There are Nine Kinds of Worship and Love

Poojasakti - love the form and then adore the form - worship. Pooja means that which is born out of fullness.

Published: 27th February 2014 07:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2014 07:40 AM   |  A+A-


Poojasakti - love the form and then adore the form - worship. Pooja means that which is born out of fullness. Poo means fullness, ja means born out of fullness. In love, when you feel so full, you want to act, do something and that act which is born out of love is called Pooja. Poojasakti - in pooja you use all the five elements, all that nature has done to you, you replicate it, you do it back again. What did the nature do to you? It has given you grains, the nature has given you grains … you offer the grains. The nature has given you flowers, you offer the flowers. Nature has given you fruits, so you offer the fruits back. Nature takes the sun and moon around you and you also light the camphor on a small wick or candle and you also move them around. That is called aarti - the ultimate ecstacy. Aarti means the ultimate ecstacy, because nature is doing aarti to you every day - taking the sun and moon around you. Remembering that let this fire of life always move around the divine. Life is like fire, goes up, you know a lit fire or a glow, if you turn it upside down, then also it just moves up. Let the enthusiasm, that joy in life, always move upward. This feeling you take - pooja sakti.

Smarnasakti - constant rememberance of the divine. It is almost like a worry. You know, when you are worried, as soon as you wake up in the morning, the same worry comes to the head. And before going to bed, the same worry comes. While you are eating, same worry comes. When you’re drinking tea, same worry comes. So, dwelling in the same memory of the Divine is another type of love - smarnasakti.

Dasyasakti - wanting to be the servant of god. the Jewish tradition has glorified this, being the servant of god. That aspect of love is emphasised in Jewish tradition - “I am just a servant of God, I am nothing other than a simple servant of god.” Dasya sakti - to be a devoted servant.

Sakhayasakti - companionship. He is my companion. I am his companion. There are two different things. One is dasyasakti - “I am just a servant of god” and then, “I am his companion. He is my only companion.” The saints of the Bhakti movement in India all adored god as the beloved, their companion. The gopis took god as their beloved, their companion. In the Muslim tradition, some Sufi saints also consider god as their beloved. Sakhya sakti - taking god as one’s beloved.

Vatsalyasakti - considering god as one’s child. In Brindavan in India, people consider Krishna as their own child - Bal. When a child is born in the house, they say, “Oh, Krishna has come.” Infant Jesus worship is also prevalent in some parts of the world. There is a certain charm, a certain motherly or fatherly feeling towards the Divine. ‘Parenting the Divine’ is another form of Divine love.

Kantasakti - is one’s own partner. God as the centre of attraction of all sorts in life. “My only goal and my only centre of attraction is divinity.” This feeling that comes up in you, that god is only centre of atraction, is Kantasakti. You adore the divine as your beloved, as your partner, as a part of you - Kantasakti.

Atmanivedanasakti - every moment this entire body, mind - physical, mental, emotional, my entire life is all yours. I offer, I surrender everything, every moment, including the time, this moment is yours. If this moment is pleasant, it is yours. If it is unpleasant, it is yours. Who cares, it is all yours. Atmanivedanasakti - offering of the entire self, your total self, total letting go, that is atmanivedanasakti -another flavour of love.

Tanmayatasakti means being immersed in knowing that he is already in you and every part is immersed in him, soaked in the divinity. Tanmayata is also a deep meditation, a state of deep meditation, a state in which you forget everything else, nothing exists, nothing whatsoever exists, just me and me alone. Tanmayatasakti - forgetful of everything else, including your own body, that is tanmayata . Those that forget everything are really blissful. A lady once said, “Guruji, I keep forgetting everything.” I said, “Wonderful, don’t worry about it. The whole essence is to forget everything. Why do you have to remember anything? Just be happy.” An ability to forget everything - we often forget all the nice things, the good things, and remember only those unwanted, horrible things that stick to the mind. That shift is essential. If you want to forget, forget everything - tanmayatasakti.

Paramvirahasakti means longing, excruciatating longing. There is a joy in longing. Love blossoms only in longing. If there is no longing, I tell you there is no love also. Love and longing go hand in hand, so when longing arises in you, don’t kill it. Though it is excrucitating, don’t try to run away from it. Nurture the longing. Nurturing the longing deepens the love. Often, when longing comes, people run away from it and then the love turns into hatred and anger. Longing brings a certain amount of misery - you don’t like anything, you don’t want to eat, you don’t want to see television, you don’t want to go anywhere, nothing is appealing to you, that is the name of longing. These are the characteristics of longing. Longing means what? Nothing whatsoever can charm you, can interest you, can draw your attention, nor are you at peace.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation

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