Devotion to the Master is the Path of Surrender of Self or Ego

Because the path of devotion has many advantages, a seeker of Truth is always happy and eager to follow it. But so long as a human being is not able to purify his mind of all the low desires of the senses, he cannot enjoy its fruit. If a person puts on an outward show of humility, it is of no use. If service is rendered for any selfish motive, one can receive no real benefit.

The question arises, how can we attain God who is Himself selfless and free from all desires? In this world, people wish to become devotees because they see others following this path and for the satisfaction of their own arrogant minds. If a person who is under the influence of worldly desires, finds anything lacking in his devotion or in the satisfaction of his desires, he, in his ignorance, blames his Master.

Kabir says:

Oh Kabir! Devotion to a Guru brings unbounded happiness in the mind of a devotee, but if one does not cleanse his mind of low desires, he cannot enjoy its bliss. So long as devotion is not desireless, any service rendered is useless. Oh Kabir, how can one attain God, who is selfless and desireless? The people of the world follow the path of devotion because they see others doing so and for the satisfaction of their own ego. People of this kind blame the object of their devotion whenever, in their ignorance, they find any defects.


Devotion is another name for the sacrifice of one’s life (surrendering one’s self). It has a strong and unique influence. Just a glimpse of the Guru’s greatness before the eyes of a devotee will make him dance with joy around his Guru.

This is the path of giving one’s life, because it is only by surrendering one’s self that one can achieve devotion. This path is open to all. One who is prepared to sacrifice himself will get it.

Mansur, while ascending the scaffold, cried out to all devotees:

Life, created out of intense love, is here. Come, whoever wants to get it.

It is difficult to understand true devotion, because it is achieved without any selfish motive and by freeing one’s self from all ambition. It is something that cannot be obtained in any store or shop. It is something for which, under the influence of love, one has to sacrifice everything – body, mind, life and all beliefs – and desire nothing in return.

Kabir says:

The idea of devotion is difficult to comprehend. One should give his mind and his life, and remain detached from the world. Bhakti (Devotion) springs from the mind, and if one wants to comprehend it, one should sacrifice one’s mind. If, in searching for it, one has to give away one’s body, one should not hesitate to do so.

In the mind of a devotee there is a fathomless ocean of love, and he is able to surrender everything belonging to him in this world and the next.

Hafiz says:

If my Master accepts me, then I am prepared to sacrifice this world and the next, even for the small black mole on his face.

In this world the mind of each individual is filled with thousands of ideas, but in devotion there is no such thing, for then the mind is fixed on one thing alone and will not be turned from it under any circumstances.

The sight of a true devotee becomes so keen that he sees his Beloved in every place and in everything. His thoughts, his contemplation and the intoxication of his love occupy his mind at all times, and his longing becomes intense. He loses all contact with this world and the next, because he has given himself up completely to his Beloved. How can he look at anything else, and what interest can he have in rituals, ceremonies, days of the week and things of that nature?

Shall I bow in meditation or look at you? I have lost all memory of my idol.

Kabir says:

Where there is devotion there are no rituals or intellectual discussions or ceremonies, for once the mind is absorbed in love for the Beloved, there is no time to keep track of days or nights.