Devotion is superior to and easier than all religious Ceremonies and Rituals

Devotion is superior to outward observances, the path of knowledge and yogic practices. By knowledge and by religious observances one develops a touch of arrogance. In devotion one becomes submissive and develops the quality of humility. It is for this reason that knowledge and outward observances cannot attract the Grace of God. Those who are humble, surrender themselves completely, and rely on the Grace and mercy of the Lord. They attract His Grace towards them. The love for the Lord is thus awakened in their hearts.

Compared to the bonds of outward observances, the Path of Devotion is easier, because this path does not need learning, physical strength, wealth or fame. Only faith in the mercy of God, a pure and simple nature like that of a child, together with the contemplation of God are the essential factors. This path can be followed alike by young and old, men and women, the healthy and unhealthy, the high and the low; in fact, it is open to everybody. And on this path one has not so much fear of falling away from it as it is the case with the other practices. Devotion is superior to all practices.

The Gita says:

The yogin is deemed higher than the man of austerities; he is deemed also higher than the man of knowledge; higher is he than the man engrossed in ritual.

And among all yogins, he, who worships Me with faith in his inmost self all rapt in Me, is deemed by Me to be the best yogin.

Therefore, persons who follow the Path of Devotion are superior to those engaged in yogic practices, outward observances or the path of knowledge.

Devotion, knowledge and yoga are methods of meeting the Lord. The difference between them can be explained by an example:

Suppose a king has a consort and two servants. Whenever any person wishes to see the king, the servants stand at his door and wait for his call, but the consort goes freely into the king’s room. Devotion may be likened to the king’s consort, while knowledge, outward observances and yogic practices are like servants. These methods cannot by any means be compared to devotion.

Goswami Tulsi Das has very clearly given a comparison of Bhakti – Devotion – with Gyan – Knowledge.

He says:

Knowledge is very difficult, but Devotion is easier. And a devotee is always happy, because in his path there are no obstacles.

The ultimate fruit of all spiritual practices is devotion with love. Those who try to follow the path of spirituality with their intellect, find many obstacles in their way and remain very much below the heights attained by a devotee.

Hafiz says:

The sill of the door of devotion is far above that of knowledge and intellect, but only he can kiss it who comes prepared to surrender himself completely for its sake.

God is in the hands of devotees. There is no other method, except devotion.

One gaineth Thee not, oh God, by despising (the world) nor, if one readeth out the Vedas to the others, nor, if one bathes at the pilgrim-stations, nor, if one roams the whole world through, nor, yea, by being knowledgeable and clever, nor, if one giveth away more and more in charity, for everyone is under Thy Sway, oh unfathomable, unperceivable God! But, Thou art in the hands of Thy Devotees and they lean on Thee alone.

Adi Granth