itself is primarily devotional but it follows a strict formless
devotion which prohibits all use of images, though the Koran like
the Bible uses many poetic metaphors, the images of the mind.
Hinduism contains a similar devotional approach but free of the
fanaticism and violence we more commonly see in these exclusivistic
Devotion also appeals to an artistic
mentality. The muse is nothing but a lower form of the Divine
beloved. The use of images, statues, rituals and chants is a subtle
form of art and poetry directed towards the Divine through devotion.
Art is in its true form a path of devotion. It directs the mind and
the senses towards the appreciation of the eternal.
Great modern teachers of the Yoga of
Devotion include Ramakrishna, Paramahansa Yogananda, Anandamayi Ma,
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The list could be made much longer as
devotion is perhaps the essence of Hinduism.
The classical text is Narada's BHAKTI
SUTRAS. Philosophies have been built on devotion also like the
Vedantic approaches of Ramanuja and Madhva. These express theism as
the ultimate reality and give emphasis to the personality of the
Divine. But they recognize the unity of the Godhead as the basis of
the play of the Divine personality.