How वैराग्य renunciation – necessary for the attainment of bhakti – is obtained?


At first, pleasure is associated with the lower sense-organs; but as soon as an animal reaches a higher plane of existence, the lower pleasure becomes less intense. In human society, the nearer a man is to the animal, the stronger is his pleasure in the senses; and the higher and the more cultured a man is, the greater is his pleasure in intellectual and other such finer pursuits. So, when a man goes even higher than the plane of the intellect, higher than that of mere thought, when he reaches the plane of spirituality and of divine inspiration, he finds there a state of bliss compared with which all the pleasures of the senses, or even of the intellect, are as nothing. When the moon shines brightly all the stars become dim, and when the sun shines the moon itself becomes dim. The renunciation necessary for the attainment of bhakti is not obtained by killing anything; it comes naturally, just as, in the presence of an increasingly stronger light, less intense lights become dimmer and dimmer until they vanish away completely.

So this love of the pleasures of the senses and of the intellect is all made dim and thrown aside and cast into the shade by the love of God Himself. That love of God grows and assumes a form called para-bhakti, or supreme devotion. Forms vanish, rituals fly away, books are superseded; images, temples, churches, religions and sects, countries and nationalities – all these little limitations and bondages fall away naturally from him who knows this love of God. Nothing remains to bind him or fetter his freedom. A ship all of a sudden comes near a magnetic rock, and its iron bolts and bars are all attracted and drawn out, and the planks are loosened and float freely on the water. Divine grace thus loosens the binding bolts and bars of the soul, and it becomes free. So in this renunciation auxiliary to devotion there is no harshness, no dryness, no struggle, no repression or suppression. The bhakta has not to suppress any single one of his emotions; he only strives to intensify them and direct them to God.

Swami Vivekananda

Excerpts from Vivekananda – Yoga & Other Works, Bhakti Yoga


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