Sadhguru looks at the difference between operating out of devotion, and operating through the intellect. Devotion means to allow the grace of the existence to flow through you, intellect means to divide everything into a million pieces and believe you have understood. If we see that everything is beyond our understanding, whether a leaf, an ant or an atom, it would be natural to bow down.
(Sadhguru): Is the tree under which you are standing thinking whether you want to breathe or not; it anyway gives. It’s up to you whether you want to breathe or not. The tree doesn’t make the choice; it just gives; how much you want to breathe is up to you. So they may not receive it properly; so I will not give. Don’t get into this kind of rubbish. It’s your thing to give. If they have sense, they may receive it. If they know - don’t need your rubbish, they may not receive it. They don’t need it. They may be self-contained. They may not need it. or they may not have the sense to receive it. It doesn’t matter; that’s not for you. You know the joy of constantly doing it, that’s all.
Questioner: Sadhguru, I’m having a hard time with devotion and I’ve been reading everything I can find about things you’ve said and driving everyone around here crazy asking all of them, ‘What’s devotion? What’s devotion?’ I am hoping that you can explain it to me in a way that I understand (Laughs).
Sadhguru: (Laughs) You want to understand devotion or you want to know devotion? Hmm? You want to know devotion. You want to know devotion, it’s one thing; understanding devotion is an academic thing. Devotion means that which is devoid of you. It’s a different dimension of intelligence, where your intelligence has flowered to a point you understand… If you’ve strived hard enough in your life, you understand this body, this brain, this one (Referring to oneself) can do only this much, but there is something here which is much larger than this one (Referring to oneself). If you understand this, you will not make more and more out of yourself. You will make less and less out of yourself. When you become nothing, you’re naturally devout. Devotion means you allow the Existence to flow through you, you allow the Grace of the Existence to flow through you. Intellect means you will divide everything into a million pieces and you believe you have understood.
So, don’t go about trying to understand. Do you… You know that last leaf, that leaf which only came up two days ago? Do you understand this leaf? Do you? Hmm? Do you? Why you’re not science graduate? You study all the goddamn biology that’s there on this planet, you will still not know what it is. An ant which is crawling right now in front of you, do you understand this ant? Do you understand this ant fully? No. Do you understand a single atom in this Existence? Even a subatomic particle, do you fully understand?
So when you realize everything is here is beyond you. An ant, the way it is made, the mechanics of the ant, just see those eight legs how efficiently they’re walking without getting tangled up. Just the mechanical part of it, you’re not able to understand. Leave the other aspects of it. So if you see, everything is beyond your understanding here - from a leaf to an atom to an ant to an atom to a subatomic particle, everything is just beyond your understanding. Would it be not natural for you to bow down to everything that you see? You think you’ve got it? So now you have to… trying to understand devotion. You cannot understand anything but you can experience everything if you’re willing and open.
Devotion means you’re an absolutely open doorway to life. A devotee… Once you identify yourself with your intellect, immediately devotion looks like a stupid thing. Of course lot of devotees are stupid, or lot of stupid people claim they are devotees (Laughs). Lot of idiots on the planet, who are full of fear, claim they are devotees. In India, it’s become synonymous – ‘bhaya-bhakti’ that means they’re uttering the word… Bhaya means fear, bhakti means devotion, they’re uttering these two words as if they’re same. If you are in fear, obviously there is no devotion in you. If you are in devotion, there just cannot be any fear in you. There simply cannot be any fear in you if you are in a state of devotion, but now people understand these two things which are diametrically opposite to each other as one thing because it’s convenient for them. This has become the normal understanding because all kinds of idiots, the most idiotic on the planet claim that they are devotees. Stupidity is not devotion. Devotion is a different dimension of intelligence which has understood that intellect is a limited instrument, with this you cannot grasp the world.
If you have not used your intellect sufficiently, if you’ve not stretched your intellect substantially, to understand the limitations of what it is… If I give you a foot scale… You know, what’s a foot scale? If I give you a foot scale which is only six inches long and I tell you, ‘Measure this mountain, the length and breadth of this mountain with this six inch foot scale’… Do you know how big this mountain is? It’s a part of the Western Ghats, it stretches straight from Maharashtra down to Kanyakumari. Tch, this is just a small finger. So you go, unless you are a fool, unless you’re an absolute fool the moment you hold this in your hand you understand this is stupid trying to measure this mountain with a six-inch foot scale. Or if you’re a hard nut, do it for a month, a year, but at least by then you should know this is not the way to do it. Hmm? There must be some other way to do it, isn’t it?
So if you really stretch this intellect to its limit, you will clearly realize with this you can survive, with this you can look smart in a tea party, with this you can make money, with this you can find a job, but with this you cannot grasp the Existence. It doesn’t take long to understand this. If you understand this, then you will naturally bow down and become a devotee. It’s not an act, it is absence of your rubbish, that’s devotion. When your rubbish stops, devotion is. Devotion is not an act that if you go and do pooja in a temple or pray in a church or stand upside down, that’s not devotion. They’re trying to be. Trying to work up their devotion. Devotion means you have seen the limitations of who you are and you have seen the boundlessness of what it is. Compared to this and this, it (Gestures) looks too small, too miniscule. So naturally you will be devout, there is no other way to be. You understand being identified with the smallness of who you are is the only barrier you have and you will become devoid of yourself. When you are devoid of yourself you are a devotee, there is no other way.