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WHAT IS BHAKTI YOGA? WHAT ARE THE NINE MODES OF BHAKTI?THE FOUR PATHS OF YOGA-05


MEANING OF BHAKTI YOGA;-

06 FACTS;-

1-Bhakti yoga is one of the main paths of yoga that a practitioner can follow on the path to Self-realization and is the path most followed in India. The name comes from the Sanskrit root word, bhaj, meaning "to adore/worship God." Thus, it is the path of love and devotion. Bhakti is sometimes described as “love for love’s sake.” It is also sometimes described as the yoga of the mind/intellect.

2-The concept of Bhakti yoga is described in the Hindu sacred texts, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. It involves surrendering to the Divine or universal Consciousness.

3-The intention when practicing Bhakti yoga is to devote one's self to the Divine that is in everything and, thus, to realize the union of the individual self with God. It is motivated by a love of God rather than a fear of negative repercussions or punishment and has been described as the sweetest of the yogic paths since it develops love and acceptance for all beings.

4-Some Bhakti yogis may worship a specific deity, while others may take the broader approach of devoting to the Divine in everything. In Hinduism, there are three main groups of Bhakti yogis who worship specific Gods:

4-1-Shaivists devote their worship to Shiva and his family.

4-2-Vaishnavists devote their worship to Vishnu and his avatars.

4-3-Shaktists devote their worship to devis such as Durga and Kali.

All three groups have absolute respect for the other groups and their gods while focusing on their own primary gods.

5-The Bhakti path of yoga is a path of the heart and practitioners may use chanting, devotional mantras, prayer, kirtan and rituals as part of their worship. Historically, this was a more accessible path for women and those from lower Status, in Hindu society for whom the education required for more studious paths of yoga was not readily available.

6-It is said that achieving union with God through Bhakti yoga requires patience, determination, and absolute surrender and devotion to the path, not just a superficial attempt at worship.

WHAT IS NATURE OF BHAKTI ?-

06 FACTS;-

1-Bhakti is resting in God. Bhakti is the flow of devotion like the flow of a river. Bhakti is continuity of devotion, just as there is continuity in the flow of oil from one vessel to another vessel. Bhakti is the attraction of the needle to the magnet.

2-Bhakti is love for the sake of love. The devotee wants God and God alone. There is neither selfish expectation nor fear. Is the son afraid of his father though he is a judge? Is the wife afraid of her husband? So also, a devotee entertains not the least fear of God. The fear of retribution(punishment )vanishes in him. He feels, believes, conceives and imagines that his chosen deity is an ocean of love.

3-Bhakti transmutes man into divinity. It intoxicates the devotee with divine love and gives him eternal satisfaction. It makes him perfect, weans(to gradually eliminate that thing from your life) his mind from sensual objects and makes him rejoice in God.

4-Emotional excitement is not devotion to God. Devotion is pure love, Fanaticism(unreasoning zeal) is not devotion, but frenzy, mere excitement. Bhakti is not mere emotionalism, but is the tuning of the will as well as the intellect towards the divine. It is supreme love of God, and later blossoms into knowledge of the self. It leads to immortality. Bhakti is the direct approach to the ideal through the heart. Love is natural to everybody.

5-Bhakti can be practised under all conditions and by all alike. Study of the Vedas (the revealed scriptures of the Hindus, containing the Upanishads), learning, austere penance and brilliant intellect are not needed for the attainment of bhakti or devotion. What is wanted is constant and loving remembrance of God, coupled with faith. That is the reason why the path of devotion is available for everyone.

6-Bhakti is easier than any other way of approach to God. In jnana (self-knowledge) and yoga, there is the risk of a fall. In the path of devotion, there is no risk as the devotee receives full support and help from God.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BHAKTI & JNANA?

08 FACTS;-

1-Those who tread(step) the path of jnana and yoga are liable to become proud of their powers and wisdom. Bhaktas are humble, humility being the foundation of bhakti yoga.

2-Jnana yoga is the yoga of wisdom. It is the path of analysis and rejection. It is the path of endless negation (contrary) a very difficult path.

3-Raja yoga also is difficult. It is like stilling the waves of the ocean. You will have to still all the thought-waves. Karma yoga is also difficult. It is like climbing to the highest peak and tremendous will-power is needed.

4-Bhakti yoga alone is easy. The Lord is stretching his hands to lift you up from the mire of births and deaths, but you will have to grasp his hands firmly. One thing is absolutely essential here; you should not have any other thought than that of God and God alone.

5-A devotee contracts, while a vedantin expands. The former contracts and enters the Lord through self-surrender, while the latter expands and becomes one with Brahman through assertion and identification.

6-The fruit of bhakti is jnana. Jnana intensifies bhakti. Even sages like Shankara, and Shukadev took to bhakti after realisation to enjoy the sweetness of loving relationship with God.

7-Knowledge or wisdom will dawn by itself when you practise bhakti yoga. Bhakti is the pleasant, smooth, direct road to God. Bhakti is sweet in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. It gives the highest, everlasting bliss.

8-Love the divine in your heart, for this is the immediate way to the kingdom of God. Pray to the Lord, sing his glory, recite his name and become a channel for his grace. Seek his will, do his will, surrender to the Lord. He will become your charioteer on the field of life. He will drive your chariot well and you will reach the destination, the abode of immortal bliss.

WHAT ARE THE NINE MODES OF BHAKTI YOGA SADHANA?-

In the Srimad Bhagavata and the Vishnu Purana it is told that the nine forms of Bhakti are Sravana (hearing of God's Lilas and stories), Kirtana (singing of His glories), Smarana (remembrance of His Name and presence), Padasevana (service of His feet), Archana (worship of God), Vandana (prostration to the Lord), Dasya (cultivating the Bhava of a servant with God), Sakhya (cultivation of the friend-Bhava) and Atmanivedana (complete surrender of the self).