These are my own perceptions,as they occur in my mind and the insights,the interpretations and my understanding the subject matter, are there, for the public discussion..............

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nava Vidha Bhakthi

Om Sad Gurubhyo Namaha:

"Sravanam Keerthanam Vishnoho:
Archanam Vandana
m Dasyam,
Sakhyam Aatma Nivedanam"

"Aasakthi" is inborn with every human being. At the time of birth and during the childhood,man is dependent on his parents and hence is in Aasakthi with them,when he becomes a man is attracted to his wife and to his children,when becomes a little older he is attracted towards his grand children and so on. There is no time in his life when he is not in love with the worldly objects, this is perfect. One can not be without it, he has to work to earn his living and hence has to be in aasakthi towards his office,he definitely has to love his family to be in this world. If only he can divert all this love towards the Lord !! When we are in aasakthi towards the worldly things it can be called "love" and if we can do this love totally towards the God , we can call this "Bhakthi".And Lord wants us to do LOVE Him all the times,even if we offer a leaf, a flower,a fruit or just a few drops of water,but do it with Bhakthi then the Lord is sure to accept it and bless us. He is available to us, not by just doing some Danam, or by some Tapas,or shaucham or some vratam, but just by some Ananya Bhakthi towards Him. That is the Hold or Vidambanam for us.
" Na Danam Na Tapo Nejya, Na Shaucham Na Vratani Cha, Preeyate Amalaya Bhakthya, Hariranyat Vidambanam"

But how to do this Bhakthi ?The Bhagavatakar says 9 types of Bhakthi. In the words of Prahlada Bhaagavat, Sravanam,hearing of the Lords Kathas and His Leelas and also His songs , is the first and perhaps the best form of Bhakthi. In this , one need not do anything, just give ones ears to where ever the Bhagavat Discourses are held, or where the Lords Bhajans are sung,as one is sure to get to the proximity of the Lord by just listening to His Namasankeerthanas. Just listening to the Bhagavatam for half a second will take to Sakshatkaram for which King Parikshit is the proof. Knowing that he has only 7 days more to live, he did not waste a minute, but was listening the Bhagavatam from none else than Shuka Brahma RishiSo why we should waste our time in some mundane matters instead of giving our ears to the Lords Kathas?.
"Asaare Samsaare Vishaya Vishasamgaakuladhiyaha:,
Kshanardham Kshemartham Pibata Shuka Gaadhaatulasudam,
Kimartham Vyartham Bho Vrajatha,Kupatakutsithakathe,
Parikshit Saakshi Yaschravana gatamukthiukthi Kathane"


Naamasamkeerthanam is the best way of "Sakshatkaram" in this Kali Yuga. It does not need any stringent penances or preparations, nor it needs any special care for the time and place. It can be done "Sarvatra" and "Sarvada". The "Bhajan", or the "Namasamkeerthanam" can be done by any person irrespective of his/her cast or creed. And this is also one of the ways of Bhakthi is proved beyond doubt by none other than Shuka Dev Rishi himself.

In the Bhagavatam, King Parikshit says that even though he had no water or food for days, listening to the discourse by Shuka Deva, he had no thrust or hunger because he was drinking the Bhagavatamrutham and those who have this Amrutam has no wor
ldly longings. But the Pravaktha, Shuka Deva Rishi, too had no break for the food or water and just by the Lord's keerthanam he too was above these worldly desires. So Shuka Deva Rishi is the perfect example for the Keerthana Bhakthi, though we have many Saints and Sages in this Yuga who lived for, only the Nama Samkeerthanam, and those great sages, paved the way for the Sampradaya Bhajana Paddhathi which we all follow even today.


We visit temples to see the Archamoorthies of the Gods there, but we get very little time for the Darshan in the big temples. Not sure we get enough time to see the Lord from the foot to His Head. Then we remain in His Smaran all the times and back home, we still keep remembering His Swaroopam. The Gopies of Vraj, remained in Lord Krishna's Smaran through out their lives even after Lord left Vrindavan for Madhura. That is the Smarana Bhakthi. The Gopies could do it because they were living with the Lord in Vrindavan and had sweet memories of Him to keep remembering His Leelas and deeds. But the perfect example for the Smarana Bhakthi, in our thoughts is Prahlada Bhagavata. Prahlada,we are not sure, had the Archa Moorthies installed in his house, as his father had banned all the worships of the Lord Vishnu in his kingdom. His only occassion to listen to God's Kathas was from the Narada Maharshi when he was in his mother's womb. Yet he did the smaran of the Divine Leelas and firmly believed in the presense of the Lord. Even when he was ordered to be murdered by his father, he firmly believed that Lord Krishna will save him and hence remained unflinched in his Smarana Bhakthi. And he even educated the Asura Children on the importance of Naamasamkeerthanam and they too followed him. For such a bhakth, the Lord has to appear before him, is the proof of this kind of Bhakthi. In fact, the Lord Narasimha did not take the instant Avataram, to protect the Sadhus, destroy the evil-doers, or to establish the Dharma, but just to proove what His Bhaktha said was true."Satyam Vidhatum Nija Britya Bhashitam....." We do not know whether Prahlada had this Swaroopam of the Lord in his mind,but such was his Bhakthi that the Lord has to appear to prove that Prahlada should be set as an example for the Smarana Bhakthi.


"Guru arthe tyakta Rajyah: vyacharat anuvanam,
Padma padbhyam priyayah:,
Paani sparsha akshamabhyam mrijitha patha rujah:,
Yah: Harindra Anujabhyam,.........."

Lord Rama, after Sitaji was kidnapped by Ravana was wandering forests after forests in search of Sitaji with bare feet. Those feet were so soft,delicate and tender that even the softest touch of Sitaji's fingers would make them red. And to do the Paadasevanam of such lotus feet, is the utmost "Kainkaryam" one can do to the Lord. Lord Hanumanji was there with Lord Rama to do that kaikaryam to Him. During the Rama Avatara times Hanumanji did that Seva to the Lord, but in all other times, or always it was Lakshmi Devi who did Paadaseva to the Lord. In the Vaikuntam it was seen that Goddess Lakshmi had not given that Kaikaryam to anyone else. And hence our best example for the Paada seva Bhakthi is none other than Lakshmi Devi. For we, human beings, it can be done only in our Bhavam, to our Archa Moorthies in our homes and ofcourse in the Bhooloka Vaikuntam of Pandharpur where Devotees are allowed to touch the Lotus Feet of Lord Panduranga. When we are constantly and intensely attached to thinking of the Lotus Feet of the Lord we are said to be in the Param Bhakthi of Paadasevanam. In the Rajasuya Yagna, Lord Krishna was Himself doing the Paadaseva of the invitees entering the Yagna Shala and so if we do the Paadasevas of our beloved Guruji, it will be considered as the Paadaseva of the God Himself.


In this Kaliyuga, the best way to worship the lord is by doing Archana to His Archa Vigrahas. This can be done in the various temples in our country or one can do it in his home as well. All one need is one Deity of his liking and some good flowers. There are many Mantras to do the Archana, there is Ashtothara Shada Naamavalies of the Lords and there is Sahasranamas for all the Dieties. The Vishnu Sahasra Naama is best of them all." Om Viswasmai Namaha: ........Om Sarva Praharanayudhaya Namaha:" These 1008 names of the Lord Vishnu can be easily chanted by the Devaotees and will become the best form of Archana Bhakthi. If one is not having a Deity at Home, this can be done in the temples as well. Or even one can do a "Maanasa Pooja", by imagining a deity in the mind and doing an Archana to Him with Maanasa Pushpam. A Sahasranama Archana by mind on every day will do immense good to our life. For a perfect example for Archana Bhakthi, all we human being, in this kaliyuga who do the Archanas in the temples are eligible. But the Prithu Maharaj, who made this earth livable for us and hence the Name given to earth became "Prithwi", will be a more perfect one for us. He made nearly a 100 Ashwamedha Yagnas, nearly became an Indra, Shatakradhu, and when Bhagavan appeared before him, he asked for a unique boon, "...............Vidatswa Karnayudhamesha me Varaha:" , give me a 1000 years for listening to your Uttama Sloka Gunanu Keerthanas !! Then after giving the Kingdom to his children Prithu Maharaj went to Tapovanam and started doing the Tapas alone. Tapas is the form of Archana Bhakthi and more we do it more closer we will be with the Lords.


"Vandanam" is another form of "Bhakthi", we can show towards the Lords. Even when a friend does us some favour we "thank" him, we acknowledge his help, say "Namaste" to him whenever see him, and the God has given, all we have now, to us, so is it not our duty to say thanks to Him ? By just folding our hands together, the Lord appreciates us and accepts our "Vandanams". He is happy that His sons are very grateful to Him. Akrura was with Kansa though he was a good devotee of Lord Krishna, he was waiting to pay his tributes to Krishna when King Kansa decided to send him to Gokul to bring krishna to Madhura. Akrura knew that Kansa had bad intentions, yet he was sure that Krishna was the Lord and Kansa can not do any harm to Him,and hence e was happy to go to Gokul. The first think he did in Gokul was to offer his "Vandanam" to Krishna and Balaram, this after waiting for many years. The immense satisfaction he obtained by just folding his hands in front of Sri Krishna was immeseaurable. Hence in our minds the best example for Vandana Bhakthi, Akrura stands above all others.


We are just some faces in the crowd, ordinary common-men, we are in our Grihasta Ashramas and do not know, whether we are the Karma Yogies of whom Geethakar explains in details. A true Karma Yogi, surely is an enlightened man. He considers his daily routine of works as the service to the God and hence converts his worldly adventures as a Yoga Siddhi. So there is Salvation in Karma Marga also. A Gnana Margi is already a realised soul and hence is in the proximity of the Lords all the times. He was in search of the Truth and now he has attained it..And those who are in the Bhakthi Marga are dearests to Lord Krisha as He Himself has spoken about it many times. They know nothing else in this world other than the Gods. If we are to become any one of the above, we have to be real Karma Yogies by devoting our normal day works into the Divine offerings. We do not think, we have enough Virakthi and Vairagyam to go the Gnana Marga and likewise we certainly do not have the total trust in the God to follow the Bhakthi Marga as did Prahlada even when he was put into fire, he had believed that the Lord will save him, we might turn our backs when confronted with disasters.. So what is the way out for us ? The Sreemad Bhagavatham comes to our rescue. It says you make one of the great saints and realised souls from any one of the above three Margas, as your Guru and make him your "Swami" and you become his "servant". This will show you the way for Moksham. This is called the Dasya Bhakthi. Even a well versed and learned one like Hanumanji did the same thing. For him Lord Rama was his swami and he was the loyal servant of Him. Hanuman did all his Karmas for the benefit of Lord Rama and hence made Yoga out of his Karmas,and of course, he was the topmost in the Gnana Marga "Gnaninam Agraganyaha:" as he was referred to always, and his Bhakthi to Ram was unflinching as he carried both Rama and Sita in his heart. So there can be none greater than Hanumanji when we think of Dasya Bhakthi towards the Gods.


Lord Krishna says that whoever remembers Him in what ever form, He will appear to him in that form. For Mother Yasoda, He became the infant Kanhaiyya and for Sugreeva and Arjuna, He gave friend's love as they considered the Lord as their friend. For Arjuna and the Pandavas,the Lord became their Sarathy, driver, and even became their servant at times, sharpening their Swords for the War and cleaning their shoes etc. at times. Sugreeva and Arjuna were equals to the Lord ,as in friendship there is none above or below. they took meals on the same plate and even played on the same fields. The eighth Bhakthi Marga says that Sakthyam or frindship is another way of Bhakthi. And for our example for this type of Bhakthi we have Arjuna. Arjuna never dis -obeyed Krishna, he was always following Him and His advises, when Ashwathama was brought to justice, Arjuna had done exactly what Krishna told him to do, it was a splendid example of friendship. Lord Krishna gave the Divine eyes to Arjuna to see His Virat Roopam and it's history that the Bhagavat Geetha was told to Arjuna directly from Krishna's mouth at the battle fields.

"Aatma Nivedanam"

The last verse of the Bhagavat Geetha says " Sarva Darmaan Pari Tyajya Maamekam Sharanam Vraja......." , when you have exhausted all other ideas to attain the Lord, you simply leave all the Karmas and Dharmas and come to my Sharanagathi, or surrender to me totally, and I will liberate you from all your sins. This is the total sharanagathi perhaps, the last way of devotion or Bhakthi Marga to come nearer to the God. In this Kali Yuga, we are in a thick forest without knowing the way to come out of it and when there is no one in the forest to our help, the only way out is, to totally surrender to Him and then the way will clear for us automatically. Aatma Samarpanam is to give every thing, the Than, Man and the Dhan, to the Lord and to His Divine Works in this world. We have seen Bhakthas giving their Wealth, the Dhan, and in some cases their Man, their minds, to the Divine purposes, but is there any example of anyone giving their Body or Than to the Lord's case. Sreemad Bhagavatam narrates the story of Emperor Bali who even though born in the Asura Kulam was a divine Bhaktha who gave every thing in the name of Daanam and at the end he gave himself to the Lord Vaamana Deva. When Vaamana Deva in the form of a Brahmin came to Bali's yagna, He asked for three feet of land and even when the Guru tried to stop Bali from giving Him the Daanam, Bali Chakravarthy came forward and offered his Head as the third place for the Vaamana Deva, and the Lord who had measured the Heaven and Earth on His first two feet, gave equal or more importance to His Bhaktha's head and considered him as the best example for the Aatma Samarpanam and took his head. King Bali's balidaanam of himself is the kind of Aatma Samarpanam the Lord expects from the Bhakthas forgetting all their Dharmas and Karmas. The Lord gave the boon to Bali that He'll always be at his doorsteps for him to see Him anytime.

This is certainly,only an indication that if one needs to do Bhakthi, or be devoted to the Gods, he can have many ways to do it. The resolution has to be taken by the Devotee himself. One can become the Das of the Lord as Lakshmana did leaving his own wife and accompanying Lord Rama to the Forest and doing all that a Servant would do to Him. This is Dasya Bhakthi, but there will be some distance,obviously, between the Swami and Servant in this form of Bhakthi. Then one can become a friend of the Lord and become the Sakha as did Sugreeva to Lord Rama.Rama treated Sugreeva as His equal in all respects. He gave him the Kingdom of Kishkinda after killing Vaali. Otherwise one can become a Vatsalya Bhaktha of the Lord as Mother Yashoda did. She never believed that Krishna was the God, Krishna was always her "Kanhaiyya" the little son. One can imagine that the Lord is his son and have a parental affection or Vatsalya Bhava towards Him. That is an immense Bahkthi, as did many Alwars of the South India. In this form of Bhakthi one can even beat the little Krishna when He plays some mischief. But the utmost Bhakthi Bhavam is in the Madhurya Bhakthi as shown by the Gopies to Lord Krishna. It's a Prema Bhavam and carries all the sweetness as it's called the "Madhurya" Bhava. Here the Gopies playing the Raasa Creeda with the Bhagavan and when He disappears from the scene they even scold Him in no uncertain words. They blame Him for all the thefts happening in the Gokul and they say all His Leelas are for cheating the Gopies. This is called the "Ninda Sthuthi" as it looks as though the gopies are scolding Krishna, actually they are praising Him for His Leelas in the Vraja Bhoomi. They even say that the Vraja Bhoomi has become prosperous after His birth in Gokul.So this kind of Bhakthi whether, has come in the nine types we discussed earlier or not, seems to be the best of them all. As according to the Bhagavatam all we human beings are Ladies and only the Lord alone is the Purusha, the only Male in this Jagat and our Bhakthi as a Priya bhakthi towards the Loved one is always going to be the best one.

Our words should sing the Lords Gunas all the times, and the ears should hear His Samkeerthanas and our eyes should see only His Vigrahas and our Minds should always be on His Lotus Feet as.......

Nala Kuubara and Mani Greeva said

"Vaanii Gunanukathane Shravanau Kathayam, Hasthau cha Karmasu, Manasthava Paadayornnaha:, Smrutyam Shirasthava Nivasa Jagat praname, Drustihi: sataam Darshanesthu Bhavatthanuunam"

" Om Rama Krishna Hari"


Blogger raghav said...

What is meant by Aasakthi?

July 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Blogger Narayan said...

Radhe Radhe,

Meanings of Aasakthi are Addiction,
Attachment, Devotedness, Fondness etc. In the post, it is used for the meaning total devotion..

July 19, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Blogger Pavithra said...

Nice post...

September 9, 2011 at 7:28 AM

Blogger Sensible Vegetarian said...

Very useful post, I was searching for some topics on nava vidha bakthi and this will be very useful to me.

November 21, 2011 at 7:40 AM

Blogger VT said...

Could you please provide a reference for the quote:

Asaare Samsaare Vishaya Vishasamgaakuladhiyaha:,
Kshanardham Kshemartham Pibata Shuka Gaadhaatulasudam,
Kimartham Vyartham Bho Vrajatha,Kupatakutsithakathe,
Parikshit Saakshi Yaschravana gatamukthiukthi Kathane

Thank you

June 5, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Blogger Narayan said...

Radhe Krishna

This is the 100th. verse,of the Sixth Adyayam, namely,Sravana Vidhi Kathanam,of Sreemad Bhagavata Mahatmyam, as appearing in the Uttara Kandam of Sree Padma Puranam. This says, instead of wasting our time in the Worldly mundane stories, even if we spend half a moment in hearing the Bhagavata Kathas, like, Raja Parikshith, we too will attain Moksham.
Radhe Krishna

June 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM


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