RamDev explores the four different stages on the path of devotion – the invocation stage, the loving-kindness stage, the Tantric stage, and the nondual stage.
Find out more about RamDev’s work at the Living/Dying Project: livingdying.org
The Path of Devotion
RamDev introduces the topic of devotion, saying that without devotion we will never really feel an intimacy between ourselves and the teachings. He outlines the four stages on the path of devotion and then details the first stage, the invocation stage, where we’re learning to trust there’s something out there. RamDev talks about having devotion to awareness itself.
“But what we’re going to talk about today is the path of devotion, the stages of devotion. There’s the invocation, or trust, stage. There’s the loving-kindness, juicy heart stage. There’s the Tantric stage. And there’s even nondual devotion. So we’re going to go through those four stages and I think when we have those understood, in a loving way, that it really makes it easier to find what surrender is being asked for in the next moment.” – RamDev
Krishna Das talks about the reality of devotion in Heart Pilgrim Ep. 106
Letting Go of the “I” (13:50)
RamDev explores the three remaining stages on the path of devotion. The loving-kindness stage is where we begin to have a relationship with God; it’s a total surrender into loving awareness. Then comes the Tantra stage, where everything is God, including ourselves. Finally, there’s the nondual stage of devotion, where everything is one.
“This nondual devotion is something that’s hard for us to live in 24/7, but it’s very useful, it’s very growthful to take short bursts of surrendering into nonduality: letting go of the ‘I,’ nobody meditating, nothing is a distraction, nothing to do. It’s the most restful thing in the world. If the mind gets distracted, distraction is still awakened mind; there’s nothing that’s not the awakened mind.” – RamDev
RamDev explores embodied nonduality in Healing at the Edge Ep. 64
Devotion is Addictive (27:22)
RamDev takes questions from his students about the different stages on the path of devotion. He talks about our special connection to the deities of youth, how it’s okay to walk the path of devotion at your own pace, and dealing with feelings of pain that can cut us off from the connection to our hearts.
“My feeling is that eventually, devotion becomes addictive; devotion to awareness, having that open-hearted feeling becomes addictive. That you become crazy for anything but that.” – RamDev