Few questions that flashed my mind, need your advise on this.
What about the people who does upasana of ishta devatha without Manthra Japam?
How will they attain a state of complete merger with the Lord.. Is manthra japam is only way to merge with our Lord?
Whats your suggestion on this?
I think you are confused about bhakti and upasana...
The very base of upasana is mantra japam and puja... (whether its internally or externally is a separate topic.... according to me in both ways)
Whereas bhakti has no limitations....
Doing ananya bhakti can directly take a person to the state of complete merger with Lord.... A bhakta can attain moksha directly....
Bhakti kim Na: Karothi... (When there is bhakti in heart, what is not possible?)
But do we have that ananya sharanagata bhakti today? - this is the main question
We tend to do all mistakes in our puja and immediately quote Kannappa Nayanar to our rescue...
Are we bhakhthas of the calibre of Kannappa Nayanar? Is our love for the Lord absolutely pure and undiluted, and is our motive always so pure ?
Thats the reason the Bhakti is channelized properly through a structural and procedural method called upasana...
In brief, Swami sees the attitude behind the action, than the action itself.
If there is no love even if one gives ganges water from Gold vessel, He will not care for it.
So the Pure Love is the base for Bhakti - which has to be there for upasana.
Most of us do this mistake of getting tempted to think: 'After all, we are performing the Upasna of our own divine Mother/Father; will She/He not tolerate our minor mistakes ?'
It is right that one can perform Upasana out of love, for our divine Mother and Father without too much of rigid rules. But in that case,there is not need for any yantra and moola mantra... even a single drop tear from the devotee's eye is a very big puja.
So you need not confuse both.... if you have ananya bhakti enjoy the Lord - But when it comes to procedure... follow it strictly
But understand very clearly - even for upasana - Bhakti is the first step
Bhakti is the base of everything... without Bhakti upasana is meaningless....
Bhaktiless upasana is mere mechanical ritual
But when upasana is built on a foundation called Bhakthi, the Lord has no other option and HE MUST manifest there - beyond doubt....