This elephant in the image represents me, a spiritual seeker sitting on top of the mess of her mind and staring blankly in the distance, not knowing what to do or which way to go. When I started my spiritual journey, I knew (or so I thought) that Bhakti was the path for me. But as I started delving into it, I saw that Bhakti doesn’t just involve Bhakti (of course I’m speaking from what I observed and the reader must keep in mind that I have no scriptural knowledge, or any knowledge about spirituality for that matter). You can also meditate on god which is dhyaan. I saw no distinct lines between that path or this. It’s like a spectrum, where you can do both, bhakti and dhyaan, or dhyaan without bhakti and so on. I became confused. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of many confusions that were yet to come. In bhakti one should have faith in God. But when you live in modern society, God gets repeatedly questioned. This shook my Bhakti. I often questioned, am I insane for believing in God or investing my time in realizing Him? But then I would think of all the little coincidences around me and the creation around me. How delicately every creature on this planet, the planet itself, our solar system etc., is made. It’s hard to believe that all these things created themselves without any designer working on them. I would also remind myself of great saints like Ramakrishna paramhamsa, Chaitanya mahaprabhu who have seen God. Saints like them have no motive to lie to people.(Also I’m from West Bengal, which is the birth place of these saints so they are widely popular and worshipped here. I heard stories about them from my childhood. Then I would go on about doing my own thing. One fine day, one of Swami’s discourse on youtube shook me up. He asked a simple question, it was something along the lines of, “How do you know God exists? Surely it’s because you have heard it from someone or read it somewhere.” My first reaction was denial. I thought “C’mon Swami don’t say that?!” But then I realised I was just defending my beliefs. I know that God exists because of my conditioning. Had I grown up all alone in a forest without any schooling, cut off from the rest of the world, would I still think that God exists? Would I still have the same spiritual or religious views? The answer, in all its probability would be a big no. My world came crashing down that day. That day is today. It puts a question mark on everything. It puts a question mark on, why I do things and what I do things for. I almost feel like crying while writing about this. Is Bhakti really any different from blind faith or andhvishwas? Is it possible to remain steady in something like blind faith that our society shuns so strongly, something that we have been taught is wrong and foolish from our very childhood. But now I realize that bhakti cannot be dissected with our intellect. In Bhakti we have to take a leap of faith to even pursue it. So, does that mean I have the answer to my questions and confusions now? No. But I’m willing to find out. I’m a seeker now, in true sense of the word. I guess this really is the beginning of my spiritual journey. My journey towards my truth.

Thank you, for reading this and giving me your precious time. 

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Ahana Banerjee

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