Bhakti In Hinduism

BHAKTI IN HINDUISM

BHAKTI IN HINDUISM

INTRODUCTION

Hinduism is an ancient religion and it follows the principles of Dharma and teaches good philosophies to us. People belonged to Hinduism would celebrate the family functions with much pleasure and enthusiasm, and they would invite their neighbours, friends and relatives for their family functions such as marriage, birthday, upanayanam, Seemantham, Punyajalam etc.

In ancient times, most of the people were lived in joint families, and the family functions were taken place very easily, since mostly elderly people in the families would eagerly take part in the functions. But nowadays, most of the married couples are living in foreign countries, and they are staying in different locations due to their job. Most of the families are sharing their bondage only through internet and mobile phones.

We can’t blame the people living in the present generation, because their situation is like that. But however, if they get a job nearby their native place, they can spend more time with their parents and relatives, and they can celebrate the family functions with much happiness.

In ancient times, there would be no modern facilities. Some centuries back, there was no electricity facility also, and there were no major industrial houses and transportation facilities. But the people were lived a very happy life, due to their hard work in the green farm fields, and by enjoying the beauty of the mother “NATURE”. Most of the people were not suffered from severe diseases, and suicidal deaths were very few. There was no mental stress or tensions, and everybody lived their life by doing hard work.

But now, things are changed, and nowadays we are living in a pressured situation, and now, we don’t find sufficient time even to talk with our parents, and to spend our time with our friends and relatives. Due to that, we are not getting that much interest in celebrating our family functions in a grand manner. But it is a must for us to allocate some time to visit the places of our near and dears, and to perform our family functions in a grand manner, by calling our relatives, friends and neighbours.

Bhakti songs are the verses from the divine poems which are written by the great poets and saints, for praising the holiness of the deities. Bhakti songs forms part and parcel in the life of the ancient sages, saints, Varkaris, Veerashaiva Lingayats and devotees of Lord Panduranga. Apart from Hindu devotees, Bhakti songs are sung by Christians, Muslims and by other religious people also. Bhakti songs are also known as Bhajan and Kirtan. The great singer and musician Tansen had also sung lot of bhakti songs on Hindu deities in the court of King Akbar.

Kannada saints like Purandara Dasa, Raghavendra Theertha and Kanaka Dasa have composed lot of bhakti songs on Lord Krishna, and sang in the temples. The great Carnatic singer and musician Thiruvaiyaru, Thyagarajar, had sung lot of bhakti songs on Lord Rama. Similarly Muthusamy Dikshithar and Shyama Shastri had sung lot of devotional songs on Hindu deities.

The great Panduranga devotees like Thukaram, Muktabai, Gora Kumbhar and Sakku Bhai, had dedicated their life in singing and praising on Lord Panduranga.  Meerabai had merged with Lord Krishna by singing excellent songs on him and due to her sincere devotion on him, and similarly, the great chaste, pious and holy woman saint, Akkamahadevi had attained the abode of Lord Shiva, the holy Kailasa, for showing her great bhakti on Lord Shiva. Similarly lot of female and male saints had reached the divine worlds due to their selfless devotion on the almighty.

In the present world, most of the people are getting interested in hearing western music, and they are saying that by hearing that, they are forgetting their problems. Listening to the western music is not a wrong thing, but at the same time, we must have to allocate some time by singing and listening to Bhakti songs on the almighty. God has given us eyes, ears and mouth for seeing his divine beauty, hearing his divine songs, praising his glories and singing songs on him.

Simply talking unnecessary things with others, would never serve any purpose in our life. Whereas performing Bhajans and hearing divine music, would give great mental satisfaction and stability of mind.

Before few centuries, there are no modern facilities like electricity, TV, Mobile Phones, Computer and music systems etc. But even then, people would show their sincere bhakti on god, by hearing the divine discourses of the almighty, visiting the temples, and by telling divine stories to their children. But nowadays, even though, we are having lot of modern facilities, we are not utilizing it properly. We are trying to get mental relaxation by visiting Cinema Theatres, Parks, watching serials in Television, playing games and watching film videos in the Mobile phones. Hence, let us change ourselves by listening to lot of divine discourses and bhakti songs from the YouTube, visiting the temples, singing songs on Lord Krishna, praising his glories, about his wonderful Leelas and his childhood plays etc.

Generally, in the houses of Hindus, a Puja room would be available, and in some homes, a separate room is created for puja, whereas in others a small cabinet or shelf would be used as a Puja room. Puja rooms are essential for the Hindu devotees, since they can do puja and abhishekham and can offer the holy Prasad to the divine deities. In their puja room, they can also do meditation, and can chant slokas, in order to cleanse their mind.

It is not possible for the devotees to visit the temples daily, and for them, Puja room acts as a temple, and gives the great feeling of worshipping in the temple. In ancient times, most of the people would be having their own houses, and it would be a big sized one. They would allocate a big room, for performing the puja to the deities, and during the festival days, the family members would invite the children of their neighbours and after performing the puja, they would offer the divine Prasad to the children.

Nowadays, most of the Hindus are living in the apartments, and hence they are finding it difficult to allocate a separate room for performing the puja in their homes. They would make a shelf or cabinet into a puja room, and would keep only a limited number of deities in that place. In ancient times, during the Navaratri festival days, people would keep lot of golu dolls at their puja room, and invite large number of guests at their home, and would offer various types of Sundal Prasad to them.

But nowadays, most of the Hindus are not interested to keep golu dolls at their homes, since they are not finding sufficient time, as well as due to their mechanical routine works, they are losing interest in keeping all such things in their homes. Since nowadays both men and women are employed, they are finding it difficult to keep the golu dolls at their homes, and also they are buying the Sundal Prasad from the nearby shops, and offering it to the deities.

Kula Devata also known as Kuladeva or Kuladevi is a hereditary deity, also called as Family deity in Hinduism, and they would prosper the life of their sincere devotees, and gives all kinds of goodness in their lives. Kula Devata is different from our Ishta-devata, beloved deity, Kaval Devata, guardian deity, and Gramadevata, village deity.

Kuladevata would save the entire family of their devotees, from floods, earth quakes, storms and from other natural Calamities. Kuladevata is worshipped by the people, based on their belief, and the Kuladevata deity can be of male or female, and devotees would travel to the Kuladevata or Kuladevi temple, especially during festival days, at least once in a year, in order to obtain the blessings of the deity.

Kuladevatas are worshiped by the people belonging to Hinduism. In North India, the Kuladevatas are worshipped as the incarnations of Mata Parvati and Lord Shiva, and the deities are called by different names. Snake gods and goddesses are also worshipped as the Kuladevata, by some sects of people. Lord Venkateswara is also worshipped as Kula Deva by most of the Telugu community people, as well as by the Madhwa community people, and Madhwas considers Guru Raghavendra as their next Kuladeva and worship him as their holy guru.

In Kerala, Lord Ayyappan, Mata Bhagavati and Lord Guruvayurappan is worshipped by most of the Hindu Malayalee people as their Ishta Devata.

In Andhra Pradesh, Mata Kanyakaparameshwari and Kanaka Durgamma are worshipped by the devotees as their Ishta Devatas, and for some sects of Telugu people, they are their Kula Devatas.

In Tamil Nadu, Mata Kamakshi, Renukamba, Angala Parameswari, Ayyanar, Muneeswaran and Lord Muruga are the family deities for most of the Hindus.

Similar to giving respects to our parents and to our grand-parents, we have to give more respects to our Kula Devata, and we must have to worship them at their temples, by taking all of our family members to the temple, and must perform Abhishekham to our Holy Kula Devata.

“OM”

WRITTEN BY

R.HARISHANKAR