CD2 Track 6: What is Devotion?

Many people are talking about devotion. Generally people think that devotion is a way of expression, that I believe in God or Guru, and I am surrendered, but according to the Bhagavad Gita, it is not an emotion or feeling – it is different. Devotion comes after yogic practice.

When we do Kriya Yoga practice we start to get knowledge about what we are doing and why we are doing it. After that we can understand that “I AM” that is everywhere. This is why we say, “I AM THAT I AM”, (Aham Brahmasmi) “THAT I AM”.

Most people’s feeling of being surrendered to God is based on emotion and it is therefore very temporary. It can come and go very quickly. So this kind of devotion is very selfish devotion. Most people are demanding from God: “Oh God, I am your devotee, and you have to bless me and give to me.” If you get what you want in your life you are very happy, and that is why people are also going to demand worldly things from a saint or from their guru. There is a show that they are a good devotee, but it is only feeling and emotions. If the demand or desire is not met, the devotion disappears. But this kind of devotion is very superficial.

In the same way, there are many people who do not mediate, and talk about how they live in a simple, uncomplicated way. They show that they have few clothes and one pair of shoes, and eat very little. They say that they mean no harm to anyone.

But despite appearing to be simple and humble, the mind is full of complexity. This kind of simplicity is not genuine. The ordinary person can harm others physically and mentally, even if it is not their intention. But if they can become really uncomplicated, with no complexity in mind, it will be nice.

We say that the complexes that cause trouble in mind can be destroyed through meditation. Change happens in three ways: Mansa, mentally; Vachha, in your speech, and Kanmana, in your actions. It means that your thinking will become simple and clear, your words will be simple and natural, and your actions will be simple and true. Then devotion and detachment will be genuine. You withdraw your mind inside and are not very much influenced by the external world.

So devotion is an internal matter. It is not based on any emotions. The real devotee is someone who is practising meditation.

Yogi Prakash Shankar Vyas (Guruji)