What the Principles are of Bhakti or Devotion
I was just speaking about devotion, Real Bhakti. The first principle, the basic principle and I would say the grandest of all, is to know that God is everywhere. We are living in Him and He is in us. We live and have our being in Him, like fish in the river. The fish lives in the water, its whole life depends on water. It lives in water, it lives on water, from whence it gets its food. When God wished
I am One and wish to be many,
the whole universe emanated, came into being. The whole world is an expression, a manifestation of God. Where is that place where He is not? We are in Him, He is in us and is our Controlling Power. All ensouled bodies are the drops of the Ocean of all Consciousness. When we know this, all is beautiful. God is beautiful and any world made by Him, manifested by Him, is also beautiful. Beauty comes out of beauty, not from ugliness. Anything that appears to be ugly in the world is the result of the spectacles that we are wearing. If the glass of the spectacles is smoky, you will see all smoke. If it is red, everything will appear red. If it is black, everything will appear black. Well, the world is not black, red or smoky, mind that! So we have to change the trend of our mind, of our heart.
The first principle that we have to abide by is to know that He is everywhere. We are in Him and He is in us. When you know this, you will just pay respect to everybody. They are all manifested in the man-body. When we know that He is everywhere and that He knows everything of our heart, how can we do anything that is not good or commit a sin! Our Master used to say,
When a child of five years is sitting by you, you will never dare to do anything which is wrong.
When you have the viewpoint that He is within me, He is outside me, I am in Him, how can you perpetrate anything! Can you? This is the sum and substance, the basic principle. If you abide by it, everything will follow of itself. The world will be beautiful. Beauty comes out of beauty. If the world appears to be ugly or not beautiful, that is the result of the spectacles that you are wearing.
If you will cast out evil thoughts about others, all are friendly. If somebody has played any hell against us, we simply retaliate, we harbour those very thoughts within us. Saints have been coming to the world and the people have been meeting them very disrespectfully. Sometimes they put them on the cross, sometimes they burn them alive. They took the skin off the body of one Saint.
The people cry,
Oh God, send us some man to save us.
Well, I have sent you many men to save you, but how have you treated Them? They came to give you a right understanding of the whole show, which is that all creation is the manifestation of God. That you are all my children, drops of the Ocean of All-Consciousness. That I am your Controlling Power. You live in me and I live in you, but you have forgotten.
To forget is delusion, or what is called maya. If you go to Somebody Whose eye is open, even if you speak ill of Him, He still tries to bring you out of the abyss of ignorance. If He gives you something, you should develop it. When you see inside, your whole angle of vision will be changed. Even outside you will see that it is all the manifestation of God. It is so, and when we meet a Master, we begin to see that it is all His manifestation.
So the first principle of devotion or bhakti is to know that God is everywhere. We are living in Him and He is in us. If this right understanding comes in, then naturally right thoughts will follow. With right thoughts there will be right speech and with right speech, you will have right action.
So always pray to God,
Oh God, let us come into contact with Somebody Who is out of this ignorance and Who sees that this whole world is the manifestation of Thee.
But how many are there like that? They are very rare, very few. God has been sending these persons of right understanding to give you right understanding, and how have They been treated?
I have sent Men to you Who have said that They were God, but you have not respected Them. I have also sent you Those Who have said that, ‘I am a man like you, it is all God’s Grace.’ What do you then say? You say that if He is a man like us, then how can He take us out?
These are the aspects of how God sends us men of right understanding and how we treat Them.
The main principle is to know that God is everywhere. It is a fact and we have to develop, to open that eye to see that it is so. That eye is opened only when you meet with Somebody Who opens it within you. It is called the Third Eye, or the Single Eye. You will begin to see that it is all the manifestation of God. There is no evil in the world. If it appears to be evil, it is due to the smoky or coloured glasses that you are wearing on your heart or mind. You will find that if you think in the way that I have just told you, then naturally you will have respect and Love for all, even for your enemies. They might think otherwise of you, but if you have thrashed out every evil thought within you for everybody, you will see with that angle of vision, which the Master gives you, that it is all the manifestation of God. Then naturally, everybody will be beautiful. You will see this beauty even in your enemy. A perverted view is only on account of smoky glasses.
Whatever comes into our lives, sometimes good, sometimes not to our taste, is all due as a reaction of our past karma. What you have sown, you will have to reap. It is no fault of God, it is our own fault. What we have sown we must reap. If you sow one pepper seed, it will grow into a plant that will give hundreds of peppers. If you sow one mango seed, a tree will grow that will give you hundreds of mangos. So if you cast out all evil from your mind by having the right understanding, then all will be beautiful. Whatever else comes, either it is a reaction of our past or it comes from above. We should meet all that happens to us with an open mind, happily. Sometimes it so happens that something comes in our way which we think not good, but that very thing which appears before us is a remedy to set us right, so that we may have something higher. Man learns swimming in water, not on dry land. When you develop that angle of vision, you will have opened your eye to see things in the proper light. You will see that everything is the manifestation of God. Then you will be strengthened. This principle which has been placed before you is a fact, it is not man-made.
I gave one or two illustrations from the life of Guru Nanak. Once when He was weighing out some wheat or corn, He was so absorbed in God that He saw Him everywhere. So when you think that I am not the doer, you become the Conscious Co-Worker of the Divine Plan. How can you say that it is you who are doing this or that! You should say that He is doing it, not you. You are a mere puppet in His hands. When you have that angle of vision you will, like Guru Nanak, say,
I am Thine – it is Thou not I.
You will be so much engrossed and absorbed that you will forget yourself. So Guru Nanak was weighing out wheat and when He came to the word Tera – meaning both ‘thirteen’ and ‘thine’ –, He became intoxicated and began repeating
I am Thine, I am Thine.
The tenth Guru, when talking about God, said,
The whole world is yours, all rivers and mountains are yours. It is You who are manifesting in all of them.
He was so much absorbed, that He was in a state of intoxication for hours at a time.
So this is the basic principle, to know that God is everywhere. We are in Him and He is in us. We are the drops of the Ocean of all Consciousness. This is the right understanding. When you get that, you will have right thoughts. Right thoughts will give you right speech and right speech will give you right action. It is all God’s manifestation. He is the very life of our lives. On this basic ground the very superstructure of bhakti is raised. When a child of five is sitting by us, we do not dare to do anything wrong. If we know that God is watching our every action, our very trend of thought, how can we do anything wrong!
So today’s subject is,
What the Principles are of Bhakti or Devotion.
First and foremost, it is to know that God is everywhere, to know that it is all His manifestation. He is the Controlling Power and we are a drop of the Ocean of Him. We are living and having our being in Him. All other principles follow of themselves. If anything comes that is not according to our taste, that is a reaction of what we have done in the past. That is due to the smoky or coloured glasses that we are wearing. The truth remains that it is all the manifestation of God. If through some Master’s Grace, the God in Him, right understanding comes to you, you will see that it is so.
The whole world is in the ignorance of illusion or maya. You have to rise above body consciousness to open your Inner Eye and see for yourself. For that purpose, you have been given some capital to start with. If you live by these principles, you will reap the full fruit of your bhakti, you will see God within you. All our penances and right living ultimately result in what? to know God.
Remain where you are. You are not to change your outer forms and rituals or symbols of whatever school of thought you belong to, not the least. You have to love God. The whole world is a manifestation of Love. We are all brothers and sisters in God. The same Controlling Power is keeping us in the body.
So this is the sum and substance of bhakti, the basic principle of devotion or love. Bhagat, the devotee, rises into Bhagwant, God. If we have got Love for God, we will feel joyful in serving others. In this way, you will go into rapture, blissful rapture. Just like a loving mother who washes her child that has become besmeared with filth and then hugs it to her breast, so should we hate the sin but love the sinner. That follows naturally.
So the main and basic principle of bhakti is to know that we are in Him and He is in us. There is no place where He is not. He is here, within me, outside, everywhere. Only your Inner Eye, the Single or Third Eye, has not opened as yet. A man whose eye is opened will give you some demonstration of it. If you follow His instructions accurately, you will one day see for yourself.