Article in Bhakti Marga Org Neswletter – October 2021

Jai Gurudev, 
Autumn is known as the season of ripeness, change and maturity. If spring was like a new birth with the powerful satsangs Guruji gave from Mauritius and this summer we enjoyed our youth during the joyful celebrations in Sri Vitthal Dham, now we enter autumn and spiritual maturity.
It’s a good occasion to dive deeply into spiritual study and review our commitment to the bhakti path. 
There is nothing better to stimulate our growth and bring our bhakti to its peak than Guruji’s satsangs in last year and the recent Narada-bhakti-sutra commentary. Simply amazing!
According to a personal experience, this program is like a rollercoaster, each sutra hitting a truth strongly cherished for long, a pattern one didn’t want to see, an idea that persists to change. If one is courageous enough, ready to go for a strong tsunami – patterns being broken, resistances being addressed and removed deeply – the Narada-bhakti-sutra is recommended. Guruji acts like a surgeon throughout the program removing the tumours that were growing in ourselves. 
All the satsangs in the last year are important. They give a living experience of the concepts we read in the Bhagavad Gita. One often thinks one knows bhakti. But Guruji’s direct words and divine games give the live experience of devotion and what level of surrender is needed to achieve a high state of bhakti. 
In the Bhagavad GitaSri Krishna defines the higher expression of devotion as Parabhakti and the lower expression of bhakti as apara-bhakti submitted to the influence of the gunas, human tendencies and attachments.
Having realised the state of Brahman, and becoming full of joy, he neither grieves nor craves for anything. Being the same to all beings, he realises supreme devotion to Me’ (Bhagavad Gita, 18.54).’ 
The one who discloses this secret to My devotees will have para-bhakti and undoubtedly attain me.’ (Bhagavad Gita, 18.68)
‘When one is fully immersed in the Lord, Bhagavan reveals Himself in one’s heart, and then one attains one’s spiritual body and attains the Lord Himself. (Bhagavad Gita Essentials, Commentary, 18.54-57). 
Para-bhakti is absolute devotion that makes the devotee forget his selfish desires, including the desire for moksha (liberation). The knowledge which teaches unity with all beings is supreme knowledge: paraPara-bhakti is total surrender and merging with the Supreme. 
Para-bhakti is the state the saints live in and the state a bhakta can achieve. The level is high but no worries, except the saints who were born in this state, they also went through a process of surrendering to the Divine until they reached it. 
In Bhakti Marga we have the whole month of September to imbibe the Narada-bhakti-sutra, study Bhagavad Gita and strive for surrender to receive the guru’s grace for para-bhakti.
Swamini Godavari

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