Bhakti is not an experience, it is a state of the heart and soul. It is a state which comes when the psychic being is awake and prominent.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 352
A veil behind the heart, a lid over the mind divides us from the Divine. Love and devotion rend the veil, in the quietude of the mind the lid thins and vanishes.
Sri Aurobindo – On Himself: SABCL, Vol. 26, pp. 215
The nature of bhakti is adoration, worship, self-offering to what is greater than oneself—the nature of love is a feeling or seeking for closeness and union. Self-giving is the character of both; both are necessary in the Yoga and each gets its full force when supported by the other.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 356
A devotion that keeps concentrated and silent in the depths of the heart but manifests in acts of service and obedience, is more powerful, more true, more divine, than any shouting and weeping devotion.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p. 98
Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can “do” the Purna Yoga—i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the Yoga by one’s own effort. No human being can do that. What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother’s hands and open oneself to her by service, by bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supramental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, pp. 152 – 52
Do not allow mental anxiety to harass you. Wait on the working of the Mother’s force which will open the lotus of the heart. In the light from above devotion will blossom in you.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, pp. 478
Selflessness, self-giving, entire faith and confidence, absence of demand and desire, surrender to the Divine Will, love concentrated on the Divine—are some of the main signs [of true love and bhakti].
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 356
This absolute self-giving, this one-minded surrender is the devotion which the Gita makes the crown of its synthesis. All action and effort are by this devotion turned into an offering to the supreme and universal Godhead. “Whatever thou doest, whatever thou enjoyest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, whatever energy of tapasya, of the soul’s will or effort thou puttest forth, make it an offering unto Me.” Here the least, the slightest circumstance of life, the most insignificant gift out of oneself or what one has, the smallest action assumes a divine significance and it becomes an acceptable offering to the Godhead who makes it a means for his possession of the soul and life of the God-lover. The distinctions made by desire and ego then disappear. As there is no straining after the good result of one’s action, no shunning of unhappy result, but all action and result are given up to the Supreme to whom all work and fruit in the world belong for ever, there is no farther bondage….
Sri Aurobindo – Essays on the Gita: CWSA, Vol. 19, pp. 333 – 34
The way of the integral Yoga of bhakti will be to universalise this conception of the Deity, to personalise him intimately by a multiple and an all-embracing relation, to make him constantly present to all the being and to devote, give up, surrender the whole being to him, so that he shall dwell near to us and in us and we with him and in him. Manana and darśana, a constant thinking of him in all things and seeing of him always and everywhere is essential to this way of devotion. When we look on the things of physical Nature, in them we have to see the divine object of our love; when we look upon men and beings, we have to see him in them and in our relation with them to see that we are entering into relations with forms of him; when breaking beyond the limitation of the material world we know or have relations with the beings of other planes, still the same thought and vision has to be made real to our minds. The normal habit of our minds which are open only to the material and apparent form and the ordinary mutilated relation and ignore the secret Godhead within, has to yield by an unceasing habit of all-embracing love and delight to this deeper and ampler comprehension and this greater relation. In all godheads we have to see this one God whom we worship with our heart and all our being; they are forms of his divinity. So enlarging our spiritual embrace we reach a point at which all is he and the delight of this consciousness becomes to us our normal uninterrupted way of looking at the world. That brings us the outward or objective universality of our union with him.
Sri Aurobindo – The Synthesis of Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 24, pp. 601 – 02
…. there is another movement which should constantly accompany devotion…. That kind of sense of gratitude that the Divine exists; that feeling of a marvelling thankfulness which truly fills you with a sublime joy at the fact that the Divine exists, that there is something in the universe which is the Divine, that it is not just the monstrosity we see, that there is the Divine, the Divine exists. And each time that the least thing puts you either directly or indirectly in contact with this sublime Reality of divine existence, the heart is filled with so intense, so marvellous a joy, such a gratitude as of all things has the most delightful taste.
There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion—indeed so deep, so intense—that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine.
So I find that devotion without gratitude is quite incomplete, gratitude must come with devotion.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 8, p. 40
The love which is turned towards the Divine ought not to be the usual vital feeling which men call by that name; for that is not love, but only a vital desire, an instinct of appropriation, the impulse to possess and monopolise. Not only is this not the divine Love, but it ought not to be allowed to mix in the least degree in the Yoga. The true love for the Divine is a self-giving, free of demand, full of submission and surrender; it makes no claim, imposes no condition, strikes no bargain, indulges in no violences of jealousy or pride or anger—for these things are not in its composition. In return the Divine Mother also gives herself, but freely—and this represents itself in an inner giving—her presence in your mind, your vital, your physical consciousness, her power re-creating you in the divine nature, taking up all the movements of your being and directing them towards perfection and fulfilment, her love enveloping you and carrying you in its arms Godwards. It is this that you must aspire to feel and possess in all your parts down to the very material, and here there is no limitation either of time or of completeness. If one truly aspires and gets it, there ought to be no room for any other claim or for any disappointed desire. And if one truly aspires, one does unfailingly get it, more and more as the purification proceeds and the nature undergoes its needed change.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 461
How to get pure and complete devotion?
Get quiet first—then from the quietude aspire and open yourself quietly and sincerely to the Mother.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, pp. 477 – 78
Prayers of Devotion:
O Thou whom at first sight I knew for the Lord of my being and my God, receive my offering.
Thine are all my thoughts, all my emotions, all the sentiments of my heart, all my sensations, all the movements of my life, each cell of my body, each drop of my blood. I am absolutely and altogether Thine, Thine without reserve. What Thou wilt of me, that I shall be. Whether Thou choosest for me life or death, happiness or sorrow, pleasure or suffering, all that comes to me from Thee will be welcome. Each one of Thy gifts will be always for me a gift divine bringing with it the supreme Felicity.
Note: The Mother originally wrote this prayer in English and then translated it into French the following day. Later Sri Aurobindo translated the French version into English; this is the translation presented above.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 647
Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to Thee; and like the child who does not reason and has no care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will may be done, that Thy Light may manifest, Thy Peace radiate, Thy Love cover the world. When Thou willest I shall be in Thee, Thyself, and there shall be no more any distinction; I await that blessed hour without impatience of any kind, letting myself flow irresistibly toward it as a peaceful stream flows toward the boundless ocean.
Thy Peace is in me, and in that Peace I see Thee alone present in everything, with the calm of Eternity.
The Mother – Prayers and Meditations: CWM, Vol. 1, p.11
O Lord, let Thy Will be done, Thy work be accomplished. Fortify our devotion, increase our surrender, give us light upon the path. We erect Thee within us as our supreme Master that Thou mayst become supreme Master of all the earth.
Our speech is still ignorant: enlighten it.
Our aspiration is still imperfect: purify it.
Our action is still powerless: make it effective.
O Lord, the earth groans and suffers; chaos has made this world its abode.
The darkness is so deep that Thou alone canst dispel it. Come, manifest Thyself, that Thy work may be accomplished.
The Mother – Prayers and Meditations: CWM, Vol. 1, p.231
Grant O Lord, that we may be more and more conscious of Thy law, that is, be one with it, so that we may foster its manifestation in all things.
Lord, grant that I may become master of my vagabond thought, that living in Thee I may see life only through Thee, and the illusion of material reality may come to an end and be replaced by a perception more in conformity with Thy eternal reality.
Let me live constantly in Thy divine Love, so that it may live in me and through me.
Grant that I may be an efficient and clear-sighted collaborator and that everything within me may foster the plenitude of Thy manifestation.
I know all my imperfections, my difficulties, my weaknesses, I feel all my ignorance, but I put my full trust in Thee and bow down before Thee in silent devotion.
The Mother – Prayers and Meditations: CWM, Vol. 1, p.83
Modest and fragrant, it gives itself without seeking for anything in return.
Holy basil, Krishna tulsi, Ram tulsi, Tulsi
One form, the Ram tulsi, has very tiny pale greenish white bilabiate flowers with green calyces closely tiered on thin racemes, green stems and small softly pubescent green leaves. Another form, the Krishna tuisi, has very tiny pale purple bilabiate flowers with greenish purple calyces closely tiered on thin racemes, deep purple stems and leaves that are greenish purple above and green beneath. A shrubby annual or perennial culinary herb with aromatic leaves.
The Mother – Spiritual significance of flowers