What is Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti, “devotion” yoga is a yogic path to enlightenment and to connect with your personal God. There is not any specific meaning of bhakti yoga.
It is the way to reach your God through different means with the practice of bhakti. Bhakti yoga demands more devotion and dedication to master your body, mind, and spirit and to search your God wholeheartedly. Your whole being needs to come together to get perfection in this yoga.
Bhakti yoga is all about love and dedication. When the Hatha Yoga demands a flexible body, Jnana yoga demands intelligence, Raja yoga demands more discipline and concentration, Bhakti yoga demands only a dedicated, open, and loving heart. Your bhakti should be the medium to reach your God.
There are nine practices of bhakti yoga. All these practices can be done together and independently. Each of these practices comes with a specific feeling. The nine practices of the bhakti yoga are sravan, kirtana, smarana, padasevana, archana, Vandana, dasya, sakhya, and Atma-nivedana.
These are totally different from each other. When one practice says about the prayer, another says about the complete devotion. You can practice any one or combine all those to reach your God. To practice all these, you will have to dedicate your thought and your complete being. You can be the slave or the friend of your God.
History of Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti yoga is known as one of the oldest forms of the yoga. It has come from the Vedas. Bhakti yoga is a part of the Vedas until 500 BC. It came into existence at the time when the Bhagavad-Gita delivered by the Lord himself to one of his devotee Arjun.
Eventually, it became one of the most popular forms of the devotional practices in India. It became famous as the bhakti marga or the road of devotion. The passages of the Bhagavad-Gita say about the different aspects of the bhakti yoga. It says which thing you need to abandon to reach your God.
Bhakti yoga continued to spread in different parts of India from 99 CE to 1800s. You will find the many poets about the bhakti yoga. All those say about the union of the God and devotee. In the bhakti-yoga, it is only the devotion, a complete devotion that can bring you nearer to the God.
How to practice Bhakti Yoga
The only goal in Bhakti Yoga is to find your own open and loving heart.
There are different ways to practice the bhakti yoga. Here are some of ways that you can use in your practice.
Chanting can be the great way to reach your God. Singing the name of the deity and their glories will bring you nearer you god by purifying your heart and mind. You can chant it alone or with a group. You can chant the praise songs of your divine.
This is another way to practice bhakti yoga. You will need an image of your God to practice this yoga. You will have to offer flowers, incense, fruit, and other offerings to worship your God and to praise your Almighty.
This is the complete devotion. You can worship your God as a faithful servant. You will not have your own being. You will have to be completely dedicated to your God to get his blessing. You can worship as a servant, devoted lover, and a faithful friend.
Mediation is considered one of the best ways to reach your God. You will have to visualize the image of your God and you can concentrate on that image. You can visualize the image within your eyebrows, in your heart, or in your eyes.
Nature is another way to practice the bhakti yoga. You can worship nature as the manifestation of your personal God.
You can share your every meal with your god.
You can offer your things to the needy to practice the bhakti yoga.
Purification and Compassion
You can purify your heart and action.
Compassion and forgiveness are also the ways to practice bhakti yoga. You can accept your faults and can forgive others for their mistakes.
Be humble and simple and help others at the time of need.
You can adopt a positive approach towards life by practicing the bhakti yoga.