Bhakthi or true devotion



It was a Friday morning which would have kept most people of my generation and upcoming ones exuberant about the 2 day break which is to follow the mindless rat race at work over the last 5 days. As per our Hindu culture it is an auspicious day to seek the blessing of the divine ‘Mother’ or Ambaal (as we call it in Tamil). Hence going to the temple offering her special prayer, reciting hymns such as Lalitha Sahasranamam, Soundarya Lahiri etc are a part of our lifestyle which we firmly believe and hold on to.  However with the influx of the so called pseudo cultural and confused western philosophies these rich traditions are becoming a myth.  It would require strong self-will, Gods grace & the blessings of one’s teacher (Guru) to understand the value of these anushtanams (rites and rituals) and follow them.

In this regard, I should say I consider myself as blessed and I drive myself to the nearby Shiva temple to offer my prayers to the divine mother to shower her blessings on me to continue to be in the path of intellect with ‘inner’ growth despite my mindless interactions with the temporal world and its influences.

Having said this, a few weeks back unfortunately I could make it to the temple and called up dear friend of mine thus we spoke.

Our Conversation:

Me:  Sorry to disturb you – are you back from the temple or I will hang up right away?

Friend: Not really, yes I am back an in fact wanted to call you to tell you something.
(After some routine rambling about work, weekend plans etc ….. this suddenly came from him)

Friend: Our country as I see it might lack gross beauty but has an unparalleled subtle beauty. It has astral cleanliness. Quite amazing!

Me (very curiously):  Enna aachu? (Translates to ‘What happened’ in Tamil)

Friend: Today as I was offering my prayers in front on the divine mother’s sanctum, I heard this old man literally talking to her about his problems and asking her to solve them.  As I was mildly distracted, I heard him talk about his wife’s demise and how his children seemed to have estranged him after that. I then began to think that, maybe, I would do the same if I was in his position.

Me (in a tone of sympathy):  Well yes, that is a tough state to be in. And by the way aren’t we doing a bit of this already?
(After some laughs followed a small pause and I heard this)

Friend:  Well, my experience  become a full circle as I heard the old man say this a bit later
“Ambaale! Enaala thaan unna parka mudiyaathu athu parava illai, nee enna parthindu irruka athu pothum. Ambaale kaapathu!
Translates to: ‘Oh Mother, I cannot see you and I am fine with that as long as you are seeing me. Oh Mother protect me’.

Well what followed was a minute of silence and as tears trickled down my eyes, we both hung up the phone for we both were in a state of bliss at this very experience of what we call ‘Bhakthi’ or ‘True devotion’!
I would like to conclude with two things I was reminded of as I experienced this:
One, these powerful words of Swami Vivekananda – ‘Be you holy and, above all, sincere; and do not for a moment give up your trust in the Lord, and you will see the light’.
Two, Lord Hanuman who symbolises this very aspect of ‘Bhakthi’ or ‘True devotion…

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