Guruji, I used to experience a lot of devotion, but it seems to have diminished with time. After listening to your talks on the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, I realized that it is not my nature. Could you please tell me how I can feel the same devotion again?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Devotion is always there, but sometimes the clouds come in. Faith goes down and up with time. But if it goes down don’t think that it is going to be down there forever. It will go up again.

This is the nature of the mind because the mind goes up and down, and it projects love and faith as if to be going up and down. And it is related to Prana (life force energy). If the Prana is high, then faith is high. If the Prana is low, then the mind will say, ‘Oh, what is this? Am I at the right place? Am I doing the right thing?’ A million doubts come to the mind.

So, when you are anchored to the centre core of your being, when you are so well anchored to the knowledge, only then that stability comes. That is why the saints in the past have prayed, ‘Dear Lord, give me Achal Shraddha; unshakable faith.’

So many saints have sung and have asked for Achal Shraddha, Atoot Bhakti (uninterrupted devotion), unbroken love.

This is all that we can ask for because even that is a gift! When you have love and devotion see what a transformation happens in life. And when they breakdown, see what happens – a sort of inertia sets in. A feeling of hopelessness comes and life appears to be meaningless. It looks like every door is shut and everywhere one finds darkness. It is called as The Dark Night of the Soul in the Christian tradition. The soul has to pass through such a dark night.

But I would say it doesn’t have to pass through it if you are a Yogi (a seeker on the spiritual path).

In the Yoga Sutras, I have spoken about the Nine Obstacles on the Path of Yoga. And how you can overcome them?

Ekatattva abhyaasa – when you are adhering to one principle then you are able to sail through these obstacles; or what are appearing to be obstacles.