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What is the difference between knowledge, devotion and Sadhana?


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What is the difference between knowledge, devotion and Sadhana?


The knowledge is the information about God, about yourself and about the path through which you can please the Lord. You must know the actual form of God and His correct address. You must also know that you are not God. If you are already God (as Advaita philosophers say), there is no need of Sadhana because if you are God, every human being is God. When you are the goal already, what is the need of any spiritual effort? Then what is the real path to please the God?


The answers for these three questions (Triputi) about the three items that is God, yourself and the path to please God consist the knowledge or Jnana Yoga. When you get more and more details about the goal, you develop more and more interest on the goal and such interest is called as devotion. Rukmini got full information about Krishna from the sage Narada. The information inspired her and she was fired with love on Krishna. This love on the Lord is called as devotion. The word love is used in the case of any one or anybody other than God. To distinguish the love on God, a separate pious word “Devotion” is used.


The devotion is at two levels. One is theoretical and the other is practical. The theoretical devotion alone is fraud. However, it is valid if it is associated with practical devotion. The practical devotion (service) must be associated with the theoretical devotion just as the plate of meals is associated with a cup of drinking water. Service should be according to the requirement of the Lord. Some devotees think that the service for the welfare of the society should be the aim of God. But God is above the society. God is not for the society, whereas the society is for the God’s entertainment.


His wish or desire is the guiding light for your line of service. If you think that God is for society, He will ask you to do His personal service. Ramayana is only personal service to God. Killing of Ravana became inevitable and was not the main goal. If killing Ravana is the main goal, Rama would not have asked to return Sita so that He will go back from the war. Therefore if you have confirmed the Lord, you should not apply logic, and you should become His slave (Dasa) like Hanuman without logic. The aim of your service should be to please God and not to please the society. In fact your family is a very important part in the society. You should not sacrifice your family for the sake of society. You need not also sacrifice the family for God if your family consists of devotees. Only in the extreme case of opposition, you can sacrifice the family for the sake of the Lord.


It is a very rare case but still such rare case is not ruled out. God in human form and the devotees are to be served. Among the devotees, the liberated souls who are recognized by their firm faith and continuous service and sacrifice are the best. Such liberated souls are more than God because God treats them more than Himself.


At the Lotus Feet of His Holiness Sri Dattaswami


Anil Antony



Universal Spirituality for World Peace


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