Whether it is our ordinary life or a spiritual pursuit, nothing holds relevance unless we do the required activity. The activity in turn must be based on the relevant knowledge of how and why to do it. Further, the desired results cannot be achieved without the element of devotion in whatever we do.
Being a part of a universal whole, we all have an innate quest for our source. This urge leads our way to God, which may be through the route of real knowledge (Jnana), route of devotional love (Bhakti), or route of pure action (Karma). The awareness that enables us to identify ourselves with Almighty is the real knowledge. Feeling fond of Him, just for the sake of loving Him is based on our unconditional faith and devotion. An action is considered pure if its fruit is surrendered to God and is not meant for our sense-gratification.
Ordinarily we consider these three routes as mutually exclusive and often a conflict is raised regarding the superiority of one over the others. A deeper insight will help us realize that all three aspects are actually complementary to one another. Their harmonious blending is vital for a successful voyage. For the pursuit of truth, knowledge alone is not enough as it may burn the gross impurities of mind but its subtle mud can be washed away only through the water of devotion i.e. a dedicated sentiment for God. Also, the seed of devotional love must blossom into the flower of real knowledge for its perfection. Moreover, the gesture of love is expressed through various acts of service (karma). For this reason, Swami Vivekanand considers Bhakti and Jnana as two wings of a bird intending to take off a spiritual flight and the related action represents the tail of that bird. Acharya Vinoba Bhave remarks that Bhakti, Jnana and Karma are the three legs of the tripod of life. As per the aptitude of the impressions accumulated in the subtle-body, our physical body embarks upon the route of love or of knowledge or of service to trace its source.
Ultimately, real knowledge about self is bound to follow the perfect love for God and perfect knowledge inevitably leads to devotional love for the one who is being sought for. Through the focused and conscious actions over the successive spans of life, the two routes finally culminate in each other and the seeker out rightly gets hold on his destination. Hence, pouring the real knowledge and divine love in all our activities essentially purifies our life and makes it a true accomplishment.
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