Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 64

Chapter 7
32. The Magnificent Vision Of Bhakti

4. In this Seventh Chapter, the way of bhakti is laid open before us to tell us about a singularly effective means, a great vikarma for knowing Him. To attain purity of mind, many vikarmas like yajna (sacrifice), dana (sharing, charity), japa (prayer, repeating God’s Name), tapa (penance), dhyana-dharana (meditation and concentration) are prescribed. I would liken them to washing soda or soap, while bhakti is like water. Soap and washing soda are useful only in conjunction with water; by themselves they are of no use. Water, on the other hand, can cleanse even without them, although their aid does result in better cleansing. It is like adding sugar to milk. How can there be purity of mind if the heart and soul are not there in yajna, mediatation, penance etc.? Bhakti is nothing but such involvement of the heart and soul.

All the vikarmas stand in need of the aid of bhakti. It is the ultimate means. It is no doubt advisable that a man trained in nursing and having knowledge of different remedies should be deputed to take care of a patient; but if he lacks genuine empathy and compassion, he cannot render true service. A bullock may be strong and stout, but it would not pull a cart if it does not wish to. It will then refuse to step ahead and may even land the cart in a ditch. Work without involvement of heart and soul without heartfelt empathy and concern can give neither satisfaction nor strength.


References and Context