Devotion: Keeping All Doors Open
Though we may try to invite the Divine into our lives in many ways, how will we know it when it does? Sadhguru reminds us that one cannot say in what form and in what way grace will reach out. Devotion, he says, means to keep all the doors and windows open, so that one is always available to grace.
Sadhguru: Once one begins to transform one’s energy into a higher possibility, into a subtler possibility, one cannot say in how many ways and in how many forms that which is the source of existence will reach out. This has been the experience of all those beings who have allowed grace to be the most significant part of their life. In what form and in what way it reaches out, you can never say. So it is most important to keep all doors open, keep all windows open, keep everything open, without having preconceived ideas about, “This cannot be that, that cannot be this,” because that is the greatest impediment. It may come in the form of a bee. What were you doing all this time? You were just “bee-ing.” If Divine approaches you in the form of a bee, will you say “No, come as a hornet!” Do not do that to yourself.
In What Form It Comes
That is what devotion means – that all doors are open. “How do I know? I may do something stupid keeping all doors open.” It is possible that you may do something stupid. But keeping the doors closed is the most stupid thing that you can do. Right now, if the breeze is blowing gently from a particular direction, if you look in that direction, there are any number of industries and people and all kinds of things who may be spewing poison. Now you have no choice. Let’s say you think, “If I keep this open, that poison may come and go into my nostril and kill me,” and you close both your nostrils. Now you do not need poison to kill you – you yourself are enough. If your doors are closed, you will become unavailable to the process of grace. Without the nourishment of grace, for one trying to reach his ultimate nature – it would not be right to say impossible, but it is not probable. Is it impossible to put up a ladder to the sun and climb? Probably it will never happen, but we cannot say for certain because who knows what kind of a ladder maker you are.
So you do not know in what form it comes. It will not carry a board. This bee will not have written on its forehead, “I am a divine agent.” It does not come like that – it just comes like a bee, as a bee should come. It will not come announcing loudly. It will come like the gentle breeze. That is the only reason why humanity has missed it, because it does not come with a label attached. Today people have become like this, that unless there is a label and content details, they will not touch anything. But grace does not come like that. It just comes like gentle breeze. It may come like a bee, or it may come like a fly. So to be in a state of devotion is a simple way to receive. To be in a state of defense is a simple way to avoid. Your problem is just this: you are too lost in your instinct of self-preservation. This instinct of self-preservation is a shield against everything. Devotion means to be devoid of that, to simply be here.
A 90-year old man was given a grand birthday party in a restaurant. They invited lots of people. He was very excited and he went. When the food was served, he realized that he came without his dentures. He said, “I forgot to get my dentures, so the only thing that I can have is the soup.” The man who was sitting next to him said, “No problem, Pop,” and pulled out a pair of dentures and gave it to him. He tried, but it was too tight. He said, “No, this is too tight for me.” The man took it back and pulled out another pair and said, “Try this, Pop.” He tried. He said, “It’s too big.” He put that in and pulled out another one and gave it to him. It fit reasonably well. He said, “Thank you very much,” and he finished his dinner. Then he pulled out the dentures, washed them and gave it back to the man and said, “It’s really my fortune today. I do not know if I will see one more birthday. It is really my fortune that a dentist was seated next to me, otherwise what would I have done with this good dinner?” That man said, “No, I’m not a dentist, I’m an undertaker.”
So in what form it comes, it does not matter. At that moment, you got your dentures. That is all that matters, right? Devotion means you are open to the possibility of life. “Oh, if somebody cons me, what do I do?” If someone cons you, at least you can die cursing. If you conned yourself out of your own life, who the hell are you going to curse? It is like golf. If it was cricket, if it was baseball, you would have cursed somebody. But it is like golf – who do you curse? You just have to curse yourself. There is nobody else to curse. So it is better that at least you die cursing somebody rather than not knowing whom to curse. And if you conned yourself out of your own life, the chances of somebody conning you is minimal. That is a chance we have to take in life. We can be alert to a few things, but still open.
The thing about taking the chance is like this – going back to the game: if you hear a tucckk and then, “Damn”, that is golf. If you say, “Damn,” and then you become a tucckk, that is called sky diving. Which is better? Tucckk, damn – okay, at least you did it. Ball did not go to the hole, but at least you whacked it. It is better that life happens to you, maybe not exactly the way you thought it would, but at least it happened to you. If you do not let it happen because of the fear that it may not happen the way you think it should, it is a horrible crime. In fact, if it happens in a way that you never thought it would happen, usually it is a better way than the way you think. If you know how to maintain the steadiness of your mind and the sweetness of your emotion, then whichever way it happens, it is a beautiful way. But if your mind becomes unsteady and emotions get nasty, that is when everything has gone bad. If these two things are kept, then no matter what events are happening in your life, you are very stable in your mind and very sweet in your emotion. Is it not a beautiful thing, whatever may be happening?
If you jumped off and your parachute did not open, but you are stable in your mind and sweet in your emotion, is it not a beautiful experience? You will not know the tucckk. It is only others that have to suffer that, not you. But at least you still enjoy the fall; stopping, you will not know. I have been near those situations, so I know. You will not know, but with sweet emotion and a stable mind, just falling from the sky, you know what a fantastic experience it is? You never know, the planet is moving anyway – you may miss it. You are capable of missing a moving target. There are some risks of keeping the doors open, yes, but the great risk of never allowing life to happen, that risk is gone.
A Divine Thief?
How many times in your life did you get outright conned by somebody? Maybe once or twice? If you are working on Wall Street, maybe five times. Out of thousands and thousands that you have met, if five people tried to con you, that is not a big deal, is it? I am not saying your intelligence should be put to sleep. But only if you have your doors open will it become a necessity to keep your intelligence on all the time. You will be alert to everything. But if you shut your doors, you can put your intelligence also to sleep – this will invariably happen.
You do not know in what form it will come. Divine may come in the form of a thief. There have been any number of stories where even if a thief comes, a saint or sage welcomed him and asked him to take what is there, all that kind of stuff. He is not being a fool – he just does not want to take a chance. Just in case God came in the form of a thief, he does not want to miss it. Even if he really came as a thief, if you treat him like a God, who knows, the guy may transform himself right there; it has happened any number of times. It is not that God is going to disguise himself as a thief and come – it is your ability to pull out the divine even from the lousiest human being that you see. He has got it well disguised. It is your business to pull him out, so that wherever you see him, he does not get away.
Opening All the Branches
So that is what devotion is – a suction pump. If you are a devotee, it is devoid of you. You do not exist, so you are like a vacuum. Wherever he is, he has to come out. Whether it is a tree or a bird or an animal or a man or a bee, he has to come out. He cannot escape. So if this is going well, then you can open up more. It once happened, on the streets of San Francisco there was a beggar. Every day the beggar sat outside a restaurant, and a business man would come every day for breakfast. When he came out, this beggar would always stretch out his hand, and the business man, whatever little change that he had, he would put it and go. Then one day he noticed the beggar, instead of putting out one hand, was putting out both his hands. He stopped and asked, “Every day I have seen you. For so many years, you would stretch out only one hand, now why are you stretching out two hands?” The beggar said, “The business has been so good, I decided to open one more branch.” It is time you open up all the branches you can.
Right now business is good, so all the branches should open out. If all of them do not open, it amounts to you being disabled. It is time to open up all the branches.
Editor's Note: Find more articles by Sadhguru on Devotion on the Isha Blog.