Have you been to Sri Dham Vrindavan?
Highest Attainment which is more valuable than all the riches, comforts, pleasures, happiness and all the goodies of all celestial worlds put together is only one, that is attainment of “Bhakti towards the Lord” through the authorized process of Bhakti Yoga. The Vedic Scriptures which include the 4 Vedas, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatham and the Puranas all put together only allude to that final goal of Bhakti through any amount of deliberation on Scriptures, sages and seers. The Vedic Scriptures especially the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and the Srimad Bhagavatham only aver to the superiority of Bhakti Yoga as compared to all other forms of Yoga put together, especially for this “Iron Age”. The goal of Bhakti Yoga is “Loving Service and Emotions towards the Supreme Lord” also known as “Bhagavad Prem” (भगवद् प्रेम),”Divine Love”.
It is interesting to note that “Divine Love” is categorized into two broad categories, one is “Siddha Prem” (सिद्ध प्रेम) which can be roughly translated as “Perfected Divine Love” and the other is called “Sadhana Prem”(साधना प्रेम) or “Practice of Divine Love”. It is to be understood that “Divine Love” is not the love that belongs to this world or even to other higher celestial planetary systems which includes the abode of the Devatas (देवता) or celestial beings. “Divine Love” is the love that is existent only in the Spiritual Abode, the final abode of the Supreme Lord. Hence this love cannot manifest in any normal condition. This “Love” is the personal property of the Supreme Lord and can be awarded only by Him, or another “Perfected Being” who has already attained it through Grace, or by the Lord’s sole desire, to the living entity. It is to be understood that value of this “Love” is immeasurable and no length of human or celestial imagination can estimate the value of that “Divine Love”. “Divine Love” exists under the sole proprietorship of the Supreme Lord and not any other entity. The ultimate goal of Bhakti Yoga is to please the Lord, in order to attain the invaluable gem of “Divine Love” that is locked safely in the Heart of the Supreme Lord. Hence the wealthiest of all living creatures among humans is the one who is able to convince the Lord and attain that gem. How can a worldly man who has property and bank balance, a puny one like this man, be compared to the possessor of the “Gem of the Heart of the Supreme Lord”? Such a comparison shall be the most foolish one to be made in all history. The greed of an ordinary mortal can never be compared to the greed of a “Bhakta” (भक्ता devotee) who is eyeing this “Divine Love”. It will be an understatement, a foolish statement, to name the Bhakta as the “richest man”. The true Bhakta is beyond all such material conceptions.
When one is an “Apprentice of Bhakti Yoga”, one who dedicates himself to the path of Bhakti Yoga, as a beginner, his cry to the Lord, is the start of the process. His desire for the Lord and all his attempts to please the Lord, is also categorized as Love for the Lord. But this Love is born out of his sense of abnegation of the world and his true commitment towards the Lord. However this is too, a semblance of Love. This is a one-sided attempt to reach up to the Lord. It is similar to the ant at the base of a mammoth mountain, trying to get the attention of an elephant on the top of the mountain. Even so the Lord appreciates this attempt, and has declared this process as a compulsory step towards attaining “Divine Love” and hence this is categorized as “Sadhana Prem” or “Love to attract the Lord through Practice” used as a tool to attract the attention of the Lord, through means prescribed in the scriptures and recommended by elevated beings who have “Perfected Divine Love”. One may wonder as to why a sage who already possesses “Divine Love” can’t just award it to the one seeking it, knowing well that the one who is seeking it is genuine? The answer to this is that the sage who already possesses “Divine Love” has a transformed consciousness and possesses the inner faculties that can hold the “purity and temperature” of “Divine Love”. On the other hand, a new entrant of Bhakti, although genuine, has not undergone transformation and is not clean of all material qualities. Hence he does not have the capacity to hold the “Divine Gem” within him. He has to prepare himself through spiritual disciple and practice. Only after dedicated practice of “Sadhana Prem” can he get qualified to receive “Divine Love” of the Lord. Unless the mind, which is the vessel to receive “Divine Love”, is purified and spiritualized, maturity to attain “Siddha Prem” cannot be possible. For this to happen, one has to undertake “Sadhana Prem” with sincerity and commitment. It is also to be understood that “Divine Love”, Love that is the personal property of the Lord, cannot be attained by any means whatsoever, even employing “Sadhana Prem” which is “Practice of Divine Love”. The statement appears to contradict the philosophy that was explained in the previous paragraph. It is to be understood that “Sadhana Prem” has material components to it, since it is done or performed, it shall be a by-product of Maya, this-worldly. This is because our current mind, intellect, ego, memory and all subdivisions of the mind are material in nature and hence cannot be divine. Hence “Divine Love” which is a completely spiritual aspect of the Lord cannot be garnered through “Sadhana Prem”. One cannot see the Lord with material eyes. One cannot hear the Lord’s words through material ears and so on. Mind is also material and hence cannot grasp the Lord. The vessel of the mind hence requires purification so that it is readied for transformation into a completely spiritual entity. This purification is done through prescribed processes. The Lord has His vision set on all those who are engaged in the performance of Bhakti Yoga. As soon as one has purified one’s mind and heart through the authorized processes, the Lord automatically by His Divine will, spiritualizes the senses and the mind of the practitioner. One is then granted a spiritual mind and spiritual body which can hold the gem of “Divine Love”. Thus the one who was in the “Practice of Divine Love” becomes one who has “Perfected Divine Love”, by the sole Will of an enlightened master or the Lord Himself.