Bhakti rasa defined

July 31, 2012 12:51 am | Updated 12:51 am IST - CHENNAI

The Lord’s incarnation as Narasimha — a fierce form which was neither man nor lion — from a pillar to kill Hiranyakasipu, was a unique and never-before-seen one and the celestial beings including Brahma were dumbstruck with fear, maintaining a safe distance from Him even while singing His glory. Only the fearless Prahlada whose entire being was full of devotion to the Lord prostrated at His feet; the Lord calmed down and placed His hand on the child’s head with fondness. Prahlada considers himself extremely fortunate to be thus graced by the Supreme Lord and bursts forth into a eulogy of Him. It is a prayer full of insights regarding devotion and its efficacy to guide one towards salvation, pointed out Nochur Sri Venkataraman in a lecture.

To merely remain devoted to God and to acknowledge His undying concern for us is the essence of Bhakti. It requires an attitude of loving God purely for His sake.

In that state there is no question of seeking any favours from Him. To be accepted by Him and to serve Him at all times is the only goal. It is a Dasya Bhama. A Jivatma thus motivated does not get affected by the struggles and travails of Samsara. Prahlada remains undaunted by the dangers thrust by his father since his whole being is with the Lord. Such an engrossment typifies the essence of Bhakti Rasa. Reciprocally, God’s grace provides the necessary insulation and protection for the child, much to the dismay of the demon.

How is one to get the grace of God? One has to merely yearn for it with single-minded aim. God will supply the force.

There is no more perception of I and this, Mine and others, etc. This frame of mind is itself a great fortune much wealthier than all the wealth of the world. Saints understand the unseen power of His grace and consider themselves as the proud possessor of this eternal wealth and auspiciousness. This is the height of Bhagavad Bhakti.

It is best described as a state of intoxication. The Gopis exemplify this Bhakti rasa in their single-minded yearning for Krishna. They forget themselves and long only to be in the presence of the Lord.

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