Why is Bhakti Considered Auspicious?
Bhakti Yog / September 28, 2017
Bhakti requires engaging the mind in the divine realm— abodes, forms, names, pastimes, virtues, and saints of God. In the Bhakti Rasāmṛit Sindhu, Rupa Goswami writes,
sadguṇāḥ sukhamityādīnyākhyātāni manīṣhibhiḥ
meaning, bhakti is considered śhubhadā i.e. it brings auspiciousness to all, the divine virtues are exhibited to a greater extent, and it bestows happiness. The natural question that arises is how. Let us dig into the details to fully appreciate the nature of bhakti and the three ways in which it brings about auspiciousness to all.
Bhakti is pleasing to all of creation
When we engage in bhakti, we satisfy all of creation.
yenarchito haristena tarpitāni jagantyapi
rajyante jantavastatra sthāvarā jangamā api
In this verse, Ved Vyas states that when we worship the source of all creation, Shree Krishna, it satiates all moving and non-moving beings, just as when we irrigate the root of a tree, the water automatically reaches its branches, twigs, leaves, fruit, and flowers.
There are two points to note here. First is that we should worship Shree Krishna with all sincerity. When we do this, then all the celestial gods and goddesses are also satiated.
Second point to note is that by worshipping Shree Krishna, the mind becomes pure. Thus, we become everyone’s well-wisher and stop harboring negative sentiments towards all. Once others realize that we desire the best for them and do not harbor any ill-will against them, the sentiments are reciprocated. In this manner, bhakti starts bringing about auspiciousness to all.
Bhakti manifests the divine qualities easily
yasyāsti bhakti bhagavaty akiñchanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahadguṇā
manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
(Shreemad Bhagavatam 5.18.12)
When we engage in bhakti, the divine traits of compassion, empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, non-violence, respect for others, tolerance, truth, etc. that are inherent within the soul begin to manifest to a greater extent. God is the ultimate epitome of these qualities and as tiny parts of Him, these virtues are inherent within our soul as well. To the extent our mind is purified, these qualities are exhibited in our behavior as well.
When we exhibit negative behavior, repeated chintan (contemplation) of it will not bring about a change. To change it, we have to become aware of our current behavior and take steps to change it. This is just as when we are sick. Repeated chintan of the fact that we are sick will not bring about any change. We must take the appropriate medication to see the change.
Similarly, our negative behavior stems from ignorance or faulty knowledge. Repeated chintan of the correct knowledge coupled with affection for Krishna attracts His grace which then brings about the change we seek. To the extent we practice bhakti, our sins (pāp), the seed of the sins (bīja), and ignorance (avidyā) are destroyed thereby making room for the divine virtues to be exhibited.
Bhakti bestows happiness
sukhaṁ vaiṣhayikaṁ brāhmamaiśhvaraṁ cheti tattridhā
(Bhakti Rasāmṛit Sindhu)
Bhakti bestows the three types of happiness: bhukti or pleasure from material objects which includes pleasures all the way up to Brahmalok and the yogic powers (siddhis), Bhramanand or mukti which is liberation, considered the ultimate goal of jñānīs, and Premanand or divine love from God.
At first glance, the statement that bhakti gives us material happiness may seem contradictory. However, in the Bhagavad Gita (v 9.22) Shree Krishna says,
teṣhāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣhemaṁ vahāmyaham
meaning, “To them, whose minds are always absorbed in Me, I provide what they lack and preserve what they already possess.” He does this through the Guru.
For instance, if one asks for divine love but the Guru has only reached a state of Bhramanand, then that’s the extent of happiness one can receive. Only a true rasik Saint can lead one to Premanand or ultimate divine bliss. Thus, the wise strive for this kind of happiness because the other two types of happiness are automatically granted when divine love is granted.
Thus, bhakti is considered śhubhadā or auspicious as it brings about peace and happiness in our relationships and leads us to the ultimate goal of Premanand or divine love.