To complete the series on types of service, today I'm going to cover devotional service. If you'd like a refresher on the other types of service please see the other posts:
In my search for understanding about devotion, I looked to religious ideas. In many religions, you devote your life and love to a higher power or deity. This devotion is selfless and all encompassing. So why can't devotion to your Dominant work the same way?
Another definition that I found was perfect for our understanding.
Bhakti means "devotional service." Every service has some attractive feature which drives the servitor progressively on and on. Every one of us within this world is perpetually engaged in some sort of service, and the impetus for such service is the pleasure we derive from it. Driven by affection for his wife and children, a family man works day and night. A philanthropist works in the same way for love of the greater family, and a nationalist for the cause of his country and countrymen. That force which drives the philanthropist, the householder and the nationalist is called rasa, or a kind of mellow (relationship) whose taste is very sweet.
In short, it is the selfless service that many of us strive for that is devotional. When you choose to do nothing but please your Dominant and that your joy is in the service and not some reward or praise, this can be seen as devotional service.
It is still very difficult for me to feel devotional in my service no matter how much love I feel for my Dominant. Separating the self from my service rarely happens and it could mean that I will never reach this sense of pleasing euphoria that some submissives gain in their service. I'm okay with that as long as I'm not held to a standard higher than I can achieve.
Worship is a form of devotional service. In extreme examples, the Dominant becomes the 'God-like' figure in the submissive's life. Meditation, focus, and service centered on the Dominant are common with worship service.
Do you have moments of devotional service?