February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day all over the world. Even though the common perception is that this day is for lovers, there are so many different relationships that can be celebrated on this day e.g., love for parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, children, and grandchildren and so on.
I had written about Bhakti / Devotion and its Types in an earlier blog. As mentioned in that article, the Hindu scripture, Narada Bhakti Sutra lists out nine forms of Bhakti. Kanta-Asakti / Madhurya Bhava is one of those types and is considered to be the highest form of devotion.
In Madhurya Bhava or Kanta Asakti, the Bhaktas entertain the idea of the lover and the beloved. The devotees regard themselves as the wife of God. There is no physical (body) relationship and it is the union of Jivatma and Paramatma. It is a pure, Sattvic form of longing to be with the God; no lust / selfish motives are involved. This concept might get metaphysical; in simple terms to suit the modern day understanding, it can be viewed as Platonic Relationship.
Divine Madhurya Bhava is considered to be the product of loss of ego and complete surrender.
There are many divine personalities entered into blissful ecstasy without seeing any form. The form did not exist in the divine minds. They never did mind the mind but communicated with God through their hearts.
This devotion is beyond borders, castes, cultures.
- RadhaRani and the Gopikas are considered to be the prime example exhibiting this type of devotion towards Lord Krishna. Radha is considered to be the epitome of Divine Love. She had become Ananda-Chinmaya-Rasa => the deliciousness of bliss and consciousness. Sant Kabir in one of his Dohes (Couplets written in Hindi) relates the closeness between the devotee and Lord:
- Shyam ke bina tum aadhi
Tumhare bina shyam aadhe
Radhe radhe rahde rahde
(Radha is incomplete without Krishna and Krishna is incomplete with Radha)
- Shyam ke bina tum aadhi
- Meerabai, an extraordinary Hindu Devotee and Saint who lived in the northern part of India in the 16th Century. Her unflinching devotion to Lord Krishna helped her achieve the ultimate goal of life, union with the Supreme!
- Andal, a pre-eminent devotee of the Lord Krishna who refused to marry anyone other than the Lord
- Lord Gauranga , a 16th Century Bengali saint and the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism
- Bibi Nachiyar , a Muslim Princess who devoted her life to the Lord Cheluva Narayana
- Mohammedan Sufis are known to entertain this kind of mental attitude.
More power to Pure Love 🙂
हरि ॐ ॐ शांति
Hari Om Om Shanti