persecutions we read of in the history of Islam and Christianity are of course, extreme
illustrations of this or iconoclastic zeal or religious massacres. For the Hindu
Ananya-bhakti has rarely resulted in such intolerance or iconoclastic zeal or religious
massacres. For the Hindu monotheist has always recognized that the gods whom others
worship are only different forms of his own Ista Devata.
Lastly, Ekanta-bhakti is the purest (sattivika) type of bhakti. Here the
worshipper loves God for His own sake and not for His gifts. In the other two types God is
worshipped more for His gifts material and spiritual than for himself. When we suffer from
want, when we are in pain and sorrow and when death snatches away our dear ones, we
naturally fly to Him for refuge and pray for the satisfaction of our wants as well as for
comfort and consolation.
But when once He is allowed to come into our heart, the peace
that He brings is
so great that we gradually learn to crave for Him alone at all times in, prosperity as
well as adversity. In fact, when He comes to dwell in us, we become indifferent to
external prosperity and adversity. His presence is our prosperity and His absence our
greatest adversity. When He is present we can tide over every difficulty. But when He
withdraws Himself as He often does even from his greatest devotees, we fall from the
heights of illumination and creep along our considerable ways of routine and sin. In such
periods of darkness we have to hold our sculls in patience, faithfully discharge our
duties and pray in solitude, as fervently as our heavy hearts allow us to do, for the
home-coming of the departed One.