What is Bhakthi Yoga?

BHAKTI YOGA
(Love for Love’s Sake)
Bhakti is intense love of God. Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion. It appeals to the majority
of mankind. ‘Love for Love’s Sake’ is the motto or formula of a Bhakti-Yogin. God is an
embodiment of love. You will have to attain Him by loving Him. God can be realised only by means
of a love as ardent and all-absorbing as the conjugal passion. Love for God must be gradually
cultivated.
He who loves God has neither wants nor sorrows. He does not hate any being or object. He
never takes delight in sensual objects. He includes everyone in the warm embrace of his love.
Kama (worldly desires) and Trishna (cravings) are enemies of devotion. So long as there is
any trace of desire in your mind for sensual objects, you cannot have an intense longing for God.
Atma-Nivedana is total, ungrudging, absolute self-surrender to the Lord. Atma-Nivedana is
the highest rung in the ladder of Nava-vidha Bhakti, or nine modes of devotion. Atma-Nivedana is
Prapatti or Saranagati. The devotee becomes one with the Lord through Prapatti. He obtains the
divine grace or Prasada.
Love of God and the rapturous ecstasy enjoyed by fellowship with God, cannot be
adequately described in words. It is as if a dumb man, who had tasted some palatable food, could
not speak about it. It could be revealed only to the chosen few. He who has once experienced love
will see that alone, hear that alone and speak of that alone, because he constantly thinks of that
alone.
Bhakti is one of the chief spiritual sciences. He is wealthy indeed, who has love for the Lord.
There is no sorrow other than lack of devotion to the Lord. There is no right course except love of
the devotee for the Lord. The Name, qualities and Lilas of the Lord are the chief things to be
remembered. The lotus-feet of the Lord are the chief objects of meditation. The devotee drinks the
nectar of Prema or divine love.
There are no distinctions of caste, creed, family, colour or race among the devotees. God
does not look into these things. He looks to the purity of heart of the devotees. Anyone can become a
devotee of the Lord. Nanda, an untouchable; Rai Das, a cobbler; Kannappa, a hunter; Sena, a
barber; Kabir, a Moslem weaver; and Sabari, a Bhilini were all devotees of the Lord, and were great
saints. Kannappa, an illiterate barbarian who poured water from his mouth on the Linga and who
offered swine’s flesh, became the best among the Bhaktas. The Vaishnava Alvars and the Saiva
Nayanars, of South India, were from different classes of society.

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