Sadhguru unveils the reason why liberation seems so far away for some people. Recounting the story of Vemanna, the extraordinary Telugu saint and poet, he speaks of the power of devotion, and how one can use it to attain to higher dimensions within oneself.
Participant: You talk about devotion being the sweetest way to live but you also talk about how nature doesn’t reveal itself easily.
Sadhguru: What is this? Nature….?
Participant: …does not reveal itself easily. It takes heart-breaking sadhana to realize the truth. So my question is, is devotion enough?
Sadhguru: Are you asking this question as a woman or a banker?
Participant: As a woman.
Sadhguru: If you are woman, devotion is enough. If you are a banker, we need to do head-breaking, heart-breaking sadhana. I want you to understand how difficult the spiritual process is going to be for you, is determined by you not by nature and not by your guru. The nature or the Existence or the Creator and your guru are seeing how to make it as easy as possible, as simple as possible, as quick as possible. Because if you take time, it’s not a question of your life going waste, it’s a question of my life going waste. If you don’t make it, it’s not a question of you failing, it’s a question of me failing. You see, I don’t like to lose. You can see that? I don’t like to be on the losing side. You can see that. You must see how I drive on the street, I don’t like to be on the losing side. )
So, if you are here as a woman, it’s very simple. But you are so many other things. Foreign banks are difficult to handle. Because there are hidden clauses. In every agreement we sign, there is a hidden clause. It’s printed in micro print that it takes a lifetime to read them. So most people sign them without reading them. So wipe out all the hidden clauses. Just be here as a woman, very simple. If you are here just as a man or just as a woman, that’s it, it takes. It doesn’t take all this talking and nonsense and rubbish. If I just do this, you should just be there. So devotion is another dimension of intelligence which unfortunately today’s world has lost out on.
Now that little boy who is playing violin, he is just sixteen years of age. He is not very far between the geniu…he is not very far behind the genius of his father. He is pretty right there. It just takes…it’s going to take very little time for the boy to catch up. That has come not because of training. That’s come because of simple devotion. You see how he sits? See how he sits next to his father, with great amount of love and devotion. You look at his eyes, he looks at his father with that kind of love and devotion. In that, learning happens in a completely different way. There is a very…there was a fabulous saint. In Andhra Pradesh, there is no home in Andhra Pradesh who will not have at least a little book about this saint. His name was Vemanna. His name was something else, they called him Vemanna.
So his name is Vemanna. So he was with his guru and this boy is little dim. He is a dim companion. He is such a simpleton, can’t get anything straight. I have lot of them like that and they are doing great. They can pull off anything. It is the intelligent one, it’s people who think they are intellectually smart who are getting all tangled up in Isha. Simpletons are doing great. Somebody else may think he is nothing. But just see the result he is creating, it’s fantastic. So this is a simpleton. Everybody…he’s butt of everybody’s jokes. One day…But the guru takes kindly to this boy because he is not smart like others. So one day guru has an important function or an event to go to. So he goes to the river for bath. And his clothes folded, he tells the boy, ‘You hold the clothes in your hand. Stand here. Don’t keep it down because the ground is wet and it’ll get soiled. Don’t keep it down. Just hold it, that’s all.’
So the guru went in to take his ritual dip and wash himself and when he came out the boy had kept it down. The clothes were soiled. And he kept it down because when the guru looked like this, he thought he needs something and he kept it down and ran to the guru. He is simple. One thing at a time, he cannot handle two things at a time. Because these are two things, clothes and guru. Two is complicated. And the guru looked at this. Now he has to go somewhere. His clothes are soiled. And he told him repeatedly ‘Don’t keep it down, don’t keep it down’ and he keeps it down. So he gave him a little chalk and he told him, ‘You fool, there’s nothing else you can do. Sit here and write just ‘Rama, Rama, Rama’ on this rock, nothing else. You can’t do anything better. Just do this. Hope grace will descend on you. Just sit here and write ‘Rama, Rama, Rama,’ just over and over again on the same place.’ The boy felt so ashamed, so pained because he let down his guru. He told him so many times but somehow he cannot get it.
So he started writing. The guru left in a rush. After the whole day, some event, he came back in the evening and first thing is he asked for this boy, ‘Where is he?’ because he was feeling bad for the harshness with which he spoke to him. He was nowhere to be seen. ‘Oh, then I told him to write ‘Rama’ and we did not give the next instruction. Maybe he is still there.’ And he went. The boy was still writing ‘Rama.’ The chalk had worn out long time ago. His forefinger and thumb had worn out right up till here, (Gestures) and he was still writing ‘Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.’ The guru just took him and embraced him and this boy - I don’t know how many, somebody who is knowledgeable about this should say - he wrote hundreds of fabulous poems which is even today, after a few hundred years, even today there is no Telugu speaking home where there’ll be no book on Vemanna’s poems. Almost every home will have it. Anybody who can read and write, in their home there will be. And just about everybody is conversant with these poems. Brilliant poetry he just poured out, out of his devotion.
So, that’s what devotion can do because devotion is another dimension of intelligence. Devotion is the intelligence, you understand as a bigger intelligence and you have learnt to keep your little intellect aside. That is devotion. Devotion does not mean everyday doing pooja, doing this, doing that. Devotion simply means your involvement with life is so absolute that even you don’t matter any more. Your involvement with what you have taken up is so absolute that who you are does not matter. Then you are a devotee. Devotion means you are devoid of yourself, that’s devotion.