Monday Morning Greetings 2020 #31 – Inspiration and the Path of Bhakti

August 3rd, 2020

Last week, my new book, Monday Morning Greetings: Giving Strength to the Week, went to print. It contains more than three years of my weekly posts. When I skimmed through the articles in the galley, it was hard to imagine how I was able to come up with something somewhat original to write about every week.

 

Of course, many posts came from an event during the week that sparked a realization, but that was certainly not always the case. Sometimes an idea came from a weekly inspiration that suddenly popped into my mind, often the day before I needed to start my writing. I can’t claim any major significance to what I write, but many great artistic compositions or startling scientific discoveries are reportedly born from inspiration, where brilliant and often fully formed ideas enter the mind far beyond one’s conscious endeavor, as if from an external source. This is how Mozart described such a creative process:

 

“When I feel well and in good humor when I am taking a drive or walk…thoughts crowd into my mind as easily as you could wish. Whence and how do they come? I do not know and have nothing to do with it… once I have a theme, another melody comes, linking itself with the first one, in needs of the composition as a whole. It does not come to me successively, with its various parts worked out in detail, as they will be later on, but it is in its entirety that my imagination lets me hear.”

 

Mozart is such a good example of demonstrating the power of inspiration, and there are several ways to explain it from the Vedic perspective – but back to the subject of my inspiration, the main subject of the post.

 

One of the most powerful effects for me in the experience of inspiration is the strengthening of faith in God, for higher guidance seems to have much more explanatory power to describe the phenomena of inspiration than randomness, the only alternative explanation.

 

Inspiration also seems to have a special place on the path of bhakti. Bhakti is the path of grace, which means that a dedicated practitioner is able to achieve far beyond their capability in service and practice. By its very nature, bhakti is therefore the path of inspiration, the descent of higher guidance.

 

“To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” (Bg. 10.10)

 

It is interesting here how easily in bhakti inspiration generates feelings of mercy or kindness, because no matter how great the idea one comes up with, or however brilliant the plan to execute it, both are ultimately the mercy or inspiration of Krishna.

 

“I am situated in everyone’s heart, and from Me comes remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness […]” (Bg. 15.15)

 

Inspiration is therefore a powerful tool to cultivate humility, for the experience of inspiration informs us that no matter how much we accomplish, our achievements are dependent on the grace of God.

 

I am excited that Monday Morning Greetings: Giving Strength to the Week has finally gone to press. Do I feel a sense of accomplishment? I can’t say I don’t, but thankfully in writing it I’ve had enough experiences of something greater than me working through me to be convinced that it is all the mercy of guru and Krishna.

 

 

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