As long as we live trapped in our mind’s likes and dislikes – the duality of this world – we can’t access the wisdom of the soul.
We enter a spiritual space when we ‘receive’ direction from a realm beyond our own mind-intelligence-ego. There are life-enhancing universal principles that we need to access. Therefore many religious traditions emphasize obtaining this grace.
The practice of Bhakti yoga teaches us to connect with God and humanity through the language of love. The varied methods on this path help one discover one’s true self and our unique individual purpose in life.
An essential practice amongst the Bhakti spiritualists is ‘hearing’ or rendering submissive aural reception to spiritual wisdom. This could be either by studying the sacred books like the Bhagavad Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam or hearing other practitioners speak from these books.
In most temples and ashrams this is a daily ritual and the hour of class is usually well attended by the members of the monastery as well as the congregation.
The scriptural knowledge purifies the mind and intelligence in much the same way as fresh rain clears up the dirt accumulated on the leaves of a tree. Our consciousness is often contaminated with small biases and strong prejudices. We are like the proverbial ‘frog in the well’; we imagine we are right and others wrong. However, when we receive humbly, we are expressing humility to the universe. Our willingness to receive wisdom develops our ‘wisdom body’ and strong intuition becomes a natural by-product of attentive spiritual practices.
4. Chanting as a means of self-discovery
As described in 13th chapter of Part 1 – Awareness, many spiritual traditions also emphasize chanting of mantras or divine incantations.
In the Bhakti-yoga tradition I come from, we chant the Hare Krishna mantra softly on our prayer beads. These prayers help us access a divine aspect of our self, known as the Wisdom body (also introduced in Part 1, chapter 3). From this realm of awareness, our life in this world appears as a sacred act of service. Members of our monastery begin the day with two hours of chanting of
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare HareTo be continued…