Devotion, Action, Knowledge and Discipline
Bhakti – Karma – Gyan and Yoga

Action, knowledge and discipline are practices for attaining communion with God. But devotion is both a practice and the reward of such a practice. For the path of knowledge and for the path of Yoga, one must have certain qualifications to be able to make any progress. But devotion can be performed by the weak, the sick, or even by one who is of low intellect. It is easier than the path of knowledge, because one does not fall or waver once he has taken up this path.

In the Gita there is mention of Gyan Marg (the path of knowledge) and of Bhakti Marg (the path of devotion) for attaining communion with God. But as already mentioned, Lord Krishna has given preference to devotion.

Some people think that knowledge is a means for achieving devotion, whereas others think that they are both interconnected.

Narad Rishi believed devotion to be the means as well as the end. But another great Rishi of ancient times considered that both yoga and knowledge were essential for devotion because, according to him, devotion needs concentration and purity of mind, and these are considered to be the essential qualifications for knowledge and yoga.

The Bhagwat says:

Devotion to God creates knowledge. Such knowledge is the true knowledge, which results in attachment to the Lord. Mere superficial knowledge gives nothing, nor does devotion without faith. And knowledge without faith is also considered to be useless.

Chapter 4, Verses 29,36,49

In the Granth Sahib it is stated:

You should follow the instructions of your Guru, because without devotion all types of intellectual actions are useless.

Tulsi Das says:

Bhakti is complete in itself and is not dependent on any other practice. On the other hand, knowledge and detachment are dependent upon it.