[Advaita-l] A question

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 16 18:43:13 CDT 2003

Hari Om !!

--- maria DICKSON <mad574 at yahoo.com.ar> wrote:
> I have a question and I am trying to find the
> answer.
> >From a year ago I began to study advaita vedanta
> philosophy... without a guru. I am trying to become
> a
> bhakti yogi but it is a hard work to do this without
> a
> master. My question is that if I have to wait and my
> guru will come to me when I am ready (as Vivekananda
> says) or if I have to look for him.
> Thanks a lot.
> Maria

Please examine, what you have done or plan to do 'to
become a Bhakti Yogi', before you conclude that it is
hard work to do without a master.

Read 'Essence of Bhakti Yoga' by Swami Sivananda of
Divine Life Society.

I would rather suggest that you examine and validate
your own concepts of becoming a Bhakti Yogi, before
you proceed further with your questions.

I would sugest you to read books on Bhakti Yoga itself
and determine How a Bhakti Yogi progresses and what
tools are at his/her disposal. Also examine carefully,
what is the essence and end result of this Bhakti
Yoga. Assuming you come up with practices such as
singing, japa, dhyana, story listening etc. as your
methods of sadhana, plan how and what you are going to
do ? Do you already have a 'Deity of Choice' ? How
extensively do you know the story/myth/sports of this
God ? Please dwell upon these themes.

I learnt that the best way to inculcate 'Bhakti' is to
listen to the story of the God of your adulation and
love. In the Indian context, read and listen Ramayana
or Bhagavatam, or Siva Purana etc. Then select
Stotrams on that Diety, recite Sahasra nama of the
diety, sing bhajans of that diety, do japa and puja of
the diety.

As someone suggested Satsang is important. Mix with
people of similar devotional nature and participate in
group-puja etc. in temples. But, each saint (in the
Indian context) of Bhakti marga worships one diety or
the other as the chosen diety. Once you make some
beginning, you can findout saints of that tradition.
Read the life stories of the saints in that tradition,
say if you choose Siva as your Lord of Love,
Periyapuranam could be a great book. Bhagavatam and
Tulasi Ramayan describe  Bhakti beautifully. All this
may be Saguna-Bhakti i.e Bhakti of God in Form.

Advaita Bhakti has its own twists and difficulties of
understanding. It will help if you can answer what you
want to achieve by becoming a Bhakti Yogi.

As you move in this path using all the above listed
tools at your disposal, you will meet someone who
might inspire you more and it should workout. But, I
think it is to be realised that there are innumarable
things you can do without worrying about the Guru
search right now. You may even have several Gurus at
different occassions of your life.

If you have specific questions, knowing your specific
background can help to make more relevant comments.

Om Namo Narayanaya !!


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