classes ::: Love, God, Yoga,
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object:the Path of Devotion
class:Love
class:God
subject class:Yoga


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OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS

AUTH

BOOKS

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.04_-_The_Systems_of_Yoga
1.02_-_THE_NATURE_OF_THE_GROUND
1.032_-_Our_Concept_of_God
1.04_-_The_Sacrifice_the_Triune_Path_and_the_Lord_of_the_Sacrifice
1.06_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_2_The_Works_of_Love_-_The_Works_of_Life
1.08a_-_The_Ladder
1.08_-_RELIGION_AND_TEMPERAMENT
1956-02-01_-_Path_of_knowledge_-_Finding_the_Divine_in_life_-_Capacity_for_contact_with_the_Divine_-_Partial_and_total_identification_with_the_Divine_-_Manifestation_and_hierarchy
2.03_-_VISIT_TO_VIDYASAGAR
2.05_-_THE_MASTER_AND_KESHAB
2.06_-_On_Beauty
2.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
2.06_-_The_Synthesis_of_the_Disciplines_of_Knowledge
2.07_-_THE_MASTER_AND_VIJAY_GOSWAMI
2.08_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY_CELEBRATION_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
2.09_-_ADVICE_TO_THE_BRAHMOS
2.09_-_The_Release_from_the_Ego
2.11_-_The_Modes_of_the_Self
2.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI
2.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
2.16_-_Oneness
2.17_-_M._AT_DAKSHINEWAR
2.20_-_2.29_-_RULES_FOR_HOUSEHOLDERS_AND_MONKS
2.30_-_2.39_-_THE_MASTER_IN_VARIOUS_MOODS
2.40_-_2.49_-_THE_MASTER_AT_THE_HOUSES_OF_BALARM_AND_GIRISH
30.04_-_Intuition_and_Inspiration_in_Art
3.01_-_Love_and_the_Triple_Path
3.02_-_The_Motives_of_Devotion
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
the_Eternal_Wisdom

PRIMARY CLASS

God
Love
SEE ALSO

SIMILAR TITLES
the Path of Devotion

DEFINITIONS



QUOTES [5 / 5 - 19 / 19]


KEYS (10k)

   2 Sri Aurobindo
   1 The Mother
   1 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   1 Sri Ramakrishna

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   6 Sri Ramakrishna
   2 Sri Aurobindo
   2 Sadhguru

1:All you need to do is to trust God. Following the path of devotion, one should leave everything to God. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
2:At a certain stage in the path of devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
3:Bhakti Yoga, the Path of Devotion; :::
   The path of Devotion aims at the enjoyment of the supreme Love and Bliss and utilses normally the conception of the supreme Lord in His personality as the divine Lover and enjoyer of the universe. The world is then realised as a a play of the Lord, with our human life as its final stages, pursued through the different phases of self-concealment and self-revealation. The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation are used only for the preparation and increase the intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation. ... We can see how this larger application of the Yoga of Devotion may be used as to lead to the elevation of the whole range of human emotion, sensation and aesthetic perception to the divine level, its spiritualisation and the justification of the cosmic labour towards love and joy in humanity.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Introduction - The Conditions of the Synthesis, The Systems of Yoga,
4:In the Indian spiritual tradition, a heart's devotion to God, called Bhakti, is regarded as the easiest path to the Divine. What is Bhakti? Is it some extravagant religious sentimentalism? Is it inferior to the path of Knowledge? What is the nature of pure and complete spiritual devotion to God and how to realise it?

What Is Devotion?

...bhakti in its fullness is nothing but an entire self-giving. But then all meditation, all tapasya, all means of prayer or mantra must have that as its end... [SABCL, 23:799]

Devotion Is a State of the Heart and Soul

Bhakti is not an experience, it is a state of the heart and soul. It is a state which comes when the psychic being is awake and prominent. [SABCL, 23:776]

...Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. [SABCL, 21:525]

Devotion without Gratitude Is Incomplete

...there is another movement which should constantly accompany devotion. ... That kind of sense of gratitude that the Divine exists; that feeling of a marvelling thankfulness which truly fills you with a sublime joy at the fact that the Divine exists, that there is something in the universe which is the Divine, that it is not just the monstrosity we see, that there is the Divine, the Divine exists. And each time that the least thing puts you either directly or indirectly in contactwith this sublime Reality of divine existence, the heart is filled with so intense, so marvellous a joy, such a gratitude as of all things has the most delightful taste.

There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion-indeed so deep, so intense-that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine.

So I find that devotion without gratitude is quite incomplete, gratitude must come with devotion. ~ The Mother,
5:This, in short, is the demand made on us, that we should turn our whole life into a conscious sacrifice. Every moment and every movement of our being is to be resolved into a continuous and a devoted self-giving to the Eternal. All our actions, not less the smallest and most ordinary and trifling than the greatest and most uncommon and noble, must be performed as consecrated acts. Our individualised nature must live in the single consciousness of an inner and outer movement dedicated to Something that is beyond us and greater than our ego. No matter what the gift or to whom it is presented by us, there must be a consciousness in the act that we are presenting it to the one divine Being in all beings. Our commonest or most grossly material actions must assume this sublimated character; when we eat, we should be conscious that we are giving our food to that Presence in us; it must be a sacred offering in a temple and the sense of a mere physical need or self-gratification must pass away from us. In any great labour, in any high discipline, in any difficult or noble enterprise, whether undertaken for ourselves, for others or for the race, it will no longer be possible to stop short at the idea of the race, of ourselves or of others. The thing we are doing must be consciously offered as a sacrifice of works, not to these, but either through them or directly to the One Godhead; the Divine Inhabitant who was hidden by these figures must be no longer hidden but ever present to our soul, our mind, our sense. The workings and results of our acts must be put in the hands of that One in the feeling that that Presence is the Infinite and Most High by whom alone our labour and our aspiration are possible. For in his being all takes place; for him all labour and aspiration are taken from us by Nature and offered on his altar. Even in those things in which Nature is herself very plainly the worker and we only the witnesses of her working and its containers and supporters, there should be the same constant memory and insistent consciousness of a work and of its divine Master. Our very inspiration and respiration, our very heart-beats can and must be made conscious in us as the living rhythm of the universal sacrifice.
   It is clear that a conception of this kind and its effective practice must carry in them three results that are of a central importance for our spiritual ideal. It is evident, to begin with, that, even if such a discipline is begun without devotion, it leads straight and inevitably towards the highest devotion possible; for it must deepen naturally into the completest adoration imaginable, the most profound God-love. There is bound up with it a growing sense of the Divine in all things, a deepening communion with the Divine in all our thought, will and action and at every moment of our lives, a more and more moved consecration to the Divine of the totality of our being. Now these implications of the Yoga of works are also of the very essence of an integral and absolute Bhakti. The seeker who puts them into living practice makes in himself continually a constant, active and effective representation of the very spirit of self-devotion, and it is inevitable that out of it there should emerge the most engrossing worship of the Highest to whom is given this service. An absorbing love for the Divine Presence to whom he feels an always more intimate closeness, grows upon the consecrated worker. And with it is born or in it is contained a universal love too for all these beings, living forms and creatures that are habitations of the Divine - not the brief restless grasping emotions of division, but the settled selfless love that is the deeper vibration of oneness. In all the seeker begins to meet the one Object of his adoration and service. The way of works turns by this road of sacrifice to meet the path of Devotion; it can be itself a devotion as complete, as absorbing, as integral as any the desire of the heart can ask for or the passion of the mind can imagine.
   Next, the practice of this Yoga demands a constant inward remembrance of the one central liberating knowledge, and a constant active externalising of it in works comes in too to intensify the remembrance. In all is the one Self, the one Divine is all; all are in the Divine, all are the Divine and there is nothing else in the universe, - this thought or this faith is the whole background until it becomes the whole substance of the consciousness of the worker. A memory, a self-dynamising meditation of this kind, must and does in its end turn into a profound and uninterrupted vision and a vivid and all-embracing consciousness of that which we so powerfully remember or on which we so constantly meditate. For it compels a constant reference at each moment to the Origin of all being and will and action and there is at once an embracing and exceeding of all particular forms and appearances in That which is their cause and upholder. This way cannot go to its end without a seeing vivid and vital, as concrete in its way as physical sight, of the works of the universal Spirit everywhere. On its summits it rises into a constant living and thinking and willing and acting in the presence of the Supramental, the Transcendent. Whatever we see and hear, whatever we touch and sense, all of which we are conscious, has to be known and felt by us as That which we worship and serve; all has to be turned into an image of the Divinity, perceived as a dwelling-place of his Godhead, enveloped with the eternal Omnipresence. In its close, if not long before it, this way of works turns by communion with the Divine Presence, Will and Force into a way of Knowledge more complete and integral than any the mere creature intelligence can construct or the search of the intellect can discover.
   Lastly, the practice of this Yoga of sacrifice compels us to renounce all the inner supports of egoism, casting them out of our mind and will and actions, and to eliminate its seed, its presence, its influence out of our nature. All must be done for the Divine; all must be directed towards the Divine. Nothing must be attempted for ourselves as a separate existence; nothing done for others, whether neighbours, friends, family, country or mankind or other creatures merely because they are connected with our personal life and thought and sentiment or because the ego takes a preferential interest in their welfare. In this way of doing and seeing all works and all life become only a daily dynamic worship and service of the Divine in the unbounded temple of his own vast cosmic existence. Life becomes more and more the sacrifice of the eternal in the individual constantly self-offered to the eternal Transcendence. It is offered in the wide sacrificial ground of the field of the eternal cosmic Spirit; and the Force too that offers it is the eternal Force, the omnipresent Mother. Therefore is this way a way of union and communion by acts and by the spirit and knowledge in the act as complete and integral as any our Godward will can hope for or our soul's strength execute.
   It has all the power of a way of works integral and absolute, but because of its law of sacrifice and self-giving to the Divine Self and Master, it is accompanied on its one side by the whole power of the path of Love and on the other by the whole power of the path of Knowledge. At its end all these three divine Powers work together, fused, united, completed, perfected by each other.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, The Sacrifice, the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice [111-114],

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:The purpose of the path of devotion is just dissolution. ~ Sadhguru
2:All you need to do is to trust God. Following the path of devotion, one should leave everything to God. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
3:All you need to do is to trust God. Following the path of devotion, one should leave everything to God. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
4:Following the path of devotion, one realizes everything through His grace--- both Knowledge and Supreme Wisdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
5:God incarnates Himself as man and teaches people the path of devotion. He exhorts people to cultivate self-surrender to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
6:At a certain stage in the path of devotion, the devotee finds satisfaction in God with form, and at another stage, in God without it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
7:At a certain stage in the path of devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
8:At a certain stage in the path of devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
9:What is bhaktiyoga? It is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories. For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion is easiest. This is indeed the path for this age. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
10:The celebration of Lent, in the context of the Year of Faith, offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God - the God of Jesus Christ - and love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which guides us on the path of devotion to God and others. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
11:in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be the road to the salvation of a soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship. ~ Ramachandra Guha
12:One is the path of devotion, what in India is called BHAKTI yoga, the path of love and devotion - a Meera, a Chaitanya, dancing and singing, losing themselves completely in the act. When Meera is dancing there is only dance, there is no Meera; the dancer is completely merged into the dance. When Chaitanya is singing and dancing there is no Chaitanya; he has become one with the act. ~ Rajneesh
13:The Eternal Religion, the religion of the rishis, has been in existence from time immemorial and will exist eternally. There exists in this Sanatana Dharma all forms of worship--worship of God with form and worship of the impersonal Deity as well. It contains all paths--the path of knowledge, the path of devotion and so on. Other forms of religion, the modern cults, will remain for a few days and then disappear.

-- Sri Ramakrishna in a conversation with a devotee on March 9, 1884 ~ Sri Ramakrishna
14:Time exists so that you can experience these flavors as deeply as possible. On the path of devotion, if you can experience even a glimmer of love, its possible to experience a little more love. When you experience that a little more, then the next degree of intensity is possible. Thus, love engenders love until you reach the point of saturation, when you totally merge with the divine love. this is what the mystics mean when they say that they plunge into the ocean of love to drown themselves. ~ Deepak Chopra
15:Ambedkar quoted John Stuart Mill, who cautioned citizens not ‘to lay their liberties at the feet of even a greatman, or to trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions’. This warning was even more pertinent here than in England, for in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays apart in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be the road to the salvation of a soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship. ~ Anonymous
16:Bhakti Yoga, the Path of Devotion; :::
   The path of Devotion aims at the enjoyment of the supreme Love and Bliss and utilses normally the conception of the supreme Lord in His personality as the divine Lover and enjoyer of the universe. The world is then realised as a a play of the Lord, with our human life as its final stages, pursued through the different phases of self-concealment and self-revealation. The principle of Bhakti Yoga is to utilise all the normal relations of human life into which emotion enters and apply them no longer to transient worldly relations, but to the joy of the All-Loving, the All-Beautiful and the All-Blissful. Worship and meditation are used only for the preparation and increase the intensity of the divine relationship. And this Yoga is catholic in its use of all emotional relations, so that even enmity and opposition to God, considered as an intense, impatient and perverse form of Love, is conceived as a possible means of realisation and salvation. ... We can see how this larger application of the Yoga of Devotion may be used as to lead to the elevation of the whole range of human emotion, sensation and aesthetic perception to the divine level, its spiritualisation and the justification of the cosmic labour towards love and joy in humanity.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Introduction - The Conditions of the Synthesis, The Systems of Yoga,
17:In the Indian spiritual tradition, a heart's devotion to God, called Bhakti, is regarded as the easiest path to the Divine. What is Bhakti? Is it some extravagant religious sentimentalism? Is it inferior to the path of Knowledge? What is the nature of pure and complete spiritual devotion to God and how to realise it?

What Is Devotion?

...bhakti in its fullness is nothing but an entire self-giving. But then all meditation, all tapasya, all means of prayer or mantra must have that as its end... [SABCL, 23:799]

Devotion Is a State of the Heart and Soul

Bhakti is not an experience, it is a state of the heart and soul. It is a state which comes when the psychic being is awake and prominent. [SABCL, 23:776]

...Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. [SABCL, 21:525]

Devotion without Gratitude Is Incomplete

...there is another movement which should constantly accompany devotion. ... That kind of sense of gratitude that the Divine exists; that feeling of a marvelling thankfulness which truly fills you with a sublime joy at the fact that the Divine exists, that there is something in the universe which is the Divine, that it is not just the monstrosity we see, that there is the Divine, the Divine exists. And each time that the least thing puts you either directly or indirectly in contactwith this sublime Reality of divine existence, the heart is filled with so intense, so marvellous a joy, such a gratitude as of all things has the most delightful taste.

There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion-indeed so deep, so intense-that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine.

So I find that devotion without gratitude is quite incomplete, gratitude must come with devotion. ~ The Mother,
18:Questioner: In the tradition, we were always taught to be reverential towards God or the highest aspect. So how to reconcile this with Mirabai or Akka Mahadevi who took God as their lover? Sadhguru: Where there is no love, how can reverence come? When love reaches its peak, it naturally becomes reverence. People who are talking about reverence without love know neither this nor that. All they know is fear. So probably you are referring to God-fearing people. These sages and saints, especially the seers like Akka Mahadevi, Mirabai or Anusuya and so many of them in the past, have taken to this form of worship because it was more suitable for them – they could emote much more easily than they could intellectualize things. They just used their emotions to reach their Ultimate nature. Using emotion and reaching the Ultimate nature is what is called bhakti yoga. In every culture, there are different forms of worship. Some people worship God as the master and themselves as the slaves. Sometimes they even take God as their servant or as a partner in everything that they do. Yet others worship him as a friend, as a lover, or as their own child like Balakrishna. Generally, you become the feminine and you hold him as the ultimate purusha – masculine. How you worship is not at all the point; the whole point is just how deeply you relate. These are the different attitudes, but whatever the attitude, the love affair is such that you are not expecting anything from the other side. Not even a response. You crave for it. But if there is no response, you are not going to be angry, you are not going to be disappointed – nothing. Your life is just to crave and make something else tremendously more important than yourself. That is the fundamental thing. In the whole path of bhakti, the important thing is just this, that something else is far more important than you. So Akka, Mirabai and others like them, their bhakti was in that form and they took this mode of worship where they worshipped God – whether Shiva or Krishna – as their husband. In India, when a woman comes to a certain age, marriage is almost like a must, and it anyway happens. They wanted to eliminate that dimension of being married once again to another man, so they chose the Lord himself as their husband so that they don’t need any other relationship in their lives. How a devotee relates to his object of devotion does not really matter because the purpose of the path of devotion is just dissolution. The only objective of a devotee is to dissolve into his object of devotion. Whichever way they could relate best, that is how they would do it. The reason why you asked this question in terms of reverence juxtaposed with being a lover or a husband is because the word “love” or “being a lover” is always understood as a physical aspect. That is why this question has come. How can you be physical with somebody and still be reverential? This has been the tragedy of humanity that lovers have not known how to be reverential to each other. In fact the very objective of love is to dissolve into someone else. If you look at love as an emotion, you can see that love is a vehicle to bring oneness. It is the longing to become one with the other which we are referring to as love. When it is taken to its peak, it is very natural to become reverential towards what you consider worthwhile being “one” with. For whatever sake, you are willing to dissolve yourself. It is natural to be reverential towards that. Otherwise how would you feel that it is worthwhile to dissolve into? If you think it is something you can use or something you can just relate to and be benefited by, there can be no love. Always, the object of love is to dissolve. So, whatever you consider is worthwhile to dissolve your own self into, you are bound to be reverential towards that; there is no other way to be. ~ Sadhguru
19:This, in short, is the demand made on us, that we should turn our whole life into a conscious sacrifice. Every moment and every movement of our being is to be resolved into a continuous and a devoted self-giving to the Eternal. All our actions, not less the smallest and most ordinary and trifling than the greatest and most uncommon and noble, must be performed as consecrated acts. Our individualised nature must live in the single consciousness of an inner and outer movement dedicated to Something that is beyond us and greater than our ego. No matter what the gift or to whom it is presented by us, there must be a consciousness in the act that we are presenting it to the one divine Being in all beings. Our commonest or most grossly material actions must assume this sublimated character; when we eat, we should be conscious that we are giving our food to that Presence in us; it must be a sacred offering in a temple and the sense of a mere physical need or self-gratification must pass away from us. In any great labour, in any high discipline, in any difficult or noble enterprise, whether undertaken for ourselves, for others or for the race, it will no longer be possible to stop short at the idea of the race, of ourselves or of others. The thing we are doing must be consciously offered as a sacrifice of works, not to these, but either through them or directly to the One Godhead; the Divine Inhabitant who was hidden by these figures must be no longer hidden but ever present to our soul, our mind, our sense. The workings and results of our acts must be put in the hands of that One in the feeling that that Presence is the Infinite and Most High by whom alone our labour and our aspiration are possible. For in his being all takes place; for him all labour and aspiration are taken from us by Nature and offered on his altar. Even in those things in which Nature is herself very plainly the worker and we only the witnesses of her working and its containers and supporters, there should be the same constant memory and insistent consciousness of a work and of its divine Master. Our very inspiration and respiration, our very heart-beats can and must be made conscious in us as the living rhythm of the universal sacrifice.
   It is clear that a conception of this kind and its effective practice must carry in them three results that are of a central importance for our spiritual ideal. It is evident, to begin with, that, even if such a discipline is begun without devotion, it leads straight and inevitably towards the highest devotion possible; for it must deepen naturally into the completest adoration imaginable, the most profound God-love. There is bound up with it a growing sense of the Divine in all things, a deepening communion with the Divine in all our thought, will and action and at every moment of our lives, a more and more moved consecration to the Divine of the totality of our being. Now these implications of the Yoga of works are also of the very essence of an integral and absolute Bhakti. The seeker who puts them into living practice makes in himself continually a constant, active and effective representation of the very spirit of self-devotion, and it is inevitable that out of it there should emerge the most engrossing worship of the Highest to whom is given this service. An absorbing love for the Divine Presence to whom he feels an always more intimate closeness, grows upon the consecrated worker. And with it is born or in it is contained a universal love too for all these beings, living forms and creatures that are habitations of the Divine - not the brief restless grasping emotions of division, but the settled selfless love that is the deeper vibration of oneness. In all the seeker begins to meet the one Object of his adoration and service. The way of works turns by this road of sacrifice to meet the path of Devotion; it can be itself a devotion as complete, as absorbing, as integral as any the desire of the heart can ask for or the passion of the mind can imagine.
   Next, the practice of this Yoga demands a constant inward remembrance of the one central liberating knowledge, and a constant active externalising of it in works comes in too to intensify the remembrance. In all is the one Self, the one Divine is all; all are in the Divine, all are the Divine and there is nothing else in the universe, - this thought or this faith is the whole background until it becomes the whole substance of the consciousness of the worker. A memory, a self-dynamising meditation of this kind, must and does in its end turn into a profound and uninterrupted vision and a vivid and all-embracing consciousness of that which we so powerfully remember or on which we so constantly meditate. For it compels a constant reference at each moment to the Origin of all being and will and action and there is at once an embracing and exceeding of all particular forms and appearances in That which is their cause and upholder. This way cannot go to its end without a seeing vivid and vital, as concrete in its way as physical sight, of the works of the universal Spirit everywhere. On its summits it rises into a constant living and thinking and willing and acting in the presence of the Supramental, the Transcendent. Whatever we see and hear, whatever we touch and sense, all of which we are conscious, has to be known and felt by us as That which we worship and serve; all has to be turned into an image of the Divinity, perceived as a dwelling-place of his Godhead, enveloped with the eternal Omnipresence. In its close, if not long before it, this way of works turns by communion with the Divine Presence, Will and Force into a way of Knowledge more complete and integral than any the mere creature intelligence can construct or the search of the intellect can discover.
   Lastly, the practice of this Yoga of sacrifice compels us to renounce all the inner supports of egoism, casting them out of our mind and will and actions, and to eliminate its seed, its presence, its influence out of our nature. All must be done for the Divine; all must be directed towards the Divine. Nothing must be attempted for ourselves as a separate existence; nothing done for others, whether neighbours, friends, family, country or mankind or other creatures merely because they are connected with our personal life and thought and sentiment or because the ego takes a preferential interest in their welfare. In this way of doing and seeing all works and all life become only a daily dynamic worship and service of the Divine in the unbounded temple of his own vast cosmic existence. Life becomes more and more the sacrifice of the eternal in the individual constantly self-offered to the eternal Transcendence. It is offered in the wide sacrificial ground of the field of the eternal cosmic Spirit; and the Force too that offers it is the eternal Force, the omnipresent Mother. Therefore is this way a way of union and communion by acts and by the spirit and knowledge in the act as complete and integral as any our Godward will can hope for or our soul's strength execute.
   It has all the power of a way of works integral and absolute, but because of its law of sacrifice and self-giving to the Divine Self and Master, it is accompanied on its one side by the whole power of the path of Love and on the other by the whole power of the path of Knowledge. At its end all these three divine Powers work together, fused, united, completed, perfected by each other.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, The Sacrifice, the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice [111-114],

IN CHAPTERS



   5 Integral Yoga
   2 Philosophy
   1 Yoga


   13 Sri Aurobindo
   10 Sri Ramakrishna
   2 Aldous Huxley


   12 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
   8 The Synthesis Of Yoga
   2 The Perennial Philosophy


1.02 - THE NATURE OF THE GROUND, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  
  Finally there is an incarnation of God in a human being, who possesses the same qualities of character as the personal God, but who exhibits them under the limitations necessarily imposed by confinement within a material body born into the world at a given moment of time. For Christians there has been and, ex hypodiesi, can be but one such divine incarnation; for Indians there can be and have been many. In Christendom as well as in the East, contemplatives who follow the Path of Devotion conceive of, and indeed directly perceive the incarnation as a constantly renewed fact of experience. Christ is for ever being begotten within the soul by the Father, and the play of Krishna is the pseudo-historical symbol of an everlasting truth of psychology and metaphysics the fact that, in relation to God, the personal soul is always feminine and passive.
  

1.032 - Our Concept of God, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  
  But wholly dedicating ourself for the sake of God these feelings for God, in a whole-souled fashion, though in a rarefied form of the ordinary loves in the world, are called the bhavas in bhakti yoga. A bhava is a feeling. Our feeling for God is called a bhava. Here, the basic difference that seems to be there between man and God is taken for granted, and it is not solved, because it cannot be solved so easily. If we go on trying to solve this question, our whole life will be spent in only answering this question. Therefore, the teachers of the Path of Devotion emphasised the necessity to love God, somehow or other, even if it be a magnified form of human love; and the answer to the difficulty as to whether human love is really divine love was that when human love gets magnified into infinity, it becomes divine love. There is a great point in this answer, because when the finite is lifted up into an unconditioned expanse to the extent possible for the mind, it loses the sting of finitude. The doctrine here is that when this human affection is expanded into the vastness of creation, though it may be true that in quality it has not changed, because of the fact that it has transformed itself into an utterly inconceivable magnitude of quantity, it will be free from the stigma of finitude of affection, and will be able to achieve certain miraculous results which finite love cannot.
  

1.04 - The Sacrifice the Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  It is clear that a conception of this kind and its effective practice must carry in them three results that are of a central importance for our spiritual ideal. It is evident, to begin with, that, even if such a discipline is begun without devotion, it leads straight and inevitably towards the highest devotion possible; for it must deepen naturally into the completest adoration imaginable, the most profound God-love. There is bound up with it a growing sense of the Divine in all things, a deepening communion with the Divine in all our thought, will and action and at every moment of our lives, a more and more moved consecration to the Divine of the totality of our being. Now these implications of the Yoga of works are also of the very essence of an integral and absolute Bhakti. The seeker who puts them into living practice makes in himself continually a constant, active and effective representation of the very spirit of self-devotion, and it is inevitable that out of it there should emerge the most engrossing worship of the Highest to whom is given this service. An absorbing love for the Divine Presence to whom he feels an always more intimate closeness, grows upon the consecrated worker. And with it is born or in it is contained a universal love too for all these beings, living forms and creatures that are habitations of the Divinenot the brief restless grasping emotions of division, but the settled selfless love that is the deeper vibration of oneness. In all the seeker begins to meet the one Object of his adoration and service. The way of works turns by this road of sacrifice to meet the Path of Devotion; it can be itself a devotion as complete, as absorbing, as integral as any the desire of the heart can ask for or the passion of the mind can imagine.
  

1.06 - The Ascent of the Sacrifice 2 The Works of Love - The Works of Life, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  As with individual, so with universal Love; all that widening of the self through sympathy, goodwill, universal benevolence and beneficence, love of mankind, love of creatures, the attraction of all the myriad forms and presences that surround us, by which mentally and emotionally man escapes from the first limits of his ego, has to be taken up into a unifying divine love for the universal Divine. Adoration fulfilled in love, love in Ananda, - the surpassing love, the self-wrapped ecstasy of transcendent delight in the Transcendent which awaits us at the end of the Path of Devotion, - has for its wider result a universal love for all beings, the Ananda of all that is; we perceive behind every veil the Divine, spiritually embrace in all forms the All-Beautiful. A universal delight in his endless manifestation flows through us, taking in its surge every form and movement, but not bound or stationary in any and always reaching out to a greater and more perfect expression. This universal love is liberative and dynamic for transformation; for the discord of forms and appearances ceases to affect the heart that has felt the one Truth behind them all and understood their perfect significance. The impartial equality of soul of the selfless worker and knower is transformed by the magic touch of divine Love into an all-embracing ecstasy and million-bodied beatitude. All things become bodies and all movements the playings of the divine Beloved in his infinite house of pleasure. Even pain is changed and in their reaction and even in their essence things painful alter; the forms of pain fall away, there are created in their place the forms of Ananda.
  

1.08a - The Ladder, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
  
   heart and soul to its worship until it blossoms within his own heart. He must look upon this ideal in various ways, as his Master, his Friend, his Parent, his Beloved, or himself as the Priest of his God. This is Bhakta Yoga, union by the Path of Devotion.
  

1.08 - RELIGION AND TEMPERAMENT, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  
  In the light of these descriptions we can understand more clearly the Bhagavad Gitas classification of paths to salvation. the Path of Devotion is the path naturally followed by the person in whom the viscerotonic component is high. His inborn tendency to externalize the emotions he spontaneously feels in regard to persons can be disciplined and canalized, so that a merely animal gregariousness and a merely human kindliness become transformed into charitydevotion to the personal God and universal good will and compassion towards all sentient beings.
  

1956-02-01 - Path of knowledge - Finding the Divine in life - Capacity for contact with the Divine - Partial and total identification with the Divine - Manifestation and hierarchy, #Questions And Answers 1956, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  
  Or else, the Path of Devotion and love, like that of Chaitanya or Ramakrishna.
  

2.03 - VISIT TO VIDYASAGAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  "But in the Kaliyuga, man, being totally dependent on food for life, cannot altoge ther shake off the idea that he is the body. In this state of mind it is not proper for him to say, 'I am He.' When a man does all sorts of worldly things, he should not say, 'I am Brahman.' Those who cannot give up attachment to worldly things, and who find no means to shake off the feeling of 'I', should rather cherish the idea 'I am God's servant; I am His devotee.' One can also realize God by following the Path of Devotion.
  

2.05 - THE MASTER AND KESHAB, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  "Karmayoga is very hard indeed. In the Kaliyuga it is extremely difficult to perform the rites enjoined in the scriptures. Nowadays man's life is centred on food alone. He cannot perform many scriptural rites. Suppose a man is laid up with fever. If you attempt a slow cure with the old-fashioned indigenous remedies, before long his life may be snuffed out. He can't stand much delay. Nowadays the drastic 'D Gupta' mixture is appropriate. In the Kaliyuga the best way is bhaktiyoga, the Path of Devotion-singing the praises of the Lord, and prayer. the Path of Devotion alone is the religion for this age. (To the Brahmo devotees) Yours also is the Path of Devotion. Blessed you are indeed that you chant the name of Hari and sing the Divine Mother's glories. I like your attitude. You don't call the world a dream like the non-dualists. You are not Brahmajnanis like them; you are bhaktas, lovers of God. That you speak of Him as a Person is also good. You are devotees. You will certainly realize Him if you call on Him with sincerity and earnestness."
  

2.06 - On Beauty, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Kabbalah
  
   Sri Aurobindo: In the Path of Devotion, the Bhakti Marga in India, God is regarded as the All-beautiful. In the case of other paths it is not so.
  

2.06 - THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  "It is easier to attain God by following the Path of Devotion."
  
  --
  
  "In the top of the head is the seventh plane. When the mind rises there, one goes into samdhi. Then the Brahmajnani directly perceives Brahman. But in that state his body does not last many days. He remains unconscious of the outer world. If milk is poured into his mouth, it runs out. Dwelling on this plane of consciousness, he gives up his body in twenty-one days. That is the condition of the Brahmajnani. But yours is the Path of Devotion. That is a very good and easy path.
  

2.06 - The Synthesis of the Disciplines of Knowledge, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  In the last chapter we have spoken of renunciation in its most general scope, even as we spoke of concentration in all its possibilities; what has been said, applies therefore equally to the path of Works and the Path of Devotion as to the path of Knowledge; for on all three concentration and renunciation are needed, though the way and spirit in which they are applied may vary. But we must now turn more particularly to the actual steps of the Path of Knowledge on which the double force of concentration and renunciation must aid us to advance. Practically, this path is a re-ascent up the great ladder of being down which the soul has descended into the material existence.
  

2.07 - THE MASTER AND VIJAY GOSWAMI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  VIJAY: "If without destroying the 'I' a man cannot get rid of attachment to the world and consequently cannot experience samdhi, then it would be wise for him to follow the path of Brahmajnna to attain samdhi. If the 'I' persists in the Path of Devotion, then one should rather choose the path of knowledge."
  
  --
  
  "The path of knowledge is very difficult. One cannot obtain Knowledge unless one gets rid of the feeling that one is the body. In the Kaliyuga the life of man is centred on food. He cannot get rid of the feeling that he is the body and the ego. Therefore the Path of Devotion is prescribed for this cycle.
  
  --
  
  At eight o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna was seated on a mat spread on the floor of his room at Dakshineswar. Since it was a cold day, he had wrapped his body in his moleskin shawl. Prankrishna and M. were seated in front of him. Rakhal, too, was in the room. Prankrishna was a high government official and lived in Calcutta. Since he had had no offspring by his first wife, with her permission he had married a second time. By the second wife he had a son. Because he was rather stout, the Master addressed him now and then as "the fat brahmin". He had great respect for Sri Ramakrishna. Though a householder, Prankrishna studied the Vedanta and had been heard to say: "Brahman alone is real and the world illusory. I am He." The Master used to say to him: "In the Kaliyuga the life of a man depends on food. the Path of Devotion prescribed by Narada is best for this age."
  
  --
  
  "But, according to the Path of Devotion, God has attri butes. To a devotee Krishna is Spirit, His Abode is Spirit, and everything about Him is Spirit."
  

2.08 - THE MASTERS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  "The rishis followed the path of jnna. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the Path of Devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of bhakti. The darkness of the mind disappears when God is realized. In the Purana it is said that it was as if a hundred suns were shining when Rama entered the court. Why, then, weren't the courtiers burnt up? It was because the brilliance of Rama was not like that of a material object. As the lotus blooms when the sun rises, so the lotus of the heart of the people assembled in the court burst into blossom."
  

2.09 - ADVICE TO THE BRAHMOS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  MASTER: "That is also a path. It is called the path of vichara, reasoning. But the inner organs3 are brought under control naturally through the Path of Devotion as well. It is rather easily accomplished that way. Sense pleasures appear more and more tasteless as love for God grows. Can carnal pleasure attract a grief-stricken man and woman the day their child has died?"
  

2.09 - The Release from the Ego, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  That substance is the self of the man called in European thought the Monad, in Indian philosophy, Jiva or Jivatman, the living entity, the self of the living creature. This Jiva is not the mental ego-sense constructed by the workings of Nature for her temporary purpose. It is not a thing bound, as the mental being, the vital, the physical are bound, by her habits, laws or processes. The Jiva is a spirit and self, superior to Nature. It is true that it consents to her acts, reflects her moods and upholds the triple medium of mind, life and body through which she casts them upon the soul's consciousness; but it is itself a living reflection or a soul-form or a self-creation of the Spirit universal and transcendent. The One Spirit who has mirrored some of His modes of being in the world and in the soul, is multiple in the Jiva. That Spirit is the very Self of our self, the One and the Highest, the Supreme we have to realise, the infinite existence into which we have to enter. And so far the teachers walk in company, all agreeing that this is the supreme object of knowledge, of works and of devotion, all agreeing that if it is to be attained, the Jiva must release himself from the ego-sense which belongs to the lower Nature or Maya. But here they part company and each goes his own way. The Monist fixes his feet on the path of an exclusive Knowledge and sets for us as sole ideal an entire return, loss, immersion or extinction of the Jiva in the Supreme. The Dualist or the partial Monist turns to the Path of Devotion and directs us to shed indeed the lower ego and material life, but to see as the highest destiny of the spirit of man, not the self-annihilation of the Buddhist, not the self-immersion of the Adwaitin, not a swallowing up of the many by the One, but an eternal existence absorbed in the thought, love and enjoyment of the Supreme, the One, the All-Lover.
  

2.11 - The Modes of the Self, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  And if we regard existence from the standpoint of the possible eternal and infinite relations of this One from whom all things proceed, these Many of whom the One is the essence and the origin and this Energy, Power, or Nature through which the relations of the One and the Many are maintained, we shall see a certain justification even for the dualist philosophies and religions which seem to deny most energetically the unity of beings and to make an unbridgeable differentiation between the Lord and His creatures. If in their grosser forms these religions aim only at the ignorant joys of the lower heavens, yet there is a far higher and profounder sense in which we may appreciate the cry of the devotee poet when in a homely and vigorous metaphor he claimed the right of the soul to enjoy for ever the ecstasy of its embrace of the Supreme. "I do not want to become sugar," he wrote, "I want to eat sugar." However strongly we found ourselves on the essential identity of the one Self in all, we need not regard that cry as the mere aspiration of a certain kind of spiritual sensuousness or the rejection by an attached and ignorant soul of the pure and high austerity of the supreme Truth. On the contrary, it aims in its positive part at a deep and mysterious truth of Being which no human language can utter, of which human reason can give no adequate account, to which the heart has the key and which no pride of the soul of knowledge insisting on its own pure austerity can abolish. But that belongs properly to the summit of the Path of Devotion and there we shall have again to return to it.
  

2.12 - THE FESTIVAL AT PNIHTI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  MASTER: "In order to bring people spiritual knowledge, an Incarnation of God lives in the world in the company of devotees, cherishing an attitude of love for God. It is like going up and coming down the stairs after having once reached the roof. In order to reach the roof, other people should follow the Path of Devotion, as long as they have not attained Knowledge and become free of desire. The roof can be reached only when all desires are done away with. The shopkeeper does not go to bed before finishing his accounts. He goes to sleep only when his accounts are finished.
  

2.14 - INSTRUCTION TO VAISHNAVS AND BRHMOS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  MASTER: "Yes, they are. But they also accept the Path of Devotion. The fact is that in the Kaliyuga one cannot wholly follow the path laid down in the Vedas. Once a man said to me that he would perform the Purascharana of the Gayatri. I said: 'Why don't you do that according to the Tantra? In the Kaliyuga the discipline of Tantra is very efficacious.'
  

2.16 - Oneness, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  
  The integral knowledge again reveals to us the Self-existent as the All-blissful who, as Sachchidananda manifesting the world, manifesting all beings, accepts their adoration, even as He accepts their works of aspiration and their seekings of knowledge, leans down to them and drawing them to Himself takes all into the joy of His divine being. Knowing Him as our divine Self, we become one with Him, as the lover and beloved become one, in the ecstasy of that embrace. Knowing Him too in all beings, perceiving the glory and beauty and joy of the Beloved everywhere, we transform our souls into a passion of universal delight and a wideness and joy of universal love. All this which, as we shall find, is the summit of the Path of Devotion, becomes also an annexe and result of the path of Knowledge.
  

2.17 - M. AT DAKSHINEWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  "That is why God incarnates Himself as man and teaches people the Path of Devotion.
  
  He exhorts people to cultivate self-surrender to God. Following the Path of Devotion, one realizes everything through His grace both Knowledge and Supreme Wisdom.
  

2.20 - 2.29 - RULES FOR HOUSEHOLDERS AND MONKS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  MASTER (to Bhagavan Das): "The Eternal Religion, the religion of the rishis, has been in existence from time out of mind and will exist eternally. There exist in this Sanatana Dharma all forms of worship-worship of God with form and worship of the Impersonal Deity as well. It contains all paths-the path of knowledge, the Path of Devotion, and so on. Other forms of religion, the modern cults, will remain for a few days and then disappear."
  
  --
  
  MASTER: "For the Kaliyuga the Path of Devotion described by Nrada is best. Where can people find time now to perform their duties according to the scriptural injunctions?
  
  --
  
  For the Kaliyuga the Path of Devotion is easiest. This is indeed the path for this age.
  
  --
  
  MASTER: "Add your tears to your yearning. And if you can renounce everything through discrimination and dispassion, then you will be able to see God. That yearning brings about God-intoxication, whether you follow the path of knowledge or the Path of Devotion. The sage Durvasa was mad with the Knowledge of God.
  
  --
  
  "Both negation and affirmation are ways to realize one and the same goal. Infinite are the opinions and infinite are the ways. But you must remember one thing. The injunction is that the Path of Devotion described by Nrada is best suited to the Kaliyuga. According to this path, first comes bhakti; then bhava, when bhakti is mature. Higher than bhava are mahabhava and prema. An ordinary mortal does not attain mahabhava and prema.
  

2.30 - 2.39 - THE MASTER IN VARIOUS MOODS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  "But the teachings of the Vedas are different. According to the Vedas none but a brahmin can be liberated. Further, the worship is not accepted by the gods unless the mantras are recited correctly. One must perform sacrifice, worship, and so on, according to scriptural injunction. But where is the time in the Kaliyuga to perform the Vedic rituals? Therefore in the Kaliyuga the Path of Devotion prescribed by Nrada is best. The path of karma is very difficult. Karma becomes a cause of bondage unless it is performed in a spirit of detachment. Further, the life of man nowadays depends on food. He has no time to observe the rituals enjoined by the scriptures. The patient dies if he tries to cure his fever by taking the decoction of herbs prescribed by the orthodox native physicians.
  
  --
  
  "When the Kundalini is awakened, one attains bhava, bhakti, prema, and so on. This is the Path of Devotion.
  
  --
  
  "The performance of this dharma is called the path of karma. It is an extremely difficult path: it is very hard to act without motive. Therefore one is asked to pursue the Path of Devotion.
  
  "A man was performing the sraddha ceremony at his house. He was feeding many people. Just then a butcher passed, leading a cow to slaughter. He could not control the animal and became exhausted. He said to himself: 'Let me go into that house and enjoy the feast of the sraddha ceremony and streng then my body. Then I shall be able to drag the cow along.' So he carried out his intention. But when he killed the cow, the sin of the slaughter fell also on the performer of the sraddha. That is why I say the Path of Devotion is better than the path of action."
  

2.40 - 2.49 - THE MASTER AT THE HOUSES OF BALARM AND GIRISH, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  MASTER: "A man attains Brahmajnana as soon as his mind is annihilated. With the annihilation of the mind dies the ego, which says 'I', 'I'. One also attains the knowledge of Brahman by following the Path of Devotion. One also attains it by following the path of knowledge, that is to say, discrimination. The jnanis discriminate, saying, 'Neti, neti', that is, 'All this is illusory, like a dream.' They analyse the world through the process of 'Not this, not this'; it is my. When the world vanishes, only the jivas, that is to say, so many egos, remain.
  
  --
  
  "But God can also be realized through the Path of Devotion. Once the devotee develops love for the Lotus Feet of God and enjoys the singing of His name and attri butes, he does not have to make a special effort to restrain his senses. For such a devotee the sense-organs come under control of themselves.
  
  --
  
  Last, the path of nanda, the Path of Devotion and ecstatic love. You are an adept in all three paths; you can speak of them all with authority."
  

30.04 - Intuition and Inspiration in Art, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  
   Perhaps in India the Vaishnavas or the followers of the Path of Devotion have replaced intuition by inspiration. It is by their influence and at their hands that literature based on inspiration has become so rich, eloquent and intense. Western scholars say that the Aryans were mostly intellectual, principally guided by reason; it is the non-Aryans, the Dravidians, who have introduced the element of emotion into Indian culture. The Aryans generally followed the path of knowledge and the South Indians were predominantly devotional. Perhaps there is some truth in this saying. The Buddhists were also to some extent responsible for the change in the even and tranquil tenor of Aryan culture. In the beginning the Buddhists, like the Vedic Aryans, laid the greatest stress on knowledge. Later on, when Mahayana, the Great Path, came into vogue, there commenced the worship of the Buddha. When the compassion of the Buddha was recognised as the principal trait of Buddhism we moved away from intuition and resorted to inspiration.
  

3.01 - Love and the Triple Path, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Love is the crown of all being and its way of fulfilment, that by which it rises to all intensity and all fullness and the ecstasy of utter self-finding. For if the Being is in its very nature consciousness and by consciousness we become one with it, therefore by perfect knowledge of it fulfilled in identity, yet is delight the nature of consciousness and of the acme of delight love is the key and the secret. And if will is the power of conscious being by which it fulfils itself and by union in will we become one with the Being in its characteristic infinite power, yet all the works of that power start from delight, live in the delight, have delight for their aim and end; love of the Being in itself and in all of itself that its power of consciousness manifests, is the way to the perfect wideness of the Ananda. Love is the power and passion of the divine self-delight and without love we may get the rapt peace of its infinity, the absorbed silence of the Ananda, but not its absolute depth of richness and fullness. Love leads us from the suffering of division into the bliss of perfect union, but without losing that joy of the act of union which is the soul's greatest discovery and for which the life of the cosmos is a long preparation. Therefore to approach God by love is to prepare oneself for the greatest possible spiritual fulfilment.
  Love fulfilled does not exclude knowledge, but itself brings knowledge; and the completer the knowledge, the richer the possibility of love. ''By Bhakti'' says the Lord in the Gita ''shall a man know Me in all my extent and greatness and as I am in the principles of my being, and when he has known Me in the principles of my being, then he enters into Me.'' Love without knowledge is a passionate and intense, but blind, crude, often dangerous thing, a great power, but also a stumbling-block; love, limited in knowledge, condemns itself in its fervour and often by its very fervour to narrowness; but love leading to perfect knowledge brings the infinite and absolute union. Such love is not inconsistent with, but rather throws itself with joy into divine works; for it loves God and is one with him in all his being, and therefore in all beings, and to work for the world is then to feel and fulfil multitudinously one's love for God. This is the trinity of our powers, the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start on our journey by the Path of Devotion with Love for the Angel of the Way to find in the ecstasy of the divine delight of the All-Lover's being the fulfilment of ours, its secure home and blissful abiding-place and the centre of its universal radiation.
  Since then in the union of these three powers lies our base of perfection, the seeker of an integral self-fulfilment in the Divine must avoid or throw away, if he has them at all, the misunderstanding and mutual depreciation which we often find existent between the followers of the three paths. Those who have the cult of knowledge seem often, if not to despise, yet to look downward from their dizzy eminence on the path of the devotee as if it were a thing inferior, ignorant, good only for souls that are not yet ready for the heights of the Truth. It is true that devotion without knowledge is often a thing raw, crude, blind and dangerous, as the errors, crimes, follies of the religious have too often shown. But this is because devotion in them has not found its own path, its own real principle, has not therefore really entered on the path, but is fumbling and feeling after it, is on one of the bypaths that lead to it; and knowledge too at this stage is as imperfect as devotion, dogmatic, schismatic, intolerant, bound up in the narrowness of some single and exclusive principle, even that being usually very imperfectly seized. When the devotee has grasped the power that shall raise him, has really laid hold on love, that in the end purifies and enlarges him as effectively as knowledge can; they are equal powers, though their methods of arriving at the same goal are different. The pride of the philosopher looking down on the passion of the devotee arises, as does all pride, from a certain deficiency of his nature; for the intellect too exclusively developed misses what the heart has to offer. The intellect is not in every way superior to the heart; if it opens more readily doors at which the heart is apt to fumble in vain, it is, itself, apt to miss truths which to the heart are very near and easy to hold. And if when the way of thought deepens into spiritual experience, it arrives readily at the ethereal heights, pinnacles, skyey widenesses, it cannot without the aid of the heart fathom the intense and rich abysses and oceanic depths of the divine being and the divine Ananda.
  The way of Bhakti is supposed often to be necessarily inferior because it proceeds by worship which belongs to that stage of spiritual experience where there is a difference, an insufficient unity between the human soul and the Divine, because its very principle is love and love means always two, the lover and the beloved, a dualism therefore, while oneness is the highest spiritual experience, and because it seeks after the personal God while the Impersonal is the highest and the eternal truth, if not even the sole Reality. But worship is only the first step on the Path of Devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. Love too as well as knowledge brings us to a highest oneness and it gives to that oneness its greatest possible depth and intensity. It is true that love returns gladly upon a difference in oneness, by which the oneness itself becomes richer and sweeter. But here we may say that the heart is wiser than the thought, at least than that thought which fixes upon opposite ideas of the Divine and concentrates on one to the exclusion of the other which seems its contrary, but is really its complement and a means of its greatest fulfilment. This is the weakness of the mind that it limits itself by its thoughts, its positive and negative ideas, the aspects of the Divine Reality that it sees, and tends too much to pit one against the other.
  Thought in the mind, vicra, the philosophic trend by which mental knowledge approaches the Divine, is apt to lend a greater importance to the abstract over the concrete, to that which is high and remote over that which is intimate and near. It finds a greater truth in the delight of the One in itself, a lesser truth or even a falsehood in the delight of the One in the Many and of the Many in the One, a greater truth in the impersonal and the Nirguna, a lesser truth or a falsehood in the personal and the Saguna. But the Divine is beyond our oppositions of ideas, beyond the logical contradictions we make between his aspects. He is not, we have seen, bound and restricted by exclusive unity; his oneness realises itself in infinite variation and to the joy of that love has the completest key, without therefore missing the joy of the unity. The highest knowledge and highest spiritual experience by knowledge find his oneness as perfect in his various relations with the Many as in his self-absorbed delight. If to thought the Impersonal seems the wider and higher truth, the Personal a narrower experience, the spirit finds both of them to be aspects of a Reality which figures itself in both, and if there is a knowledge of that Reality to which thought arrives by insistence on the infinite Impersonality, there is also a knowledge of it to which love arrives by insistence on the infinite Personality. The spiritual experience of each leads, if followed to the end, to the same ultimate Truth. By Bhakti as by knowledge, as the Gita tells us, we arrive at unity with the Purushottama, the Supreme who contains in himself the impersonal and numberless personalities, the qualityless and infinite qualities, pure being, consciousness and delight and the endless play of their relations.

3.02 - The Motives of Devotion, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  So far, then, all Yogic experience is agreed. But Religion and the Yoga of Bhakti go farther; they attri bute to this Being a Personality and human relations with the human being. In both the human being approaches the Divine by means of his humanity, with human emotions, as he would approach a fellow-being, but with more intense and exalted feelings; and not only so, but the Divine also responds in a manner answering to these emotions. In that possibility of response lies the whole question; for if the Divine is impersonal, featureless and relationless, no such response is possible and all human approach to it becomes an absurdity; we must rather dehumanise, depersonalise, annul ourselves in so far as we are human beings or any kind of beings; on no other conditions and by no other means can we approach it. Love, fear, prayer, praise, worship of an Impersonality which has no relation with us or with anything in the universe and no feature that our minds can lay hold of, are obviously an irrational foolishness. On such terms religion and devotion become out of the question. The Adwaitin in order to find a religious basis for his bare and sterile philosophy, has to admit the practical existence of God and the gods and to delude his mind with the language of Maya. Buddhism only became a popular religion when Buddha had taken the place of the supreme Deity as an object of worship.
  Even if the Supreme be capable of relations with us but only of impersonal relations, religion is robbed of its human vitality and the Path of Devotion ceases to be effective or even possible. We may indeed apply our human emotions to it, but in a vague and imprecise fashion, with no hope of a human response: the only way in which it can respond to us, is by stilling our emotions and throwing upon us its own impersonal calm and immutable equality; and this is what in fact happens when we approach the pure impersonality of the Godhead. We can obey it as a Law, lift our souls to it in aspiration towards its tranquil being, grow into it by shedding from us our emotional nature; the human being in us is not satisfied, but it is quieted, balanced, stilled. But the Yoga of devotion, agreeing in this with Religion, insists on a closer and warmer worship than this impersonal aspiration. It aims at a divine fulfilment of the humanity in us as well as of the impersonal part of our being; it aims at a divine satisfaction of the emotional being of man. It demands of the Supreme acceptance of our love and a response in kind; as we delight in Him and seek Him, so it believes that He too delights in us and seeks us. Nor can this demand be condemned as irrational, for if the supreme and universal Being did not take any delight in us, it is not easy to see how we could have come into being or could remain in being, and if He does not at all draw us towards him, - a divine seeking of us, - there would seem to be no reason in Nature why we should turn from the round of our normal existence to seek Him.
  Therefore that there may be at all any possibility of a Yoga of devotion, we must assume first that the supreme Existence is not an abstraction or a state of existence, but a conscious Being; secondly, that he meets us in the universe and is in some way immanent in it as well as its source, - otherwise, we should have to go out of cosmic life to meet him; thirdly, that he is capable of personal relations with us and must therefore be not incapable of personality; finally, that when we approach him by our human emotions, we receive a response in kind. This does not mean that the nature of the Divine is precisely the same as our human nature though upon a larger scale, or that it is that nature pure of certain perversions and God a magnified or else an ideal Man. God is not and cannot be an ego limited by his qualities as we are in our normal consciousness. But on the other hand our human consciousness must certainly originate and have been derived from the Divine; though the forms which it takes in us may and must be other than the divine because we are limited by ego, not universal, not superior to our nature, not greater than our qualities and their workings, as he is, still our human emotions and impulses must have behind them a Truth in him of which they are the limited and very often, therefore, the perverse or even the degraded forms. By approaching him through our emotional being we approach that Truth, it comes down to us to meet our emotions and lift them towards it; through it our emotional being is united with him.

Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (text), #Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  he is placed between the charms of beauty on one side, and those of wealth on the other. He is sure to
  deviate from the Path of Devotion.
  72. Once a Marwari gentleman, approached Sri Ramakrishna and said, "How is it, Sir, that I do not see
  --
  characteristic of the 'unripe' ego. On the other hand it leads to God, and signifies that one has
  progressed in Bhakti Yoga or the Path of Devotion.
  123. What is the nature of the feelings and impulses of one who has the attitude of the 'servant I'? If his
  --
  devotion).
  350. The Master said to a devotee: "Through the Path of Devotion the subtle senses come readily and
  naturally under control. Carnal pleasures become more and more insipid as Divine love grows in your
  --
  572. The new-born calf feels unsteady and tumbles down r scores of times before it learns to stand
  steady, So in the Path of Devotion slips are many and frequent until success is finally achieved.
  573. Two persons, it is said, together began invoking the Goddess Kali by the terrible rite called
  --
  sportive Personal God, we easily obtain peace like the sinking man on being gently carried ashore.
  879. At a certain stage in the Path of Devotion, the devotee finds satisfaction in God with form, and at
  another stage, in God without it.

the Eternal Wisdom, #unset, #Rabbi Moses Luzzatto, #Kabbalah
  
  20) At a certain stage in the Path of Devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Ramakrishna
  

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