Bhakti Yoga – Introduction

Once a wandering sannyasin (parivrajaka) entered a village and a pious Brahmin called out to him: “Swamiji, please take bhiksha (food) at my home.” The sannyasin did so and after the meal, the Brahmin begged that he be given diksha (initiation). The sannyasin told him to wait some time and continued on his way. After some years the sannyasin again came to the village. The Brahmin was very pleased and again invited him to take food. He did so, and after the meal the Brahmin again asked for diksha. Again the sannyasin replied, “Don’t be in a hurry; continue your karma yoga,” and went on his way.

Many years passed, then again the sannyasin came to the same village. The Brahmin was overwhelmed. He thought that this time he would definitely get diksha. After the usual meal he raised the matter again, and again the sannyasin told him to wait. This time the Brahmin became very angry and wanted to know the reason for the delay.

The following day the sannyasin came again to the Brahmin’s house for bhiksha but as he was about to place the food in the bowl he noticed something that looked like urine in the vessel. He said: “Swamiji, I can’t put food in your bowl, there appears to be urine in it.” “What if there is?” replied the sannyasin. “But if I do that it will be polluted, useless!” “Similar is the state of your mind,” explained the sannyasin. “While it remains even a little unclean my diksha will be of no value.”

Some disciples, even though they may be initiated, cannot proceed on the spiritual path or gain spiritual experiences, for the same reason. They blame their guru, yet it is only because of their unfit state that no progress is made. When the mind is cleansed and pure, then progress is assured.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

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