BANGALORE: The integral Yoga of Devotion proceeds through seven stages, each of which opens out from the one that precedes it: Aspiration and self-consecration; devotion; adoration and worship; love; possession of the whole being and life by the Divine; joy of the Divine Love and the beauty and sweetness of the Divine; the absolute Bliss of the Absolute.
Faith is our first need; for without faith in the Divine, in the existence and the all-importance of the Divine Being, there can be no reason to aspire or to consecrate, there can be no power in the aspiration or force behind the consecration.
Doubts do not matter, if the faith central and fundamental is there. Doubts may come, but they cannot prevail against (the rock) of faith in the centre of the being. The rock may be covered awhile by surges of doubt and despondency, but the rock will emerge firm and indestructible.
Faith is of the heart, the inner heart where lives the psychic being. The outer heart is the seat of the vital being, the life personality. That like the mind may believe and then lose its belief, doubt comes from the mind, the vital and the physical consciousness. (The greater the intensity) of the psychic fire, the less the power of doubt to soil and darken the mind, the life and the consciousness of the body.
Three are words that sum up the first state of the Yoga of devotion — faith, worship, obedience. Three are the words that sum up the second state of the Yoga of devotion — adoration, delight, self-giving. Three are the words that sum up the supreme state of the Yoga of devotion — love, ecstasy, surrender.
These are the seven ecstacies of Love:
■ The ecstasy of the body in clasp of the Lover.
■ The ecstasy of the life consecrated and self-given to the Lord.
■ The ecstasy of the Mind made one in idea and (Will) with the divine Consort.
■ The ecstasy of the supermind united with mind and body and enjoying the bliss of difference.
■ The ecstasy (of the) soul in the pure bliss of the Beatific.
■ The ecstasy of the spirit united in consciousness and force with the Universal.
■ The ecstasy of the pure being absolute and one with the Transcendent.
Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Works
All spiritual paths lead to a higher consciousness and union with the Divine and among the many paths one of the greatest is the Way of Works: it is great as the Way of Bhakti or the Way of Knowledge.
Do not imagine that works are in their nature nothing but a bondage, they can be a powerful means towards liberation and divine perfection. All depends on the spirit in our works and their orientation towards the inner and the higher Light away from desire and ego.
Works are a bondage when they are done out of desire or for the sake of the ego, by a mind turned outwards, involved in the act and not detached and free, bound to the ignorance of this lower nature.