Bhakti-belief and faith
Chelluri at AOL.COM
Sat May 16 11:08:37 CDT 1998
Twenty years ago when my mind turned to Devi by her grace, I tried to learn a
few answers from scholars of various faiths especially advaita and shaketayam.
During the past 35 years I had my share of pleasure and pain - joy and sorrow.
I am planning to retire and return to Bharat sometime this year to pursue my
During the past 15 years I used to correspond with spiritualists such as
Shankaracharyas, chinmayanandas seeking answers. They kindly responded to my
questions. I would like to share these answers with you if you are
I will begin the postings with the responses received from persons for whom I
have high regard and respect.
This letter is from Sri Vishnubhotla Sivasankaram in 1984.
"I am really very happy to learn that you are taking so much interest to
understand the real meaning of the terms belief, bhakti and faith. These
words can be understood only when you go through "Bhagavatha". Belief is only
a mental phase, Faith is unshakable and it is deeper than belief. Bhakti is
the actual execution of mental ideas created by faith and belief. There are
many degrees in bhakti. The superlative among those being the utmost love
towards God without wanting any returns and with continuous "Nista" as
directed by shastras. This sort of bhakti can be seen only in "sukamaharishi,
Prahlada, Kuchela etc. Moksham is complete desirelesness. There can be no
seeking for it. Complete renounciation with mind, body and soul only leads to
that. If we pray god with desires certainly they can be achieved but nobody
knows which desire really helps us. Some desires when they are achieved make
us sorry for having sought them. We dont know which desire is really useful
for us. So the shastra lays down that it is always better to do right actions
not aiming at the results. The results are to be given by the divine power
and god knows fullwell which happinesswill really make us happy.
"karmanyevadhikaraste maphaleshu kadachana". The bhakti involved in the
prayers aimed at desires is the lowest degree but it is certainly a footstep
for the higher degree of bhakti. So it should not be discouraged. Bhakti
scouts with desires first but the ultimate aim is complete "desirelessness"
and such a state is very difficult to be attained. It is only the abhyasa or
practice that it can be attained. The first step in the practice is
performing "sandhyavandanam" three times daily without seeking any returns and
with three pranayamas while begining it. The next step is going through the
sacred books like Bhagavatam and Bhagavadgita and trying to understand their
real spirit. I humbly state that I am also not perfect to deal on this most
sacred subject. It is only god's help that can put us in the proper line. I
think this letter will satisfy you to seome extent.
" na bhuddhi bhedam janayet aagnanam karma sanginam"
Would somebody translate the last quote. By the way this letter helped me to
think about the right path to achieve the bhakti, Kuchel, Prahlada and
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list