Someone recently asked me to write something about devotion. It would be easy enough to put down some soft and lovely words about waves of love and beauty. They would be true and inspiring. However, there is something here that, though delicate and easily misunderstood, reveals an exquisite aspect of devotion if it can be conveyed.
Let’s start by acknowledging that throughout history, people have been devoted to many different things, not all of them laudable. Extremists in the world today are highly devoted to their cause. It seems that extremists would agree with most anything we say about devotion. We could say devotion comes from deep within. They would agree. We could say devotion satisfies and fulfills not only the heart, but also the mind. They would agree. We could say it is the result of wisdom and discernment. They would agree. We could say to look to the wise, the ancient masters, for direction. They would agree. It seems fanatics and devotees have all too much in common.
As Socrates said, the only true knowing is that you know nothing. Yet everyone longs. Stripped away from the superficialities of what you think you long for, we all long for the same one thing. Call it fulfillment; call it God; call it what you will. But what is true devotion? It is the pursuit of that longing. We are like iron filings around a magnet or moths around a candle flame. We long. We are drawn toward… It does not stop. We are eternally devoted.
Real devotion has its beauty, not in the concrete, but in the abstract. Just as all things in our solar system are drawn toward the Sun, all things gravitate back to Oneness. As you get closer, the pull is stronger. You come to know the nature of what pulls you more and more clearly as you get closer and closer to it. Your inner experience of that which pulls you along the way is, in and of itself, called “devotion”.
Wow, speechless… I am so lucky to have met you, and be able to receive guidance from you Maharshiji. I am extremely thankful for your response.
Beautiful. I adore this pull toward oneness. What a gift we humans are given.
Wow, this touched an awareness I had months ago. Had a friend that facilitated a study group. Years ago had attended some classes prior to our studying with you Maharshi. All was alright, but not there. About a year ago they approached me again for another book. I decided I would go, only because they were friends and I missed seeing them. About two weeks into the book study I knew it was so superficial compared to what we are learning from you. I called and quit. Let them know it just didn’t work for me. It hurt their feelings so much that they won’t talk to me anymore. It doesn’t matter, I knew this was good for their place in life, but not me. I knew I was wasting my energy. Tried to share where I am and how I am growing….all about devotion.
I read every blog, watch what is happening at Mt. Soma. Wow is the only way I can share my feelings.
Very Beautiful. When visiting Mount Soma, you can see that yearning and devotion in the faces and attitudes of the asharam students. Very beautiful.
I have been told by scholarly students about a practice or state of devotion called Bakti yoga and a phenomenon called bava. (Not sure I have the spelling right.)
Are these concepts? Monastic practices? Do these relate to Devotion and could you please explain?
Bhakti yoga is commonly thought of as the spiritual practice of devotion as a path of evolution. However, true bhakti only comes after enlightenment. It is the result of a level of refinement one attains AFTER one is established in the Transcendent. This is not something that is commonly understood. Commonly, Bhakti yoga is more about mood making than true Bhakti. Of course, devotion when done in a mature manner can culture the heart and refine the physiology prior to enlightenment.
Bhava is an ecstatic state of union with God attained in Bhakti yoga. Commonly is it more like a trance state of sorts resulting from mood making. Degrees of bhava are of course attainable prior to enlightenment, but the kite can only really soar once it is stabilized with a tail.
What an exquisite blog! “We long. We are drawn toward……It does not stop. We are eternally devoted.” Ever since this blog was posted a few days ago, I have been thinking about it, feeling into it 24/7.
For some of my life, I wondered whether the ongoing longing I experience, starting in infancy, might be an escape from what happened, what didn’t happen and what might happen. i.e. conditioning.
Thank you for presenting this beautiful concept of longing, of devotion in a way I could hear it and carry it with me whither I go. Quietly, quietly eternally in my very being. What a relief.! Somewhere deep inside me I knew that but couldn’t get past wrestling with having to “earn” ………. Whew!
Thank you…beautiful….thank you.