Is there a place for devotion in nonduality?

bhakti

Devotional nonduality. The idea sounds like a contradiction. If one is ultimately the Supreme Being/God/Brahman/Oneness then how can one worship one self?

Yet, especially in the Advaita Vedanta tradition we see a deep devotional aspect in the lives of Self Realised masters such as Ramana Maharshi.

It is easy to accept than in a non-realised person devotion or worship is logical because the person considers themself to be separate form the object of their devotion.

But what is devotion for a Self Realised Being?

Firstly, often when awakening first happens the pull of Maya may remain present to a greater or lesser degree. This is actually not true after a full awakening, but awakening often occurs by stages, like a window-blind being pulled up by a drawstring prone to catching.

In this case devotion creates a centered attitude, allowing an open spaciousness to permeate and maintaining the withdrawal of the ego.

But Ramana Marharshi and others were fully Self Realised masters. And they maintained devotional worship. Why?

The answer is that the question dissolves upon awakening because a deeply devotional demeanour is simply part of the transformation itself.
In other words, within Self Realisation thoughts and feelings of deep love and devotion toward the All arise naturally and spontaneously.

The question of the direction of love, toward other? Toward self? Loses all meaning when there is no longer any kind of direction to speak of, just the one shining whole.

So, allow yourself to be swept off your feet in mad, crazy love for the Source of All Being

 

 

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