BHAKTI & ISHVARA PRANIDHANA
Dedication to the Lord of one’s actions and will is called: ishvara pranidhana. He who has faith in God does not despair. He has illumination (tejas). He who knows that all creation belongs to the Lord will not be puffed up with pride or drunk with power. He will not stoop for selfish purposes; his head will bow only in worship.
When the waters of bhakti (adoration) are made to flow through the turbines of the mind, the result is mental power and spiritual illumination. While mere physical strength without bhakti is lethal, mere adoration without strength of character is like an opiate. Addiction to pleasures destroys both power and glory. From the gratification of the senses as they run after pleasures arise moha (attachment) and lobha (greed) for their repetition. If the senses are not gratified, then, there is soka (sorrow). They have to be curbed with knowledge and forbearance; but to control the mind is more difficult.
THE PRAYER OF BHAKTI
After one has exhausted one’s own resources and still not succeeded, one turns to the Lord for help for He is the source of all power. It is at this stage that bhakti begins. In bhakti, the mind, the intellect and the will are surrendered to the Lord and the sadhaka prays: ‘I do not know what is good for me. Thy will be done.’ Others pray to have their own desires gratified or accomplished. In bhakti or true love there is no place for ‘I’ and ‘mine’. When the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ disappears, the individual soul has reached full growth.
When the mind has been emptied of desires of personal gratification, it should be filled with thoughts of the Lord. In a mind filled with thoughts of personal gratification, there is danger of the senses dragging the mind after the objects of desire. Attempts to practice bhakti without emptying the mind of desires is like building a fire with wet fuel. It makes a lot of smoke and brings tears to the eyes of the person who builds it and of those around him. A mind with desires does not ignite and glow, nor does it generate light and warmth when touched with the fire of knowledge.
The name of the Lord is like the Sun, dispelling all darkness. The moon is full when it faces the sun. The individual soul experiences fullness (purnata) when it faces the Lord. If the shadow of the earth comes between the full moon and the sun there is an eclipse. If the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ casts its shadow upon the experience of fullness, all efforts of the sadhaka to gain peace are futile.
THE COSMIC MIRROR
Actions mirror a man’s personality better than his words. The yogi has learnt the art of dedicating all his actions to the Lord and so they reflect the divinity within him.
Micah Lyn is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner HHP, Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher registered with Yoga Alliance and KRI. She offers a variety of private yoga classes in Sedona AZ, yoga therapy and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Sedona Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Training, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.
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