Fortresses have protected islands, civilizations, and communities for centuries. They were eventually fortified by moats, animals, arms, gunpowder, metal, and artillery. And yet they failed when the enemy had breached the rank and file within.
Climbing to the top of the Portugese Fort on the Mozambique Island, which is fortified by approximately 90-some odd cannons, and staring out at the vast, clear blue sea and skies, made me think of the many ways in which we try to protect and seclude ourselves from "the other" that lies far beyond.
Who do we mistrust? What do we fear? Why is someone or something foreign? From what do we need protection? Why do we feel the need to protect and secure from that which is so far, but not from that which is near? We always try to protect ourselves from that which surrounds us, but perhaps the enemy is not around us-- but within
My insecurities, execessive anger, lust, avarice, and greed--my constant need for approval and appreciation are my strongest foes. They lie not with or in my enemies, but rather within my own heart and mind
Bhakti is protecting you from yourself. Bhakti is using your soul to protect your mind, heart, and body. Bhakti is knowing that your greatest friends and foes lie within. Bhakti is making friends with your foes so that fortresses serve a ceremonial role--just a reminder of what it means to ward off your inner enemies and instincts. Bhakti is fighting the struggle within before pointing your arms outward. Bhakti is learning to be intimate with yourself--your thoughts, actions, and flaws.
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