“Bhakti (devotion) Juana (Knowledge) and Yoga: any one is not without the others”
Bhakti, Jnana and yoga are three of the paths suggested as helping to realise God. Bhakti is intense devotion, Jnana is knowledge that He is all and yoga is disciplining the body to direct the mind to Him. We usually distinguish these as three methods or paths leading to realisation. Bhaktas like Tyagaraja, Jnanis like Vemana and Yogis like Potuloori are talked of as belonging exclusively to one category each, not having anything to do with the other two. Mother says however, that of Bhakti Jnana and yoga, none is with- out the other two!
Bhakti is self-surrender to an infinite superior. Tyagaraja chose Rama, Leelashuka chose Krishna, Markandeya chose Siva. There were others, who chose Devi, Narasimha or other form. Bhakti has always a form in view. That form may be a figure and divine energy sym bolised by its weapons, mudras and ornaments. It may be a lovable attribute like the over lordship of the world, immense. kindness etc; it can be a mega magnification of a wordly rela tion like father, mother, hero, saint etc. Whichever form is chosen, the devotee makes a complete self-surrender on the one hand and declares equal to his choice no on the other. Hanuman was said to have eyed Krishna, who put on Rama’s garb, with suspicious belief. Leelasuka suggested Rama to put on a peacock feather and hold a flute. Ramadas sang that Rama is unequalled; and Sankara that Siva is the Supreme Deity.
This localisation of Godhead is not found with a Jnani. “Whether you wear a garland of bones or a Vanamala, whe ther you hold a Trisula or Chakra you are my God, God Omni. scient, Omnipresent and omnipo- tent” prayed Tikkana. The Jnani knows that all the Visible variety belongs to an Omnipre- sent Unity. He does not stop as Namadeva did, with finding the Lord outside; he finds Him also in himself, like Shankara. To the Jnani, All is the Lord including himself.
The yogi seeks Him in his self. He is an introvert exclusi vely even as a Bhakta is an extravort. The yogi concentrates on the popular forms of the Almighty as located at the various centres of his body. He does not seek to go to Banaras, his body itself is Banaras to him. The life of all life, the awareness of all-Consciousness, the Being of all Existence is within the body for the yogi. He is absolutely silent unlike the Bhakta who sometimes does Nama Japam. He does not look outside often do. as the Jnani would
It would therefore appear that Bhakti, Jnana and Yoga are three different ways of attaining Realization. Rama- krishna, Ramana Maharshi and Paramahamsa Yogananda have gone along quite different and distinct ways, though to the same goal.
Mother says “No. Bhakti, Jnana and Yoga do not exclude one another. Tyagaiah knew that it is Rama alone that exists, Leelasuka knew that Krishna constituted the one universal Jyothi. Vemana knows that DARSHANAS are different but Daivam is one”. Bala Yogi is condensing years of exercise into a continuous Dhyana. Ove devotee chooses Christ, and an other, Dattatreya but only as an archway Lor that to 15. the Infinite The Bhakta ‘s mind rules his hands to worship, tongue to do Nama Japam, and body to bow to Him. This is Yoga from the other end. A yog restricts the tendencies of the senses by sit ting in a place and then seeks, the Lord that has all forms, in the centre of his body, sur rendering his ‘i’ to the ‘I’. Here is surrender, the means of a Bhakta. And why does he do this? To know Him who is All, and that is Jnana alright!
Tuning up the actions of the limbs by the surrender of the mind, tuning the mind by con trolling the body, and all this for knowing All, is called Bhakti, Yoga and Jnana respecti vely. He has so mna y forms! The way also has plural forms achieving unity in its essence, Him.