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Introspection and emotional refinement

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

16 August 2021

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The emotional sublimation and enrichment on one side, the knowledge-based enlightenmental correction and elimination of inadequacies on the other, should blend beautifully well. This will result in the best of purification.

…Yesterday I said that ananya bhakti is the ultimate ideal of human mind. Bhakti may relate to God, but bhakti itself belongs to the devotee. The devotee can develop bhakti in such an exclusive manner that he does not depend any more upon God but upon his own exclusiveness of devotion. While hanging a mirror on the wall, keeping it straight, standing in front of it and looking at the reflection, the role of the mirror is only nominal. Even this nominal role is given by us. We alone make the glass, cut it, coat it with mercury, frame it, hang it. We also look at it to see the reflection. Thus, the mirror’s capacity to reflect our face is truly bestowed upon by us.

In the same manner, if you make God the supreme source of reliance, your making Him the supreme is what makes Him so. The same God was available earlier, is available now, as an omnipresent being. Your making is important here. So, “Why is it that He does not become for me a source of supreme reliance? Why am I not able to give Him the supreme pedestal?” This kind of enquiry you must make repeatedly.

Whether you pursue the path of bhakti or jnāna, you must keep two factors in mind. One is the emotional enrichment, refinement and sublimation which your devotion brings in you while reciting the different shlokas, while chanting the name of the Lord or listening to His glories. The other is a constant note of introspection whereby you are always watchful of the defects and slips, inadequacies and impurities in your personality. Just as you inspect an article while buying, in the spiritual pursuit also you should be attentive to inspect your own personality. When these two factors are blended properly, the progress becomes smooth.

Normally we find that the emotional bhakti continues to be emotional alone. The devotee refuses to believe in any refinement, correction or sublimation. A poet may get ideas inspired in him initially, but to render these inspirations into poems he has to endeavour a lot. K was here. One day suddenly he wrote a few lines. He was meddling with these lines till he left and even at the end, only one or two stanzas came out well. A poet has to spend hours and days in order to polish, embellish and beautify his work; this polishing takes a lot of time. Therefore, they generally say that poetry is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration!

In all walks of life there is equal scope and need for emotional sublimation and enlightenmental reformation. Examining your own ‘within’ for the defects, trying to know of further improvements, incorporating them by a process of watchfulness, reflection, assimilation and restraint, and also pursuing the emotional enrichment at the same time, bring all-fold progress.

Whatever you do, wherever you are, you can pursue constant introspectional sādhana of refinement and purification. In fact it should be so. On the other hand, for emotional refinement through chanting and devotional singing, you need specific time and leisure. Whatever verses you have learnt must be recited with fullness of your heart, listening to every syllable and word that come out of your mouth. Listen attentively to your own voice, the words and the pronunciation when you chant. Keep your mind sensitively fixed to the word meaning and the bhāva. People generally miss this aspect of listening and consequently do not gain the full benefit of their chanting.

The emotional sublimation and enrichment on one side, the knowledge-based enlightenmental correction and elimination of inadequacies on the other, should blend beautifully well. This will result in the best of purification…

Hari Om Tat Sat

– From the book-Prabhata Rashmih-Vol 1

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“Examining your own ‘within’ for the defects, trying to know of further improvements, incorporating them by a process of watchfulness, reflection, assimilation and restraint, and also pursuing the emotional enrichment at the same time, bring all-fold progress.”

“In all walks of life there is equal scope and need for emotional sublimation and enlightenmental reformation. ”

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