Hereafter, I attempt to analyze my feelings after a busy vacation.
Boorish as it may seem, popular bhakti is - a sannyasin knows - more than pretense and empty rites.
It does appear crude, conventional, devoid of even an attempt at engaging the numinous. But the compassionate mind will see: in that well-trodden paraphernalia of cameras and portable loos and asphalted pilgrimages crowded by complaining elders and noisy kids, there is still, faint but unbroken, an intuition that we share. That there is something higher. Something worth a sacrifice of commodities. Something that outranks us in the pecking order of Being.
Bhakti is poetry for the wordless. There is something elemental to it. Something that cannot be encompassed by its rationalizations, its social trappings - tactical incentives are pretexts for doing as our heart tells us. At the core, we are infected with something that feeds on the thought of heaven, the view from the cliff, the blunt kiss of endless fluid masses above or below. Bhakti gives it an outlet, an engine, a form: it replaces terrible mysteries by tame ones - the temple bell, the shutter snap; their intuitions of time and space and happenstance, of having crossed paths with godhead and picked up a fallen leaf or two.