Only because you can refer to thyself, I exist. When I cease to exist, You will too.
When it gets tough in love and relationship and you start suffering the pangs & fangs and you wonder Why the hell did it happen? What just happened? How come you fall in love? Is that what love is? How can you be so foolish? And all those hundreds of questions that never get answered.
Incessant pain squeezes the life out of you and you no longer know whether you are dead or alive. Your senses go numb and the only feeling is deep piercing pain which occasionally gives you a sensation of being alive, though you wish not to be or you wonder why. Love hurts! Love burns! Many of you know that many of you have had that experience and may be many times in life. But what you may not know is that "Devotion hurts beyond your imagination". Devotion is the fire of highest intensity. Devotion not just consumes your body, mind, emotions, it consumes your entire existence. If you ever were able to stand back on your own two feet, if you ever got back your life, then that means you were in love and have not known #devotion. If your life is lived in constant burning pain and you never come back alive, if you are transformed then it is Devotion. Devotion is "deathly-evolution" means evolution through death of all that you are not. Devotion is a point of no return.
Mind it, here I am not talking about obsession. Don't confuse!
Devotion is when Meera is able to infuse her prana and bring Krishna alive from the clay statue. Statue was, for those who had no devotion, while for a #devotee, for #Meera it was living, breathing #Krishna & his infinitude.
Devotion is when every Gopi feels as if Krishna is with her. When every #Gopi is within Krishna, that is devotion. When Krishna exists through Raas and plays the Leela, its devotion. When Krishna becomes alive in #Radha, that is devotion. World, society, forest doesn't exist, only Krishna does in those moments. And as the night progresses and devotion matures neither Krishna exists nor Radha, only devotion exists by itself. That which consumes the love and lover's existence is devotion.
You can seriously think now. Was the Queen Meera mad to not realize that she can't fall in love with a clay-statue, she can't feed it, she can't romance with it, she can't marry it? Were all those Gopis delusional, not just one or two, but the Gopis of the entire village? You might discard all this saying these were mythical stories. But then what about #Ramakrishna Paramhansa who used to feed, eat, sleep with Goddess Kali. How was he able to put glass bangles without breaking them in the hands of the mother #Kali statue which were holding weapons and Kapal? What about #Rumi who used to get dissolved in love by whirling round and round through that Dervish dance? What about Sant #Kabir? All these were devotees.
Do all who love know devotion?
Nope! Not all who love know devotion. Though when in love one reaches devotion, one knows it in their heart. It can't be explained though. When only love exists by itself, without the support of lover's existence, then it is devotion. One very well knows that "death" is the only way out now. It's a point of no return. This #death could be relatively real (like how you understand) or could be absolutely real (death of ego/I, through Self-Realization). If it is relatively real then one's next life will be spent in "Bhakti" and such a loving Soul will be Self-Realized through #Bhakti/Devotion.
Why is Devotion/Bhakti Sacred?
Lovers are two to start with and remain as two separate entities till the end. They complement each other, but they do not become "whole" individually. If separated they feel like half of the whole, who needs the other half to complement or complete them. When love is towards another person, lovers exist. When love is directed towards one's own Soul it is devotion and lovers lose their identity. But it never appears that way. Devotion has a medium of expression, not of sustenance. Meera was lost in Atma-Bhakti, Devotion towards her own Soul, and the Statue of Krishna became the medium. All Gopis were lost in Atma-Bhakti, Krishna became the medium.
Ramakrishna, Rumi, Kabir, and even I was lost and burnt in the fire of devotion, and someone/something became the medium. Medium is for expression only, and is not needed to sustain devotion.
Devotion ultimately makes you "whole". Soul/Atma is individual consciousness and it merges with Paramatma/Supreme Consciousness. Hence devotion/bhakti is sacred.
Those who love are often beaten up, or end up in books as love stories, which are great to read but may not inspire people. Who feel inspired to have a tragic love story? Your love-story may end up like that but you don't feel specifically inspired for it.
Devotees/Bhaktas end up in Sacred Scriptures and inspire millions. Because devotion dissolves one's identity, one ego, one's limited physical, mental, emotional existence.
Devotion is a door to the divine.
To the mind, to the world, to others, it may appear as that devotion is directed towards a person, a human lover that one may have. But in reality, it is not. It's a fire that goes on without the fuel. It doesn't need another person, lover's actions, reactions are of no use. The lover may well be merely a statue of clay and even that doesn't matter. In love actions, reactions of lovers are needed to keep the fire of love burning. When one becomes indifferent or inversely active, or negatively reactive, that impacts the love, it kills the love. But that's not the case with Devotion. Regardless of the actions, reactions, the fire of devotion burns with full-on intensity, it burns without any fuel. Love is dependent upon external causes & effects. Devotion is free of anything external, including the lovers. A lover may become a medium, but the fire of devotion is not burning because of him/her, and will not diminish due to his/her actions, reactions, presence or absence.
The existence of such lover/medium is because of the Devotion and not vice-versa. Medium/Lover exists only because Devotion is burning within the Devotee.
Dissolving through Devotion
You can carry devotion for lifetimes. But do you have to? As I said, it's the fire of highest intensity. Ask any alive Devotees/Bhaktas, like Krishna Das who is a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba or someone else. When Krishna Das sings, people actually go into Bhava-Samadhi.
What's so intense to flow out that can give others a Samadhi? That's the intensity of devotion. Though to him, it hurts as hell, he cries all the time when he talks about it. When Ramakrishna sang, people got into Bhava Samadhi. Those who have burnt themselves in that fire, they know. If you are a devotee you know that "death of your ego/I/identities" is the only way out. Then why not dissolve sooner than later. Please do not fall in love with that burning. Did you ever wonder that your lover only exists because you do? Lover exists only because love exists within you and you exist to hold that love. The scene exists only because there is a Seer. Answers exist because Questions do. Sound exists only because there is someone to hear it. Love exists because there is you to feel it, hold it. Anger exists because you do. You, your identity exists as a placeholder for all the emotions that you feel. A part of you, an identity of you exists to play a role in this world. The world exists because that identity does.
In order for you to think about your lover, an identity of "you as a lover" comes alive first. You are in love with this "lover identity" within yourself. You may think that you love the thoughts of your lover and it makes you smile. No! You are in love with your identity, the way you feel yourself and that's what makes you smile. It is very deep. It's not that easy & straightforward to see, to understand. If you are a female, then femininity comes alive within you through the lover/ another person. If you are a male, then you love that masculinity which comes alive within you. You don't miss your lover, you miss the reflection of your own femininity or masculinity and that lover identity.
If the seer is not there, there is no scene to view. If you did not exist, your lover will not. If none of your identities exists then the world will be lost. If you as a feminine, as a Shakti do not exist, then there won't be a separate existence of Shiva. If you as a #Shiva do not exist, then there is no separate #Shakti to merge with. And that's when Shakti becomes One with Shiva. And one becomes Ardhanarishwara/Androgynous.
Two becomes one within! One becomes Whole!
In order to merge, to become whole you have to give up attachment to your identity as a separate, individual lover. Don't get caught-up in reflection for too long, because if you do, Universe will teach you the hard-way.
So, what are you waiting for? Burn all your identities in devotion and be Whole!