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Bhukti, Mukti, and Bhakti

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I had the opportunity to listen to the Hindi discourse given by Sri

Kripaluji Maharaj in Syama-Shyam Dham at Bhuvaneshvar, Orissa, India,

about Bhukti (Material desires and enjoyments), Mukti (Liberation)

and Bhakti (Divine Love) while explaining a song verse which the

devotees were singing from his book 'Vraja Rasa Madhuri':


nita sevaa maangum shyamaa-shyam teri

na bhukti maangum na mukti maangum mai


O My Divine Couple Radha-Krishna!

I only beg for Your eternal service in selfless Divine Love

and never ever ask for the fulfillament of worldly desires

nor even for the liberation.




I'll try to give a brief summary of the his explanation:


First one has to understand the 3 kinds of joy and bliss sought for

by the seekers in general.

(Actually there are 10 kinds, out of which the first three are known

as material while the rest 7 are spiritual)


One kind of enjoyment is inert and dull, lifeless, it is derived from

Mayic material sources by the physical body and sense organs which

are also mayic and inert in nature.

This is not to be called as happiness at all because there is no true

happiness in the Mayic world. But the souls mistake it for true

happiness, as a thirsty person chasing the mirage imagining it to be


Other examples are the dog biting a dry bone but enjoying its taste

mixed with his own blood and the thumb sucking child enjoying its own

saliva but imagining there was some pleasure in the 'thumb'.


Though many, many lives were spent enjoying the worldly pleasures, as

there was no true happiness in them, the souls could never be

satisfied. But the quest continues in all wrong directions until the

soul can attain ultimate spiritual bliss.


Sri Veda Vyasa had said this in Bhagavatam:


yatpRthi vyAM vrIhi yavaM hiraNyaM pazavaH striyaH

nAlame kasya paryAptam tasmAt tRSNAM parityajet



(Bhagavatam 9.19.13)



Similarly sant Tulasi said in Ramayan -



jyo prati lAbha lobha adhikAyI



"Even if a man acquires all the wealth and possessions of the world

with ease,


the disease of desire will go on multiplying!!!"



Therefore it is ridiculous to aim for satisfaction of desires through

ordinary material objects and subjects."



Lord had also declared in Bhagavad Gita 7.4, 5. that mind, body and


are all inert and material while the spirit soul alone is the

consciousness and eternal.


So any joy obtained by the material subjects through the material

objects is simply inert and lifeless.

The same objects or material persons which had been a source of

pleasure become a source of disgust and even pain in course of time

as there was no real joy or happiness in them to start with but only

dull and transient pleasure.


Even this inert material (so called) happiness derived from material

things, is again divided into Tamasic nature (joys obtained in mode

of ignorance- drinking alcohol, taking drugs and killing, violence

etc.,), Rajasic nature (joys obtained in mode of passion- happiness

derived through the attachment to family, belongings and money,

power, worldly ambitions etc.,), and Sattvic nature - joys obtained

in mode of goodness (through charity, good deeds worshipping

Demigods, doing sacrifices and thus receiving the pleasures of

heavenly abodes)


All these three are Mayic, temporary and unreal, always under the

influence of Maya, the material energy of the Lord.

These are all together classified as 'Bhukti'.


Second one is 'Mukti' which is unlimited spiritual bliss, known as

liberation, permanaent release from Maya and experienced eternally

the bliss of the Formless God. The soul does not maintain its

individuality but totally loses its 'antah karana'- sense organs,

mind, heart, intellect and ego, along with its capability of enjoying

through spiritual senses just as a river merging into the sea, just

as the bliss experienced in dreamless state of sound sleep with no

identification or awareness of individuality.


This is also known as 'the bliss of Brahman'. There are five types of

Mukti- Liberation and all of them are beyond Maya.

They are Saarshti (achieving the Divine opulence of the Lord),

Salokya (obtaining the Divine abode), Sarupya (attaining the same

Divine form of the Lord), Saamipya (attaing close association of the

Lord) and Sayujya (merging permanently into the Divine form of the

Lord). The last one is forbidden for the attainment of Bhakti,

selfless Divine Love and Bliss.


The subtle difference in the bliss of Mukti (of impersonal God) and

Bhakti (of Personal God with Divine form) can be explained with the

example of a pregnant mother's happiness and the maternal pleasures of

enjoying the born child and bringing him up.


Having the same child in side her own being is definitely a joy to

the expectant mother but her joys multiply after the birth of the

child with more new and continuously changing pastimes of the growing


Seeing, hugging, listening and caring for the live child by her side

gives more bliss to the mother than the baby in her own tummy.


If we notice that the cow has overflowing milk in her udder but it is

of no use for the cow. Even though the milk is in herself, it is of

no use for the cow, moreover it is difficult to carry the weight

around. This delicious product of the cow, the milk has to be brought

outside of the cow to relish its taste. The nourishing benefits of

the milk are utilized only by those who milk the cow's udder and

drink it!


Similarly merging and becoming one with the Soul of our soul is truly

blissful but to see, hear, touch, taste and serve the Supreme soul

through Divine senses in selfless Love is hundred times more blissful!


High class Bhakti - Divine Love is selfless in nature. Fulfilling

one's own desires is not true Love. Divine Love must be selfless,

only for the sake of Divine Beloved, the Lord.


Divine Lovers have no quarrels or conflicts because there is no trace

of selfishness between Them unlike the worldly lovers.

The great devotee, grand-father Bhishma of Maha Bharata war, who

happened to be on the opposite side of Lord Krishna, immensely

enjoyed even the wrath and beauty of the fighting Lord Who tried to

kill him on the battle field.


The topmost (third) one is Bhakti, Prema-Ananda, Divine Love Bliss,

in which the spirit soul enjoys constant association and exchange of

selfless service of the Lord through Divine transcendental body and



This again has more gradations. The Divine bliss of Vaikuntha,

Dwaraka, Mathura, Vrindavana. In the sacred Abode of Vraja, the Lord

is served with intimate loving sentiments of friendship, parental

love and paramorship.


Vraja Rasa, the Divine Bliss of Vrindavana again becomes finer and

finer in Kunja where only Gopis, the Milkmaids exchange loving

relations with their Lord Beloved, in Nikunja Rasa where only the

pricipal eight personal associate Gopis of Sri Radha have access for

the loving service of the Divine Couple and finally the Rasa -

transcendental Divine Love Bliss culminates in the ultimate Supreme

Bliss of 'Nibhrita Nikunja Rasa' where only the Divine

Couple, Lord Radha Krishna enjoy pastimes together.


Jaya Sri Radhey!


(Translated by


Dr. Jaya, USA)

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