Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 45

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

11. The Way of Devotion: Bhakti-margaa

Bhakti is derived from the root, bhaj, to serve, and means service of the Lord. It is loving attachment to God. Narada defines it as intense love for God.[1] For Sandilya, it is supreme longing for God[2] for its own sake.[3] It is surrender in trusting appropriation of the grace of the Lord. It is isvarapramdhana of Yoga Sutra, which, according to Bhoja, is "the love in which, without seeking results, such as sense enjoyment, etc., all works are dedicated to the teacher of teachers. "[4] It is a profound experience which negates all desire and fills the heart with love for God.[5] Advocates of the way of devotion are not interested so much in supramundane redemption as in absolute subjection to the abiding will of God. The human soul draws near to the Divine by contemplation of God's power, wisdom and goodness, by constant remembrance of Him with a devout heart, by conversing about His qualities with others, by singing His praises with fellow men and by doing all acts as His service.[6]

The devotee directs his whole being to God. Adoration is the essence of religion. It involves a duality between the worshiper and the worshiped. If a philosophy of immanent ism is so interpreted as to destroy man's sense of creatureliness or God's transcendence, it has no place for devotion and worship The distinction between creature and creator is the ontological basis of the religion of bhakti. The Eternal one is viewed in the Bhagavadgita not so much as the God of philosophical speculation as the God of grace such as the heart and the soul need and seek, who inspires personal trust and love, reverance and loyal self-surrender. "Before the rise of know-ledge, duality is misleading but when our understanding is enlightened, we perceive that duality is more beautiful than even non-duality and is conceived so that there might be worship.[7]


References and Context

  1. Paramapremarupa.
  2. sa paranurakhr isvare. 1,1, 2.
  3. nirhetuka. Cp. Bhagavata. ahetukavyavahitd ya bhaktih purusottame: see also B.G., XII, 5; IX, 17-18.Cp. Caitanya: "I desire not, 0 Lord, wealth or retinue or a beautiful woman or poetic genius, I pray for spontaneous devotion to the Supreme in every birth of mine." na dhanam na janarh sundarim kavttarh va jagadisa Camay mama janmana-janmani'Svare bhavatad bhaktar ahaituki tray. ,Siksastaka, 4.
  4. I, 23. It is buddhanusmrti of Mahavastu.
  5. Cp. Narada: Bhakti Sutra 54; gunarahitarh, kamanarahitam pratiksanavardhamanam, avicchinnam, suksmataram, anubhavaruparn
  6. Narada Sutra, 16-18. The Bhagavata describes the nine stages of bhaktl:. sravanam kirtanam visnoh, smaranam pddasevanamarcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam atmanivedanam.' Again: "I abide not in heaven nor in the hearts of yogis; I dwell where My devotees sing My glory."naham vasam vaikunthe, yoginam hrdaye na camadbhakta yatra gayanti tatra tisthami ndrada
  7. dvaitam mohaya bodhat prag late bodhe manisaya bhaktyartham kalpitaym dvaitam advaitad apt sundaram.