Part V — Attachment and devotion

Like a magnet, devotion is pulling us toward the goal

Our personal life is usually a life of emotion, a life of attachment — attachment to our own name and fame, attachment to our own physical needs or attachment to somebody else. But let us be frank. Is there anything divine in this kind of life? If I am attached to my physical body, I am useless. If I am attached to my emotional life, I am useless. If I am attached to somebody else, I am useless. So what shall I do? Shall I remain useless? No, let me accept the life of dedication. If I dedicate myself to the mission, to the Centre, to the Supreme, then only I am useful. A moment ago I was useless because I was attached to something. Now I am devoted to something infinitely higher. So the difference between attachment and devotion we can easily see.

When we devote our life, we offer it to a higher cause, a higher reality. But when we are attached to something, we are either on the same level as that thing or on a lower level, even the lowest level. Attachment will bind us either to the same standard as the object of our attachment or to a lower standard. But devotion, like a river, will carry us to the ocean. Devotion is like a river flowing into the ocean. Like a magnet, devotion is pulling us toward the goal.

If you are devoted to something higher and deeper within yourself, then you have a life of aspiration, a life of manifestation, and this life becomes your higher reality. Then, if you are devoted to a higher reality, at that time you can't be attached to a lower reality. It is impossible. If this moment you think of God, then you can't think of somebody else. The next moment if you think of somebody else, then you can't think of God. Right now you must only think of God. If you think of someone else, then you are thinking only of that person and of no one else. But if you devote most of your time to thinking of God or our spiritual mission, then you will be successful.

Is there anybody who does not know that by doing one thing he will gain and by doing something else he will lose? If a child places his finger in a flame, his finger will be burnt; so immediately he will learn to stay away from fire. The child does not have a developed brain, but immediately his instinct tells him that if he touches fire his finger will be burnt. When you enter into the lower vital life, the life of desire, it is just like touching fire. Constantly you burn yourself, but again and again you go back. The child does not go back to fire a second time, but you do it. Once children are punished for doing something wrong, they don't do it again, because they know that they will again receive punishment. But you do the wrong thing again and again by repeatedly entering into the life of attachment, so you are worse than children at that time.

Sri Chinmoy, Selfless service-light.First published by Agni Press in 1977.

This is the 317th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Selfless service-light, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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