Faith

Discipline is necessary

The Bhagavata Purana inculcates the truth that Bhakti is to be consciously practised as a spiritual discipline. Its very framework where Parikshit listens to Sage Suka’s narration illustrates that they both exemplify the fundamental devotional practices of Bhakti yoga, namely ‘Sravana’ and ‘Kirtana,’ said Sri M. V. Anantapadmanabhachariar in a discourse.

In the course of his long narration, Suka pauses to ask Parikshit if he would take water or rest for a while; but the king only wishes to continue to listen to the Bhagavata Purana. It was thirst that had driven him to throw a dead serpent on a sage steeped in meditation and brought on him the curse of death in seven days. But now being engrossed in partaking of the nectar of the stories of the Lord and His devotees uninterruptedly, the experience of thirst or hunger has already died a natural death in this king. Listening to the narratives that appeal both to the mind and the ears has instilled deep devotion in him. His devotion matures into a discipline when his whole being longs to continue to listen to Suka’s rendering. Dedication and intense faith are essential to make the practice effective.

After composing the Bhagavata Purana, it is held that Vyasa imparts it to his son Suka who is realised early in life. In him one finds the best example of the discipline of ‘kirtana’, or singing the praises of the Lord and His devotees.

Knowing about the Lord and also knowing of the many ways by which people have attained Him are necessary if the feeling of deep devotion is to take root in one’s consciousness. The path to God’s realisation through Bhakti Yoga is reached through strenuous practice and strong determination to achieve the goal.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 8:07:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/discipline-is-necessary/article6622310.ece

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