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.
Psalm 91:14-16 displays that Source will be with anyone who expresses love and devotion.
“Because he hath set his love upon me, I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
“With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (7)
I think by ‘long life’ this passage intends to say that love and devotion free us from the karmic cycle, but it could also mean that love naturally makes our physical lives longer. If our love and devotion are turned up so high that we recognize the sacred nature of the physical body, we’ll definitely make a lot of important health choices that’ll ultimately help us live longer.
The spirit is eternal no matter what, but I still think we should make some kind of effort to take care of our physical vessels, which house our spirits and, as such, are more sacred than any church, temple or mosque.
In Ephesians 3:19, St. Paul tells us that if we open up to Source’s love, we’ll be filled to the brim with it and the higher vibration it offers.
“Know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (8)
John Ruusbroec describes a state of consciousness where we’re completely immersed in Source’s love, which is similar to the realm Sri Krishna described.
“[In] a third kind of experience, … we feel ourselves to be one with God, for by means of our transformation in God we feel ourselves to be swallowed up in the groundless abyss of our eternal blessedness, in which we can never discover any difference between ourselves and God.
“This is the highest of all our experiences and can be experienced in no other way than by our being immersed in love.” (9)
Only when we can fill ourselves with loving, uplifted energy/emotion can we gain a glimpse of Source’s love, but after so much devoted work, we’ll find that we feel this love very easily. We no longer have difficulty putting ourselves in a constant, uplifted space, and our love radiates out to everyone around us, creating a ripple effect of revolutionary upliftment.
John also tells us that when we’re ready, we’ll fill ourselves with Source’s love.
“When the vessel is ready, the precious liquid is poured in. There is no more precious vessel than a loving soul and no more beneficial drink than the grace of God.” (10)
Only when we’re ready will Source fill us with His/Her eternal love, and once we proclaim our readiness and ask Source to animate us, He/She will respond as long as we remain open and receptive.
We have to keep our minds open if we want to find a higher state of consciousness. We have to be willing to consistently open up to Source, and we’ll know when we’ve closed our minds because it’ll seem far more difficult to find an energetic/creative flow that’s otherwise very easy to pick up on.
Paramahansa Ramakrishna tells us that a truly devoted seeker has nothing to worry about.
“A true lover of God has nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. He is aware that the Divine Mother knows everything. The cat handles the mouse one way, but its own kitten a very different way.” (11)
When we reach a certain, clearer state of consciousness, we’ll see that Source and our guides have always watched and assisted us along our growth. We’ll be able to surrender the mind and its constant worries, because we’ll recognize that we’re in very capable hands.
We’ll see that the Divine Mother really does have everything taken care of, and our surrender will be as easy and graceful as our reception of the resulting divine flow, which’ll grow stronger than ever before.
Ramakrishna also tells us that glimpsing Source is relatively easy when we’re devoted.
“One realizes God easily through devotion. He is grasped through ecstacy of love.” (12)
Source’s infinite love is pretty hard to deny, but low and behold, people continue to do it. A lot of people seem cut off from Source, and it’s unfortunate that so many seem to lack the love that’s essential for our spiritual survival.
Of course, everyone will re-find this love in their own way, and those of us who’ve tapped into it can increase our devotion and work even harder than we already have in an effort to help everyone open up to Source and rediscover the love we can all feel.
Ramakrishna outlines the fact that most people are too concerned with the physical world to seek Source.
“God can be seen. One can talk to Him. But who cares for God? People shed torrents of tears for their wives, children, wealth, and property, but who weeps for the vision of God? If one cries sincerely for God, one can surely see Him.” (13)
The idea that we can actually see and speak with our creator is very interesting, but most people don’t realize it. With the extent to which humanity is culturally distracted on a daily basis, the idea of finding and speaking with Source probably doesn’t enter most people’s minds.
This’ll eventually change, but it’s unfortunate that so many people are still too focused on materiality to see that our all-loving creator is right here with us and can be instantaneously accessed.
In our final quote, Paramahansa Yogananda tells us that “God visits only the altars of hearts that are cleansed by tears of devotion and lighted with candles of love.” (14)
It’s difficult for Source to connect with the hearts of people who’ve been closed off from any kind of spiritual energy or inspiration for a long time, but our higher selves and guides work with us to help us refine our spiritual understanding and eventually see the light, however difficult it might be for some people right now.
I look forward to the time when everyone’s awake and aware of the sacred truths of our existence, and I honestly don’t think such a time is very far off. The progress we make depends on how much we choose to do right now, and if we decide to use our inner love to stay active in the face of temptation to be lazy, we might just awaken everyone.
It’s easy to forget about our inner love, but to do so would be to deny ourselves the greatest opportunity to feel and commune with Source that we’ll ever have. Devotion will take us very far, and keeping our minds/hearts open and receptive to our inner love will increase the potency of the work we do to help others become aware.
I’m convinced that devotion is important for anyone who wants to find a higher vibration, speak with Source, etc. and I’ll continue to be devoted to rediscovering Source and helping the rest of the planet do the same. You can feel free to join me, and if you do, you’ll find an entire community that’s flourishing and working harder than ever.
- Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 97.
- Ibid., 85.
- Ibid., 84.
- Ibid., 77.
- Ibid., 84-5.
- Ibid., 59.
- Psalm 91:14-6.
- St. Paul in Ephesians 3:19.
- James A. Wiseman, John Ruusbroec. The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1985, 176.
- Ibid., 74.
- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 252.
- Ibid., 107.
- Swami Chetanananda, God Lived with Them. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1997, 23-4.
- Paramahansa Yogananda, Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1980, 91.
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