The yoga of devotion Print E-mail

Guest Article


Kavita Jhaveri has won the 3rd prize for the ‘WRITE AN ARTICLE’ contest held at the recent lectures at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai for writing this piece.


A mind which is filled with desires knows no bar. It keeps reaching further frontiers for material wants. When the mind craves for sensual indulgence, it becomes agitated. An agitated mind can never concentrate. Mind which is not controlled and guided by the intellect blindly follows the senses. A mind needs to be well prepared and trained for meditation. Only a well prepared mind can concentrate and use the technique of meditation to progress spiritually. Success in meditation depends on preparation and equanimity of the mind. If an agitated mind is forced to meditate the person tends to develop frustration and the mind instead of evolving only deteriorates.


An agitated mind can be smoothened through three basic practices. Excessive flow of thoughts can be reduced through karma yoga or the path of action. Karma yoga means selfless action dedicated to the prosperity of one and all. It is practiced by surrendering all activities to a higher ideal. By controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, achieve spiritual growth.


Flow of positive thoughts can be improved by bhakti yoga or the path of devotion. Devotion is the same as love. However devotion is towards higher ideal. Devotion is developed by prayer, mental prostration and surrender of the ego to the lord. When this is practiced regularly, negative thoughts are replaced by positive ones. Bhakti yoga, pure devotional service to Lord, is the highest and most expedient means for attaining pure love for Krishna, which is the highest end of spiritual existence. Those who follow this supreme path develop divine qualities. Bhakti lies in not mere praying for things that one desires but being grateful for the things that one has. True devotion is motiveless intense love of God to attain Him. It is seeking God’s grace and serving with love and dedication to please Him. Thus, devotion is doing one’s duty as an offering to the Lord with love of God in one’s heart.


Finally, the direction of the thoughts can be changed by Jnana yoga or the path of knowledge. This path deals with the human intellect, which follows reasoning, and helps in distinguishing between the real and unreal through the study of and reflection upon spiritual truths.


When we fix our mind on the lord and engage all our intelligence on him we come close to self-actualization. The pearl of Self-knowledge is born on the nucleus of faith and devotion only. A Devotee who is self-contented can easily achieve perfection and oneness with the Lord.


The transcendental knowledge of scriptures is better than mere ritualistic practice; meditation is better than scriptural knowledge; renunciation of selfish attachment to the fruits of work (KarmaYoga) is better than meditation; peace immediately follows renunciation of selfish motives.