Bhakti Yoga: Again we put these three questions: What is the aim, what is the instrument and what is the process?
The aim of Bhakti Yoga is to discover the Divine Love. Not love, as we understand it but the Divine Love, the Divine Bliss. Because the origin of Divine Love is Divine Bliss — ananda. The aim of Bhakti Yoga is to discover the Divine Ananda and to enjoy the Divine Ananda. In Karma Yoga we saw that we normally like to enjoy the fruits of our action. So there was an element of enjoyment. But we were told not to enjoy. Now in Bhakti Yoga we are told: enjoy. Our aim is to enjoy; but to enjoy what: not the fruits of action but to enjoy the Divine Love. To be in the embrace of the Divine for ever and ever… That is the aim of Bhakti Yoga — to enjoy. That is true enjoyment. That is why in the Isha Upanishad there is a very nice sentence: “Tena tyaktena bhunjita” “By renouncing it you enjoy it.” You renounce this enjoyment of the fruits of action and then you enjoy the Supreme Divine. You renounce this enjoyment and when you do that properly you will enjoy the Divine Love. The aim of Bhakti Yoga is to discover the Divine Love, the Divine Bliss and to enjoy that Divine Love and Bliss. This is the aim of Bhakti Yoga.
Bhaktas are supposed to be mad men. Because when they really realize there is a madness and ecstasy because of the joy which is so immeasurable. The brain itself begins to be completely quiet. The brain has no place in that joy. One dances and dances and dances. That is why many real bhaktas cannot but dance cannot but create. All kinds of artistic creations come out of this great love. In fact all artists are basically bhaktas. All of you are artists, I know, and therefore you are actually following the path of bhakti. All of you are in search of the Divine Creation. Your little artistic pieces are only a little effort but when you reach the culmination of it you can create the whole universe because the Divine creates the universe out of His great ecstasy. As Sri Aurobindo says: “The whole world is the laughter of Shiva.” He laughs and the whole world is created. The whole world is a laughter. It is to discover this and enjoy it that is the aim of Bhakta Yoga.
What is the instrument? The instrument is emotion. Not the body, not the mind, not the desire, not the intellect, but emotion.
What is the process? Our emotions which are at present tied to small little things — this relationship or that relationship, this little thing to be enjoyed or that little thing to be enjoyed — all these emotions should be turned to the Supreme object of Love. The One that is really worthy of love. All other things are only tidbits of life. The real thing to be enjoyed is the Supreme, Supreme Krishna, the Delight of delight, the Universal and the Transcendental, the One Being, source of all joy and inexhaustible joy. To turn all your attention from these little things and pour all your love, all your emotions… If you are angry be angry with the Lord, if you are happy be happy in the company of the Lord. If you are in a mood to fight, fight with the Lord. If you want to obey somebody, obey the Lord. If you want to serve somebody, serve the Lord. All your emotions, whatever emotions you have, just pour them on the Supreme Object of Love. By doing this you find the Divine responds and this is the miracle. It is not only your part of thinking of God and loving him, you find that he loves you much more than you love him, much more passionately. As Sri Aurobindo says, “The bhakta discovers that the Divine pursues him more passionately that he pursues Him.” He loves you so much that nobody in the world can love you so. And this is not an illusion it is a real fact. He himself manifests. If you read the poems of Mirabai, for example the dance that burst out in her body when she sees Sri Krishna and finds Sri Krishna in passionate love of Mirabai herself, that love, imperishable love, unfailing love. You then realise that all we call human love is bitter at the end. That is Sri Aurobindo’s words. All human love is basically, ultimately bitter. Although while drinking it, it is very sweet but when you analyse it and go to the depth of human love it is bitter as long as it is human, unless you turn it to the Divine — if you turn the human love to the Divine then it is immortal. Bhakti Yoga consists of turning human love into Divine love. It is the real process.
In this process there are three basic steps. Straining yourself towards the Divine — striving. Second, the experience that you are separated from your beloved. You do not find Him, you are striving up to Him. You do not find Him. Sometimes He appears but just for a little while. But that little while is so powerful that all other moments you feel that you are separated from Him and everything become dry. That moment when the Divine appears and touches you the ecstasy is so great that all other moments are felt to be a dry desert. So the process of Bhakti Yoga consists of striving even in that condition and ultimately comes the union. You receive Him, you obtain Him, you attain Him. You allow that love to manifests to you. You become the brazier of that love, the power, instrument of that love. Thereafter, wherever you see, everything is love. There is nothing which is bitter. Even bitterness itself becomes the Divine. It is said of Mirabai that she was sent a glass of poison. Her brother-in-law was very much opposed to her. To get rid of her one day he sent to her a glass of poison and as usual for Mirabai everything had to be offered to the Divine. She did not know that it was a glass of poison. She offered it to the Divine and said, “First you drink and then I drink”. That was the sadhana of bhakti. And when she drank she danced. Poison had become nectar. The touch of the Divine love was the touch of nectar. This is the power of the Divine love. When you reach that stage, even if poison is poured on you it becomes nectar, because everything in this world is the Divine nectar. That is the power and magic and efficacy of Divine love. That is why many great bhaktas were able to bear torture, great tortures. Because they see the Divine embrace in every torture. And that is really a fact. This is the process of Bhakti Yoga. In a sense there is no process. To strive and strive again and to be mad after the Divine. And then to enjoy the madness of the Divine, that is the process. That is Bhakti Yoga.
We have now done all the important systems of Yoga. Now we shall see what is Integral Yoga.
All right. All this was to explain only one word in the first line of the second paragraph of The Synthesis of Yoga.