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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhakti Yoga -part 2-

It is important because it deals with our emotions. We are all born with wonderful soft emotions. Every child even at the age of two days looks at your face and gives a wonderful smile. In fact, the intellect is born not yet born in the child. It develops much later, maybe after one or two years of being in this world and interacting with this world. That is why Indian philosophy says we are all born with emotions and intellect is what the world gives us. We have other soft emotions like compassion and the sense of wonder along with love.
Every child is born with that sense of wonder. When you look at the child eyes you can find that, whatever the child is looking at, you would notice that sense of wonder. We were also born with love compassion and sense of wonder. When the child smiles, there is not reason behind it, whereas, as we grow up we have lost that smile on our face. Today if some one smiles, we start to wonder why he is smiling. That means our smile and other soft emotions are buried under our intellect. Now, opposite of this soft emotions like love compassion and sense of appreciation we have violent emotions like anger, hatred, and jealousy. Often people think that not only soft emotions but also violent emotions are also spontaneous. We have these two emotions – one set is soft emotions like love, compassion and sense of wonder, on the other side there are violent emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy and selfishness. Both appear to be spontaneous but they are not. The feeling of love comes spontaneously; the feeling of compassion comes spontaneously. Spontaneous means that which does not require any reason to be. On the other hand, anger, hatred, jealousy, and selfishness are not spontaneous.
Anger comes up because he did not do the way that ‘I’ wanted it to be done. Greed comes because he has it and ‘I’ don’t have it and that is why ‘I’ am greedy. Hatred comes because he did not behave the way that ‘I’ wanted him to behave so I hate him. You can see that every violent emotion is born out of that ‘I’ which is very important. Whenever one is in soft emotions, this ego is dissolved but when one is in violent emotions, this ego is very important. The most important form of this ego is attachment. Wherever this attachment is, there it leads us into anxiety. The mind becomes restless, and the restlessness results into uncertainty and further leads to anxiety. When the same ego further deepens into us, it leads us into confusion. And this confusion continued for a long time leads us into depression. When you look at whether it is depression or confusion, the deep routed problem is ego. Today most of our sickness is born out of mental disturbances. Yoga is a technique and a state of peace of mind. Peace of mind is our own nature.
Unfortunately, in the world today we have come away from our nature due to our ignorance and due to the influence of the world around us which has no education to go back to our nature. By developing the inner self control and discipline, we can go back to our nature and this is called Raja Yoga. The method of self sacrifice is called Karma Yoga to go to that same inner peace. By using the self analysis at the intellectual level, it is called Jnana Yoga. The problem which gives rise to disturbances of our mind as looked at from the angle of Bhakti Yoga is this ego or I. by becoming humble and surrendering this ego out of love, we can go to the state of satisfaction or love. Thus, the essential practice of Bhakti Yoga is to dissolve this ego. Now the most important aspect of Bhakti yoga is not to find god but to dissolve our ego. Whenever we are in the experience of soft emotions like love and compassion then with out any effort from our side we find our ego is dissolved. In love, our consciousness rises far above the level of ego. At that point-of-time, our experience is blissful.
In day to day life, there are two different occasions, when the ego is dissolved and one is resting in self. One experience is when one is in the state of love and the other is in the deep sleep state. When one is in the state of love, then ‘I’ is not important but the other is important. The moment one is in the state of love the other’s comfort becomes more important than of oneself. Normal experience in the world is we take something and we get happiness. On the other hand, when one is in the state of love, comfort of oneself is not giving comfort but the others comfort is giving comfort. The same is the case with compassion. When you are in the state of compassion, you would like to see that the other person is in the state of comfort at the cost of your own discomfort. Therefore in the soft emotions the ego is completely dissolved. And in these soft emotional states, you are very comfortable and very blissful. Similarly, another state where you have absolutely no ego, which is the deep sleep state. While you are in the deep sleep state, you know nothing because you are not there.
Therefore, the experience of happiness is there when the ego is dissolved. But later on the moment the ego comes up then the soft emotions get corrupted. Ego is like cancer. It poisons the love into lust. You have something which you appreciate but the moment ego come up then it turn into possession. Whenever you are in the experience of soft emotions, you become expansive and slow. Ego is of the nature of constriction and speed. This speed and constriction you can recognize in all the violent emotions like hatred and jealousy, selfishness etc. Another very important point is that these soft emotions give us health but violent emotions give us sickness. Love and compassion give us happiness where as jealousy and hatred gives unhappiness. Often people advice don’t be angry don’t be jealous. Anger and hatred are only outer manifestations but the cause is always ego which is deeply hidden behind. If we don’t want to give up ego but want to give up anger and jealousy it will not be possible.
If you don’t give up ego but we want to give up the anger all that we do is to suppress the anger. Bhakti Yoga is not about suppressing anger, hatred, or jealousy but it is to get dissolved. Surrender the ego. Often, people wonder how and where to surrender the ego. In the world, we cannot surrender ego to somebody else because that person also had ego. That is why Bhakti Yoga says, think of god, and surrender your ego to god. People have all kinds of questions such as, does god exist, is he taking care of us and where is he.

-to be continued

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