What is Devotion?

What is Devotion?

Embodied PhilosphyIn this conversation, Kavitha Chinnaiyan speaks with Jacob Kyle of Embodied Philosophy on true devotion. You may recognize his voice from my interview.

At first I disagreed with her statements about devotion being required for the path until she further defined what she meant.

Love of service and love of knowledge are also devotion.

Without love for something, why would you pursue it?

Devotion from the heart, dedication from the mind.

She objects to Bhakti being associated only with Vaishnavas (like followers of Krishna) and Kirtan. She observes these are just 2 forms of expression.

You don’t have to choose one object of devotion. It is all aspects of the Divine.

Similarly, she objects to conditional devotion where it becomes too prescribed. This deity is just for removing obstacles, for example. This is like calling your friend only when you need your computer fixed.

She’s not suggesting you shouldn’t call on a deity with specific expertise. Only not to treat them as tools of personal convenience.

As she points out, it’s an inner commitment and openness to the process that brings results, not surface performance.

She compares Bhakti to Tarka, perfected reasoning. Finer and finer discernment, discovering what is awareness itself.

Without love of awareness, you get sucked into the drama of the maya /mind. The more you make it an intellectual process, the more you’ll get frustrated.

Bhakti comes in your form, what you bring to it.

Kavitha teaches an effortless meditation practice and various courses on devotional practice. I’ve written a half dozen articles on her work. Just search Kavitha here to find more.

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


  1. Anne

    There are many people out there that “intellectualise” meditation and devotion and spiritualise and all sorts of things in every direction. This lady does not cut the mustard. Wouldn’t waste my time on her…time is precious.

    Thank for writing so beautifully and effortlessly David. You are the real star !

    1. Hi Anne
      I agree there are many who try to manage the whole thing with the mind and have written on same.
      Kavitha does have a strong intellect – you would not be able to get through advanced medical training without that. But that also gives her the ability to explain abstract concepts.
      I would not have posted this if it was just mind. I’ve posted several articles on her work and have taken a few of her courses. Her background and skills means she’s able to make profound aspects of Tantra accessible.
      That said, she’s not for everyone. No offering is. Some people have the same opinion of this blog.

  2. Michael Jaksch

    Hi David!

    I love that you mention….that we need love for this path and that this itself is devotion.

    That makes things clearer for myself!
    I love all of this path…the meditation, the alchemy, the clearings etc. etc.
    And i feel that is so important for true unfoldment.

    Friends would laugh at me when i would be full of joy when some deep seated pain would surface….but it is this love that resolves it quickly (and some skill of course)…same with surrender…

    So inspiring!!! …i was devotional without knowing it!

    All we need is love! 😉

    1. Hi Michael
      (laughs) You’re right. I spent years not wanting to even recognize that I didn’t want to look at stuff. But then I discovered what a relief it is to let it go and the profound insights possible. Now they’re an adventure. Oh – look what’s surfaced!
      And yes, the open acceptance of the process allows it to clear quickly.
      Love, love, love…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest