Bhakti Song 35 – Bhakti is the Only Way

When I was writing a paper called ‘Bhakti is the only way’ at Sat-tal ashram on 04-07-1991, I immediately stopped my writing and wrote the following poem.

பக்தியே வழி

சித்தமது சுத்தமானால்

சேர்ந்திடும் ஞானமதால்

அகக் கண்ணும் தான்திறக்க

ஆன்மாவின் வடிவமதை

அறிந்திடலாம் உள்ளபடி

என்றுரைத்த வேதாந்த

வழிதன்னில் சென்றவரும்

இல்லைஇது உண்மைஇல்லை

என்றுணர்ந்து மனம்திரும்பி

வேறுவழி ஏதுமுண்டோ

உய்வதற்கு உலகில் இனி

என்றே திகைத்து நிற்க

நானறிவேன் அந்த வழி

நாதனவன் பாதமதை

அளப்பரிய பக்தியினால்

ஆரத் தழுவி நின்றால்

பக்தனவன் குரல் கேட்டு

பரமபதம் தான் நீத்து

பரிவுடனே தேடிவந்து

பக்தன்மேல் அன்புகொண்டு

பாங்குடனே ஏற்றிடுவான்

பக்தனிவன் சாட்சியிது

தாமதமேன் தயக்கமுமேன்

தஞ்சம் அடை அவன்பாதம்


English Translation

By cleansing the mind

Through acquiring knowledge

As the inner eye is opened

One can see the nature of atman

In its true form

Thus says the Vedanta

And following that path

Realizing that

this is not the true way

when they become standstill

with repentance

asking the question:

‘Is there any other path

To be saved on this world?’

(I responded by saying)

I know that path

If we clinging the feet of the Lord

With overwhelming bhakti

By hearing the cry of the bhakta

giving up His divine abode

Seeking him with much concern

And showing love to the bhakta

He will receive her with much dignity

This is the testimony of the bhakta

Why any more delay or hesitation

Take refuge at His feet.



Vedanta gained its supremacy only after the Hindu renaissances faced the challenges of Christianity from Rommohan Roy. Orientalism added strength to it. Whereas Hinduism, even among the so-called high caste people, remained popular based on bhakti and rituals. This trend of glorifying Vedanta continued in post-Independent India, particularly among the educated high caste people as the true representation of Hinduism. In the early days of my bhakti and personal studies which I began from 1984 I too was interested to know more about Vedanta. But my root in bhakti tradition helped me soon to understand the limitation of Vedanta to follow the Lord. Though I have done some elementary level of study on Vedanta, it never appealed to my mind very much. Of course it has its role and importance in shaping the philosophical tradition of Hinduism. Anyone wants to know Hinduism in its totality cannot ignore a proper study on Vedanta. But for me investing time to do it will be more academic in nature than the real need for my life in the Lord.