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Lesson 391 - Changes in Bhakti from Dual to Non-Dual  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
391.1 - Bhakti, Refining Perception and Non-Duality

From: Yogani
Date: March 22, 2010

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: What happens to bhakti in enlightenment? How can one be a seeker or a devotee in non-duality? Is enlightenment the end of bhakti, just as it is the end of seeking? I ask because, after some years of practice, I feel I am so much less the doer, and wonder what this fading sense of being the doer and the seeker means in terms of the choices that are still occurring in daily experience. If I am not the one making these choices, while helping others more and more in the process, who is?

A: Spiritual desire is the manifestation of the force of divine attraction, that which draws us inevitably to Oneness, which we call enlightenment. It has also been called the power of universal love.

Bhakti, or a sustained desire for something more, is the underlying emotion in all that we do, whether the expression seems to be divine or not. As our desire intensifies and becomes more focused on our chosen ideal, a merging occurs. The principle of meditation is involved, where we become our ideal and transcend with it into pure bliss consciousness. Then the two have become one, in stillness, in a non-dual condition, temporarily at first, and as an all-day experience later on.

What becomes of our desires then? First of all, they gravitate toward a wider expression of Oneness in our surroundings, which means a natural tendency toward doing for others as we would for ourselves. This is the flow of outpouring divine love. In this situation, desires do not leave, and neither does their divine focus, which we have called bhakti. Just as our perspective expands, so does our bhakti expand in its focus, flowing within itself with little personal intention required. Paradoxically, the outpouring of divine love, the most personal experience we can have, is entirely impersonal. It is its own movement and its own fulfillment. There is no need for anything in return. It just flows, and we flow with it in stillness. It is "Stillness in action."

Who is doing all that? Who is pumping our blood in this moment, and attending to the innumerable tasks occurring in nature, within us and all around us? Who makes the flower bloom? It is the mechanics of life occurring, filled with an infinite intelligence. This is the nature of life. It does not need our personal direction. As we become abiding inner silence and surrender to that, our underlying reality, everything will go on as it has before, only with much more purity of intention, with us along for the ride in the awareness that we are not separate from anyone or anything. There will also be more efficiency in life. Divine love is not a push-over. What must be done will be done.

The transition of desire is very natural. Bhakti is a play in duality, and non-duality simply is. When we go from a dual to a non-dual perception, bhakti does not end. It only shifts from being a personal seeking to a deep appreciation (love) and serving of all. It is an expansion. It is an evolution. Bhakti is always present in our service, where we move spontaneously for the Oneness of all. The miracle of divine flow is unspoken and ordinary, with no mind assessment like chopping the wood and carrying the water. We just do whatever has to be done in an unending inner joy, which is our essential nature. Good things are happening.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed discussion on the relationship of bhakti to our spiritual evolution, see the Bhakti and Karma Yoga book and the Liberation book, and AYP Plus.

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