Bhakthi is a form of worshiping God.
Bhakti is Love tinged with Devotion, Mind, Heart and Soul.
It is an emotional bond.
Like Music Bhakthi can transport you into God’s.
Hinduism attaches importance to Bhakthi, mostly emotional as a means of being with God, Realizing the Ultimate Cause.
There are other means too.
Path of Knowledge, Gnana Yoga, where one is wise enough to realize the transient nature of things and the Permanence that is God/Reality.
Path of Action, where the renunciation of the fruits of action, at the mental level itself, is Karma Yoga.
Raja Yoga , the path of controlling breath by strict practices.
All these paths are from experience.
Logic plays a secondary role.
And these have delivered results as the Lives of Great souls reveal.
I have noticed a fact that there seems to be two approaches even in bhakti.
When I go through some inspired Sanskrit Poems, Tamil Verses, in the Bhakthi Bhava, the approach of Love of/to God,I find there are two distinct types.
One is Bhakthi tinged with Reason and Intellectual approach.
Another is total emotional immersion in the Love of God.
And example of an intellectual bhakti may be discerned in Kalidas’s first sloka of Raghuvamsa , which set about describing the Dynasty of Lord Rama.
Curiously the work that is about to talk about Lord Hari,Vishnu , begins with a Sloka on Lord Shiva and Parvathi.
This is the sloka.
The genius of Kalidasa lies in that this poem is open for Twenty Five meanings!
‘The verse is addressed to many deities depending on how we interpret it. Thus:
- Parvathi parameshwarau means divine Mother Parvathi and Lord Shiva. Very simple! This is the original intended meaning by Shri Kalidas. All other meanings are our interpretations. Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye vagarthaviva sampriktau jagatah pitarau parvatiparameshwarau vande |
- Sampruktau Parvathi Parameshwarau: inseparable or conjoined (samprukatu) Lord Shiva and Shri Devi. What is the deity? Lord Ardha Nareeshwara! i. e. the deity in which right half is Lord Shiva and left half is Shri Devi. Just amazing! Right? Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye jagatah pitarau vagarthavivasampriktau parvatiparameshwarau vande |
- Parvathipa – rameshwarau: Pravathipa means Lord Shiva and Rameshwarau means Lord Vishnu. In other words, it represents popular deity Hari –Hara(Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). sampriktau suggests that Hari and Hara are intricately connected together. Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye jagatah pitarau vagarthavivasampriktau parvatipa-rameshwarau vande |
- Parvathipa – rameshwarau: Parvathipa means Lord Shiva accompanied with Parvathi Devi. Rameshwaru means Lord Vishnu with Ramaa(Shri Lakshmi). Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye jagatah pitarau vagarthavivasampriktau parvatipa-rameshwarau vande |
- Vagarthau parvathipa rameshwarau: Saraswati Devi is Vak and Artha is Brahma.Parvathipa : Parvathi Devi and Lord Shiva. Rameshwarau: Shri Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. This is par excellence! It represents the Hindu Trinity Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva along with their consorts Saraswati Devi, Lakshmi Devi and Parvathi Devi. Arrangement(anvaya): Vagrthapratipattaye jagatah pitarau iva(sthithau), sampriktau, vagarthau parvatipa-rameshwarau (cha) vande | HereVagartha indicates Brahma accompanied by Saraswati Devi. Samprikta refers to Lord Brahma and Lord Hari-Hara. It says, Lord Brahma, Hari(Lord Vishnu) and Hara(Lord Shiva) are intricately connected together.
What are we Praying for in the verse?
Again, it depends on how we interpret! Let us see.
- Vagarthah pratipattaye: Vak also means word and speech. Artha means meaning. So, the entire phrase says – To know the word and its meaning. In other words, to get expertise in literary skills. It also means – to know speech and its meaning to get proficiency in oratory skills. This is the original meaning as intended by Shri Kalidasa.
- Vak also means The Holy Vedas. So, the word vagartha means: meaning of the Vedas. Now, vagartha pratipattaye means to access the meaning of the Vedas. All others below are our insights.
- Pratipaataye vagartha: Pratipattaye means to access. Vagartha : inseparable Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi. They together form the Universal Self. Accessing means to merge with them. In other words, we intend to merge with the Universal Self, i.e. to achieve liberation(moksha). This is the real goal of yoga and the highest purpose of human life.
- Vak-artha, pratipattaye: Vak also means Shri Devi or Kundalini Devi who gives liberation(moksha) and artha means prosperity or material enjoyment(bhoga). Shruti(The Vedas) says – Devim vacham ajanayanta devah etc. Remember, Shridevi is the consort(power) of Lord Shiva who is the ruler of liberation(moksha). It is well-known that Shri Lakshmi is the presiding deity of prosperity and material comforts.
- Vak, artha and pratipattaye: As said earlier, Vak symbolizes liberation(moksha),Artha is material enjoyment(bhoga) and Pratipatti means Knowledge. Together, these three represent three presiding deities Parvathi Devi, Lakshmi Devi and Saraswati Devi respectively. Caution: This meaning is based on vagartha (word and its meaning) only. So, may not be grammatical.
Mathematically, how many meanings are possible now? 5 x 5 = 25! You may pick your combination and pray now! Is it not magical and amazing!? Hats off to the Great Poet Shri Kalidasa!!