Bhakti or Devotion is a positive phenomenon. The literal meaning of devotion or Bhakti sounds like a loss. You lose yourself, your existence and of course your ego. What do you really gain. How can loosing yourself be a positive phenomenon?
A drop enters an ocean
A common example given is merger of a drop into the ocean, the drop loses its identity, but becomes one with the ocean. This happens when you surrender to Parmatma, Krishna or God. Krishna refers it in Gita:
sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah
Abandon all varieties of beliefs and just surrender unto Me.
I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
But, that’s not where bhakti or devotion ends. Krishna is not interested in Arjun disappearing. He wants Arjun to achieve the ultimate; he wants the drop to maintain its identity and uniqueness. This can only happen if Arjun drops all the knowledge and beliefs that he had collected thus far. Then and then only can Krishna impart fresh knowledge to him. It’s not a bookish knowledge that Krishna is willing to offer Arjun. He is offering much much more.
When ocean enters a drop
It is easy to understand and comprehend merging of a drop in the ocean, it’s harder to imagine the ocean merging into a drop. That’s what Krishna is offering Arjun here. The whole ocean quantitatively and qualitatively enters into a drop and still the entire ocean remains complete in itself. Ishvasya Upanishad has explained this in its first verse:
Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate
Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnamevavashisyate
Om, shanti, shanti, shanti.
THAT is infinite, THIS is infinite; From That, This comes. THIS added or removed from THAT, the Infinite remains as Infinite. Om, peace, peace, peace.
Its a common saying in India, “you take one step towards Parmatma (God), Parmatma takes a thousand steps towards you.” That’s the power of devotion. Parmatma is ready to fill you with his presence and power, are you ready?