Live a Heart Centered Life with Bhakti Yoga
Full of ups and downs, happiness and soreness, victory and defeat, Life is a like a rollercoaster ride. At some points we cheer, cherish, laugh and dance and, in other moments we cry, mourn, shout and scream. If you are an emotional and sensitive person, survival in this cold, cruel world can be quite difficult. Being an emotional soul, you often get disturbed and hurt by various small and major events in life. Stop being dazzled by the glamour and charm of the materialistic world and start enjoying the beautiful gift of life bestowed by God. Raise above the materialistic world and transform your pain to spiritual bliss and joy with Bhakti yoga.Full of ups and downs, happiness and soreness, victory and defeat, Life is a like a rollercoaster ride. At some points we cheer, cherish, laugh and dance and, in other moments we cry, mourn, shout and scream. If you are an emotional and sensitive person, survival in this cold, cruel world can be quite difficult. Being an emotional soul, you often get disturbed and hurt by various small and major events in life. Stop being dazzled by the glamour and charm of the materialistic world and start enjoying the beautiful gift of life bestowed by God. Raise above the materialistic world and transform your pain to spiritual bliss and joy with Bhakti yoga.
“Bhakti” means devotion or pure love. “Yoga”- It is a traditional Indian science which is considered an effective medium to achieve health and fitness. The Vedic texts and scriptures say that yoga is also a spiritual practice of connecting with the divine. Thus, Bhakti Yoga is all about practicing yoga to connect with the almighty through acts of love and devotion. It is one of the four main yogic ways to enlightenment. It is referred as the easiest path to experience the unity of mind, body, and spirit. All you need is an open, loving heart. The most divine and spiritual form of Yoga emphasizes upon curbing your desires, lust, recognition and pleasures and submitting yourself to God physically, mentally, and emotionally. It promotes the ideology of accentuating life beyond the physical world and embark upon the path of self-realization where everything will seem meaningless except the presence of God.Bhakti yoga practices do conditioning of mind and help in true realization of existence of God. According to the Bhagavad Gita, there are 4 kinds of yoga practitioners:
People suffering from anxiety and stress issues and looking for relief.
Those who are curious and eager to know about God.
Those who are expecting rewards in this life and/or afterlife with Bhakti yoga practice.
Those who wish to experience the union of self with God.
How to practice: Ever since Bhakti Marga came into existence, various formats have been laid out to help a devotee get into the Bhakti mode. It consists of several stages which are hard to attain but once you do , you will have out-of-the-world experience.
Sravana: Sravana means to hear or listen. In this type of Bhakti yoga, the practitioner hears god’s prayers, virtues, stories and songs from saints.
Kirtana: Kirtana is devotional songs of God. In this practice, a practitioner listens and chants spiritual and devotional songs. Doing so, the mind and heart get filled up with happiness, positivity, love and ecstasy.
Smarana: It is an important practice of Bhakti Marga. To perform the yoga of devotion successfully, one has to master this practice. In this practice, the devotees reminds themselves of god continuously. They think that God is always around them. This practice impacts a devotee’s mind and soul in a geat way and helps in enriching their soul with positivity.
Padase Vasana: Pada means feet and seva means service. Here, devotees dedicate themselves to serve the society. When they accomplish their duties towards the society, they come closer to God.
Archana: Archana means offering. Here a devotee worships God through puja or havan. This yoga teaches how to do puja in the perfect way and how to express your love, devotion and affection to God.
Vandana: This yoga is one of the best ways to express your love and affection to god. In this yoga, a practitioner lies down on the floor in front of God with face towards the ground and touches the floor with the forehead.
Dasya: In this stage, the devotees completely dedicate themselves to God and serves the deity with utmost care and attention.
Sakhya: The devotee in this stage befriends with the deity. Without any inhibition or fear, they share each and everything with god – all the joys and sorrows. They form a transparent and truthful relationship with God.
Atma Nivedana: It is the last and the final step in Bhakti Marga. Here, a devotee is completely immersed in the love of God and considers the deity their beloved. The devotee completely surrenders to god and unites with the God to become one- which is the ultimate manifestation of Bhakti.
The benefits of Bhakti Yoga:
- Softens your personality and keeps you away from negative factors like anger, ego, and arrogance.
- Provides peace and wisdom.
- Makes you feel joyful and blissful.
- Calms the mind by reducing worry, anxiety, tension and fear.
- Helps you gain an experience of the divine.
- Helps you become stronger and teaches you to handle difficult situations with ease.
So, add the divine element of Bhakti Yoga to your practice and experience heavenly bliss.
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Gabriele (Gaby) Alscher
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