of discerning and comprehending it, forgets oneself!
State of transcendence
At this crucial juncture of unique comprehension, wherever one casts one’s eyes, one perceives the Guru in every place and direction. Accordingly, in the inner chambers of the shishya who becomes eligible to the extraordinary grace of the Guru, there will be a singular aspiration that dances in one’s mind, namely, the vista and vision of Brahmic manifestation to which one is exposed. This indeed is also the state of truth. If it is true that in the greatness of divine domain ruled by divine power, a kind of unique transformation takes place, then that transcendental state makes room for philosophic resignation for and withdrawal from all material transactions on this transitory earthly plane. This sense of indifference is to be understood as a state of exalted wisdom, a state of self- effacement and a pinnacle of qualities of a paramount nature.
Knowledge-seeker-What to be known
A flag fluttering bravely at the peak of a gigantic mountain can be likened to an exalted domain of knowledge of the highest value. The peak of the mountain beckons explorers to scale it. What is to be conquered is the knowledge of the elevated level, the knowledge of elevation. The mountaineer is the seeker of knowledge. If we group together all the attributes of knowledge and look at it, then it points towards a paramount profundity of truth. If we have to answer the question as to what exactly is truth, then we have to say that whoever comprehends within oneself the true knowledge of divinity beyond all shadow of doubt, whoever succeeds in maintaining the image of inner experience in the mind and as the image gets fixed in the mental frame, whoever gets the vision of the red Lotus Feet of Lord Trivikrama reputed to sport the longest leg and whoever, by virtue of that vision, gets the romance of such vivid experience, will indeed stand lofty as an exalted individual; he is the one who will, surely without an iota of doubt, blossom himself into a jnani. It will not be wrong to say that only those who have known this path have unfurled the flag of true attainment and have gone before. This is the very symbolic flag which makes a loud clarion call and beckons millions of devotees. These are the people who will develop a vision of extraordinary kindness analogous to the kind and instinctual attachment of the cow towards the calf. In the same way, if we take a positive peep into the universal creation of the Paramatman, and survey the scene of reality with a keen eye, we will soon be able to come face-to-face with the Paramatman who has been responsible for the creation of all the worlds and the origin of all animate and inanimate things therein. Can you see what unique kind of love and attachment between the cow and the calf?
Cow and calf:-
The moment the cow hears the call of its young calf, the motherly instinct in it gets awakened and the cow anxiously looks for the reunion with the calf. As soon as the latter is released, the young one cannot contain itself and jumps with joy and in a fleeting and swift movement, we find it milking the mother in an ardent way that merits the description of attachment; it takes the name of fervent devotion or singular bhakti we have to exhibit as our inner feeling towards the Mother of the Universe. The cow and calf example is the supreme guide to the symbol of salvation from the vicissitudes of seamy side of life comparable to the violent tides of the ocean saved by the sole guidance of the lighthouse adorning the coastal area. It should be added that the Paramatman displays the intention to guide everyone and the intention is innate in everything he creates and pervades.
The Paramatman gives the five-fold sensory perception to everyone, and as the prime mover of the sensory organs he enters them and becomes an instrument of withdrawal, shows the fullness of himself as a self –luminous phenomenon, radiates light and bliss to blossom like a flower, and in the flowering process, stands out as a personification of Vedic wisdom, enlightenment and effulgence.
Light that enkindles light
If only we focus our attention on the Paramatman and bring him closer to our heart and bend our head to him in reverence, we can come to know his limitless kindness. There is no other way we can know or see him. Or else, we have to live like specimens of ignorance! We have to approach and follow a Sadguru in order to grasp his greatness. And with the time-honoured principle of unwavering faith, we must catch hold of his Lotus Feet and offer complete surrender. We must offer service and worship with devotion. We must think of him at all times, meditating on him in our inner frame with incessant bhakti. A person who is immersed in the ocean of bhakti will find his internal personality purified and clean like a transparent crystal by the Divine Mother of the Universe and stays virtuous accordingly. He spreads the fragrance of his qualities freely among the exalted ones. Besides, he offers mental worship (puja) sincerely to the Guru who fills his heart and becomes a guiding spirit to others on the spiritual path. This kind of Guru worship is termed singular devotion. By winning the admiration of Mother Divine, he becomes a fortunate individual.
If we turn our attention to the Divine Mother, is it possible to say a final word on her greatness and show that it is subject to some limitations? Her devotee is verily her child and from the day he is ushered into existence she finds joy and bliss in constantly thinking about the child! The self-luminous lamp called the Universal Mother and the self- expressed grace and blessing conferred on the devotee generates a more radiant source of light which in turn kindles a million others. Like the resplendent everlasting light that burns continuously under the spell of the universal light, all enkindled lights show their glory as constantly burning beacons of light.