Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 22 Oct 2021


Swami, can You please clarify the difference between controlled devotion and uncontrolled devotion?

Smt. Priyanka asked:

Case 1: Swami, in Rohitagiita (Chapter XI), You mentioned that it is not possible for humans to continuously work even in the same spiritual line for a long time and that the mind has the nature of vexation to do the same work continuously. You said the mind requires gaps to maintain freshness and energy, and these gaps may be periods of deep sleep or periods of diversified work. Since the sleep is over in the night, the diversified work should be worldly work only in the case of spiritual work. You gave examples saying Shankara was debating with scholars but between two debates, He gave gaps. He used to walk from one place to another place and that this walking is a good gap for next fresh debate. Another example is when Hanuman came from Lanka, He went to the garden called “Madhuvanam” to do mischief along with other monkeys. That was a good gap for Him before seeing Lord Raama to narrate the whole episode. You said that any work can be decided only by its aim and its fruit at the end. If the aim of our gap is only freshness of mind for the main spiritual work, then our work in the gap becomes a part of our main work only. The fruit of our work in the gap is to build up our career, which will bring wealth to us. That should be sacrificed for the sake of the Lord instead of family.

a) Now, can we infer that we cannot avoid our worldly duties/jobs and should allocate only some time each day for spiritual work in order to maintain that freshness of mind and energy to do spiritual work? b) But, does this fall under controlled devotion towards God, where we have to control ourselves from not doing spiritual work and forcefully divert our attention towards worldly duties to give ourselves the spiritual gap?]

Swami Replied:- If the devotee has thorough understanding of the value of the Spiritual gap, then the gap is surely a Spiritual gap only even though attachment for worldly bonds exists. The attachment to worldly bonds itself is the nature of Spiritual gap. At the end of the Spiritual gap, you will see devotion increased with double intensity as said by Sage Naarada (Tat vismaraṇe paramavyākulatā…- Bhaktisūtram). In the case of an ordinary soul deeply immersed in worldly bonds, you cannot find such devotion in the gap. Such a soul entertains itself with some other types of worldly bonds like seeing cinemas, reading novels, gossiping with friends etc.

a)  & b):- Whatever may be the case, once you are in taste with God and His Spiritual knowledge, such forced gap or arranged gap will certainly be useful in increasing the intensity of devotion to God. You need not worry about the difference of natural or forced states of the gap provided you are in touch with the Spiritual line.