Happiness to Bhakti-Devotion

‘Let your whole life be a spiritual song.
Believe that God is everywhere at all times,
and derive strength, comfort,
and joy by singing His glory in His presence.’

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

We are living moving Yantras. A yantra is a geometrical diagram, or any object, used as an aid to meditation in tantric worship, like the Sri Chakra. By tantric, I mean the intention to become one with the object of worship—to have union. When activated through prayer, the Yantra becomes a powerful force of healing and unity. When activated by Bhakti—Devotion, our very selves are God and Goddess in form. Our very self, radiates divine light, that is, wisdom, compassion and selfless service.

When divinity is activated, no matter where one goes, that divinity is used. It can be employed as pure energy to balance. It be used as a means of healing or of making energy conscious. This is why Saints often go where they are led. Why, Sadaks rarely settle in one home or one community. Why many Spiritual lights are always at home spiritually, yet are nomads in body. They share their divine energy, with whomever they are with, wherever they are and where they are led.

This also explains why some Saints sometimes remain in one small space of our earth, thereby enhancing its energy field. In so doing, they allow others to come to them to give worship and devotion. They in turn empower them and let them return to their own place with increased Divine power. This is why we visit sacred places of power, why we go on Pilgrimage. We return from any sacred journey, external or internal with a deepened sacred connection and stronger connection to divine energy.

When filled with the happiness of gratitude, we are filled with a limitless sublime force that opens the heart, like a lotus opening to the morning sun. Being filled with such gratitude leads to the profound expression of love, which can only be understood as devotion. Devotion is special outpouring of the heart. It is a spontaneous, natural expression of gratitude, of respect and with a wish to honour, based in deep happiness to The Doer and that, which has been done and is being done.

Once cannot avoid being humbled by such a feeling of the heart. Devotion is loyally offered to God, to the Divine, one’s spiritual teacher, one’s divine opportunities and all members of one’s sangha and to all sentient beings. In devotion one can shed tears easily, but they are not tears of sadness or grief, fear or trepidation but tears of joy. There is so much gratitude the heart overflows in full devotion and the tears flow and flow.

When I was with Papaji, he sat in daily Satsang on a chair under a large portrait of his Guru, Sri Ramana Maharishi. Sitting on the floor in front of Papaji, I have seen tears of gratitude appear in his eyes when he thought of his Guru or when he spoke of him. His entire body would be deeply affected by the wave of devotion he felt, his gratitude for the way Sri Ramana had spiritually cared for him and freed him from the muck of Maya. He was eternally grateful to Him and this gratitude showed in his entire blissful countenance, which was discernible and profoundly affected the onlooker also.

Although Papaji was on the Path of Self-enquiry, he accepted bhakti as a valid path and had been a Bhakti for most of his life. He was naturally devotional. But in his later years, when most of his visitors were foreigners, he rarely spoke of Bhakti as he once intimated that he felt that western minds had lost their innocence and were not temperamentally suited to successful Bhakti.

Now this is an interesting thought. It means that Bhakti requires meeting the Divine as an innocent child, accepting unquestioningly what the Divine gives and wants. It is true that not everyone is suited to this. They are not naturally devotional to this extent. They have too many inner arguments and inner conflicts, perhaps too much pride. But devotion is necessary for us all to some degree even if only as a feeling and an expression of respect and honour in gratitude for all that is divinely given to one. Otherwise, we are merely one who takes! And so, devotion is a natural expression of Divine Love no matter what one’s nature is. It should always be nourished and cultivated and will in turn make one always easily feel nourished and cared for divinely.

Gratefully Expressing Devotion

One of the simplest expressions of devotion is to create a small sacred place where you can pray and give homage. Setting up a sacred space or altar at home means inviting and receiving The Divine as your most honored guest. It is an offering of your own divine love and devotion, a sacred offering from your heart to the Divine Heart. We decorate this sacred space with our love. A love that is devotional. A love that is filled with loving prayer and respect.

Every prayer can be offered in devotion, every action or thought, good or bad can be surrendered in prayer, handed over in trust and gratitude knowing that one’s prayer is heard and that healing happens through our intention. Knowing this, our loyalty, our trust, our love, our gratitude makes us open to the blessings that help us in the turbulent waves and turmoil of life.

Devotion has steadfastness, loyalty, integrity and trust. If you are blessed to have a true spiritual teacher they will be steadfast with you in this way. They will be devoted to you and your welfare and spiritual well-being. They will show you by example what is required by you on your spiritual path and help you to stay constant in spite of your flickering and fluctuating minds.

‘The guru-disciple relationship is the highest expression of friendship, for it is based on unconditional divine love and wisdom. It is the loftiest and most sacred of all relationships. Christ and his disciples were all one in spirit, as are my master [Swami Sri Yukteswar] and I and those who are in tune with me, because of the common bond of God’s divine love… One who partakes of this relationship is on the way to wisdom and freedom.

‘The friendship that exists between guru and disciple is eternal. There is complete surrender, there is no compulsion, when a disciple accepts the guru’s training.’

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

In Devotion, we have the most sacred relationship with the Divine: the deepest of friendships with the Divine. We honour the blessings we receive, the gifts from the Divine, our teacher and the teachings, the sangha and the Path, the precious opportunities. We love sacredly. And as we love sacredly, we ourselves experience sacred love and we become embodiments of sacred love. Devotion will take you to the sacred being that you are, to your true self: an embodiment of Love. When Swami addressed us before giving a discourse, he always first addressed us lovingly as Prema Swaroopa! Embodiments of Love! He reminded us each time, at every opportunity, of who we are and have always been and who we can become.

* * *

In such gratitude, we cannot have a firm strong ego. Humility presides. Doership is handed over. All credit is given to the grace of Guru/God, to the Divine and not self, and for the benefit of all beings and not only for oneself.

When we surrender devotionally in this way, the path really begins. We don’t change instantly but we begin the transformation step by step to the True Self. We have increasingly less ego and our hearts become more and more wealthy and abundant with love.

Our gratitude is natural, effusive, and eternal. We embody gratitude. Om Krtajna Hum-I Am Gratitude

With love and gratitude

Extract from Gratitude Course by Mynavati. If you are interested in this 4-week Intensive Course on Gratitude please email Mynavati at: mynavati@mynavati.com

Previous articlePrayer by Letter
Next articleEntering 2023