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However, there are many who are ignorant of these basic facts. They dip in water twice a day and go through the morning, noon and evening rituals, worship the household gods, draw lines of ash or sandal paste on their brows, arms and chest, put dots of saffron on their faces and wear strings of beads and rosaries round their necks and roam about from temple to temple or from one spiritual teacher to another. They circumambulate holy shrines. They attend many discourses, puranic recitals and readings of scriptures. The best we can say about such persons is that they are engaged in good activities; we cannot say they are Bhakthas.

Bhakthi has no relationship with dress and speech. On the basis of mere raiment and religiosity of expression, we cannot call a person "devotee of the Lord". Bhakthi is a matter of the inner consciousness, of feeling rather than external behaviour or conduct. Where there is smoke, you can infer there must be fire. But there are some types of fire which do not emit smoke, though there is no smoke which does not originate from fire. There is a possibility that acts will be done without feeling; but you cannot say that all feeling must be expressed through outer show. Even without pomp and outer show, it is possible to have sincere feeling. The pure feeling is positively harmful to progress if one aspires at all for progress!

The question that Arjuna asked drew this further answer: Of course, there are two different types of Bhakthas: the Saguna Bhaktha and the Nirguna Bhaktha, the votary of the formful one and the votary of the formless. Among the devotees, the Aartha (distressed), the Artha-arthi (the poor) and the Jijnaasu (the inquirer) are all eager about the nameful and the formful aspects of Godhead. Just as for every auspicious act the right foot is placed first, the right foot of Nirguna-Bhakthi must be used for the attainment of liberation. That is the "all-auspicious." That is to say, the Sadhana of the formless Godhead alone gives illumination. Both aspects have value and are indispensable. How long can any one have one foot inside and another outside? Even if that were possible, of what avail is it? So Saguna Bhakthi has to be adopted as Sadhana and Nirguna Bhakthi as the goal to be reached.

You can either see the whole universe as God, the whole Viswa as Visweswara, or you can see Viswa and Visweswara as separate and distinct. But both are the same. You may see the cloth as yarn or you may see yarn and cloth as separate entities. But, whether you realise it or not, yarn is cloth; cloth is yarn.

To see yarn and cloth as distinct is the Saguna Upasana, the worship of God with attributes. To see yarn as included in the cloth and the cloth as a collection of yarn and the two as identical, is to worship the Nirguna aspect.