Jaya Sri Radhey!
Namaste all. Happy auspicious GURU vaar to all devotees.
Some insights on -
Bhakti (Divine Love) and Bhaava (Divine Sentiments) and Bhaavuka (Divine Lover)
"According to the 'Bhagavata Purana', DEVOTION is of TWO kinds, VAIDHI Bhakti and RAGANUGA Bhakti.
It says that a man WITHOUT A NATURAL SPONTANEOUS DESIRE for Lord Krishna ADORES HIM in OBEDIENCE to the BIDDING OF THE SCRIPTURES (Sastras);
Such Bhakti is called Vaidhi Bhakti.
It says that in the PATH of LOVING INCLINATION (RAGANUGA BHAKTI) he takes Lord Krishna as the OBJECT of his CHIEF EMOTION, viz. as Master, Comrade, Child or Lover.
From the SPROUT OF LOVE (PREMA) issues TWO things,
ADDICTION (RATI) and INTENSE EMOTION (BHAVA).
Cultivation of an INTIMATE FEELING for LORD is performed in NINE Different Ways:
1. To HEAR of Spiritual Name, Form, Attributes, and Sports of Sri Krishna
2. To UTTER His Name and Sing about the Lord with an especial stress on Kirtana
3. To MEDITATE on and REITERATE all the EXPLOITS of Lord Krishna
4. Service of His Holy Feet
5. Worship and Adoration
6. Bowing down in humbleness
7. Doing everything that PLEASES Him
Devotion can be practised having different attitudes towards the Lord.
These ATTITUDES are of FIVE different types POSSESSING different ELEMENTS OF LOVE in an ASCENDING ORDER.
The attitudes are:
1. Shanta or Neutral adoration attitude as was seen in the cases of Rishis (Ascetics) worshipping Lord Rama.
In this attitude there is devotion to God as well as CONQUEST of WORLDLY desires.
2. Dasya or the attitude of Servant, as was in Hanuman.
In it the ABOVE ELEMENT as well as SERVICE to Him were manifest.
3. Sakhya or the attitude of a Friend, as was in the case of Subala, Sudama, and Arjuna.
The EXTRA factor of RELIANCE on Him was there.
4. Vatsalya or the attitude of a Parent, as was in the cases of Yasoda and Nanda.
In it over and above the PRECEDING elements, TENDERNESS for God developed.
5. Madhurya or the attitude of a LOVER, as was seen in the cases of Radhika and the Gopis.
It has the SIXTH ELEMENT of LOVE and FORGETTING of ONE'S SELF.
DEVOTION IN ITS HIGHEST STAGE IS HIGHER THAN MUKTI OR LIBERATION FROM THE WORLD.
As Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would QUOTE a Vaishnava dictum:
"I AM NOT STRINGENT IN GIVING LIBERATION, BUT I AM SO IN CASE OF DEVOTION."
To ACHIEVE THIS DEVOTION the devotee UNDERGOES SEVERE ANGUISH from the SEPARATION OF THE LORD.
This is described as "Pain of God" in Mystical literature.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu UNDERVENT different stages of REALIZATION and SUFFERED and ENJOYED the corresponding Suffering and Bliss.
Sri Ramakrishna described the GOD-INTOXICATED STATE of Sri Chaitanya in the following words:
"What is THIS DIVINE INTOXICATION?
In this STATE a man FORGETS THE WORLD.
He also FORGETS HIS OWN BODY, which is SO DEAR TO ALL!
Caitanya had this INTOXICATION.
HE PLUNGED INTO THE OCEAN NOT KNOWING IT WAS THE OCEAN!
HE dashed HIMSELF again and again on the GROUND.
HE was NOT AWARE of HUNGER, of THIRST, or of SLEEP.
HE was NOT at all CONSCIOUS of any SUCH thing as HIS BODY!
Sri Caitanyadeva used to EXPERIENCE THREE MOODS.
In the INMOST MOOD HE WOULD BE ABSORBED in SAMADHI (Trance), UNCONSCIOUS of the OUTER WORLD.
In the SEMI-CONSCIOUS MOOD HE WOULD DANCE IN ECSTASY BUT COULD NOT TALK.
In the CONSCIOUS MOOD HE WOULD SING THE GLORIES OF GOD."
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa added more:
"How does a devotee behold the Lord?
He beholds HIM AS HIS OWN, even as the GOPIS of Brindavan beheld Lord Krishna.
Those milkmaids CARED NOT FOR THE COSMIC POWERS OF THAT GREAT SUPREME BEING.
Krishna was their DARLING and They were SATISFIED with that!
To the Prema Bhakta, the Lord is his dearmost, innermost intimate BELOVED and he is always absorbed in that loving feeling."
Saint Mirabai said in her song:
"mere to giridhra gopAla dUsaro na koyI
jAkE zira mora mukuta mero pati soyI"
"Giridhara Gopala alone is mine, none else!
He, on Whose head is the elegant crown of peacock feather, is my eternal soulmate and the Lord of my heart."
"tAta mAta bhrAta bandhu Apano na koyI
chAdidaI kulakI khAni kAhA karI hai koyI"
"Father, mother, brother and kin, none are mine.
I have flung aside the pride of my family, and the royal etiqutte. What harm can anyone do to me?"
"santana sanga baiThi baiThi loka lAja khoyI,
abata bAta phaila gayI jAne saba koyI."
"I have lost all the worldly shame by keeping the company of Rasik Saints.
It is no more secret, every one heard the news now, that I am mad after Him."
"asuvana jala sIMci sIMci prema-beli boyI,
abato ped phaila gayI Ananda-phala hoyI"
"I have watered the creeper of Love with my sincere TEARS. Now that creeper has grown and spread well, its fruits shall be Divine Bliss Itself."
"mIrA ke prabhu lagana lagI honaho sohoyI"
In the concluding verse -
"Says Mira, the Saint-Poet, the Maid Servant of Lord Giridhara, having deeply involved in His Love, I am totally surrendered to the outcome of His Grace."
Lord Krishna said to the great Jnani devotee Uddhava in Bhagavatam:
"kathaM vinA romaharSaM dravatA cetasA vinA
vinAnandAzru kalayA zudhyed bhaktyA vinAzayaH"
"How can the mind be purified without devotional attachment characterised by a softening of the heart, the hair standing on end and TEARS OF LOVE AND JOY FLOWING OUT OF EYES?
A loving devotee of Mine whose speech is broken BY SOBS, whose heart MELTS and WHO WITHOUT ANY SHAME, SOMETIMES WEEPS PROFUSELY, or LAUGHS, OR SINGS ALOUD, OR DANCES, PURIFIES THE WHOLE UNIVERSE."
Narada Muni said:
"Those Saintly devotees having one-pointed Love for God for His own sake, conversing with one another, with choking voice, tearful eyes, and thrilled body, THEY purify not only their families, but also the land which gave birth to them."
(Narada Bhakti Sutra. 67, 68)
Jaya Sri Radhey!