In this excerpt from The Magical Jewel of Devotion in Kashmir Shaivism – Stava Cintamani Swami Lakshmanjoo explaining the difference between knowledge and devotion as lights in the world, and reveals why one is more important to have than the other.
Audio 4 (16:34)
हृतोद्धततमस्तान्तिः प्लुष्टाशेषभवेन्धना ।
त्वद्बोधदीपिका मेऽस्तु नाथ त्वद्भक्तिदीपिका ॥५९॥
hṛtoddhatatamastāntiḥ pluṣṭāśeṣabhavendhanā /
tvadbodhadīpikā me’stu nātha tvadbhaktidīpikā //59//
There are two kinds of candles in this world [that are] found in the cycle of Your kingdom. One is bodha dīpikā (bodha dīpikā is, just experiencing Your nature). This is one candle. It is shining always–bodha dīpikā. When you have got absolute knowledge of God consciousness, that is one candle which shines always in the minds of devotees. And another candle is tvad bhakti dīpikā, just Your love, just Your attachment. That is also another candle. These two candles are shining in this world. I know these two candles are shining. One is from bhakti and one is from knowledge. In these two candles, I would prefer to have, to own, one candle of devotion. I don’t want knowledge. Because [the candle of devotion] is hṛtoddhata tamastāntiḥ, all darkness has vanished there. There is some darkness possible in the light of the candle of knowledge, but in the light of the candle of bhakti, there is no such possibility of any darkness. Because when there is knowledge, there is something, something more to be known. When there is love, what else do you need?
SWAMIJI: [If] you have love, that is all [you need]. It does not rise, it does not become less, when there is devotion, when there is love, when there is attachment, that is all. When there is knowledge, you [still] have more to understand by-and-by, step-by-step, so there is the possibility of darkness. Some shades of darkness are sure to appear. But here, in the candle of Thy devotion, there is not that possibility. Between these two candles, I would like to have that candle of Thy devotion, O Lord. Please accept this request from me.108
108 “Only bhakti (devotion), only attachment, that intensity of love, is the nearest way to reach at Your feet.” Stava Cintāmaṇi (1991).