What is this mystery that surrounds bhakti — the emotional uprising that seizes people who are deep in a devotional trance? The physical body is just one part of our being. It is like the shell of an egg or the decorative wrapper in a present. The essence is our core. It is like the fragrance in a flower. It does not have one specific place of origin in a flower, but the fragrance covers the whole flower and spreads around it too. The flavour of our emotions, feelings and thoughts are our essential being.
This flavour is enhanced by devotion to a particular deity or to the supreme being, which is formless and nameless. The quality of such a person’s life who has devotion is thoroughly different. It is not that they have no trials and tribulations. It is not that the path of their true love and devotion runs smooth. But the devotion that they have for their personal deity or the Universe in general is like an air cushion that they travel on. You must know the difference of riding on a mud cart with the wheels banging up and down through every rock on the road and on an air suspension A/C bus where you just stretch and lie down at night and you wake up to see your destination in the morning. The road is the same in both cases, but the air cushioning, absorbing the shock of the road before it touches the wheel makes the difference.
This is the age of Kali Yuga — the worst among the four periods of time, Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali. The first is the golden age of truth. In the next, some corruption has set in.
The Dwapara Yuga, by which time Krishna comes and leaves the world, decadence had set in. The Panchangam or the Almanac — that gives us a precise timing for sunrise and sunset and which star and planet is positioned where in relation to the earth for the whole year — says we have entered the 5,114th year of Kali Yuga. There are over 4,26,200 years more to go and we already see destruction, division, war, hatred, anger, jealousy, stress and competition — all signs of the iron age of Kali.
Chanting the divine name, Nama Japa, is the easiest and the best way to help us cross these difficult times. When you are chanting a name which is a sound that evokes a form in the mind, the energy of that deity or being is invoked within us to come as a guidance at all times. It is like carrying your own energy ATM with you wherever you go. Any crisis or difficulty is overcome with this energy, also called divine grace. It is an invisible mass of light that shrouds and surrounds you and fills you up from within and without. Whether your search is to live a happy life or seek the truth of existence, a heart soaked in devotion will surely take you through. ;—Swahilya Shambhavi