3: Kapila’s Instructions to Devahuti -
In the Third Book of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana we have an elaborate presentation of the instructions given by Maharishi Kapila to mother Devahuti. Everyone should read this wondrous conversation between Sage Kapila and Devahuti for the variety of themes dealt with in this connection. Among many other things which are very important from the point of view of a sadhaka, the emphasis that Rishi Kapila lays here is concentration on God as the Supreme Person. The concept of God as a Person is pre-eminent in all religions. We cannot but conceive God as a Great Person, Whose limbs have to be the objects of our concentration. The minute details of this process are described by Kapila in these chapters.
In every religion, we will find that God is conceived as a Person—whether it is the Father in heaven, Allah, Ahura Mazda, or Narayana, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva. Whatever be the nomenclature of this Great Divinity, the idea behind it is the Personality of God. The structure of human individuality is such that it cannot but feel the necessity to encounter the Ultimate Being as a Person, because the devotee expects a response from God. The heart of the devotee does not feel comfortable with the imagination that God is a transparent, ubiquitous pervasiveness which includes the devotee also, so that the possibility of response between the devotee and God is not well defined.
For instance, we hear in the Old Testament that the Jews had a covenant with God. They would deal with God as if He was their caretaker, their well-wisher, and He would fulfil all their requirements. The very feeling that such a covenant with God is possible arises due to the conviction that God is such a Person with Whom we can have concourse.
To be continued ...