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Bhakti Yoga

The term Bhakti comes from the root 'Bhaj', which means 'to be attached to God Bhakti is love for love's sake. The devotee wants God and God alone. There is no selfish expectation here. There is no fear also. Therefore it is called 'ParamaPremaRupa'. The devotee feels, believes, conceives and imagines that his Ishtam (tutelary deity) is an Ocean of Love or Prema.

Steps for the Development of Bhakti in Bhakta:
  1. First arises faith.
  2. Then follows attraction
  3. And after that adoration.
  4. Adoration leads to suppression of desires.
  5. The result is single-mindedness and satisfaction.
  6. Then grows attachment and supreme love towards God.
The nine forms of Bhakti are:
  • Sravana (hearing of God's Lila's 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 Lord)
  • Dasya (cultivating the Bhava of a servant with God)
  • Sakhya (cultivation of the friend-Bhava)
  • Atmanivedana (complete surrender of the self)
  1. Sakamya Bhakti- Sakamya Bhakti is devotion with desire for material gains. One will not get supreme satisfaction, immortality and Moksha through Sakamya Bhakti.
  2. Nishkamya Bhakti- Nishkamya Bhakti is devotion without desire for material gains. Your heart will be purified and the Divine Grace will descend upon one.
Another classification of Bhakti is:
  1. Apara-Bhakti - In this God is the object to get worldly pleasures.
  2. Para-Bhakti - In this God is resorted to attain god himself. It is ever growing, unbroken, subtlest of experience.
It would be a gross mistake if you consider Bhakti as merely a stage of emotionalism, while it is actually thorough a discipline and training of one's will and the mind.

One can achieve this by following the eleven fundamental factors:
  1. Abhyasa - practice of continuous thinking of God
  2. Viveka - discrimination
  3. Vimukta - freedom from everything else and longing for God
  4. Satyam - truthfulness
  5. Arjavam - straightforwardness
  6. Kriya - doing well to others
  7. Kalyana - wishing well-being to all
  8. Daya - compassion
  9. Ahimsa - non-injury
  10. Dana - charity
  11. Anavasada - cheerfulness and optimism
Bhakti softens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, egoism, pride and arrogance. It infuses joy, divine ecstasy, bliss, peace and knowledge. All cares, worries and anxieties, fears, mental torments and tribulations entirely vanish.

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