Bhavna – Loving Intention
This week I wish to speak about a beautiful and powerful concept – Bhavna. It’s a Hindi word that is difficult to translate, as it means so many things. But it’s the feeling of it we need to capture, not the literal meaning.
The feeling of bhavna is one of pure intention. It is filled with love and kindness, faith and trust, purity and innocence. These pure loving feelings go a long way towards helping us to move the mountains of challenges in our daily life and help make life go smoothly and joyfully.
An example of bhavna could be that, if you hold a loving intention for someone or something, it is held with absolute faith and conviction. It is filled with the purest of intentions without any expectation or return. It is absolute good wishes. These can be for someone’s well-being, for their success, or for their capacity or talent. This bhavna works so effectively that the person on the receiving end of it is more likely to be enabled to emerge their talent and potential.
In this week I have seen a few cases where people’s lives are working in a never-ending flow of synchronicity, whereas others seem to be stuck in a rut. When we don’t have this ability to create bhavna, life can be dry and unproductive. If we can live our lives with bhavna in our thoughts and feelings, then it helps to oil the wheels of our lives. If we don’t have feelings of bhavna for ourselves, then we won’t be able to have it for others, either.
Old mothers in India are often seen to have bhavna. Even though they may have very little to live on, yet they will still insist on giving a few rupees to the temple, or insist that a brick is bought in their name. The ‘brick’ may be only one out of millions that goes to create a new temple or church or mosque, for example, but the love, faith and good wishes… what we may nowadays call the ‘intention’ or ‘energy’ behind the action… is the key element. These mothers live by a trust and a faith and an absolute knowing that God will do whatever is needed. They live with certainty and good wishes for the task, and very often that is the energy required to make things happen. For money that comes with good wishes goes a lot further than money which is simply transacted, or given out of duty.
Those with bhavna may be thought to be naive or simple because they appear to be working only from their heart and feelings and not using logic or rational thought. But I am not sure that I agree. I feel that, on the contrary, those who have bhavna have understood the deeper and most often logical secrets of life, which is why they are able to keep the heart open and the faith unending.
Perhaps this is a cultural thing, but in my experience I have seen that the Western mind prefers facts and figures, odds and outcomes and logical conclusions to be convinced of a projected success of a task. Only then will they put their faith in it, or their money behind it! The East relies a lot more on their bhavna to create the outcome that want to experience. Now, which is more powerful?
A man woke up one morning with the inspiration to donate 1000 pounds to the local church. As breakfast time came along he felt that perhaps 1000 pounds was too much and maybe 800 would be sufficient, especially since he had a few bills to pay that month. By lunchtime, the amount had dropped again by a few hundred. He grumpily reasoned to himself, no, 500 pounds should be enough. Throughout the day he had many more thoughts of how hard he had worked to earn the money, how he deserved to keep it for himself, and the reasons why he should not part with it so easily. At the end, he gave only 100 pounds.
Throughout the day his pure intentional feelings to serve began to reduce. His head and most importantly his ego started kicking in and they started calculating everything. The purity of intent and therefore the good wishes infused within it, were lost. And the moral of the story is, that when we think too much, instead of feeling inspired from the heart, the selfish part of us comes to the fore. Also along the way, the man would have lost his peace of mind, the joy which comes from giving and serving, and the return of his good karma.
Sometimes when we get these instinctive thoughts of doing something for others or for charity, it’s our pure feelings at work, our faith, it’s a call from the heart, it’s our inner voice speaking. But if we don’t act on those immediately, then our fearful or wicked mind kicks in, and begins to give reasons and excuses as to why we should not do the deed.
Bhavna cannot be forced but it can certainly be encouraged. As we continue to cultivate only pure feelings of faith and trust inside of us, we are able to emit what is inside, outside. Faith and trust for a task, faith and trust for our success, or the success of others, faith and trust for the outcome of a situation, faith and trust in ourselves. This is certainly a good practice to develop.
It’s Time… to cultivate more bhavna in the self and the world. And when you think that first pure thought to serve or give – act on it immediately, before the wicked mind kicks in!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK