Relation of Bhakti Yoga with Karma and Jnana Yoga| Why is Bhakti Yoga important?

Do you believe Man Created God?

The basis of Karma and Jnana is Bhakti

The dharma of Bhakti is as old as the RigVeda itself. Bhakti is also known as Bhagavatha Dharma or the natural relationship that exists between the Jiva and Ishwara. Karma and Jnana as a systematic order of Yoga existed for a long time. Yet, without the aspect of Bhakti both Karma and Jnana can be considered as mere rituals without a spirit. If Jnana and Karma are like the jewels of a well strung garland, it is Bhakti alone that strings the jewels together. Bhakti is that underlying principle which makes Karma and Jnana work, although it remains in the background. In more ways than one, it is Bhakti that stands independently through pure service based on higher emotions. But service through Jnana and Karma will have meaning only if Bhakti becomes the intrinsic principle that gives meaning to Karma and Jnana.

How does Bhakti include Jnana and Karma?

The heart to surrender the work to a higher entity or not expecting the results of work, forms the basis of Karma Yoga. But the very emotion of working for a higher cause, the emotion of surrender itself can be regarded as the principle of Bhakti. When a sadhaka works towards attainment of Brahman, committing himself to Truth and higher principles, it is Jnana Yoga. But this commitment to the higher principles is fundamentally what Bhakti is. One the other hand when a person surrenders himself to God, Ishwara, or serves the Lord owing to attachment to the Him, it becomes pure Bhakti. Here Bhakti does not depend directly on action but the action is rendered pure, through Bhakti alone. This Karma is born out of Bhakti and becomes Akarma. This Karma never binds. It is ever free and does not render any fruits which becomes a cause for future results. Adhering to Bhakti, evokes intelligence of the higher kind, this is Jnana which is born out of Bhakti.

What is wrong with Jnana?

For many, Consciousness is simply the subject, the eternal subject that is the experiencer, the one which can never be experienced directly. In this subjectivity of the impersonal Brahman, one can never meet Brahman. Brahman can be intuited through Jnana, through contemplation on the aphorisms. The immensity of a relationship can never be experienced through the Impersonal Brahman. There is lack of company in Jnana Yoga. The realization of the Brahman is for the Vairagi, the renunciant, who is interested in Truth and the Dharma principles. Brahman is only intuited in aloofness. There is a lack of mood and mellow in the Upanishadic dictum “Aham Brahmasmi”, “Tvam tattva Masi’ and such similar ones.

Need for Bhagavatha Dharma or Bhakti

The seekers of Truth can include people who are simple, who may not have the grit, capacity and courage to realize the Brahman within themselves, in aloofness, as the Jnani does. They may be people who are driven by higher emotion, through pure emotions. These people may be docile, truthful and yet be vulnerable. They may not have the ferocity and intensity of intent when compared to the Jnana Yogis. They may be people who are incapable of taking up deep study of scriptures and may not be very intelligent to distill, discriminate and differentiate Truth from untruth in this delusive ocean of Samsara or worldly life. What is the resort for these sincere seekers, if they cannot qualify for Jnana or Karma? It is for this reason that Brahman, the Self takes up a Personality, it manifests as the Supreme Being and attracts such sincere people by taking lovable forms. The Supreme Being, Personality of Godhead is the eternal infinite form of Brahman. It is not that the Formless has taken form; not that it was formless and for the sake of devotees it has taken form. Both the Form and Formless aspects are eternal. They are beginningless and endless. There arises a need for Bhakti or Bhagavatha Dharma, a relationship of the higher kind which is entirely spiritual in nature.

Misconceptions about the Avatars

Many so-called spiritual gurus or religious people, people connected with certain organizations say that Man created God; that man created interesting forms of God and started worshipping these forms by invoking life into it. This view is just a figment of imagination. Man can never create God. The various eternal forms of the Lord exist in a zone which does not have the restrictions of space and time. When the Lord is eternal, how could the personality of God be given a form by man, who is a mere projection of the Supreme Being, who is reflected as a soul or Jiva by Maya Devi, who is the energetic personality of the Supreme Being- the owner of Maya Devi? Man is a creation of the Personality of God and not vice-versa. It is possible that at different times, during the course of certain ages an image of the Lord is reflected in the heart of a sage or a devotee from the eternal world or Vaikuntha (spiritual domain). Subsequently that form of the Lord manifests itself in flesh and blood completely spiritual not like the flesh and blood of the ordinary mortal. This can never mean that the devotee has conceived or created a form of the Lord and then Brahman takes that form. This is a misconstrued notion about the Reality of the Supreme Being.

Nature of the Supreme Being


The Supreme Personality of Godhead can never be conceived or apprehended by the material senses. This is because the senses are given to the living entity by Maya. The Lord and His activities can never be known through any level of argument or logic. Other than through His Grace, He can never be realized or comprehended. Single pointed devotion, service to Him with a surrendered mind can only win His heart. The Shrutis or Vedic Texts simply point to Him but cannot capture Him. Only when His grace starts flowing to the devotee or sadhaka can he be realized or captured in the heart. Once someone attains the complete grace of the Lord, the Lord loses His independence and gets sold out to His devotee. After that He is subject to the will of His devotees alone. He is specially fond of devotees who have entered into a relationship with Him through complete resignation or by surrendering to Him.

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