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Hello Ektaji, I read somewhere “Devotion destroys all the karma”.  Could you please explain this with reference to what we have learnt so far in Ashtavakra Gita?


Ashtavakra is the path of Gnyana [knowledge]. Devotion is the path of Bhakti. Gnyana takes one to Bhakti & Bhakti leads to the flowering of Gnyana. Let’s understand this a little more:

Bhakti leads to the flowering of Gnyana:

What is Bhakti/devotion? Devotion is a state of mind where one is completely surrendered to a Guru or God or a higher divine power. Please do not form concepts that Bhakti is singing bhajans only & then going back to drama! It is the purest state of mind so do not fool yourself or be fooled. Let’s understand the purest state of mind:

  • One not only realizes the existence of a higher power but also respects it and acknowledges it as ‘All doing’ & ‘All experiencing’.
  • He understands that ‘Everything & everyone is God/Brahman/Consciousness. Anything less than this realization is not pure Bhakti.
  • This highest knowledge leads to the understanding that – He is not the doer’. Thus Gnyana flowers. Ashtavakra says the same thing, ‘You are not the doer, you are not the experience-er, everything is happening?’
  • With the flowering of this Gnyana, the sanchita karmas that will come his way will not shake his peace and he will go through them without raagas & dveshas. This prevents him from creating any more [future] agami karma! Thus Devotion destroys all Karmas!
  • One who is truly seeped in Bhakti [love for the divine] & is 100% surrendered, self-knowledge [Gnyana] happens to him only and only his Karmas are destroyed!

Gnyana leads one to Bhakti:

What is Gnyana? Just ‘reading scriptures / listening to a knowledge talk & clapping your hands & appreciating what an Enlightened One says is not Gnyana. If you have been doing that then you are treating Gnyana like spiritual entertainment, stop fooling yourself. Let’s understand Gnyana:

  • Gnyana is applying what you listen to, actually disciplining the mind & refraining from raagas & dveshas.
  • Understand this very clearly, that raaga & dvesha are the cause of karma creation.
  • You create Karmas and again take birth to even out the exchange. Thus you are trapped in the cycle of birth & death.
  • To get out of the cycle, one must make efforts to become more aware of his own mind-body complex. When awareness increases one understands ‘I am not the body, I have a body, I am not the mind, I have a mind. I am beyond them.’
  • And with more increasing awareness, one recognizes that ‘I’ who is not the mind & body is only a witness[sakshi] to all that is happening to the body & mind – I do not do anything. Thus I am not the doer!
  • When I recognize that ‘I am not the doer & everything is happening anyways’, then all my raagas & dveshas drop away as now I understand that things don’t move on account of my raaga & dvesha but only on account of a higher power that is playing this game called Life Chess. And I am nothing but a pawn/soldier [pyada in Hindi] that is unnecessarily throwing hands up in the air & screaming ‘I don’t want to go this way, I want that way’. Nobody is really giving any attention to your raaga & dvesha [whether loud screaming or silent burning in the mind].
  • One who recognizes this & wakes up to this truth, surrenders to the divine.

One who surrenders, slowly & inevitably falls in love with the divine. Thus Gnyana leads one to Bhakti!

Have questions? Reach out to Ekta by clicking on the “Ask a Question” button on the left sidebar. For attending Ekta’s online knowledge sessions, click the “Gnyana Sangha” button on the left sidebar.


  1. Smita

    What is Karma yoga and how does it leads to flowering of bhakti or gyana ?


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