Question: - Can we not do bhakti without a Guru?

Answer: - We can do bhakti, but it would be a futile attempt.

Question: - Please tell the reason.

Answer: - It is a rule of God that is mentioned in Sukshm Ved: -

Kabir, Guru bin mala ferte, Guru bin detey daan |
Guru bin dono nishfal hain, poochho Ved Puran ||

Kabir, Ram Krishna se kaun bada, unhon bhi Guru keenh |
Teen lok ke ve dhani, Guru aage aadheen ||

Kabir, Ram Krishna badey tinhu pur raja |
Tin Guru band keenh nij kaaja ||

            Meaning: - Without acquiring a Guru, if one tells rosary beads for reciting mantra, and gives donation; both of these are futile. If you have a doubt, then see the evidence in your Vedas and Purans.

            Shrimad Bhagavat Gita is a summary of the four Vedas. In Gita Chapter 2 Verse 7, Arjun has stated that – O Shri Krishna! I am your disciple. I am in your refuge. In Gita Chapter 4 Verse 3, Kaal Brahm, by entering into Shri Krishna ji, said to Arjun that – You are my devotee. There is evidence in the Purans that Shri Ramchandra ji had taken initiation from Sage Vashishth ji, and he used to seek Guru Vashishth ji’s permission to perform tasks in his personal and royal affairs. Shri Krishna ji had received education from Sage Sandeepni ji and Shri Krishna ji’s spiritual guru was Shri Durvasa Rishi ji.

            Supreme God Kabir Ji wants to advise us that – ‘You do not consider anybody greater i.e. more capable than Shri Ram and Shri Krishna ji. They were lords of the three worlds. They also did bhakti by acquiring a guru, and made their human life successful. One should easily realise from this that if any person does bhakti without acquiring a guru, then how much correct they are. In other words, their way of worship is futile.’  

A bhakti that is done without acquiring a guru in imitation of others and as per hearsay information is called bhakti according to Lokved (folklore). The meaning of Lokved is the knowledge of bhakti prevalent in a region that is contrary to the Tatvgyan. Based on Lokved (folklore), this Das (Rampal Das) used to worship Shri Hanuman ji, Baba Shyam ji, Shri Ram, Shri Krishna, Shri Shiv ji and gods and goddesses. In the worship of Hanuman ji, I used to keep a fast on Tuesday and distribute Pfasad of boondi (a sweet). I myself used to eat a choorma soaking in pure ghee and offer boondi made in Dalda Vanaspati Ghee to Baba Hanuman. I used to recite mantras e.g. Hare Ram, Hare Krishna, Krishna-Krishna, Hare-Hare. Somebody told me that: -

Om naam sabse bada, isse bada na koye |
Om naam ka jaap karey, to shuddh aatma hoye ||

            Because of this, I started chanting ‘Om’ naam. ‘Om NamH Shivay’ – I used to chant this mantra of Shiv. ‘Om Bhagvate VasudevaayH NamH’ – I used to chant this mantra of Shiv. Going on pilgrimage, doing charity there, having bath there – I used to do all these as well based on Lokved (folklore).

            Like whenever there used to be episodes of happiness at home, I used to believe that all these are happening due to the aforesaid bhakti of mine. For instance, passing in an examination, getting married, having sons and daughters, getting a job. I used to consider all these episodes of happiness to have occurred due to the above mentioned way of worship. Supreme God Kabir Ji has stated in Sukshm Ved: -

Kabir, peechhe laagya jaaun tha, main lok ved ke saath |
Raaste mein Satguru miley, Deepak dinha haath ||

            The meaning is that this worshipper was doing bhakti based on Lokved, that is, based on baseless stories. I was treading on the path of that way of worship which was opposed to the scriptures. On the way, that is, on the path of bhakti, one day I found a Tatvdarshi Saint. He gave me a lamp of scripture-based way of worship, which was certified in the scriptures, that is, when he made me aware of the true scripture-based way of worship, then my life was saved from being wasted. In the light of the Tatvgyan imparted by the Satguru, I came to know that I was doing wrong bhakti. In Shrimad Bhagavat Gita Chapter 16 Verse 23, it has been said that abandoning the injunctions of the scriptures, those worshippers who behave arbitrarily, neither attain happiness, nor spiritual success and nor salvation, that is, their way of worship is futile. Then in Gita Chapter 16 Verse 24, it has been stated that – Arjun! Therefore, in the state of what should be done and what should not be done, scriptures are the evidence for you.

            The above-mentioned way of worship that this Das (Sant Rampal Das) used to perform, and the entire Hindu society is doing, all that because of not being mentioned in the Gita and the Vedas is a way of worship contrary to the scriptures, which is useless.

Kabir, Guru bin kaahu na paya gyana, jyon thotha bhus chhadey moodh kisaana ||
Kabir, Guru bin Ved padae jo praani, samjahe na saar rahe agyaani ||

            Therefore, one should gain the knowledge of Vedas and other scriptures from Guru ji, so that by performing true scripture-based way of worship, one’s life becomes blessed.