Devotion is of two types. The first type is called as Bhakti, which consists of prayers or songs through words and emotional feelings through mind. This Bhakti gives temporary happiness only. Knowledge is related to intelligence, which is the discrimination of real and unreal through logical analysis. By such discrimination, you can realize that all the forms of matter and all the feelings of awareness are unreal. When you have realized that all the forms (Rupa) and all the feelings (Guna) are unreal even before the level of yourself, which is pure awareness, your life becomes completely an entertainment in both happy and unhappy situations. The self- realization makes you a spectator of the cinema which consists of both happy and unhappy scenes. You will reach the state of an actor who is entertained in all the scenes of the drama on the stage. Thus the knowledge gives you permanent happiness which is called as bliss. Therefore, knowledge (Jnana) is greater than devotion (Bhakti). Here, you must note that the Bhakti is related to words and mind, whereas Jnana is related to intelligence. Hence, both devotion and knowledge belong to theoretical phase only which is limited to words, mind and intelligence.
The second type of devotion is called as Para-Bhakti, which is related to practice or sacrifice of service. This divine devotion (Para-Bhakti) consists of divine service by sacrificing work (Karma Sanyasa) and by sacrificing the fruit of work (Karma Phala Tyaga). This second type of devotion is far superior than the knowledge. The Bhakti and Jnana are selfish because in both your aim is the attainment of bliss by yourself. The divine devotion or the divine service is completely different, which has no selfish aim. In this divine service, your aim is to please God and not to please yourself. You have to receive the continuous loss and displeasure in the divine service. In this stage you are achieving the nature of God. God always enjoys the fruits of the sins of His devotees and is thus subjected to continuous misery. His aim is to make His devotees happy. God is serving His devotees. Service is always sacrifice to make others happy at the cost of self-happiness. The Veda says that God is bliss (Anando Brahma). The Veda reveals the meaning of this statement by further saying "Eshahyeva Anandayati" which means that God makes His devotees happy. Therefore, when we say that God is bliss, that does not mean God is continuously enjoying the happiness. It means only that God is making others happy continuously. In fact such a definition only, is the proof of God being bliss. How do you say that the fire is hot? Since the fire is making others experience its heat, people say that fire is hot. Similarly, if you make others happy, then only you are the embodiment of that happiness. Now the point is whether God is continuously unhappy by such sacrifice, which is His service to His devotees. The answer is that God is continuously happy through such sacrifice. He is deriving happiness continuously by enjoying the misery of His devotees. He is not unhappy to enjoy the sins of His devotees. Therefore, He is happy always and making His devotees also happy. In the first level of ignorance, the soul derives happiness only from happy situations which are like sweets. In the second level of realization, the soul derives happiness both from happy and unhappy situations, which are like sweets and hots in the meals. In the final level of the state of God, if the soul derives continuous happiness from hots only, such a soul has become almost God (Mama Sadharmyamagatah Gita). Such a soul is almost equal to God. Such a devotee also attracts the sins of deserving devotees and makes them happy. Such an attraction of sins is always a secret because the deserving devotee will never agree to such transfer of sins. A devotee who had reached this highest level came to see Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who was suffering with cancer. The devotee sat near Sri Paramahamsa and was trying to attract the cancer onto him. Sri Paramahamsa, who was the human incarnation immediately recognized this and pushed the devotee away from Him. Therefore, the devotee can attain all the powers of God and the divine nature of God, which consists of continuous sacrifice for the sake of devotees. Then, why not the devotee, be called as God in full sense? Except one point, the devotee can become God in all aspects and that one point is the creation, maintenance and destruction of this universe. At the lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami surya http://www.universal-spirituality.org To subscribe, send a message to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ and click 'Join This Group!' Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/