29 January 2014

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Bhakti Or Devotion

Bhakti has been the one constant
theme of our sages.
—Swami Vivekananda 
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Swami Vivekananda in his book Bhakti Yoga described it as "May that love undying which the non-discriminating have for the fleeting objects of the senses never leave this heart of mine — of me who seek after Thee!"

In this page we'll make a collection Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Bhakti or devotion.
  • Bhakti can be more easily practiced by persons in every condition of life.[Source]
  • "Bhakti cannot be used to fulfil any desires, itself being the check to all desires." Narada gives these as the signs of love: "When all thoughts, all words, and all deeds are given up unto the Lord, and the least forgetfulness of God makes one intensely miserable, then love has begun."[Source]
  • Bhakti differs from your Western idea of religion in that Bhakti admits no elements of fear, no Being to be appeased or propitiated. There are even Bhaktas who worship God as their own child, so that there may remain no feeling even of awe or reverence. There can be no fear in true love, and so long as there is the least fear, Bhakti cannot even begin. In Bhakti there is also no place for begging or bargaining with God. The idea of asking God for anything is sacrilege to a Bhakta. He will not pray for health or wealth or even to go to heaven.[Source]
  • Bhakti has been the one constant theme of our sages.[Source]
  • Bhakti is intense love for God.[Source]
  • Bhakti is not destructive; it teaches that all our faculties may become means to reach salvation. We must turn them all towards God and give to Him that love which is usually wasted on the fleeting objects of sense.[Source]
  • "Bhakti", says Nârada in his explanation of the Bhakti-aphorisms, "is intense love to God"; "When a man gets it, he loves all, hates none; he becomes satisfied for ever"; "This love cannot be reduced to any earthly benefit", because so long as worldly desires last, that kind of love does not come; "Bhakti is greater than karma, greater than Yoga, because these are intended for an object in view, while Bhakti is its own fruition, its own means and its own end."[Source]
  • Extreme love to God is Bhakti, and this love is the real immortality, getting which a man becomes perfectly satisfied, sorrows for no loss, and is never jealous; knowing which man becomes mad.[Source]
  • In every mind, utility, however, is conditioned by its own peculiar wants. To men, therefore, who never rise higher than eating, drinking, begetting progeny, and dying, the only gain is in sense enjoyments; and they must wait and go through many more births and reincarnations to learn to feel even the faintest necessity for anything higher. But those to whom the eternal interests of the soul are of much higher value than the fleeting interests of this mundane life, to whom the gratification of the senses is but like the thoughtless play of the baby, to them God and the love of God form the highest and the only utility of human existence.[Source]
  • Leave inimical thoughts aside if you want to have permanent Bhakti. Hatred is a thing which greatly impedes the course of Bhakti, and the man who hates none reaches God. Even then the devotion for one's own ideal is necessary.[Source]
  • One way for attaining Bhakti is by repeating the name of God a number of times. Mantras have effect—the mere repetition of words. Jalagiman Chetti's powers are due to the repetition of the Mantra—repetition of certain words with certain ceremonies. The powers of the Astras or Banas (missiles, arrows, etc.) of ancient war were due to Mantra. This is taken for granted throughout our Shastras. That we should take all these Shastras to be imagination is superstition.[Source]
  • That singleness of attachment (Nishthâ) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of the denunciation of everything else. All the weak and undeveloped minds in every religion or country have only one way of loving their own ideal, i.e. by hating every other ideal.[Source]
  • The great quality of Bhakti is that it cleanses the mind.[Source]
  • The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest and the most natural way to reach the great divine end in view; its great disadvantage is that in its lower forms it oftentimes degenerates into hideous fanaticism.[Source]
  • The path of devotion is natural and pleasant. Philosophy is taking the mountain stream back to its force. It is a quicker method but very hard. Philospophy says, "Check everything." Devotion says, "Give the stream, have eternal self-surrender." It is a longer way, but easier and happier.[Source]
  • The path of Bhakti or devotion of God is a slow process, but is easy of practice.[Source]
  • There is Bhakti within you, only a veil of lust-and-wealth covers it, and as soon as that is removed Bhakti will manifest by itself.[Source]
  • To obtain Bhakti, seek the company of holy men who have Bhakti, and read books like the Gita and the Imitation of Christ; always think of the attributes of God.[Source]
  • We all have to begin as dualists in the religion of love. God is to us a separate Being, and we feel ourselves to be separate beings also. Love then comes in the middle, and man begins to approach God, and God also comes nearer and nearer to man. Man takes up all the various relationships of life, as father, as mother, as son, as friend, as master, as lover, and projects them on his ideal of love, on his God. To him God exists as all these, and the last point of his progress is reached when he feels that he has become absolutely merged in the object of his worship. We all begin with love for ourselves, and the unfair claims of the little self make even love selfish. At last, however, comes the full blaze of light, in which this little self is seen to have become one with the Infinite. Man himself is transfigured in the presence of this Light of Love, and he realises at last the beautiful and inspiring truth that Love, the Lover, and the Beloved are One.[Source]

See also

  1. Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Bhakta or Devotee

External links

  1. Definition of Bhakti from Bhakti Yoga, Complete Works, Volume III
  2. Narada Bhakti-Sutras (translated dictated by Swami Vivekananda) from Complete Works, Volume VI

This page was last updated on: 29 January 2014, 7:39 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
Number of revisions in this page: 1

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