How to Develop Devotion


By nature I am partly philosophical and partly devotional. I am a devotee of divine mother, but my philosophical side appears to be an obstacle in my devotion. Whenever I think of the mother, i can’t concentrate and my reasoning process starts which in the end often leads to doubts and an unsatisfied intellect. Some doubts cannot be cleared by intellect, i know it but so difficult to convince the mind. due to this i lack faith in devotional practices. What to do in such conditions?

—Sam, India


Dear Sam,

I can very much appreciate your dilemma as I have had similar struggles earlier in life. Here are a few suggestions you might consider:

  1. Pray to Divine Mother for devotion: ever deeper, ever purer.
  2. Explain to your intellect that your dedication to know the truth is YOUR form of devotion and therefore it’s intellectually permissible to have and feel devotion to the cause of truth.
  3. Explain to your intellect that as you are personal, so truth can be personified and therefore you choose to personify truth in the form of Divine Mother.
  4. Remind your intellect that without dedication born of the heart’s commitment and devotion, the intellect by itself will not be hold you steady in daily sadhana (meditation) and right action.
  5. Acknowledge to your intellect the value of its contribution to your spiritual journey but remind it that it has two other equal partners: feeling and action.
  6. Therefore invoke in your prayers and meditations and thoughts the power of the Trinity: intellect, feeling, and action.
  7. Thus if your intellect poses to you a truth statement, ask your heart to endorse it, and your body to manifest and commit to it. It takes all three to achieve full realization of “the truth that shall make you free.”
  8. Gently instruct your intellect to accept that perception of truth is a state of consciousness and does not require words. The mantra “Hong Sau” means that I AM not this body, not this mind, not these emotions. I AM stands alone and above thoughts. Non-duality is the highest truth; it is BEING; it simply IS. No words can describe the undescribable.
  9. Therefore practice both in meditation and at pause times during the day BEING “I AM” without thoughts. This truth and this state can arise only by great courage (devotion), yagya (self-offering), and the power of divine grace offered to us by Divine Mother. The ego resists it and even if it claims to accept it, this state is beyond the ego. The ego must surrender to it.
  10. A practical way to develop devotion is to practice GRATITUDE throughout the day for all things big and little; pleasant and unpleasant. Thank you, Divine Mother!

May the river of grace carry you to shores of inner Peace!

Nayaswami Hriman