Jeeva, Akankshi,Sadhaka and Bhakta
In an environment where Bhakti comes with different flavours, with different sects practising various methods to attain the Prayojana (Ultimate Goal), it becomes obligatory for one serious in Bhakti, to get an absolute standpoint from where one is able to measure one’s own position with respect to Divinity and thereby take necessary steps to attain the goal, if at all attainment of this Goal in itself becomes the base desire in one’s consciousness.
There are four basic stages of human evolution in the world of Bhakti. The minute free-will of the jeeva is the major ingredient in the progressive attainment right from the stage of a Jeeva to the stage of Bhakta. The will of the Lord and the engagement of His energies are simply dependent on the minute free-will of the jeeva. The free-will of the jeeva is considered to be the small rope that ties the cow to the hitch. The jeeva is likened to a cow and the hitch is Jeeva Maya. The small piece of rope is the limited freedom that the jeeva enjoys and usually when the jeeva tries to cross the limit, the hitch pulls the rope and strangulates the cow. This is the position of a jeeva.
By good fortune if the jeeva decides to surrender to a God-realized master and engages in Sadhana, the jeeva’s free-will and intelligence is extended. This is the stage of test. The position of the jeeva becomes that of an Akankshi or an aspirant who has setup a new goal towards which the jeeva is gravitating, the Lord in this case and his support systems are the Guru and Sadhana. However the free-will and intelligence of the Akankshi which is now extended by the Lord remains the most important tool in the hands of the Akankshi. By constant association with the Guru in the initial stages of Sadhana, the aspirant or Akankshi starts his journey towards the goal. The mind of the aspirant which is filled with lot of karmic debris starts expressing itself outside in the form of life-events, emotions and so-on. The moment one tackles these things based on the new intelligence given to one by the Lord, that aspect of karma will be permanently removed from one’s life and consciousness. One has to remain steady in Sadhana. If one loses focus from the final Goal, one may get stranded in this position for a long time inspite of being with a Sadhguru and having got the best scientific process for Sadhana. The external situation is the realization of one’s assumed internal nature. The life-situations are created in the aspirant’s life by the Lord Himself. A person in sadhana should not consider his position in concomitance with a jeeva who is not in sadhana. A jeeva not in sadhana is being constantly punished by jeeva Maya whereas a person who is in Sadhana under a Sadhguru is under the protective covering of Yoga Maya. Yoga Maya tests the Akankshi just like Jeeva Maya, so in a way the aspirant has to face this Maya and come out victorious. Till the time one does not use free-will, one cannot surpass the seeming presence of Jeeva Maya. As situations in life gets conquered the Akankshi becomes adept in Sadhana and becomes rock-steady and fearless, even ready to wage a war against personified Kali.
Consistent practice in Sadhana will attract Guru Tattva inside the Akankshi and in course of time the Akankshi becomes self-realized. Thus the Akankshi attains the position of a full blown Sadhaka. A Sadhaka is one who cannot be troubled by the material world. The Sadhaka attracts the transcendental “Leela Shakti” of the Lord and develops other-worldly intelligence. He is a person who is a “sthita pragya”, completely equanimous in all situations. Such a sadhaka becomes a tool in the hands of Krishna. The Sadhaka only serves the Lord and has realized the self. Such a Sadhaka is available for service as assigned to him by the Supreme Lord Himself. The sadhana of this sadhaka continues as before. The realizations of a Sadhaka are given to him by the Lord. He is able to appreciate and taste the transcendental flavours of various pastimes of the Lord which are a function of the Leela Shakti of the Lord. The Sadhaka has also realized his spiritual position in the eternal world and what remains to be achieved is to enter the domain of the Lord in the Lord’s physical presence.
The Jeeva is ever lost and kicked by Maya. The Akankshi takes up to Bhakti Yoga and goes on performing Bhakti Yoga or Bhajana Kriya till he attains the status of a Sadhaka. The Sadhaka performs Bhajana because at this stage “Kriya” or the need for doing stops and only the sweetness remains. There is no force and Bhajana becomes the natural quality of a Sadhaka. The Sadhaka is one who has used his free-will to the maximum and defeated all the situations that the Lord wanted him to defeat leading him to self-realization. The stage of a Bhakta is the last stage where the Bhakta is in personal communion with the Lord. The Lord is now at the beck and call of the Bhakta. A Bhakta is also a siddha, meaning there is nothing more to do or achieve. The Bhakta simply remains on the earthly platform to bless earth with his benign presence. He is a guide and well-wisher or all living entities and an ocean of compassion. He is remains as the incarnation of the Lord on the physical plane, because he truly enters into the Leelas of the Lord and is full with Leela Shakti.