Bhakti, the sacred path of devotion, is inherently ascendant in nature, reminiscent of the steep ascent to ancient temples perched upon high hills. Some may question this choice, given that many devotees are elderly and not in robust health. Is it not, they ponder, an ill-conceived plan to place temples in such lofty and arduous locations?
The answer lies in the deliberate design of Bhakti. It is not a trivial pursuit. To forge a connection with the Divine, one must be willing to endure physical discomfort, exercise patience, endure suffering, and make sacrifices. These trials purify the heart and ready the soul for a profound communion with the Almighty.
During pilgrimage, one must accept the inconveniences of travel, basic sustenance, and lodging with an open heart. I do not advocate seeking discomfort for its own sake, but rather, I implore you not to fixate on comfort. Instead, direct your focus towards connectivity. Pilgrimage sets the tempo for our Bhakti, akin to music transitioning to a higher beat, inducing goosebumps.
Upon returning from pilgrimage, our spiritual journey should continue to ascend within the confines of our homes. It is akin to choosing to climb over merely walking when one possesses strong legs. Do you possess the spiritual strength necessary for this ascent? If not, it is imperative to cultivate it.
How can one make Bhakti more ascendant? If you engage in religious fasting, consider intensifying your commitment, as your health allows. If meditation is part of your practice, deepen your focus and extend your sessions. In the realm of satsang, increase your participation. In prayer, be more fervent. If you follow certain spiritual disciplines, tighten your adherence. Strengthen your self-imposed spiritual rules and expand their scope. The climb should never cease. Continue to silently raise the slogan, “jai mata di,” whenever weakness attempts to prevail. Keep climbing, persist, for Mother Bhawani awaits to bestow her blessings upon you. Persevere!
By Hersh Kumar Ji
Pic Credit: https://www.boldsky.com/yoga-spirituality/why-bhakti-yoga-is-superior-to-other-paths-of-devotion-144014.html