Sri Krishna said, “Arjuna, the Supreme Spirit in whom all beings abide and by whom all this is pervaded, is attainable through ananya bhakti” (BG – 08:22). Thus, development of ananya bhakti is indispensable for the realization of the Source of Consciousness by a spiritual aspirant.

What is ananya bhakti? Sri Kapila defines it beautifully:

“If the mind of a person is incessantly attracted towards Me, without any reason or expectation, just on hearing about Me Who resides in the heart of everyone, just as the river Ganga runs towards the sea, then the person is said to exhibit pure bhakti” (Bhagavatam 3-29-11&12).

There are two significant components in this definition of ananya bhakti or nirguna bhakti or pure bhakti. One, the attraction should be directed towards God residing in all sentient beings, and not just in temples or spiritual sky.

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Second, the attraction should be devoid of any expectation. Love is quite a mysterious word for the mankind. We seem to love a person or a thing today and in a few days we happen to hate the same person or thing. That's because our love is relative and based on a condition or reason. That's why when the reason is no longer satisfied or when the condition is no longer maintained, our love towards that person or thing dries up.

All our love seems to rely on some condition or reason. If we have not experienced unconditional love before, how are we going to recognize it? We need not lose hope. You are experiencing such a true love towards a person everyday – yes, see the mirror!

Your love for yourself is true – it is not based on any condition or reason. We love ourselves consistently throughout our lifetime. But the problem is that we identify ourselves with body-mind. Our love towards ourselves is actually directed towards the Self or the universal Consciousness or Paramatma residing within our soul, whether we know it or not. Sri Suka said, “The Self of a person is, to that person, the most beloved of all” (Bhagavatam 10-14-54).

In the entire world you can unconditionally love only your Self, nothing else and nobody else. But if you can find your Self in another person, then you can love him as well – not for the sake of that person but for the sake of your Self. Thus you can love your Guru only if you have the faith that your Self in your soul and the Self in the soul of your Guru are one and the same. When we develop this faith, we also develop the faith that the Self in the soul of our Guru is identical to the Self in the heart of all sentient beings of this universe; for, Guru is always in oneness with all-pervading Paramatma.

Although our heart can easily accept this profound concept, it is completely beyond the capacity of our mind to digest. Therefore, ananya bhakti cannot be developed by ourselves, but only by the grace of our Guru Who is in oneness with the all-pervading Self or the universal Consciousness.

Source:- Ganesan S