*Not taking any sides, just sharing some observations in bhakti*

i) Practices such as Kavadi (mainly done for Murugan), Fire-walk (done for goddesses like Mariamman)

Argument: True bhakti is seen in devotees doing the above. Only those of exalted caliber in bhakti can really perform these.

Counter: Bhakti grows from obeying an acharya's words and doing service to him and other devotees, taking the attitude of 'servant to servant'. Undergoing painstaking amount of kavadi-like rituals are mere remedies for anything wrong done. They do not exalt bhakti.

ii) Upavas (fasting)

Argument: For spiritual progress and for transgressing the many material desires, upavas in necessary. When done on Ekadasi day, reaps the best results.

Counter: Saibaba and many other sadhus have mentioned one should not and never fast. Fasting and undergoing bodily discomfort is not necessary for progress in bhakti or spiritual sadhana.

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Have you seen other arguments and their counters in bhakti? If so, please share.