Devotion to whom or what?

Bhakti Yoga is, achieved through dedication to God liberation. But which God is meant by this concept and what kind of liberation is at stake? Anyway, with bhakti to bring more than just esoteric world declaration. 

The most important Yoga teachers of modern times, T. Krishnamacharya, was an Indian Brahmin, ie a Hindu priest and a member of the highest caste. The aim of his Yoga path is union with God, or at least the knowledge of God. After decades of study with his father, his son T. K. V. Desikachar teaches nevertheless a secular understanding of Yoga. How is that possible?

According to Patanjali Krishnamacharya Yogasutra describes the devotion to God or Bhakti as one of several, equal opportunities, to calm the mind, to attain peace of mind and develop a universal consciousness. Bhakti thus is also open to people who do not believe in a god or gods. This involves namely mainly to the waking consciousness of one’s own limitations and their acceptance, the radical openness to new ideas and to trust.

The acceptance of one’s own limits or the “self-efficacy”, as stated recently, says the understanding that the results of our actions ultimately not or not completely outside of our control. At the end of the success of our efforts also need something like the “grace” or a “blessing”. In ordinary language we say, the action must be under a lucky star, the agent needs a knack … meant is that we can not control everything to the last, and plan ahead.

This aspect of our business comes in Sutra 1.12 expressed: Abhyasa and Vairagya – practicing and releasing. We invest our energy, concentration and focus on one thing or the practice. But in the end we want a positive result not force, we make it happen – we are the result with equanimity over. In asana practice, this principle “Stira sukham asanam” (Sutra 2.46) – the conversations are simultaneously firm and comfortable, stable and easy. We should not cramped, not practice with too much power and ambition, but easy and of course, ultimately beautiful. Contemporary is said that the Flow, the successful actions is based – everything seems easy and how to function on its own.

But devotion is just also to be open to new, curious and ready for change. If this were not so, the agent would still tense or anxious that everything always runs in beaten track. Devotional action provides for the agent on the other hand a value in itself and it may refrain from the results. Because thoughts and feelings have become one, we go to a thing on or delve more and more to self-forgetfulness.

This kind of devotion is expressed in a kind of basic trust – which is paraphrased in English by the term “Faith”. Sriram translated here from the sutras: basic trust that needs no object and the firm belief in a vision (Sanskrit: Shraddha and Ishvara Pranidhana). This is precisely the core of the idea of a non-religious devotion: There is the opportunity to develop a deep trust in one’s own life and to act devotedly without this trust or this devotion must be based on a (personal) God.

Musicians have repeatedly described most dedicated moments with their music. And when listening to music to set such moments. Nature experiences can exert a similar effect. The devotion to something that we as a greater feeling than ourselves //

One thought on “Devotion to whom or what?

  • October 31, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Very nice spiritual article


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