Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the subtleties

Verse 1.19: The blowing of these different conchshells became uproarious. Vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.

The subtleties of bhakti can be very intricate. Take attitude for example. Bhakti is all about attitude. When scientific minded people hear that, it can sometimes be hard for them to accept. How can something that can't be seen, be measured?

Well, the thing is it can and most of us have probably even had experiences of it. All of us can be sensitive to the little things. It just takes practice. Just like in the Gita we will see how Krsna scientifically outlines the objectives, hypothesis, experiments and proposed results of bhakti, so too can we become attuned to the subtle signs around us.

Although I was brought up with the practice of bhakti yoga, it was only in 2004 that I started to explore it for myself. At that time, I was surprised to find that everything that aspiring bhakti yogis do, whether it be ritual or practice, has a reason behind it. That confirmed to me that bhakti really did have all the answers.

For example, did you know that the blowing of conchshells represents driving away all inauspiciousness? That's why for those who may have ever attended an aarti (welcoming ceremony), it is blown at the beginning and end of that service.

We too encounter many signs in our lives. In speaking with many bhakti practitioners, nothing brings me greater joy than hearing how they came to the bhakti path. Countless times persons have expressed how things just "lined up". They were searching and received a book, or met a person or received a card. Something extraordinary happened they were genuinely searching for something more.

These seemingly mystical and magical experiences happen when we sincerely look for and become disillusioned with the mundane everyday hamster wheels of our life.

If you have any stories of how you came to bhakti, please share them! We'd be honoured to hear it.

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