Chakra Discussions

Making Sense in Bhakti

by Gaurav Mittal

Posted October 30, 2007

A few years ago, I realized that there was some improper application of the process of bhakti within iskcon, with the result that I was becoming unhappy and depressed. The problem was that I was focusing on principles which had very little effect on my spiritual advancement and I was neglecting those principles which could nurture my bhakti.

Bhakti is surrender to Krishna , which is our internal consciousness, and therefore it requires maintaining inner equanimity in regard to raga (attachment) and dvesa (aversion). It should result in happiness and contentment. So, I took a new look at sastra and decided to accept only the principles which made sense to me. I realized that those principles that I could understand at my particular level of advancement were exactly what I should be focusing on, and that doing so was simple and natural, while trying to understand what I could not, was deviating me from the concepts which I could understand or make use of. Thus, I prioritized my knowledge into a few categories:

  1. Concepts which I can both realize and see as truth. (I need to develop resolute faith over these concepts.)
  2. Concepts which I can intellectually accept but don't see as truth. (I need to nurture these principles.)
  3. Concepts which I don't intellectually accept but accept on faith. (Neutral attitude towards them.)
  4. Concepts which deviate me from essence of bhakti. (These are useless topics. My mind needs to avoid or ignore them.)

I decided to focus on categories #1 and #2 and I found that doing so increased my faith in those concepts. Concepts in categories 1 and 2 are simple and don't need lot of arguments, for they make clear sense. Those concepts I found to be actually nourishing my bhakti, while focusing on categories #3 and #4, as I had been previously doing, was actually deviating me from it.

Concepts which I realize and see as truth (Summary)

Concepts which I intellectually accept but don't see them as truth (few examples)

Concepts which I don't intellectually accept but accept them on faith. (a few examples)

Concepts which deviate me from essence of bhakti