CHENNAI: Bhakti is the flow of a spontaneous attachment towards God. It springs from the awareness of His Supreme nature that is multi-faceted and multidimensional. The Bhagavata Purana, hailed as a repository of Bhakti, is an invaluable guide to spiritual seekers. It serves as a pointer to them by highlighting the path of devotion as a sure route to salvation, said Sri Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal in a discourse.

The Purana reveals many subtle truths about the Supreme Being, and especially His compassionate nature towards one and all. By listening to expositions of this text, wherein the salient features of devotion and dharma are revealed with experiential clarity, one realises that devotion towards the Lord has to be cultivated, nurtured and practised as a way of life.

Such is its greatness that even the common people not exposed to intellectual attainments can attain salvation by following the path of devotion. The example of the total devotion of the simple minded gopis that brought them into close union with the Supreme Being is proof enough in this regard.

Great seers and sages have attained the Lord either through severe penance or intuitive perception or scholarship. But whatever path one pursues in this spiritual quest, it is of utmost importance that one is steeped in an overwhelming feeling of love towards God.

A philosopher or a scholar may be well versed in the Upanishads, able to quote extensively from the texts and eloquent in expounding its intricate truths, and yet fail in his spiritual quest, if he does not feel the power of devotion within himself. So Jnana alone is inadequate.

Likewise, practice of Karma Yoga without devotion to the Lord does not lead to liberation. Hence Bhakti is integral to both the paths, Jnana or Karma.

This path of devotion is efficacious, because while it readily offers solace to the troubled souls, it can be practised by anyone regardless of status, birth, gender, education or any other qualification, in keeping with the individual seeker's penchant and competence.

It is especially suitable in the age of Kali where there is marked prevalence of unhappiness caused due to ignorance or disease. One has to learn how to imbibe love and respect towards God to gain peace of mind.