Bhakti Yoga is the science of emotions' culture. We are in an
era of science and technology, developing ourselves
predominantly at the intellectual level. This development of the
intellect characterised predominantly by an increased power of
analysis, logic and discrimination, no doubt, has brought us great
dividends and we have been able to unravel the mysteries of
this physical universe in its greatest depth. For example, we have
understood that energy is the very basic fabric of the physical
world and that matter is bottled-up energy, as well as the laws
that govern them-classical and quantum mechanics. The
scientist in us has started progressing further to understand the
subtler dimensions of the universe. The left brain development
is fantastic, probably, unseen over the last five centuries.
However, we have started realizing that our right brain related
to emotions is hardly trained. We often get stuck with emotions
such as grief, hatred, jealousy and selfishness. We want
everything for ourselves. Selfishness has increased and there
is no concern and love for others. Our human aspect, our heart
has yet to blossom in comparison to our head. Unless the heart
opens up, we cannot call ourselves as real human beings. We
are merely intellectualy-rational animals.
This lopsided growth of left over the right brain in man has
resulted in increasing anxiety, restlessness and health hazards
in the form of large number of emotionally suppressed disorders
like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, anxiety
neurosis or psychosis. We are continuously being tortured,
tossed up and down by waves of excitement and depressions
and thus, consequently, the quality of our lives is fast
At the global level, wars have not reduced. A rat race to acquire
more and more arsenal consisting of even nuclear and biological
weapons continues in all the affluent countries. The developing
countries are forced to become parties to this rat race not to
dominate and exploit other countries but for their own survival
and to maintain the power-balance. The role of superpowers
has clearly been to maintain their supremacy. Wars are
promoted to increase their power and their business. Whereas
human love and affection have been confined mainly to talks
and newspapers. They would rather throwaway tons and tons
of wheat and rice into the ocean than give the same to
underdeveloped or undeveloped countries. Whenever we give
aid to an underdeveloped country, there are always strings
attached. Developed countries exploit needy countries by having
defence bases in those countries they help, they try to gain
control over the entire region. They are very business-minded
and always ask the government 'If we help you, what is in it
for us?' Selfishness dominates the scene.
Thus, it is evident that we have developed the left brain
associated with rational thinking, which is only partially useful
to our total growth. For a holistic growth, we must have our right
brain also well-trained and that is where the science of emotions'
culture comes into picture. It can instill in us the right value
system applicable throughout the world. Otherwise, our
economic-based value system will continue. As prayed in the
ke pavana yuga mem, ham caritra nirmsne na bhulem
"as we are stepping into the new millennium, let us not forget
the human aspects" the innate development of the heart and
the emotions' culture. Else, we will be stuck with greater
problems than what we are facing now.
That is why Swami Vivekananda has said even a century ago,
that the world can survive in future, not by the power of the
sword, but by the power of love. To quote:
"India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with
the power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with
.he flag of peace and love."
Unfortunately, our entire educational programme, has never
emphasized the culturing of our emotions or the development
of our heart. Instead, all the time, we are harnessing the powers
of our left brain, the powers of rational thinking which, no doubt,
are necessary. But there is a vacuum among our students, as
far as control over emotions is concerned. For ego if somebody
were to accuse us of doing something wrong we immediately
get upset and depressed. We are under emotional stress not
for a few minutes but for hours and days together. Sitting in a
corner, we are unable to come out of this mood. Why? simply
because we have no control and mastery over our emotions.
We have not trained our right brain.
Therefore, to strengthen the function of our right brain, and
thereby control our emotions, it is but mandatory that we must
introduce the science of emotions' culture in our schools right
from childhood, from primary stage. If children can start imbibing
these qualities of love, peace, quiet, affection and compassion,
from their school days itself, naturally they will have a well-laid
foundation for their all-round personality. They will become the
torch bearers of peace and harmony in the society. Otherwise,
the children may pick up the gun culture, or the drug culture and
go out shooting others just for fun or to rob , if not for drugs.
Even the teachers are not spared from the guns of their own
students! Is it not the height of atrocity and human degradation?
The emotional training programme is most essential and can be
the basis to introduce the value-oriented education. It is really
fortunate that the Government of India has accorded emphasis
to value-oriented education and has started including the same
in the curriculum as a part of the education policy. It is great
that an honest beginning is made with the introduction of the
real aspects of human development as the main theme of our
education policy and not merely to cram information into the
brains of our children.
Indian culture gives several techniques to culture the emotions
and this is contained in what is called Bhakti Yoga. Bhakti Yoga-
-the science of emotions' culture helps to train our emotional
faculty, makes us mature, to have love for our nation and society
in tune with universal brotherhood. This path of emotions' culture
broadens our vision to overcome our pettiness, gross selfishness,
hatred, greed, jealousy and raises us to the highest levels of
universal brotherhood and oneness by.
There are four main streams of Yoga: the path of intellect-Jnana
Yoga; the path of will-power-Raja Yoga; the secret of actions--
Karma Yoga; and the stream of Bhakti Yoga in which we train
and harness our emotions.
In this book containing eight chapters, we present the broad
spectrum of this science of emotions. The first chapter
captioned 'The Tree', elucidates the concept of head and heart.
The second 'The Bud Opens' starts off with the first step in
the science of emotions' culture: moving from mundane love to
real Jove. 'Blossoming of the Flower', chapter three, explains
the training of emotions further to surrender and God realization.
In the fourth 'Flower Varieties' the paths of worship are
indicated. The fifth 'Unity in Diversity', and the sixth 'And the
Fruits' takes us to the higher- -superhuman dimensions of
growth. The seventh 'The Fruits Around' refers to the
technology of emotions' culture'. The last 'The Fragrance
Spreads' is a brief presentation of the useful applications of this
science in the modern society.
Human beings are bundles of emotions and thoughts.
These emotions and thoughts arise as a reaction to the
environmental surroundings and are caused either by
interactions with other beings or by the influence of ideals.
There is hardly any human being who has not displayed any
emotion in his or her life. Even the most--"stiff upper-lipped
" person or even a die-hard, cold-blooded individual has
secret feelings or attachments. Hitler had his pet dog and
Stalin, his daughter.
There is one danger in the experience of such emotions.
They tend to distort our perspective of life, leading sometimes
to irrational or fanatical behaviour. What does Yoga have
to say about controlling these emotions? Control the mind,
the seat of all emotions, says Raja Yoga. Think of others
before you think of yourselves, says Karma Yoga. Realise
that you are not this mind, says Jnana Yoga. Sublimate
them by surrendering yourselves to the Lord, says Bhakti
Bhakti is dualistic in nature. It is a triad--a Triputi; there
is the Bhakta or the devotee; there is the Lord, the object of
devotion; and there is the process linking the two, Bhakti or
Devotion. For a Bhakta, there is only the Lord and nothing
but the Lord. He lives with Him, in Him, for Him and because
of Him. His devotion is one-pointed Ananya. Life has
meaning for the Bhakta, because He exists.
India can proudly consider herself as the land of Bhakti.
Millions of devotees down the ages have made this land holy
and they continue to do so even today. Who can ever forget
the ecstasy of Love for the Lord as displayed by Sri Caitanya,
Sri Ramakrishna and others? According to Sri Ramakrishna,
Bhakti is the easiest path in the modern times, because of
our intense body-consciousness.
Bhakti appears in the heart as a seed, which sprouts,
blossoms and yields fruits and spreads its fragrance all
around, enveloping all who come under its influence. This
is the analogy used by Dr Nagendra in this book, a very apt
analogy indeed. Hundreds of afflicted people, who have
become victims of their unbridled emotions leading to
Psychosomatic diseases, have been helped by yogic
practices, not only of Raja Yoga or Hatha Yoga, but also by
Bhakti Yoga, in the Prashanti Kuteeram campus of
Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation. What
Dr Nagendra has written in this book is based on his
personal experience and observation. which adds great value
to the text.
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that readers will
benefit greatly by a study of this book, which has so much
to offer for Bhakti Sedhekes.
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