What is Bhakti? What is Devotion? Who is devoted to whom?
In the beginning it seems that chanting and praying to an external form or Divine is foolish. In the beginning, almost everyone starts praying to gain something in this material world ~ money, success, family, health, happiness and so on.
When we chant and pray we connect to and focus our own energies to set intentions and create abundance in our lives.We invoke the cosmic energies of abundance to remove any obstacles and help us achieve our goals. We are part of the cosmic play. We pray that our efforts and goals be in harmony with the whole, and bring us peace and joy.
In my own experience, I found that it is true that we start feeling the vibrations of mantras as we chant them daily, with faith. We and the whole universe is made up of sound vibrations. Sanskrit mantras are a very useful tool to change our own vibrations, and how we react or behave in our daily lives. Slowly, it changes the patterns of our lives, people, places, situations that we can come across or experience.
As one keeps praying everyday with attention to the words and meaning with a little faith, a subtle transformation of the consciousness starts unfolding. There is a movement towards more sattva ~ contentment, not wanting more of everything ~ money, power and prestige, people, places and things; not manipulating people, actions without self motives, dropping the past and future at the feet of Lord; less desires and thoughts; one’s body and mind gets naturally stable or equanimous ~ purity of thought and heart. One starts connecting to the Divine energy within oneself.
As our attention gets focussed, we dissolve patterns that steal our attention in the external world. There is a natural withdrawal of senses. Then if we practice meditation, our awareness starts becoming open, spacious and free.
Gradually, the intensity of devotion keeps increasing and one day one can find that one is praying to the Divine only for the love of Divine. Chanting, prayers, form or flowers all become part of our inner remembrance, there is no need for anything externally but still we chant for just the joy of singing to the Divine ~ an inner love is all there is. The illusion of the material world holds no attraction any more. You don’t pray to gain anything in the material world. It has no value compared to the bliss of Lord’s love.
Bhakti becomes remembering of our real self through the practice of devotion. It awakens our very own deepest inner self-love that pulls us deep within.
Slowly, the power of bhakti, melts everything, liberating our awareness to soar into Superconsciousness.
Then who is within and who is outside? Who is devoted to whom?