Which Method Is Easy To Attain Salvation – Bhakti Or Gyan?
Option- if you cherish; it is an opportunity but if you make it ‘Optional’, it perishes to adversity!’ This canon explains how splendid it is to have options and also warns us, if we fail in implementing the selected option rightfully, we face the consequences of being optional eventually.
The working attitude of ‘Smart’ instead of ‘Hard’ has bred a new human mentality, living and breathing on ‘Options’ and ‘easy-breezy’ methodology! Having been trapped by our mentality, we desire everything at fingertips, even Moksha too. Those who are on the path of spirituality have only one summit ‘Moksha’ i.e. salvation.
To attain this ultimate goal gracefully, we have divine options to choose, either ‘Bhakti Marg’ – the ‘Devotional Path’ or ‘Gyaan Marg’ – the ‘Knowledge Path’!
From a general perspective:
Bhakti marg is a religious path where one does chanting, fasting, worshipping, puja, penance, etc. This helps bind merit karma, as a result of which one receives worldly happiness, peace and material comforts. Whereas Gyaan marg is of a higher order! It is a spiritual path where one realizes, ‘who am I and how am I separate from the body and name, I identify myself with in this world’; and the effort one does here is that of freeing one’s self from the bondage of karma.
So, while Bhakti Marg is a religious path where one binds merit karma and develops further, Gyaan Marg is a spiritual path that liberates one from all karma. Bhakti Marg helps the development of every person, and when one comes onto the real Gyaan Marg, the worldly development ends!
Now let’s dwell on the subject a bit deeper, from the Enlightened One’s perspective:
In common parlance, as explained above, the Bhakti Marg and the Gyaan Marg are considered as two different paths. However, if seen from the perspective of the enlightened vision of Gyaani, the two are joint together. They are like the two sides of the same coin.
If we want to reach God, we need to have the knowledge of the path that takes us to God. Suppose you have to go to the airport, you can’t say, “As I’ll start walking, I’ll reach the airport.” One may ask, “Do you have the knowledge of the path?” And you will reply, “No, I do not know the way.”
If you do not know the way to the airport, can you reach the airport?
It means to go to the airport, first of all, you need to have the knowledge of how to go to the airport.
And now suppose, you have in your hand the knowledge (the map, etc.) of ‘how to reach airport’; does that mean you reached the airport? No!
It means after attaining the right knowledge, you have to follow it.
When you follow, according to the knowledge, that is called ‘Bhakti’. Bhakti (Devotion) means to approach nearer and nearer (to the one you are devoted to).
Thus, the right method to attain salvation is:
to first attain the knowledge of the right path (Gyaan) i.e. who is God? How is God? How am I one as God? How do I recognize God?
and thereafter, to follow that knowledge (Bhakti), and attain salvation,
Knowledge (Gyaan) is said to be right only when it helps us attain salvation. And devotion (Bhakti) is right only when, as its end result, we attain salvation.
There are two paths to attain salvation:
Kramic path – the traditional step-by-step path, wherein one does penance, meditation, renunciation, etc. and proceeds ahead step-by-step towards salvation.
Akram path – the exceptional, stepless or the elevator path. For instance, Lord Krishna gave Arjun with such knowledge where he didn’t make him renounce his wife, Draupadi, or his kingdom, nor the war; he gave Arjun such knowledge that inspite of fighting the huge war of Mahabharata, Arjun did not bind any karma and he attained salvation. Very rarely this happens, when there is present the Living Gyaani, with whose grace alone, without doing any penance, chanting, meditation or renunciation, we directly attain the knowledge of the Self, following which we attain salvation. This is called Akram marg.
Thus, the Akram path, which is a combination of Gyaan and Bhakti, as described above, is the fastest and the easiest method to attain salvation!
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