bhakti karo koyi bhi govinda radhe
rupadhyana mana se pratham karva de
No matter what type of devotion you perform, rupadhyana must be first and foremost.
It is not enough to hear these words or read them. This truth must be imbibed in our heart and the intellect should fully accept this. Only then will our mind be attached to God. This is called devotion.
Devotion is of many types. It is of one type, three types, nine types, thirteen types, seventeen types. twenty-two types, twenty-five types and even thirty types. Thirty types of devotion have been described in the Bhagavatam. Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu says that any process to attach the mind to Shri Krishna is known as devotion (sadhana bhakti). You may choose any method according to your interest and it will be called devotion. There is no need to listen to or read anything else. The only point is to attach the mind to Shri Radha Krishna.
In the Bhagavatam (7.5.23), however, it is propounded by Prahlada that even out of nine devotional processes, three are most important. Verse 11.3.27 says that shravan - listening to spiritual principles and the glory of God; sankirtan - chanting God's names and singing the glories of His forms, abodes and devotees [the Saints] and smaran - meditation on God are the main types of devotion. Right now you are engaged in shravan bhakti because you are listening to my spiritual discourse. You also chant the names and attributes of God. Then there is meditation on God, which entails creating the form of God in your mind. Parikshit asked Shukadeva Paramahansa in the beginning of the Bhagavatam (1.19.38), "Maharaj, which devotion should be practiced? Kindly tell me in brief." Shukadeva Paramahansa answered the king, "Three types of devotional processes are most prominent - listening, chanting and meditating."
(Bhagavatam 2.1.5, 2.2.36) One should always hear about, sing the praises of and remember the Lord in all contexts, in all seriousness and with deep attention
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
18 June 2007
© Radha Govinda Samiti