Nine Modes of Devotion
According to Swami the nine modes of
Listening to the Lord's stories, Leelas and Mahimas.
Singing the glories of the Lord's Name.
Remembrance of Lord's Name.
- Pada Sevanam
Service to the Lotus Feet of the Lord.
Worship of the Lord.
Salutation of the Lord.
Master and Servant Relationship like the one between Sri Rama and
Companionship of the Lord.
- Atma Nivedanam
Offering oneself to the Lord in complete self-surrender.
"Summer Showers" in
Brindavan in 1990
forms of devotion, joy and sorrow
You may follow any one or all the
nine forms of devotion like Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing),
Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His
Lotus Feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Dasyam (servitude),
Sneham (friendship), Atmanivedanam (Self-surrender). More than
following any or all the nine forms of devotion, it is the inner
feeling or motive behind the forms of Bhakti that is important.
Your inner feeling must always be pure. Of all the nine forms of
devotion, Sneha (friendship) is the most important. It is only
when you cultivate this feeling of friendship with God, you can
reach the last stage of Atmanivedanam (self-surrender). For this
purpose, you must have a pure heart, which in turn is based on
love and devotion. You must have pure and selfless love towards
one and all. Such love is not a one-way traffic. Today, we are
prepared to receive love from all people, but are hesitant to
share our love with others. It should be a give and take policy.
Love begets Love. You must also be prepared to receive love from
others. Love is a gift of God. In fact, you must rise to such a
level that whatever is given by God, you must be prepared to
receive wholeheartedly. At times, God also gives you a bitter pill
like the doctor. This is for your own good. Both happiness and
sorrow are God's gifts. Nobody can comprehend His Divine Leelas.
Whatever activity you undertake,
unity should be the undercurrent. All people should live in peace
and harmony wherever they are. Even if you come across
an opponent, greet him with love. He will automatically respond
with love, since the whole world is filled with reaction,
reflection and resound. Suppose there is unrest in you mind. It is
not because of external factors. Your own deficiencies and faults
are being reflected in the form of unrest.
Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba,
Divine Discourse "Let Unity Be the Undercurrent Everywhere" 2 Mar,
2003, Prasanthi Nilayam