Monday, June 17, 2019

18 June

Supreme Love is Self-Knowledge

A devotee of para bhakti type is all embracing and all inclusive. He has cosmic love and the whole world is holy for him. He does not visit temples for worship, seeing the Lord in everything. He feels that the world is a manifestation of the Lord, and that all movements and actions are his sport. He has no dislike for faecal matter or dirt, for the outcaste, the scavenger, the cobbler, the beggar, the prostitute, or the thief. He says: "I see my sweet Lord everywhere. It is Hari who is playing the part of the prostitute, the thief, the dacoit, the scavenger." He has an all embracing, all inclusive, exalted mental state. This cannot be described adequately in words, but must be felt. Mira, Gouranga, Hafiz, Tulsidas, Kabir, Ramdas - all enjoyed this state.

Namdev said to the dog: "O Vittala, my dear, in the form of a dog, do not run away with the dry bread. It will affect your soft throat. Pray let me apply ghee (clarified butter) to the bread." He ran with ghee in a cup to the dog. Sri Ramakrishna prostrated before an outcaste girl: "O Mother Kali, I see thee in this girl." Eknath, a Maharashtrian bhakta, gave his ring voluntarily to the thief when the latter entered the house. "O thief, take this ring also. Your duty is to steal things. Thou art Krishna. Keep up this sport." Have you understood the sublime state of these exalted bhaktas who had a new angle of vision? A day will come to you also. Exert and struggle.

Para bhakti is self-knowledge only. Sri Shankara, who was established in the wisdom of pure non-dualism, was a great bhakta of Lord Hari and Devi. Sri Ramakrishna worshipped Kali and obtained self-knowledge through Swami Totapuri, his guru. Appayya Dikshitar was a devout bhakta of Lord Shiva. Para bhakti and self-knowledge are one. The only slight difference is that a bhakta uses his emotion, while a sage of wisdom uses his will and intellect. Bhakti begins with love, while jnana or self-knowledge begins with thinking and self-analysis. The end of both is the same, union with the divine.