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The Triple Path

Monday December 27 2004 08:30 IST

By Karmayogi

We live a social life. There is a soul-life of which we have no knowledge. The soul life has three versions, one of which is the mental soul-life of the human being. Reason is a tool of knowledge. Mind has the capacity of vision. Knowledge can go to God with a single-minded devotion. For that, the knowledge needs to be purified. The purified knowledge acquires force when concentrated. So purified and concentrated, mind reaches God-knowledge when so directed. It matures into God-vision. Thus, Mind knows God, sees God. In the end, it becomes God.

This is the way Jnana, knowledge, reaches God.

Of the three paths of works, devotion and knowledge, jnanamarga is one. One rule of life is what one man can achieve, any other man can also achieve. Its miraculous spiritual extension is what the greatest man has accomplished, the smallest too can. Any one part of the Being, when perfected, can discover God.

The other is the path of works. What does the work, karma, is the will of Man. Will is the force part of knowledge. The chosen instrument of the karmayoga, the path of works, is the human WILL. The Will is the doer of works. Life is made up of works of all descriptions, small and big, important and unimportant. We work to build up our life.

In the end, our life becomes 'us'. It actually means we build up our ego. It is the ego of the doer, the vital ego. All yogas are in essence a reversal of consciousness. It means MAN who was building up his ego, now should drastically change and build up the God-consciousness in him.

The method for that is known as sacrifice. The yogi sacrifices all his works to the Divine. Life itself becomes an OFFERING. This too needs purification. One needs to concentrate on the Will that does the work. Further, a discipline is called for. This discipline subjects the human Will to the WILL of the Divine. It is a means to forge a unity of the soul of man with the Master of the Universe. This is the path of works.

By an exactly similar path, the heart expands its human emotion, sublimates it into divine emotion with a view to achieving unity with the Soul of All-souls. This path is known as bhaktimarga. Laya is its crown. It is seen as swoon. The emotions of the heart have the power to pervade the entire body with their amrita and send the devotee into a laya, an oblivious self-forgetfulness in the Touch of the Divine.

Such a union has the power to neutralise poison administered to the devotee, as it did in the case of Mira. Andal, who sang her devotion in the poems of Pasuram, was in love with Krishna. To her, Krishna was a living being. The gopis of Brindavan enjoyed that nectar of devotion. Radha was its peak and symbol. Radha was Devotion. Her life was Devotion, her existence too was such.
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