The Nature of Devotion

As it is commonly found to-day, devotion is self-centered, superstition- redden and often anti social. People seek god’s grace for tiding over crises or for getting their desires fulfilled- better health, money, job promotions, passing examinations and the like. If the lord does not respond. He is rejected. In short, religion reduced to business proposition.

Motivated Bhakti is not to be condemned as downright bad. To the extent that god is given a place in once thoughts, it is commendable. But there are better types of devotion. In its purest form, it is lofty and motiveless, finding expression in impeccable character, self-effacing love, dedication and service, as illustrated by Hanuman, Prahlada and Sukha. The Bhagavatham speaks of the glory of pure Bhakti.

Realms are also attracted towards Lord Hari. Sukha was one of those who delighted in experiencing infinite Self-centered (Atma), absolutely free from bonds, he had no need to worship anybody, yet he was drawn towards the lord. Prahalada’s attitude was also the same. theirs was a motiveless devotion and the y loved god for his own sake, not for milking any benefit from him.

Swami Ranganadananda, in a discourse said ethics always sought what was beneficial(Sreyas), as opposed to what was pleasant, to an individusl. Though ethic was very essential,religion meant much more than morality. “You may lead an ethical life . You may discharge the entire gamut of duties and obligations cast on you. Yet, at the end of it , if you do not develop love of god, then the Drama is absolutely infrauctuous, because you have not un-folded the deepest part of your personality”. If one had a little capacity to love , the Bhagavatham would help to culture it, make it pure and infinite in dimension. Out of pure love for god comes Vairagya, naturally and spontaneously.

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