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official source: Tattva Kaomudii Part 3

cross-references: also published in Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell Part 4
this version: is the printed Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell Part 4, 1st
edition, 2nd printing, version (spelling mistakes only may have been
d). I.e., this is the most up-to-date version as of the present
ic Edition.
"Bhaktirbhagavato seva' bhaktih premasvarupinii
aktih bhaktasya jiivanam"

Bhaktira'nandarupa'ca bh

Bhakti or devotion is service to Parama Purus'a. It is love and bliss pe

rsonified, the very breath of devotee. Now what is meant by devotion?
The word bhakti is defined as bhaj+ktin. Bhakti means 'to praise with love
', 'to worship someone'. Two entities are required -- the one who is eulogised,
and the other who eulogises. Here the two entities are the Lord and the devotee.
Ananda Sutram defines bhakti as "Bhaktirbhagavadbha'vana' na stutirna'rc
hana'". Bhakti means ideation on the Supreme, neither eulogy nor ritualistic wor
ship. Stuti is derived as stu+ktin -- which means to praise the one in front. Th
is is nothing but flattery. If a son praises his father in front of him, the fat
her gets angry instead of being pleased. The word archana' has come from the roo
t verb arc. Archana' means to worship a deity with flowers and other paraphernal
ia like vilva leaves, ganga water etc. In this ritualistic worship, how much gen
uine love is there. The ritualistic worship with paraphernalia is done in the mi
dst of time space and person,. The difference between time place and person brin
gs difference in ritualistic paraphernalia. So in external rituals, the spatial
and personal difference between the Lord and the devotee is not obliterated. But
with cosmic ideation people advance towards Parama Purus'a a bit by bit. The mo
re the sa'dhaka comes close to him, the greater will be the degree of devotion.
At that time the devotee will realise Parama Purus'a as his or her own, as the s
oul of souls and will surrender his or her unit existence in the Macrocosmic flo
w. If human beings cannot surrender themselves at the altar of Parama Purus'a th
ey can never attain spiritual progress in life. Without total surrender, Macroco
smic grace is not attained, and without Macrocosmic grace nothing is attained. B
esides this there is no other way, (Na'nyah Pantha' Vidyateyana'ya).
Another definition of bhakti or devotion is "Sa' Para'nuraktiriishvare".
The word rakti means colour, attraction. Anura'ga means attraction for somethin
g. The attraction is of two types: 1) attraction for aparabrahma or finite objec
ts and, 2) attraction for Parama Brahma or the Infinite entity. Attraction is th
e law of nature, repulsion is negative attraction.
In creation one object attracts another. The sun as the nucleus of the s
olar universe attracts the different planets and satellites. Similarly the plane
t earth is attracting various objects lying on the surface of the earth. Just as
honey bees rush towards beehives, greedy for honey, the people of country-sides
flock to towns and cities in search for food, clothes and accommodation. It is
notice that people rush towards those objects or shelters which are lasting and
dependable, which can guarantee greater safety and security. The same psychology
prevails behind the human desire to possess properties, name and fame, sons and
daughters. but unfortunately although these finite objects and entities provide
apparent happiness to people, they ultimately bring sorrow and pain. A billiona
ire undergoes heart rending grief at the death of his only son. No finite object
can ensure permanent happiness or eternal peace to human beings. Only the infin
ite, imperishable. deathless Brahma can be the Supreme object of ideation. "Saty

am jina'nanantam A'nandam Brahma". Only the people with all the warmth of their
hearts move steadily towards the god of their hearts (just as a person, under th
e spell of Avidya' Ma'ya', moves towards finite objects can attain Parama Brahma
In philosophical language, this love for the finite is called a'sakti. T
he transactional relationship of human beings based on a'sakti is business and a
ttraction or love for Parama Purus'a is called devotion. The relationship betwee
n the Lord and the devotees is the relationship of service. The devotees want to
serve the Lord out of pure love, to please Him, and wish for nothing and return
On a deeper analysis, it is found that human beings have nothing to call t
heir own. They may boast about their intellect, intelligence ,power and influenc
e but the real owner of these is Parama Purus'a. By His grace, alone can one uti
lise or enjoy objects. If Parama Purus'a so desires. He can snatch away all thes
e possessions from humans, And the humans will be unable to do anything about it
. After realising the Supreme truth intelligent people should endeavour to reali
ze Parama Purus'a with the power He has given them.
This realisation of the Supreme also depends on His grace. In order to m
erit Parama Purus'a's grace unit beings will also have to do something. their du
ty is to contemplate or ideate on Him.
Tha'kur Ra'makrs'n'a used to say, kr means "do something" and pa' means
"get something". It is the birth right of unit beings to attain cosmic grace. Ri
ghts and duties are inseparably related. So if one wants to attain cosmic grace,
one will have to arouse devotion in one's heart. The one who feels this devotio
n is a blessed person. He has nothing else to do. He is sure to realize Brahma w
ith that devotion. The main purpose behind intuitional practice is to arouse and
develop devotion.
A person who wants to realize Brahma and has the required devotion in Hi
m is sure to attain Him. But suppose a person lacks devotion, does not perform s
a'dhana', does not understand philosophy, is an ordinary neglected illiterate vi
llager having no social prestige can such a person attain liberation? Can he att
ain Parama'tma'?
The answer is simple: Yes, certainly he can attain Brahma. To attain sal
vation is the birth right of all individual beings. Parama'tma' makes no differe
nce between educated and uneducated, rich and poor, young and old -- no such ext
ernal difference has any meaning to Him. He is the all-knowing entity. He judges
everything by studying the inner sentiments of individuals. Even the most sinfu
l and most virtuous people are equally entitled to salvation in the eyes of Para
Parama'tma' only considers the inner thoughts and devotional sentiments
of people. The intense desire to know Him, the deep urge to attain Him, the inte
nse longing for Him -- these are the qualities which Parama Purus'a values.
Now the question is, How can this latent devotion be aroused? One of the
ways is through sa'dhana' and accumulated virtues in previous lives. People of
this category are really fortunate,because with that devotion, they will be able
to attain Cosmic grace. But suppose one does not possess the accumulated virtue
of previous lives -- what will happen? Will one's latent devotion not be arouse
d? Will one remain deprived of the Cosmic grace? Through one day's intense longi
ng for Him can one's supreme devotion be aroused? Yes that is enough to attain H
is grace. The life of the bandit Ratna'kar is a good example of this. The world
has witnessed few bandits as cruel as Ratnakar was in his younger days. It is sa
id that in only a few years he took the lives of a few thousand people. But even

such a confirmed criminal is not deprived of divine grace. The moment he develo
ped an intense desire to switch over to an honest life, a pure sentient and divi
ne life, discarding his previous criminal ways, he receive Cosmic grace in abund
ance. This transformation of the ignoble life of the bandit Ratna'kar to the dev
otional life of the holy Ratna'kar took place within a few years only. The life
of a bandit Ratna'kar was worse than that of ordinary men, but because he develo
ped an intense desire to lead a pure spiritual life, he became a noble man. So e
very person like Ratna'kar through pious thought, benevolent deed and constant s
piritual practice can become extra-ordinary. should such a person can still be c
alled sinful or dishonest?
Everyone invariably lived an ordinary life or sub-standard life in the p
ast. This is only natural, because although everyone has become from the same so
urce, yet everyone has come through the process of Saincara and Pratisaincara. N
aturally, however black one's past life might have been one should erase it from
one's mind. Human beings have no control over the past events. They can only bu
ild their future by making use of the present. God has put eyes in the front of
the person's head. Hence the sages of the Upanisads say, Caraeveti Caraeveti'. P
roceed on, Proceed on make proper utilisation of the present and build your futu
re. Direct your propensities all your longings towards Parama Purus'a. Remember
that you have none as your own except Parama Purus'a or Vis'n'u.
"Ananya'mamata' Vis'n'ormamata' Premasaungata'"
This intense love, this tremendous attraction for Vis'n'u is called Hari
bhakti. One who possesses Haribhakti is a blessed soul.
Canda'lopi Dvijashrestha Haribhaktipara'yan'a
Haribhaktivihiinashca vipro'pi shvapaca'dhamah.
(A pariah, who possesses Haribhakti is superior to a Bra'hman', but a vi
pra devoid of Haribhakti is inferior to a pariah.)
A vaes'nava poet has said,
Muci haye shuci hay yadi hari bhaje
Shuci haye muchi hay yadi hari tyaje
(An unholy person becomes holy if he ideates on Hari. A so called holy p
erson becomes unholy if he does not ideate on Parama Purus'a, Vis'n'u.) Now who
is Vis'n'u?
"Vista'ra sarvabhutasya Visnorvishuamidam jagat
Drastavyamatmavattasmadabhedena vicaksanaeh
The derivative meaning of Vis'n'u is all pervading, i.e. the entity who pervades
everything from molecules to atoms to the greater creator Brahma is Vis'n'u. He
is sarvabhu'tanta'ratma', i.e. He lies quiescent in and every entity. To one wh
o will run towards Him with undiverted attention, with deep devotion and pure mi
nd Parama Purus'a will spontaneously reveal Himself. At that time the individual
existence of sa'dhaka will be merged in Parama Purus'a. Even the thoughts and f
eelings of the sa'dhakas, the very function of the nerves, veins arteries will b
e controlled by the Macrocosmic mind.
There are some people who give indulgence to inferiority complex and fear comple
x. But when we know as a matter of logic that every individual can attain the hi
ghest stance of spirituality by dint of sa'dhana' can become an elevated person
through culture of devotion, then why should anyone be afraid or hesitant?

Human beings are the progeny of the almighty Lord. Why should His children suffe
r from any weakness -- inferiority complex or fear complex? Weakness is sin. So
one must shake off all sorts of weakness and fearlessness, irresistible. Therefo
re you have no right to hate yourself, if you hate yourself,it means you are hat
ing God.
On the basis of some characteristics, bhakti or devotion is divided into a few c
1) Nirgun'a' Bhakti: Where the sa'dhaka without any motive runs towards the goal
out of his intense love for Him, the psychology is: I do not know why I love my
Lord, but I love Him because that gives me joy. I love Him for, I feel that he
is the life of my life, the soul of my soul.
2) Vaedhi Bhakti: Where there is no exclusive devotion for the Lord but the sa'd
haka observes some ostensible vows, sprinkles cow dung and holy ganga-water, dec
orates the idols with gorgeous apparels and ornaments, offers flowers and bilva
leaves, and chants mantras it is called vaedhii bhakti. Whatever might be in thi
s brand of bhakti, there is the lack of expression of simplicity of the devotee'
s heart.
3) Jina'namishra' Bhakti: when a sentient sa'dhaka does not forget Parama Brahma
even after attaining the highest fulfillment, then self-knowledge begins to unf
old itself in the devotee's heart. This category of devotion is called jina'nami
shra' bhakti. Although this is a kind of nirgun'a bhakti, yet it contains a slig
ht vanity of occult power and knowledge.
4) Kevala' bhakti: When one is identified with the goal there remains only one e
ntity. This is called kevala' bhakti. This category of devotion is not attainabl
e by one's individual effort. One can attain it by the grace of great personalit
ies or Parama Purus'a. This is the highest stage of devotion. In this devotion t
he sa'dhaka remains oblivious of the differences and distinctions. This is calle
d mahimna jina'na. As long as the sense of differentiation will exist, the sa'dh
aka will hesitate to be one with Brahma.
6) Ra'ga'tmika' Bhakti: When the s'adhaka will say, "I love Him because I feel p
leasure by loving Him; I love him because I cannot remain without loving Him" -this is the stage of ra'ga'tmika' bhakti. The stage prior to the stage of ra'ga
'tmika' bhakti is ra'ga'nuga' Bhakti. The difference between the two stages is t
hat in ra'ga'nuga' Bhakti, to get pleasure is the main thing but in ra'ga'tmika'
, to give pleasure to the Lord is the main thing. In A'nanda Ma'rga, there is no
place for vaedhii bhakti or jina'namishra bhakti. Here every sa'dhaka is a foll
ower of ra'ga'tmika', but they will not stop there. In the process of strengthen
ing their devotion through sa'dhana' one will attain kevala' bhakti. For the one
who has attained the kevala' bhakti what else is left unattained? While depicti
ng the state the sa'dhaka attains bhakti. Na'rada says,
"Yallabdhva' Puma'n siddho bhavati, amrto bhavati, trpto bhavati.
Yat pra'pya na kincit va'nchati, na shocati, na dvs't'i, na ramate,
notsa'hii bhavati,
Yat jina'tva' matto bhavati, stabdho bhavati, a'tma'ra'mo bhavati.
(Na'rada Bhaktisu'tra'n'i)
That is, in bhakti human beings become siddha (successful) and overcome de
ath and all kinds of hankering; They cherish no other desire, conquer grief and
hatred, do not get elated with joy, give up all initiatives to gain any material
object, and remain absorbed in deep inner bliss.)
Every human being is entitled to the above mentioned stage of devotion. Therefor
e O sons and daughters of immortality, you are the sons of the almighty Lord, yo

u have the potentiality of infinite knowledge, power and valour. How can you fal
l victims to weakness and staticity, inferiority complex of any sort? Your sure
bright future is in your hand. So do not waste your time and vain. Awaken your l
atent devotion by dint of hard penance, and with the bonds of profound devotion,
Make Parama Purus'a your own. You are not a small or insignificant human being,
you are the very child of Parama Purus'a. It is your birth right to be establis
hed in the immortality of infinite life. Keeping this supreme fixed in your memo
ry, proceed to the supreme goal with utmost devotion, and you are destined to at
tain the greatest fulfillment.
Tattva Kaomudii Part 3