Episode # 98 – Dhruva and Aandal – Who’s level of “Bhakti” (Devotion) is higher???

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had continued to witness an interesting accord on the divine experience that little Dhruva had. As we’re aware by now, Dhruva, who was deserted by his father and his step mother, took it upon himself as a challenge to attain the divine grace of Bhagawan, come what may! He realized at a very young age that Bhagawan is the only permanent source of trust and savior, but not his biological parents or anyone else! Banking upon this trust, little Dhruva undertook an austere penance that lasted for six months, and by the end of the sixth month, Bhagawan’s heart melted! He thus appears in person before the child and wanted to bless him! However, the penance of Dhruva was so deep that he didn’t even realize Bhagawan standing right in front of him! It took an ordeal of time for Bhagawan to make Dhruva realize that He’s waiting for him to open eyes and worship His divine form! Here we can witness that if a devotee is steadfast in his / her “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan, He becomes a mere servant of that devotee and is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the devotee!

As Dhruva opens his eyes finally, he couldn’t believe his eyes that he’s seeing the all-pervading Bhagawan in front of him! Not knowing what to do, the little child starts crying! Upon understanding from the child, the reason for his innocent pouring out of his feelings, Dhruva explains that he’s extremely happy that Bhagawan has heard his ardent and fervent calls, however, he doesn’t know how to formally worship Bhagawan according to the rituals and procedures prescribed by the Sanaathana Dharma text! Hence, he feels totally embarrassed and ashamed to stand in front of Bhagawan, not knowing anything! Hearing thus from the little Dhruva, Bhagawan’s heart was moved further and He’s into tears of joy! Such was Dhruva’s innocent and pure devotion! He wanted Bhagawan in front of him, just for no reason! He did not want to bargain anything with Bhagawan! He did  not want to ask Bhagawan for any boon, even though Bhagawan was keen in offering it to him! Dhruva’s only contention was that, he wanted to worship Bhagawan for Bhagawan’s happiness, and not for his own personal happiness!

This is touted to be one of the most supreme forms of devotion. We had witnessed a brief accord on this point during the last episode and today let us take this discussion forward to witness what it takes for us to attain this level of devotion.

This same point is illustrated by Aandal, who was an ardent devotee of Bhagawan Krishna. Many of us might know that Aandal is considered one amongst the great “Aalwars”, who incarnated in a small town called Srivilliputthur in the South-Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also believed that Aandal was an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi herself and She is the person who authored the famous “Thiruppaavai” – A collection of 30 “Paasurams” (Hymns) in Tamil, dedicated to Bhagawan Krishna. This Thiruppavai occupies a prime position in the Sanaathana Dharma literature and is an epitome of complete surrender to Bhagawan’s lotus feet!

In one of Aandal’s such conversations with Bhagawan Krishna, she invites Him to come to her and spend some time with her. Paying heed to Aandal’s fervent requests, Bhagawan Krishna comes to visit Aandal. In the process of welcoming Bhagawan Krishna, Aandal offers Him a huge thousand gallons of butter and curd, as all of us know that Bhagawan Krishna loved butter so much during His childhood days. As Bhagawan comes to see Aandal thus, she offers all of this to Him and Bhagawan is very happy with Aandal’s selfless love and devotion-filled hospitality. Moved by this, Bhagawan Krishna requests Aandal to ask something in return from Him, for all what she had offered to Him. However, Aandal wasn’t interested in all that! She replies back to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! My heart is filled with happiness and gratitude that you’ve heard my prayers and come all the way to see me! This in itself is a huge thing for me! Moreover, you’re wanting me to ask for a boon, just because I offered you thousand gallons of butter. There might be ‘N’ number of people in this world who are ready to offer you 100 times more butter than I’ve offered you! Despite all of that, you’ve come to me and I’m extremely grateful for your gesture!”

Aandal continues thus, “Oh Krishna! Let me tell you one thing – I did not call you to do any sort of business deal that I give you butter and in turn, you give me something else! All I wanted is to enjoy your divine presence with me! Now that you’ve come all the way for me and wanted me to ask you something, I’m offering you another 100 gallons of butter at your lotus feet! I would love to witness the childish way in which you would consume the butter and enjoy every bit of it!”

Thus we can witness from this instance that if we’re offering something to Bhagawan and if Bhagawan accepts our offering, we should give another offering for Bhagawan’s divine gesture of accepting our first offering! This is one step more than what Dhruva exhibited, isn’t it? From Dhruva’s case, we had witnessed that he did not want anything in return from Bhagawan, as He gave his divine Darshan to Dhruva! Here in this case of Aandal, she is offering one more round of butter to Bhagawan Krishna, just because He had accepted her first round of offering!

Now which level of “Bhakti” is higher? It is for us to think and comprehend! So for today, let us understand and analyze different levels of “Bhakti” and let us learn our lessons accordingly! The important point here is that, our devotion and surrender towards Bhagawan should be as pure as possible from our end. We should make sure that we don’t do “business deals” with Bhagawan, which might not be liked very much by Him! Of course, Bhagawan is ready to give us whatever we want, but why should we ask some worldly things from Him, if He’s ready to offer His total divine self to us? We shall wait till the next episode to move forward with the next important point! Stay tuned! 😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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