Open your heart to divine love
Embrace yoga fully and completely; we encourage you to dive into your practice as deeply as you can in order to reap its finest fruit. Immerse yourself in bhakti yoga practices to develop compassion, unconditional love and a sense of selfless service.
What is Bhakti Yoga?
Bhakti, in Sanskrit, means devotion. It is defined as the supreme path of yoga in the most ancient of yoga scriptures, the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.
The practice of bhakti yoga, including chanting mantras and devotional service, develops a state of consciousness that embraces the Divine as the Beloved. As our hearts are purified and we experience true compassion, love and service, we begin to experience a loving relationship with the Absolute and everything that co-exists within the Universe.
Evolution of Consciousness
Bhakti yoga practices are conducive to the evolution of consciousness. No matter if this does not make sense to you, yet. This is how Swami BR Sridhar explained it:
“Just as, in this world, the primary schools are filled with students, as well as the colleges, universities and post-graduate colleges, there are those in the primary stage, the middle stage and the highest stage. So it is with the progress of the soul in his conception of the Divine. There are so many souls occupying different levels of awakenment.”
Three Aspects of the Divine
There are three phases of realisation of the nature of the Divine Absolute:
- Brahman refers to the Absolute in its all-encompassing, non-differentiated aspect.
- Paramatma refers to the Divine pervading every atom and the space between every atom.
- Bhagavan refers to the personal, conscious aspect of the Absolute.
All aspects of the Divine coexist simultaneously and the individual soul is part and parcel of the Absolute. According to the Vedic philosophy known as Acintya Bheda-Abheda Tattva, the Divine Absolute and the individual soul are, inconceivably, simultaneous One and different.
The Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita
The Vedas offer much insight about ancient yoga philosophy. They claim that the ultimate goal of life is to realise the Absolute Truth in all its aspects. They also emphasise that one can realise the Truth only through sincere inquiry and dedicated practice. Furthermore, one should avoid blind faith and enquire after the Truth anywhere clues may be found. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, the Supreme Personality, expresses:
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.”
Mantra meditation is an essential part of bhakti yoga and exists in other forms in several religious traditions. Mantras are a string of transcendental sounds which possess a power to purify the soul, much like a magic spell! Besides being an expression of devotion towards the Absolute, mantra chanting reawakens the transcendental nature of the soul.
The Mahamantra, or Great Mantra, contains all other mantras within it:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
You can chant the Mahamantra at any time and in any place, even while doing the dishes or waiting for the bus! The only requisite is that, like any mantra, it should be uttered with a mood of service. Simply practise and experience the results.