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Yoga of Devotion

  In the yoga of devotion, there are three stages and each stage is divided into three steps. The first stage consists of Faith, Worship, Obedience. The second is Adoration, Delight, Self-Giving. The last is Love, Ecstasy, Surrender. This 9-fold path is the yoga of devotion which culminates in the final stage of Surrender.

  The first step of the first stage is Faith.  When the mind is convinced of something, there is a conviction, a belief. That is a mental act. When the emotions are strong, we feel confident and heroic. When the soul moves, it has faith. The faith in the soul can be compared to the instinct in the body as a parallel. When our foot puts itself on the ground, it knows the ground will receive it and will not sink. There is an instinctive knowledge in the body that it can walk. It is not calculated or thought of; it is not impulsive, it is instinctive. That is what we call faith in the body. Because the body has lived on the earth for millions of years, its knowledge has gone to deeper levels where it is permanent. The soul which has come into evolution knows what the mind does not know and what the heart refuses to believe. Where the vital would only shrink, it knows; where the body would not be not sure, it knows. When the soul's true knowledge is expressed through the mind, it becomes mental faith; when it is expressed through the vital, it is vital faith. That knowledge is not an evolving knowledge, it is knowledge involved in the Spirit. When it expresses itself through the mind, it is not conviction or belief or clarity, but the faith of the soul expressed through the mind. When this faith is there, yoga is possible. When this faith is not there, one has to develop it, and until it is developed, one has to wait for his spiritual evolution.

   Surrender is possible only when you have faith. When we have faith, it is faith in something. When our faith is made active, dynamic, predicated to something, that something is worshipped. Static faith in its progress becomes active worship. This is the second step.

   Worship wells up out of the being from the basis of faith, from the foundation of faith. It is an active step, a psychological step. To make it an active physical act, it has to be expressed in the act of obedience. When this active faith is expressed in a physical act, it is an act of obedience. The first 3 steps are thus Faith-Worship-Obedience.   

   In the second stage, the first step is Adoration. Faith has culminated in obedience in the first stage. Obedience is an act of a smaller term, an act of subordination. Adoration is an emotion given by one to the other and the question of big and small does not arise. One adores the being of the other. Adoration is like a fountain, an ever-living flow. You cannot stop it. The emotions, feelings, and inspiration constantly pour out of the being. It is like being in a daze. That is why people say, "I adore the ground on which she walks." The object adored is not necessary; even something that is connected with the object is enough.

   At this stage the adoration is less organised; it is evanescent. If it becomes richer, more concrete, it need not express itself. When it become more organised, it becomes self-existent Delight, not needing to predicate itself to another. That is the second step. Adoration leads to Delight. When it gets further organised and further progresses, it becomes saturated and begins to overflow. Delight is self-existent and does not depend upon another, but unless it gives itself to another, it does not feel fulfilled. Self-giving is born at the next higher stage and becomes constant giving of oneself. Self-giving issues out of Delight, fulfilling itself and overflowing. Self-giving is a self-compelling act.

   Self-giving is dynamic and needs to be always active. Moving to the third stage, Self-giving becomes Love. It becomes a constant vibration of Love, not needing to give, not needing to be expressed. That Love is the foundation of all creation. Moving on to the next step, Love becomes saturated and turns into Ecstasy. It becomes fully saturated and craves for expression. This ecstasy can be expressed only in one way. It can surrender. It cannot express in any other act. It cannot express itself in a bargain, in a relationship, in something which asks for a return. It can simply surrender itself to the highest term.

These are the nine stages of the yoga of Devotion which leads to surrender.

story | by Dr. Radut