Types of Yoga| bhakti yoga
Bhakti Yoga

bhakti yoga

The yoga of divine love or Bhakti yoga is considered to be the shortest path towards attainment of divine God. This form of yoga believes that the path to God is strewn with various difficulties that present themselves in the garb of worldly affairs. And if one wants to truly unite with the divine he or she has to overcome these difficulties with single-minded attention. Bhakti yoga is a way of attaining God through pure love towards God.


The word Bhakti is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Bhaj' meaning to pray. This form of yoga is practiced by diverting all attention to achievement of fulfillment through the divine. The yogi or the devotee considers God to be an almighty ocean of everlasting love and beauty and prays and worships him in the hope that He will give him a place in His divine consciousness. It is believed that human soul has a chord that unites him with the God consciousness. This is the voice of human conscious. Bhakti yoga should not be interpreted in terms of religion alone, because it is about strengthening this chord of consciousness and ultimately feeling an unbreakable bond with God. Almost all the different religions have a way of telling this reality through their religious scriptures. The message always remains the same. It is all about invoking the God consciousness by way of whichever medium the devotee chooses to practice. Bhakti yoga is the base of this kind of Godly devotion. It is about developing a direct communication with the creator.


The devotee or the yogi believes in the purity of his love and uses it as a channel to reach the divine. This is based on the foundation that love is the purest feeling experienced by human beings. It is also the highest form of emotion which is reserved exclusively for the humans. Some animals belonging to higher degree of intelligence also feel and respond to love in some ways. But the feeling of love experienced by humans is truly a gift bestowed upon them by the divine consciousness in order to raise them over and above the rest of the plant and animal kingdom.


Love in its best way is experienced in a succession of faith, attraction or admiration and then adoration. Love is a feeling that is experienced in all human relationships. It is even existent between human and animal relationships. It is also existent between human and inanimate objects example a human being may be very much in love with his material possessions. Love is a chord that binds everything that exists in this world. Love is a creative force. Love is an energy that generates the necessary inputs for all creations. Love between human creates new life. Love between human and inanimate objects creates beautiful art, poetry, literature even technology. Yes, technology is the ultimate creation that comes into a reality by the creator's passion for new development. In fact the force of love has made the world survive all calamities and made it move in the direction of future through the ages.


Bhakti yoga relies on love for the attainment of ultimate enlightenment. The love of God is the purest form of all love because it is not driven by any negative feelings or emotions. It is love with no attachments. It is love for the divine without any greed, jealousy, fear, expectancy of rewards or even sense of achievement. Love for God is the passage and it is the destination also. Love of God is the means and it is the ultimate reward. Bhakti yoga propagates this kind of love and devotion to God that the person indulging in it rises above the rest and attains supreme satisfaction of his being one with the divine consciousness. Different religions and different cultures propagate it in different formats but the essence remains the same for each and every one of them.


bhakti yoga 1
The essence of Bhakti yoga should not be interpreted as pure emotion based practice. It is thorough discipline of controlling the mind and body to achieve purity of soul. It is an experience of deep soul-searching. It is developed with great regulation and sense of supreme obedience to the will of God. It is about submitting one's desires, commitments, responsibilities and aspirations to the will of God. This is certainly not an easy process and requires complete surrender to the almighty denouncing all that is evil. It is a path that starts generally with idol worship and culminates at the realization of oneness with God.


The ancient texts describe the path to be followed keeping in mind the following actions:

Abhyasa
It means practice. This step is about focusing the mind that ordinarily has numerous thoughts, concentrated on the thoughts of God only.


Viveka
It means discrimination or wisdom to decipher the right from the wrong.


Vimoka
Developing a sense of yearning for God and liberating the mind of all other desires.


Satyam
It means truthfulness in all thoughts and actions, always and every time.


Arjavam
It means straightforwardness in all thoughts and actions.


Kriya
It means actions free of greed, selfish desires and goodness towards others.


Kalyan
Thoughts of well wishes for every individual under all circumstances.


Daya
It means kindness towards all.


Ahimsa
It means non-violence and not hurting anyone emotionally and physically.


Daan
It means indulging in acts of charity towards the poor and deserving.


Anavasada
It means cheerfulness and optimism towards life while doing all the above.