Letter 13

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3rd December, 1945
In August 1944, a Bengali youth in ochre-coloured robes, by name Chinmayananda, a pracharak (preacher) of the Hindu religion belonging to the Birla Mandir in Delhi, came here. He had gone round several countries, visited the Aurobindo Ashram and came here with a letter from Dilip Kumar Roy. He is fond of devotional music and has a fine voice. It was clear from the conversation that he was a follower of the Bhakti cult of Chaitanya. He performed bhajan in the presence of Bhagavan four or five times, singing songs in Sanskrit and Hindi. It seems some one who was in charge of a modern adhyatmic (spiritual) institution told him that he cannot reach his goal in this life unless he stayed at one place undisturbed.

With a view to find out Bhagavan’s opinion in this matter, one day he approached Bhagavan and asked in a general way: “Swami, can sadhakas attain this goal in life if they go about the world absorbed in singing songs in praise of God? Or should they stay at one place only for the purpose?”

“It is good to keep the mind concentrated on one thing only wherever the person wanders. What is the use of keeping the body at one place only if the mind is allowed to wander?” said Bhagavan.

“Is ahetuka bhakti (devotion without a motive) possible?” asked that young man. “Yes, it is possible,” said Bhagavan. Some time back, when some others also asked the same question during conversation, Bhagavan had replied saying, “Why is it not possible?” The bhakti (devotion) of Prahlada and Narada was only ahetuka bhakti.

The devotion shown by our Bhagavan towards Arunachala is an example of this type of bhakti. During the very first darshan, Bhagavan had said, “Oh father! I have come here according to your orders and have surrendered myself to you.”
Look! Bhagavan says, Lord Arunachala had ordered and that he had come! Why was he ordered and why had he come? Bhagavan had come and had surrendered himself completely. If asked for what purpose he had done all that, what is there to say! See the bhava (meaning) in the seventh stanza of Arunachala Navamani Mala written by Bhagavan in Tamil. This was translated into Telugu by G. Narasinga Rao. What is the purpose indicated in this stanza? Nothing. Bhagavan tells us, now and then, that ahetuka bhakti, ananya bhakti, poorna bhakti and the like are synonymous with jnana and are not different.