Sunday, September 10, 2017
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September is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a yogi (bhakta), you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.”
All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your constant prayer is for complete self-surrender, in ecstatic union with your Belovèd.
What happens when you consciously, repeatedly replace the words “I – Me – Mine” with thoughts of “Thou – Thee – Thine?” Not as a pretense, but as a stand you take for what you have begun to believe is a higher Truth.
Perhaps your belief is based on what Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: “The illumined soul … thinks always, ‘I am doing nothing.’ (Ch. 5) … Every action is performed by the gunas. Man, deluded by his egoism, thinks ‘I am the doer.’ (Ch. 3)” Or perhaps you are persuaded by what Swami Sridharananda teaches us: “The concept of “I am” is experienced by us all the time. This awareness of I am-ness has to be converted to ‘He Is.’ I don’t exist; He Is, He exists.”
Sridharanandaji promises that, if you are persistent in this spiritual practice, “… slowly and slowly the awareness of His presence overwhelms the awareness of my am-ness.” Then, as Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Ch. 9 of the Gita, “Holiness soon shall refashion (your) nature to peace eternal …”
In this talk we explore and discuss these ideas, and tie them to what Sri Ramakrishna says in Ch. 5 of his Gospel: “The bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don’t think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of God’s power and glory. God has created all these — sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside.”