On Bhakti Yoga

by Mark Chmiel

1.

Allen Ginsberg: Well, the Hindus say that this is the Kali Age or Kali Yuga or Kali Cycle, and we are all so sunk in matter, the five senses are matter, sense, that they say there’s absolutely no way out by intellect, by thought, by discipline, by practice, by sadhana, by jnanayoga, nor karma yoga—that is, doing good works—no way out through our own will or our own effort. The only way out that they generally now prescribe, generally in India at the moment, is through bhakti yoga, which is Faith Hope Adoration-Worship, or like probably the equivalent of the Christian Sacred Heart…. the only way you can be saved is to sing. In other words, the only way to drag up, from the depths of this depression, to drag up your soul to its proper bliss, and understanding, is to give yourself, completely to your heart’s desire. The image will be determined by the heart’s compass, by the compass of what the heart moves toward and desires.…The Hindu bhakti is like excess of devotion; you just, you know, give yourself all out to devotion. 276

2.

Allen Ginsberg: … but that the fixed expressions that people have, the habitual expression, the manners, the mode of talk, are all masks hiding this consciousness. 284 The twisted faces of all those people, the faces were twisted by rejection. And hatred of self, finally. The internalization of that rejection. And finally disbelief in that shining self. Disbelief in that infinite self. 285

3.

Allen Ginsberg: Everybody too intransigent. Everybody too mean. 275

 4.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna: Since coming to Sri Ramakrishna, M. had lost all relish for lectures and for books written by English scholars. The only thing that appealed to him now was to see the Master day and night, and hear the words that fell from his blessed lips.

5.

Melita Maschmann: I feel when I travel in a rickshaw through the crowded lanes that everything I see around me does not happen outside me, but within me. The skin enveloping my body has expanded infinitely. It includes everything. I am suddenly reminded of the peculiar physical feeling I had when I saw [Sri Anandamayi] Ma for the first time. I felt, as if my heart—a physical muscle in my breast—had grown to double its size.

6.

Sri Anandamayi Ma: What is chanting? It is just keeping company with Him. When you will be in His company, it will dye your mind His color. He will dye you the color you need. That is why I say you should never leave His company. Keep Him with you in the form of chanting His name. When you keep on doing it, one day it will “occur” in you. You will attain the state where the name will go on in you without effort.

from tonight’s agenda on The Essential Ginsberg

BENARES, INDIA - FEBRUARY 1963: Beat poet Allen Ginsberg points at art poster during February 1963 in his tenement apartment near the banks of the Ganges river in Benaras, India. Ginsberg explored Eastern philosophies with Peter Orlovsky and other founders of the Beat movement during his March '62 - May '63 stay. (Photo by Pete turner/Getty Images)

Allen Ginsberg in India, 1963
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