How harmful can devotion be? - 12 Sep 12

12 Sep 2012  Vrindavan, India

Category: Guru

A female Devotee massaging her Guru

A female Devotee massaging her Guru (Photo: Reuters)

Yesterday I wrote that religion manipulates your mind and thus makes you do crazy things that you would never do if you were in your right’s mind. People spends lots of money, go on pilgrimages and take pains to see so-called holy places and then there are even those who become terrorists because of religion. But maybe it is not actually religion that makes this manipulation, maybe it is devotion.

What is the difference, you ask? Well, actually I think devotion does not only have to be religious.

You can devote yourself to religion, to god, to a certain belief and all the rules and ideas that come with it, I agree. Devotion is when you not only love your God but dedicate your each and everything to him and put yourself into his hands. That may not harm anybody by itself – but if religion comes with its religious leaders, controversial advice in scriptures and outdated ideas on how you should live and how others should live, you get into that area where devotion becomes dangerous.

I have read first-hand experiences of women who were fully devoted to their Guru and were thus exploited, humiliated and even sexually abused. Because they believed their guru to be God, divine and the one whom they should follow. They did whatever he said. And they regretted it once their devotion stopped.

Such danger exists with devotion not only if it is for something religious. Just look at someone who devotes himself to alcohol. He will get addicted and forget all sense and reason. He will harm first himself and maybe also those around him.

If you object now, saying that alcohol is a substance that anyway makes you addicted and behave in crazy ways, I can give you another example: people who devote themselves to work are not less harmful. Someone who is devoted to his work has only work to think about. He won’t hear the call of his body for rest and a proper meal. He will become a workaholic, he will be his work instead of himself – and harm himself and his family through this.

The only thing that I now believe you should be devoted to is love. Devote yourself to positivity, to being in love and spreading love. I don’t think you can do wrong here. You don’t need someone in between though, no master or guru. Devote yourself direct to love and not to a certain person of whom you think you learn to love.

What about devoting yourself to your partner though? I believe that this devotion has to be mutual. You have to devote yourself to each other because you have to be equal in your relationship. If only one of you devotes himself, one will be the master and the other one the follower. The follower will always be lower, less important and not able to take decisions. The master on the other hand will have too much responsibility. A partner may feel that the other one is too attached, too humble, not a personality by himself but completely dependent on him. No, a relationship needs devotion but it has to be mutual.

Only then, when you lose yourself in your devotion to love or your mutual devotion with your partner, you are able to keep reason and logic intact. You can turn crazy in love – but your partner will keep you from any harm.

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Tags:: Devotion, Guru, Love, Pilgrimage, Religion, Terrorism

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Posted By Swami Balendu

Swami Balendu

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