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13

 

porarily. But he must be prepared to partake of and be satisfied with any kind of food, whether it is agreeable or disagreeable, and sufficient or insufficient. And no sooner is his most acute need supplied, than he should go back and remain in solitude all by himself, with the thought of God.

 

It should not be implied from the above that begging, as practiced by a large number of so-called Sadhus and other professional beggars, who are a curse to society and a disgrace to spirituality, is here advocated or condoned. On the contrary, it is a fact that the first and foremost law of spirituality and God-finding is to give, from the start to the finish. And the true renouncer, the great hero who has given up all desires—the root cause of beggary—when he begs for and takes food and bare necessities from a man of the world, he gives that man an opportunity to serve and share in the great and noble search for God. In order to elucidate the point we will now discuss Sahkam and Nishkam, the two kinds of Bhakti.

 

A worship may be sincere, it may be from the heart, but if the worshipper offers it with the expectation of any return whether in the shape of worldly benefits or for blessings in the life hereafter, his worship is Sahkam. And this Sahkam is generally connected with the first stage of Bhakti Yoga. When worship from the heart is offered for the sake of worship only, and without any thoughts of reward in this or the next life, it is called Nishkam, and is concerned with the second and the third stage of Bhakti Yoga. True, the aspiration to see and be one with God is the chief motive of the highest worship, but this aspiration is poles asunder from worldly desires. This aspiration is such that even when one comes face to face with God, it remains in full blaze until the Union is effected—as evident from what Hafiz exclaimed when he reached the sixth plane, viz.:

"Khatiram vakhti havas kardi kay binam chizha Ta toora didam na kardi jooz ba didarat haves!"

"I always desired to see different things, but since I have seen You, I desire to see nothing but You."

Efforts may be made to turn Sahkam Bhakti into Nishkam Bhakti even in the first stage. In the beginning worship is necessarily Sahkam. A man may cease to worship God for the sake of temporal gains. But it seldom happens that, while worshipping, a man in the initial stage can help avoiding

 

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