Faith and devotion might seem like purely religious concepts that are irrelevant to our spiritual movement, but in the eyes of some seekers, they’re important qualities that assist one with knowing themselves as the creator in a deeper and more intimate way.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being faithfully devoted to Source, and it’s one of many things that helps us feel closer with our creator than we would have if we didn’t offer our full love and devotion.
To have faith in the creator is to have faith in oneself, and we praise ourselves as the creators of our reality when we praise Source. The point of finding enlightenment is to know ourselves in a deeper way while subsequently reaching a higher, more unlimited state of consciousness, and it’ll be easy if we’re devoted to the task.
Here, I’d like to examine one of many unique spiritual paths. This path, known as Bhakti Yoga, leans on faithful, devoted praise as a means to find enlightenment, and my primary reason for discussing it is because I think faith can be and is an important part of reaching a higher state of consciousness.
I think we open our channels when we express our faith or praise Source, and there’s plenty of material out there about the path of Bhakti Yoga and its importance to the enlightenment process. First, we’ll learn a little bit about Bhakti Yoga from Wikipedia.
“Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path described in Hindu philosophy as efficacious for fostering love of, faith in, and surrender to God. It is a means to realize God, and is the easiest way for the common person because it doesn’t involve extensive yogic practices.
“The Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana and Puranas are important scriptures which expound the philosophy of Bhakti. Hindu movements in which bhakti is the main practice are called bhakti movements—the major schools are Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism.” (1)
Most paths to enlightenment involve surrendering to Source, but Bhakti Yoga is unique because it involves a greater, more expressed level of devoted faith than some other practices. A lot of other practices also preach faith in Source, but with Bhakti Yoga, faith is a front-and-center aspect of the quest for enlightenment.
Now, we’ll hear what some of the spiritual teachers from our past and present have to say about this path and the devotion it entails.
According to Mencius, “The ways are two: love and want of love. That is all.” (2)
When we’re in a lower or depleted state of consciousness, we hunger for love.
We strive to find it in whatever way we can, and usually, we seek it in material things that don’t help us gain any love or purity. We’re either immersed in blissful love or we’re depleted of it, and thankfully, we can boost our perception of our inner love and keep ourselves on a constant cloud.
Shankara tells us that devotion is the greatest route to liberation.
“Among all means of liberation, devotion is supreme. To seek earnestly to know one’s real nature – this is said to be devotion.” (3)
Most people think devotion entails constant hymns and prayers, but even though they can be a part of it, they don’t solely constitute it. Devotion is the result of our endless desire to gain a greater perception; to find a greater state of consciousness that’s less limited than our current.
The more we commit to raising our vibration, the more devotion we naturally show. We don’t have to go out of our way to express devotion, because our actions in every moment will speak to how devoted we truly are. If we work hard, using our light to help others, devotion will naturally emanate from us.
According to one ‘Julian from Norwich’, “Fidelity sees God and Wisdom keeps God close by and from these two come Love — a delight in God completely steeped in wonder.” (4)
An anonymous teacher tells us that Source can’t be perceived by thought alone.
“[God] may well be loved, but not thought. By love he can be caught and held, but by thinking never.” (5)
The logical mind is cut off from Source and can only relate to the reality around it, whereas the open heart is receptive to the influence of the divine. Thus, by living open-heartedly, we grow closer with Source than those who try to perceive reality through a mind-centered, factual lens.
The same anonymous teacher outlines two noteworthy human faculties.
“All rational beings, angels and men, possess two faculties, the power of knowing and the power of loving. To the first, to the intellect, God who made them is forever unknowable, but to the second, to love, he is completely knowable, and that by every separate individual.
“So much so that one loving soul by itself, through its love, may know for itself him who is incomparably more than sufficient to fill all souls that exist. This is the everlasting miracle of love. … To know it for oneself is endless bliss; its contrary is endless pain.” (6)
It’s easy to perceive Source as something we couldn’t possibly know or convene with because of our limited state of consciousness, but we have to keep in mind that everything is Source. Everything around us is composed of pure Source energy, and in time, we’ll see that we’ve never been separate from our creator.
We’ve never been cut off from the essence of our being – we’ve simply convinced ourselves we were. Now, we’re seeing through this illusion and welcoming a new way of life that orients to love and service over greed and divisiveness. The way is becoming clear now, but we’ve misled ourselves about Source’s true presence around us for centuries.
Richard Rolle supports the anonymous teacher’s words, saying “[God] is not known by argument, but by what we do and how we love.” (7)
How we act is far more important than the things we believe, and we can believe everything under the sun but still feel separated from Source. We have to be clear and pure within if we want to know ourselves in a deeper way, and when more seekers realize this, they’ll transform their lifestyles in accordance with the divine qualities and walk their talk.
According to Richard Rolle, to even come close to enlightenment, we have to feel, undeniably, the flame of love in our hearts.
“No one in this vale of tears is going to attain perfection in the contemplative life overnight. For, first of all, a man’s heart must be set really on fire by the torch of eternal love, so that he feels it burn with love, and he knows his conscience melt with exceptional sweetness.
“Little wonder when a man is first made a true contemplative, and tastes the sweetness and feels the warmth, that he almost dies through excess of love!” (8)
Our minds and hearts have to be exceptionally attuned to spirit before we can act on the greater connections we have the potential to make, and once they are, our drive to find enlightenment and help the rest of creation do the same will be stronger than ever.
We’ll know without a doubt that we’ve reached a purer state of consciousness. The fire of love will burn almost out of control, and we’ll overflow with love and kindness, helping everyone we come across find a higher state of consciousness and unlock the same flowing love.
Richard continues, telling us more about the intense love (and the resulting drive to know Source) our quest for enlightenment will eventually help us feel.
“He is held tight in the embrace of eternal love, almost as though it were physical, because with unceasing contemplation, and with his whole heart, he is attempting to reach up to and see that indescribable light.
“In the end such a man will allow his soul no comfort unless it comes from God, for now he is longing for such, and to the end of his life here he knows he will so desire, crying out anxiously with the Psalmist, When shall I come and appear before the face of God?” (9)
Once we reach a certain state of consciousness, we no longer choose to accept the distortions we were once comfortable with.
We strive to attain nothing less than full and pure communion with Source, and even though that won’t happen until we’re in a much higher state of consciousness, we can begin our attempts to commune with Source now and speed up the process.
It helps to remember that, again, Source is in everything and we only need to open our minds a little to see it.
We strive to find Source, but at the same time, we recognize that we are our all-loving creator. We are the omnipotent consciousness that created our physical/etheric bodies and the holograms we run around in, and realizing this is essential to perceiving Source.
Richard then tells us that battling through the darkness is necessary to eventually reach the light.
“[Perfect souls] think it not unfitting to endure a few years’ hardship in order to be raised to heavenly thrones, and never leave them. … Physically they may have sat in solitary state, but in mind they have companied with angels, and have yearned for their Beloved.” (10)
Even when we don’t think we’re contributing anything spiritually significant, we’re far more active in various planes of reality than we realize. Together with the Company of Heaven, we’re helping the earth and various other planets ascend, and this is by no means an easy task.
We’re very active when our bodies are asleep, and even while they’re awake, other facets of our consciousness work away tirelessly to help the earth and every other planet find the light and ascend.
A little bit of hard labor is required before we can find the perception/connection we seek, Richard tells us.
“It is obvious to those who are in love that no one attains the heights of devotion at once, or is ravished with contemplative sweetness. …
“When they have attained the gravity of behaviour so necessary and have achieved a certain stability of mind – as much as changing circumstances permit – a certain perfection is acquired after great labour. It is then that they can feel some joy in loving God.” (11)
After we strive so hard to raise our vibration, the creative and perceptual gifts we seek will flow to us easily.
We’ll then be able to increase our devotion and produce purer and more potent work than we did before, and we’ll show the way for everyone who’s been too lost in the throes of the ego to find a spiritually sharpened state of consciousness.
In our final quote, Richard tells us that our actions speak louder than our beliefs. Eventually, the wheat will be separated from the chaff in terms of who’s committed to spirit and who’s committed the world.
“Love for God and love for the world cannot coexist in the same soul: the stronger drives out the weaker, and it soon appears who loves the world, and who follows Christ.
“The strength of people’s love is shown in what they do. The lovers of Christ set themselves against the world and the flesh, just as those who love the world oppose God and their own soul.” (12)
When it comes down to it, our actions display what we’re really committed to. If we’re rooted in vanity or materiality, we’ll naturally seek vain and materialistic things, but if we’re rooted in love, we’ll naturally seek to grow and expand into infinity.
It isn’t intended to sound dualistic, but it is intended to get us to really ask ourselves where we want to put our focus. Where do we want to root ourselves – in society or in spirit?
We might pick this discussion back up another time, and there’s still plenty of material to discuss about Bhakti Yoga and the general faith and devotion that help us grow closer with Source. We still have plenty to learn about this subject, and beyond the things we read about it, we can practice it constantly.
We can always ask ourselves if we’ve given thanks and praises to Source or empowered ourselves with the understanding that we’re sparks of our infinite creator, and if we find that we haven’t, we can increase our devotion and raise our vibration as a result.
Ultimately, we’ll make it back home no matter what path we follow or method we subscribe to. There are plenty of genuine paths out there, Bhakti Yoga being one of them, and they’ll all help us reach the all-loving realms of Source, wherein we’ll see for the first time that limitation really is an illusion.
Wes Annac – Interested in illuminating the way with faith, devotion, and plenty of other helpful divine qualities.
- Wikipedia: “Bhakti Yoga” at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti_yoga
- Inspirational Stories: “Mencius Quotes” at: http://www.inspirationalstories.com/quotes/mencius-meng-tse-the-ways-are-two-love-and-want/
- Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947, 36-7.
- Brendan Doyle, ed., Meditations with Julian of Norwich. Santa Fe: Bear, 1983, 74.
- Anon., The Cloud of Unknowing trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978; c1961, 60.
- Ibid., 55.
- Richard Rolle, The Fire of Love. Trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981; c1972, 46.
- Ibid., 106.
- Loc. cit.
- Ibid., 52.
- Ibid., 49.
- Loc. cit.
Photo Credit: Stacy J. Ross
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I’m a 21 year old awakening seeker and creator of The Culture of Awareness daily news site.
The Culture of Awareness features daily spiritual and alternative news, as well as articles I’ve written and more. Its purpose is to awaken and uplift by providing material that’s spiritually inspired and/or related to the fall of the planetary elite and our entrance into a positive future.