Ramana Maharshi on bhakti
"Bhakti is not different from mukti. Bhakti is as being Self (svarupa). One is always That. He realises it by the means he adopts.
What is bhakti? To think of God. That means only one thought prevails to the exclusion of all other thoughts.
That is of God which is the Self or it is the self-surrender unto God; When He has taken you up, nothing will assail you. The absence of thoughts is bhakti. It is also mukti."
"The Saguna merges in the Nirguna in the long run. The saguna purifies the mind and takes one to the final goal. The afflicted one, the seeker of knowledge and the seeker of gains are all dear to God."
"To know God is to love God. Therefore the path of bhakti and of jnana are same. "
"The thought of God is divine favour, is by nature prasad or arul. It is by God's grace that you think of God."
"Take the case of bhakti. I approach Isvara and pray to be absorbed in Him. I then surrender myself in faith and by concentration. What remains afterwards? In the place of the original 'I' perfect self-surrender leaves a residium of God in which the 'I' is lost. This is the highest form of parabhakti (supreme bhakti), prapti (surrender) or the height of vairagya."
Q: "How can an idol be animate?"
A: "Can you account for the animation of this body? Is the movement of the image more mysterious than the movement of the body?"
- Śrī Ramana Maharshi