Sri Sankara crossed the ocean of Maya as easily as one steps over a
small irrigation channel in the field. He wrote a number of Vedaantic works for
imparting the knowledge of the Self. He composed a number of hymns to foster the
sense of devotion in the hearts of men and this I consider to be his greatest service. One
of these hymns is the famous "Bhaja Govindam".
Some immature critics of Indian philosophy believe and say
that the way of devotion is different from the way of knowledge. The learned employ
this distinction to emphasise a particular thesis on which they discourse in different
contexts. We should not get confused by this and fail to understand the truth.
When intelligence matures and lodges securely in the heart, it becomes wisdom.
When that wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in
action, it becomes devotion. Knowledge which has become mature is spoken of as
devotion. If it does not get transformed into devotion, such knowledge is useless
tinsel. To hold and to say that jnaana and bhakti, knowledge and devotion, are as
different from each other as gold is from baser metal is to expose one's ignorance.