The Power of Devotion

The Power of Devotion

By Desmond Yeoh Seng Cheong

Surrender to the DivineDevotion is the foundation of Bhakti Yoga. To realise its full power, Devotion must go hand in hand with Surrender to the Divine. Otherwise, it creates a separation between us and God. This is an incorrect view because the Divine is all-pervasive and therefore, is within every single one of us.

We must surrender totally to the Divine. A key aspect is Acceptance. With total Surrender to the Divine, we accept whatever circumstances that we face with total faith that the Divine is with us every second of the time. We do not know why we go through hard times but we can rest in the assurance that the Divine is holding our hands the entire time and we will come out stronger in the end.

Sadguru Sharavan Bhava said that when we pray to God, we should only pray for wisdom and strength. That is a powerful guiding principle. We should not have any expectation about how the Divine should help us or even solve our problems for us. If the Divine solves all our problems the way we want Him to, then we will not grow. We will continue to be reborn in an endless karmic cycle. Believe me, if the Divine does this, we will never find happiness.

The Divine will help us, but often not in the way we expect. We need to let go of our expectations so that we can clearly see His loving hand in our life. If we hold on to our expectations on how our problems will be solved, we will not be able to see how He has helped us. It is better that the Divine gives us the strength and wisdom to solve our problems ourselves instead of solving them for us.

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Another important aspect of Devotion is seeing the Divine in all beings. Sadguru said that when he see others, he see only their hearts. He only sees their Divinity. When Mother Teresa and her nuns help the poor, they see that they are really helping Jesus who has taken the form of those they help. When they look into the sufferings’ eyes, they see only love.

True Surrender to the Divine will quieten our mind. We become less angry because we are more willing to let go of our past hurts. How can we be angry at anyone when we know that the Divine is actually behind the mask of the person who hurt us? The Divine is merely taking on a role to help us evolve. We willingly accept our past as experiences which were necessary for our spiritual evolution. We worry less about the future because we trust that the Divine will always be there. When our mind does not travel back to the past or into the future, it will then remain in the present moment. When we are resting in the present moment, we are actually resting our head on the lap on the Divine Mother.

There is a simple approach to develop this healthy habit of Surrendering to the Divine. Whenever we are troubled, we just pray silently to ourselves, “Divine Father/Mother, I surrender this problem to you with all my heart”. We then bring peace to our mind by focusing our awareness on our emotions while focusing also on our breath; as if we are breathing into the emotions and breathing out from them. We observe and really feel the emotions that are in our hearts. We allow ourselves to feel those emotions deeply. The emotion will slowly fade away but that is not our goal. Our goal is to merely feel those emotions.

Our emotions are the bridge to the Divine. By being aware of our emotions, we are also surrendering them to the Divine. We can feel the healing touch of the Divine that removes the negative emotions from our hearts. We can bring much peace into our life by just developing this habit alone.

This is far more effective than trying to ‘think’ ourselves out of our problems or negative emotions. Wisdom arises out of our awareness. By being aware, we allow the best solutions to come to us intuitively.

Merging with the DivineWhen our Devotion is supported by total Surrender and seeing the Divinity within others, it becomes a powerful force to lead us to Self-Realisation. This is because over time, our ego will slowly fade away until we eventually become one with the Divine.

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