More on Devotion as a Path to Enlightenment – Part 1/2

Written by Wes Annac, The Culture of Awareness

Previously, we learned about the qualities of Bhakti Yoga, which is known as the path of devotion, and I’d like to continue discussing devotion here. Personally, I think it’s a very helpful and important divine quality that helps us find Source in a deeper way, and the more committed we are to the spiritual path, the further we’ll naturally go.

Were it not for devotion, the people in our past (and present) who worked hard to awaken and motivate others might not have cared enough to do their work. The various spiritual teachers we’ll here from here were wholly devoted to the spiritual path, and we have a wealth of helpful information to sift through as a result.

If all of humanity were devoted to say, cleaning up and restoring the planet, I think we’d have our Nova Earth in a few short decades. If we were all devoted to finding a higher state of consciousness, the collective vibration would probably be raised to sufficient heights for contact with the Company of Heaven in a few short weeks.

These, among plenty of other examples, cast devotion in a very important light. Because of my own devotion to this path and the heart-centered work that comes with it, I’d like to write more about it and it’s helpfulness to our ascension and/or obtainment of enlightenment.

Sri Krishna, an embodiment of Source, tells us that devotion is the absolute best path home.

“Neither by study of the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by alms-giving, nor by rituals can I be seen as you have seen me [Arjuna]. But by single-minded and intense devotion, that Form of mine may be completely known, and seen, and entered into.” (1)

He also encourages us to turn from our ‘joyless world’ to the world of Source.

“You find yourself in this transient, joyless world. Turn from it, and take your delight in me. Fill your heart and mind with me, bow down to me in self-surrender. If you set your heart upon me thus, and take me for your ideal above all others, you will come into my Being.” (2)

Doing so will also free us from karma, we’re told.

“If your heart is united with me, you will be set free from karma even in this life, and come to me at the last.” (3)

If we unflinchingly devote ourselves to Source, we’ll accelerate our individual and collective evolution and free ourselves from the karmic cycle once and for all. Devotion to Source provides an increasingly pure and refined understanding of our creator, and those of us who are ready to transcend the lower vibrations will benefit greatly from increasing our devotion.

The ‘highest state of being’, Sri Krishna tells us, can only be achieved with pure devotion.

“But behind the manifest and the unmanifest, there is another Existence, which is eternal and changeless. This is not dissolved in the general cosmic dissolution. It [has] been called … the imperishable. To reach it is said to be the greatest of all achievements. It is my highest state of being.

“Those who reach it are not reborn. That highest state of being can only be achieved through devotion to Him in whom all creatures exist, and by whom this universe [is] pervaded.” (4)

Most conscious seekers are pretty devoted to finding a higher state of consciousness, and from what Sri Krishna says here, it seems that our devotion truly will lead us onward. If we act on this devotion and produce spiritually inspired works of creative art that uplift the people around us, we’ll find that this work naturally raised our vibration.

We’ll see that, in most cases, our devotion was responsible for the helpful things we did, and this goes beyond creativity. Devotion to a loving lifestyle could cause us to help others in big ways, for example, and it goes without saying that we’ll help a lot of people if we’re devoted to serving mankind.

Even if someone has ‘sinned’ (acted hateful/selfish) all their life, they can turn themselves around with simple devotion to Source, Sri Krishna tells us.

“Though a man be soiled With the sins of a lifetime, Let him but love me, Rightly resolved, In utter devotion: I see no sinner, That man is holy, Holiness soon Shall refashion his nature To peace eternal; O son of Kunti, Of this be certain: The man that loves me, He shall not perish.” (5)

I appreciate this quote, because it displays that Source is all-loving and would never condemn any soul to a fiery inferno for their perceived sins in life. I’ve come to understand ‘hell’ in a different way, and I think it’s a place in the fourth dimension that people create for themselves based on their greed and hatefulness in life.

I don’t think Source wants any soul to suffer, but if one creates this suffering for themselves, there’s nothing Source can do to untangle them from an existence they chose. We have universal freewill, on earth and in every other, higher state of consciousness we’ll soon rediscover, and no soul wants to violate it – not even our creator.

The devoted will find Source in their open hearts, Sri Krishna advises.

“The devoted dwell with Him, They know Him always There in the heart, Where action is not.” (6)

A cleared mind is a very proficient instrument for the expression of the heart, and living in the heart is among the best things we can do for ourselves. Discovering the overflowing love that exists in our heart will naturally increase our devotion to Source, and likewise, manually increasing our devotion will reintroduce us to our brimming love.

As long as our thoughts/emotions/perceptions are aimed at the higher; the purer; the more loving, little else matters. We become hollowed-out instruments for the expression of a higher facet of ourselves, and everything flows gracefully and easily.

Footnotes:

  1. Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 97.
  2. Ibid., 85.
  3. Ibid., 84.
  4. Ibid., 77.
  5. Ibid., 84-5.
  6. Ibid., 59

Concluded in Part 2 tomorrow.

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