Two Types of Prema Bhakti
Bhakti towards the lord is the Highest Attainment. It is more valuable than all worldly pleasures put together. The Vedic Scriptures especially the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and the Srimad Bhagavatham aver to the superiority of Bhakti Yoga. For this “Iron Age”, Bhakti is superior to all other forms of Yoga. The goal of Bhakti Yoga is to attain “Bhagavad Prem” (भगवद् प्रेम) or Divine Love”.
It is interesting to note that “Divine Love” is categorized into two broad categories.
1) Sadhana Prem (साधना प्रेम) or “Practice of Divine Love”.
2) Siddha Prem (सिद्ध प्रेम)- Roughly translated as “Perfected Divine Love”
What is Divine Love?
“Divine Love” is not the love that belongs to this world or even the higher celestial abode of the Devatas (देवता).
“Divine Love” exists only in the Spiritual Abode of the Supreme Lord. Hence this love cannot manifest in normal conditions.
This “Love” is the personal property of the Supreme Lord. It can be awarded only by Him, or a “Perfected Being” who has already attained it through Grace. The value of this “Love” is immeasurable. 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. As a result, one attains the invaluable gem of “Divine Love” locked safely in the Heart of the Supreme Lord.
What is True Wealth?
The wealthiest of all living creatures is the one who convinces the Lord and attains the gem of Divine Gem. How can a puny worldly man with property and bank balance be compared to the possessor of the “Lord’s favorite gem?”
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). A bhakta is eyeing for “Divine Love”. It will be a foolish statement, to name the Bhakta as the “richest man”. The true Bhakta is beyond all such material conceptions.
What is Sadhana Prema?
When one practices “Bhakti Yoga” as a beginner, his cry to the Lord, is just the start of the process. His desire and attempts to please the Lord categorize as Love for the Lord. But this Love is born out of a sense of abnegation of the world and true commitment towards the Lord. However, this is just a semblance of Love. It is a one-sided attempt to reach up to the Lord.
It is similar to an ant on the ground trying to grab the attention of an elephant at the top of a mountain. Even so the Lord appreciates this attempt. He declares this process as a compulsory step towards attaining “Divine Love”. This attempt is categorized as “Sadhana Prem.”
Sadhana Prem is the tool used to attract the Lord’s attention, through scriptural means recommended by elevated beings.
Why can’t Divine love be directly transmitted?
One may wonder why a sage who already possesses “Divine Love” can’t just award it to a genuine seeker.
The answer to this is- The sage who possesses “Divine Love” has a transformed consciousness. He 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, is not clean of all material qualities. He has not undergone transformation and doesn’t have the capacity to hold the “Divine Gem” within him. He must first 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, it cannot dream of attainting “Siddha Prem”. For this to happen, one must undertake “Sadhana Prem” with sincerity and commitment.
Divine love cannot be attained merely through Sadhana
“Divine Love”, the personal property of the Lord, cannot be attained even after practicing “Sadhana Prem” (Practice of Divine Love). The statement appears to contradict the philosophy explained in the previous paragraph.
“Sadhana Prem” has material components to it. Therefore, 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. They cannot be divine.
Hence, “Divine Love” which is a completely spiritual aspect cannot be garnered through “Sadhana Prem” alone.
How is Bhagavan beyond the mind?
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 transforms 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. When the mind and heart are purified through authorized processes, the Lord by His Divine will, spiritualizes the mind and senses of the practitioner.
One is then granted a spiritual mind and spiritual body which can hold the gem of “Divine Love”. Thus, one graduates from the “Practice of Divine Love” to the state “Perfected Divine Love”, by the sole Will of Guru or Bhagavan.
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