A human being is the best creation of God. Upanisad says a man is 'अमृतस्य पुत्र:' meaning he is an immortal child of God. Bible says, God has made man in His own image. Gita says "ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन:।" meaning that "Man is an eternal part of Myself." Tulasidasaji in Ramayana writes "ईस्वर अंस जीव अविनासी । चेतन अमल सहज सुख राशि ।।" This means Jiva is an integral particle of Divinity; hence he is immortal, conscious, untainted by Maya and blissful by nature. This goes to prove that a human being is not the body. He is the soul, an expression of God Himself. Hence this world is not the home for human being. It is a foreign land for him. Ultimately he will attain peace and happiness only in divine abode. As a particle of sand must eventually merge in earth, as a drop of water must mingle with the ocean. Otherwise they would keep revolving, they would never be at rest. Similarly a human being, truly a part of God, can find peace and bliss only in God."
In the world human beings are quite deluded. Everyone is seeking something material for the happiness, he hopes world will give, but people don't find true happiness because every avenue of material gain ends in a blind alley. You want a wordly thing only until you have it. When you get it, the pleasure diminishes until the joy is gone. Most people think there is nothing more to life than to be born, to marry to produce children, to make money, to make their sons established in some lucrative job or business, to build house or bungalows to live in. Thus, grasping at elusive pleasures and finally to die. But that is not so. God being their father, is not at peace, as his children are not finding fulfilment. And what is God longing for our love, our attention. He is pursuing every heart waiting for His children to spurn His creation the world and turn towards Him. But He gave men free will to seek Him or reject Him. He has bestowed them with the faculty of discrimination, freedom of choice, power to think, power to do, power to believe and power to discriminate. God knows that there is no permanent pleasure in the world. Our body may be beautiful, but suddenly disease visits it and nothing can heal it. One may be very wealthy but suppose some unexpected event comes, one may lose everything. Human being faces tremendous problems in this world; as hatred, prejudice, selfishness. Thus, wallowing in miseries, God feels that why my children being part of Myself, should suffer like this. Why should they suffer these disappointments.
Well, God is similarly disappointed because he wants us, and we have denied Him our love, our Bhakti, our devotion. He too is suffering for us. In Gita (XVI. 20) He expresses such feelings ‘मामप्राप्यैव’ meaning not attaining Me he is sinking towards hell. God realizes that a man has forgotten his divine nature. The man should realize that he is God's own and God is his own. In other words unless a man cultivates Bhakti towards God, he would continue wandering in the world of life and death. This universe is a foreign land for a human being. He can never be at peace here. He can never enjoy bliss as God alone is all source of Bliss, Consciousness and Peace. Human beings are made in the image of God, but by the identification with the physical world, we feel miserable. Until this human consciousness of mortality is removed, we cannot return to God's abode.
A prince ran away from his palatial home and sought shelter in a slum. As a result of intoxication and mixing with persons of bad character, he gradually lost sight of his true identity; not until his father found him and took him home to the palace did he remember that he was actually a prince. Similarly we, all children of the king of the universe, who have run away from our spiritual home, we have left ourselves caged in human bodies for so long we have forgotten our divine heritage. How to retain our divine heritage, we can do this only when we surrender ourselves to God, we merge our will with the will of God, we regard God as our own. These sentiments are the real Bhakti towards God. Without Bhakti towards God, we can never be at peace. Only Bhakti or devotion to God can give lasting happiness and bliss. No individual, nothing, no circumstances of the world can give us that. The worldly pleasures give us only transitory satisfactions. Ultimately they end in sorrow and bitterness.
God has given us free will. We can develop Bhakti towards Him. Lord Krsna in Gita (Chapter VII verse 17-18) says that I consider My Bhakta as My own self and he is exceedingly dear to Me. What more a man should expect of God? Further to a Bhakta Lord Krsna says, "Through single-minded devotion (अनन्य भक्तया), however, I can be seen in the form with four arms, nay, known in essence and even entered into, 0 Valiant Arjuna". How compassionate God is to His Bhaktas! He calls not only the perfected Bhakta but even aspirants for Bhakti as महात्मन: (Gita IX. 13).
From the above it may be seen that a human being is given a golden opportunity to call God as his own and to devote himself wholeheartedly to Him and enjoy everlasting bliss in this very life. There is no bar of caste, colour or sex.
Kalyana-Kalpataru is publishing 'Bhakti Number' this year for inculcating the spirit of devotion among its readers and people at large. How fortunate a human being is that he can be one with God!
Articles on various types of Bhakti as described in Ramayana, Bhagavata and Gita are also included in this issue.
In this issue an article of one exalted soul is also included before whom God in four armed form appeared of his own accord. God inspired him to propagate Bhakti among masses. These means through which Bhakti can be cultivated, are mentioned in this article.
Also articles on experiences of many Bhaktas are given here. Various aspects of Bhakti are discussed by spiritually exalted persons and contributors in this issue.
Our co-editor and our staff took very painstaking efforts to prepare this issue, without their help it was not possible for us to get it in its present form.
God is the sole source of inspiration and power. We cannot even breathe, we cannot lift even one little finger by ourselves. Every moment we are totally dependent on the Divine. Whatever has been written in this, is by the will and inspiration of God. We wish our readers will peruse it attentively and live a richer spiritual life while sharing their experience to inspire others.
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