Jan 17, 2023
Bhakti is a Sanskrit word for love and devotion, and love is the quintessential truth of all religion, spirituality and mysticism. In the New Testament Saint Paul said that "love is the most excellent way." The Bhagavad Gita and the other world scriptures say the same thing. The mystic-lovers of history have taught that "God is an infinite Ocean of Love and each soul is a drop from that Ocean." By approaching simran (mantra, a spiritual exercise of repeating God's Name or Names), prayer, the singing of hymns, or meditation with an attitude of love and devotion (prem and bhakti), we elevate our consciousness. The practice of love brings us into harmony with the Supreme Being, our own true nature, and with all souls in creation.
Bhakti is the Path of Love; it is heart-centered, focused on the cultivation of love between the soul and the Oversoul, between lover and the Beloved. India's Nirguna Bhakti Sants (Saints) are madly in love with the Supreme Being, the Ocean of Love. Their relationship with the Supreme Being is that of Divine romance.
This is a translation of a hymn (shabd) by the 19th century mystic Sant Tulsi Sahib:
"Whose soul is attached to the Word, revels
ever in cosmic flight;
Revels ever in cosmic flight, and realizing the
Lord, plays with Him.
The mystery of the Inaccessible and the secret
of the scriptures he unravels:
He reaches his Home within and its Essence
he comes to know;
In the lotus feet of the Beloved he sees
his true destination.
The happily married woman rejoices with her
Spouse every moment, O Tulsi,
For her soul is attached to the Word, and
revels ever in cosmic flight."
The compositions of Sant Tulsi Sahib are bhakti (devotional) in tone, and at the same time allude to the mystical experiences of the soul achieving cosmic flight by becoming attached to the Word -- hearing the Celestial Music of the Spheres during meditation. Through the Divine Word the mystery of the Inaccessible Plane (called by mystics "Agam Lok") is made accessible. Shri Tulsi described his experience of the Beloved Lord as a marriage consummated in mystical union. This merger of lover and Beloved is the final destination of lovers. Sant Dadu, a Master in the Guru Kabir lineage said of this oneness:
"The lover is converted into the Beloved.
That indeed is called true love.
Forgetting his own ego, he remains
absorbed in the One."
In their spiritual hymns of love and devotion (prem and bhakti) mystic-devotees sing of the power that the Spirit of Love has to transport souls back to the original Home of all souls -- the Ocean of Love and Compassion (Anurag Sagar). By approaching spiritual practice with love, we will be elevated in spirit to places beyond our wildest dreams! And for those who are skeptical of their own ability to experience the Way of the Saints, Swami Ji Maharaj said in one of his hymns:
"It does not matter if your bhakti is imperfect.
Perform bhakti! Radhasoami [the Lord of the Soul]
graciously declares that you should perform bhakti
in whichever way you can. Fear not. He will grant
you the Treasure of Love. You will be a recipient
of the Gift of Love."
(Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry, Vol. II, Agra)
In Divine Love (Bhakti), Light, and Sound, At the Feet of the Masters,
Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts
Spiritual Awakening Radio