Baba says, ‘bhakti means remembering the body‘. This is the path of knowledge, here you have to study the knowledge and remember The Incorporeal Father.
In Bhakti, people worship, they don’t remember. Even as they chant the names of the Lord through their mouth, the intellect is constantly wandering here and there. Even as they stand before the idol of the deity, they don’t remember the deity as much as they remember what they need from the deity. Even as they turn the beads of the rosary, their minds are occupied with everything from the mundane to the exciting. Bhagats (devotees) worship primarily out of a sense of duty or out of fear. It is a rare bhagat who has pure love for the One. But even so, they don’t know the One they worship other then by reputation….a lot of which is unfortunately, wrong.
On the path of knowledge, Baba says, you don’t worship, you remember. We have a relationship with God- I relate to Him as our Father, Teacher, Guru, Friend, Beloved and even as my Child. I don’t have to chant or pray or beg or sing. I simply remember Him as I would the One I love, as I would my family. He is incorporeal, without a physical form and therefore, easy to slip away from my memory. After half a cycle of bhakti, we are so used to the loud and gross, we find it hard to ‘grasp’ that which is subtle. We sometimes even say, ‘I wish I could have a vision of God, that would strengthen my faith’. But Baba says, ‘you don’t have to see, you simply have to recognize and realize‘.
‘Only a few amongst the very few recognize Me and know Me as I am‘, He says. Just that specialty of being able to recognize Me makes you greater than even the sanyasis and the mahatmas, He says.
But its not just about worship vs. remembrance. Bhakti by it’s very nature of worshiping a body or a form is steeped in body consciousness. It is a path where we rank each other by how loudly we chant or how many scriptures we’ve memorized. Steeped in ignorance, we believe in bowing down to the deity, to the priest and to anyone else who claims to have a ‘fix’ or a ‘cure’ or an ‘answer’. Its the path where we blame everyone including God for all things wrong because we have no knowledge of the Drama and the roles we all play including God. I wallow in shame and guilt when I do anything I or others perceive as wrong and believe in punishment. I am constantly trying to impress God with my offerings even as I sing His praise as The Donor or by going on grueling pilgrimages without knowing where He lives.
Baba says, I teach you the spiritual knowledge – the introduction of the soul, The Supreme Soul and the Drama. There is nothing gross about this. All you do is study the knowledge and with that foundation of knowing who is who and what is what, you remember with your intellect. That is your pilgrimage…of remembrance. As you walk, move around, prepare food or eat, simply remember Me and you will find Me present.
Despite all the sacrifices and labor involved, no one can attain Me through bhakti, says Baba. They don’t know Me. You, on the other hand, have received your own and My introduction. Now, consider yourself a soul and remember Me alone.