In the first stage, a servant is sitting and singing on the owner without doing any work. He is asking the remuneration for his song from the owner. The owner refuses remuneration because the singer has already got happiness by singing and that happiness itself is the remuneration. One cannot get two remunerations for single work even if you treat the singing as a work. In the second stage the servant is doing work and is also singing. The owner will pay for his work only but not for the song. The servant is singing while he is doing the work in order to get happiness to forget the tiredness in the work. Therefore, here also only the work is remunerated but not the song. In the third stage the servant is advised to stop singing because his energy is wasted in the song. If he works without singing all his energy can be concentrated in the work and the servant will get more remuneration. In this third stage it is only an advice but the servant is not blamed for singing. Singing is not wrong at all. But singing has no remuneration.
Similarly in the first stage people pray and express devotion without proving their love in action. In this stage the people are getting the peace and bliss by the prayers and expression of devotion. They cannot charge the Lord again for their prayers and devotion. In the second stage people participate in the mission of the Lord by sacrificing the work and the fruit of the work. While working for the Lord, they pray and sing devotional songs, which give them peace and happiness. Their prayers and songs are not wrong at all. But they will get the fruit from the Lord for their work only and not for their prayers (words) and for their devotion (mind).
In the third stage they are advised to stop the prayers and expression of devotion by practicing silence and control of mind. The reason for this is that they can store their energy, which is wasted in prayers, and devotion and which cannot bring any fruit from the Lord. The energy wasted in these two channels can be diverted to the work only and more work can be done so that they can get a better fruit from the Lord. Of course, they should not expect any fruit for their work. Then only the Lord is pleased and will give the real fruit. But if they concentrate all their energy in the work only, they can get a better real fruit from the Lord though they do not aspire for any fruit.
Please note that we are not finding fault with the prayers and devotion. We are only saying that you are wasting your energy in those two channels, which cannot bring any fruit from the Lord. If you control those two channels, better fruit is given to you. If you need relaxation by prayers and devotion, you will be in the second stage. Therefore there is no contradiction because in the third stage it is only an advice in the light of Yoga. Yoga means concentration of the entire energy in one channel that is useful. The root word of Yoga is “Yuj”, which means to unite the dissipated streams of energy in various useless channels and concentrate the whole energy as a single stream in the useful channel.