Laxmi Narayan Aithal
TWO FORMS OF DEVOTION.
Offering a leaf, a flower, a fruit, etc. with Love to God and worshipping Him through – studying scripture, chanting hymns of praise, etc. are endowed with a part of love; therefore, it is also called devotion. But, this scripture doesn’t deal with that devotion; forgetting all external objects, if the excellent love is established on God, this Great Love itself is the real Devotion. In order to indicate this itself characteristic features of devotion is told : परमप्रेमरूपा, Form of Supreme Love.
Devotion shown through worshipping, chanting, etc. towards God is called the secondary one (गौणभक्ति). The first aphorism tells : भक्तिं व्याख्यास्यामः, we clearly explain devotion. The word ‘devotion’ is primarily the Supreme One of the form of excellent love; still, as a king comes with his retinue, so this scripture has also explained the secondary devotion not as its main aim; and the main aim of the scripture is the Supreme Devotion. The first meaning of the word भक्ति is the Supreme Love towards the Supreme Self, the God. This, itself, is the subject matter of this scripture.
MEANING OF THE WORD ‘ तु’
In the aphorism, सा तु (But that devotion), the ‘तु ’ (but) word is employed to indicate relief to all probable objections that may arise on भक्ति, the topic of the scripture. In the pretext of explaining the meaning of the words of the aphorism, we have cleared the already raised such objections. In the next aphorism, a relief will be given for another objection.
In the present moment, there is a profit to the readers if they reflect upon the sublime meaning of the four words of the aphorism : सा त्वस्मिन् परमप्रेमरूपा. An aphorism means this :-
अल्पाक्षरमसन्दिग्धं सारवद्विश्वतो मुखम् । अस्तोभमनवद्यमं च सूत्रं सूत्रविदो विदुः ।।
According to this token sentence (लक्षणवाक्य) of learned men, an aphorism should have following characteristics : (1) It should have minimum number of words; (2) regarding meaning no doubt should raise; (3) there should be a substance (सार) in the meaning; (4) many meanings should be indicated by a single word; (5) vain or meaningless words should not be included; (6) and, there should be no fault in the meaning of a sentence.
Thus the united meaning of the two aphorisms can be said briefly : Devotion is the Supreme Love itself in God; the highest achievement of life can be had through that devotion; and we explain that devotion with all its auxiliaries.
AN OBJECTION REGARDING DEVOTION
11. It is said that there is no defect of love of external objects in the Supreme Love regarding God. Objects are not everlasting, therefore if they are lost there is grief either in acquiring them, or in protecting them; and, there is affliction even in relieving the difficulty of the mind. But, the गीता tells about God as follows : नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोsयं सनातनः (गी. 3-34). According to this- God is Eternal, all Pervading one and He has a steady Form; and He doesn’t move from one place to another. Therefore the excellent Love in Him may yield Supreme Bliss. But, is not love a condition of the mind ? A condition remains till the other one rises; and there is no hope of retaining the same condition forever, isn’t it ? This being the case, how can a love-condition which has a beginning and an end give everlasting bliss ? If not, then, how can be the highest achievement of life ?
Even this objection is answered by the word रूपा (form) from the compound word परमप्रेमरूपा (form of Supreme Love ). This is told briefly : Though the devotion is in the form of love-condition but the Supreme Love is not a mere love-condition which is familiar to us all. It’s Own Form itself is different from the worldly love-condition. That is explained in the next aphorism :- अमृतस्वरूपा च ।।3।।
And that is also having an Immortal Form.
There is a difference between worldly famous love and devotion : In the world, love is a mental condition which originates by the connection of objects in the vicinity of sense-organs. There arises a mental condition according to the form of an object. When the sensual objects are known, the following conditions are formed : Uncertainty (विकल्प) of the object, doubting it (संशय), certainty about it (निश्चय) and egoistically attaching to it. Similarly – कामः सङ्कल्पो विचिकित्सा श्रद्धाsश्रद्धा धृतिरधृतिर्ह्रीर्भीरित्येतत्सर्वं मन एव ।।बृ. 1-5-3।। Desire (काम), will (संकल्प), doubt (संशय), faith (श्रद्धा), lack of faith (अश्रद्धा).