‘Bhav’ (Spiritual emotion) means remembering God whole heartedly or feeling immense love for Him.
Importance of bhav
There is a saying in Marathi, ‘Bhav tehte Dev’, meaning, ‘Where there is bhav, there is God’. God is always pleased with those who maintain bhav for Him. He takes care of them by helping them in adverse situations and in their times of troubles. We experience constant bliss when we develop bhav. Our mind starts becoming steady and peaceful.
How to develop bhav ?
1. Prayer : Pleading earnestly for fulfillment of our desires, by surrendering at the Holy feet of God means to offer prayer.
1 A. Why is it necessary to pray? : Whenever we desire something, we be seech our mother. The same way, God is like our mother, and hence if we earnestly pray to Him, our call will reach Him and He will immediately come to help us.
1 B. Benefits of prayer
1. Prayer reduces anxieties, enhances faith in God, and helps in achieving concentration of the mind.
2. We are blessed by God’s grace.
3. We are protected from negative energies.
1 C. Prayers to be offered everyday
1. Before taking a bath : O Deity of water, let my mind be purified along with my body with your Holy water, and let me be able to imbibe your Chaitanya (Divine consciousness).
2. Before commencing studies : O Shri Ganesh, annihilator of calamities and endower of intellect, let the obstacles in the way of my studies be overcome. Endow me with good intellect and energy so that I can study well.
3. Before taking meals : O Mother Annapoorna, let this food be eaten by me with bhav as your Holy sacrament. Help me imbibe Divine energy and Chaitanya through it.
2 A. What is gratitude ? : Feeling that, ‘I achieved certain things due to God’ or ‘God does so much for me’, developing love and respect for Him, means gratitude.
2 B. Importance of gratitude
1. Children, what happens when you forget your pen at home, and your friend in the school offers his pen to you ? While returning the same to him, you thank him. In the same way, God has given us birth, given us air, water, food and many other things necessary for living. He has also given us a healthy body and intellect. Hence, we should express gratitude towards Him.
2. When we offer gratitude at God’s Holy feet on feeling that, ‘God only does everything for us’, we do not feel proud about anything.
(Conversation with God through an emotion of surrender)
3 A. What is atma-nivedan ? : Children, in order to enhance bhav, talk to God mentally. Tell Him freely all the good or bad thoughts in your mind, good or bad incidents in that have occurred throughout the day, and also the difficulties you encounter. Talking to God in this way is atma-nivedan.
3 B. Talk to God as a friend : If it is initially difficult to talk to Him mentally, then place before you a picture of the Deity you like, and tell Him/Her everything that is in your mind. As we speak to our close friend very freely and easily, the same way treat God as your friend and talk to Him. Before performing any task, ask, ‘O God, how should I do this ? How would you like to get it done ?’
3 C. Benefits of talking to God
1.By talking to God mentally, we come close to Him and experience love for Him; our mind becomes light.
2. We become aware that God is constantly with us.
3. Whatever we tell God, He listens to everything, and he guides us accordingly in times of difficulties.
So children, if you pray, offer gratitude and do atma-nivedan as mentioned above, it will help you to increase your bhav towards God, and you shall be able to acquire God’s grace very easily.