Bhakti (Spiritual Love), Not Asceticism, According to Sant Ravidas

Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality
1 min readFeb 17


Raidās [Sant Ravidas] also makes it clear that bhakti is not about asceticism or the pride-evoking practice of yoga but about losing oneself in the love of God [bhakti]. He sings,

“Bhakti is not like this, my brother. Whatever is done without the
name of Rām, is all called delusion.
Bhakti is not suppression of the senses, not speaking of wisdom,
not digging a cave in the forest. Not some joke, not the snares
of desire. This is not bhakti.
Bhakti is not binding the senses, not practicing yoga, not eating
less — all these practices are called karma.
Bhakti is not reducing the sleep, not practicing renunciation.
These practices are not bhakti; they are the pride of the

Later in the poem Raidās states that bhakti happens when one loses the self in Rām*; all else is merely senseless pride and delusion.

— A Genealogy of Devotion, Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India, by Patton E. Burchett

* Ram, an early Sant name of the Formless Supreme Being (and not referring to any other “Ram” of Hindu mythology) — can be understood to be the true God beyond gods, or God above gods;



Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality

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