Critical rites of passage on the road to pure love of Krishna (kevala-prema).

The path of devotion (bhakti-yoga) through which both self realisation and the complete revelation of God (Krishna) are achieved has several rites of passage. The following is a summary of the most salient  aspect of this path. 

Interest: the path begins with interest and participation. From this, understanding grows experientially. Taste and appetite, the essentials of sustained nourishment, are the means to understand and experience the truths of devotion. (svalpapi rucir eva syad)

Eligibility: faith is quintessential, as well as being niether acutely indulgent or repulsed by worldly life. (sraddha, natisakto, na vairagya))

Guidance: fledgling faith must be guided by devotional teachings derived from authoritative texts. A teacher and their teachings are respected as authoritative only to the degree in which they are complaint with authoritative texts. (sastrera ajnaya)

Meditation: primarily the recitation of Krishna's names alone or in choir. Performing any recognised activities which effect in consciousness of Krishna.

Resolve: a strong faith and a testable understanding of devotional truths/practice, as presented by authoritative texts is efficacious. (sastra-yukti-sunipuno, drdha sraddha yanra)

Spontaneity: on having heard about the intimate devotion of the lovers of Krishna (specially those whose intimacy in no way tempered or subdued by knowledge of his greatness as God) a greed for the same is provoked, the aesthetic of devotion moves from regulative to spontaneous (lobhamayi sraddha). The unrelenting want of such devotion is the sole qualification in this rite of passage. Such devotion is no longer a response to scriptural guidance (sastra-yukti-nahi mane) but rather arises independently from within. This change is only occurred only through the company and grace of those with such spontaneity, or by the direct grace of Krishna himself.

Emotion: through grace and sustained practise, Krishna (svarup sakti) reciprocates by entering the heart. Perception and delight in Krishna, is potenised by his presence and the overwhelming emotions begin melting heart.

Pure love: by the grace of Krishna alone, such emotions are intensified and a pronounced possessiveness (mamatva) of Krishna appears. The heart is saturated with love alone, a selfless love that passionately exists for the beloved--Krishna.

Popular Posts