In this poetic excerpt from his book, Deva Bhumi, Ram Dass’ closest Indian friend and brother, KK Sah, illuminates the meaning of bhav on the path of devotion.
In honoring the life, love, and friendship of KK Sah – one of Maharajji’s closest companions, and pivotal friend and mentor to countless Western devotees – we are highlighting one of the greatest lessons and offerings KK has shared with us through his wisdom, song, and devotion since he first helped open the channel to Maharajji for Westerners in the early 1970s. If KK could be described in one word, that word is: bhav.
Bhav: the emotional, devotional pull of immersive absorption into spirit, or oneness.
KK Sah on Bhav
“There is a quote from Kabir’s poetry: Dunija me hu duniya ka talabgaar nahin hu bazaar se guzara hu kharidaar nahin (I am passing through the market but I am not purchasing.) Maharajji used to quote this often. For a real siddha, everything is like dust because he has already crossed that level of desire. He can sleep on pebbles and mud or in a five-star hotel.
The only thing you can offer to God or a siddha is the bhava of devotion and love; singing to his glory (as the Saint poets of India have done). Mirabai used to sing and see her beloved Krishna through that singing. She would become unconscious because she became one with Krishna. I heard that you could reach God through singing without doing any sadhana. But to actually sing to God you have to combine the words of the song with the beauty and bliss you feel from what those words are describing. You have to create that vision in your mind.
I remember one devotee singing for Maharajji, and Maharajji was listening seriously. The singer went into samadhi because he could see in Maharajji the beauty of that God about whom he was singing. Bhajan (songs) should come from the inner core of your heart, and then it will have a real effect on you. It is the bhav that counts. It should go totally towards God, without caring what you sound like. Your whole being can be changed while you are singing bhajan to God.”
– KK Sah, from Deva Bhumi: The Abode of the Gods in India
To share firsthand the devotional bhav, hypnotic music, and enveloping mantras of KK Sah, we have released The Bhav of KK Sah, an immersive album of devotional songs and kirtan, featuring KK Sah, Krishna Das, and Raghu Markus.
– राम राम
Pick up a digital or physical copy of: The Bhav of KK Sah