Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga and the Practice of Atma-Nivedana

When you find a spiritual path and teacher that resonates deeply within you, and you experience beneficial fruits from following the Guru's teachings and spiritual practices, you may want to consider engaging in the Bhakti Yoga practice of Atma-Nivedana. This practice can be internal and/or external.

Nine Steps of Bhakti Yoga

In Bhakti Yoga, you have to recondition the existing human nature and channel all the forces that flow out to converge at a single point of focus. That point can be called God, the force of creation; it can be called Guru, the energy which removes ignorance and darkness; it can be called love, Prem.

Meditation and Bhakti Yoga

In non-dual forms of meditation practice, the Yoga practitioner strives to observe and then eliminate or transcend unwanted thoughts. In Bhakti Yoga meditation practices, the Bhakta strives to increase the thoughts of his or her beloved teacher until the very essence of the Yogi or Yogini melts into the divine essence of all beings.

Giving of Dakshina on the Bhakti Yoga Path

Some members of Bhakti ashrams give everything they have (work and money) for their Guru and ashram. On the other hand, Hatha schools in the west would be extinct if they depended on donations and seva (Volunteer work; selfless service or work offered to one's Guru).

The Ultimate Expression of Bhakti Yoga

Recently, a dedicated Yogic scholar and practitioner shared with a group of us that what makes him the happiest now is to serve other people, not reading the classical Indian scriptures or chanting divine names. We could all feel his love. This is the highest expression of Bhakti Yoga and is fueled by the love and compassion that is generated by traditional devotional practices.

About Bhakti Yoga Philosophy

The branch of Yoga practice called Bhakti is based on love or devotion of the devotee for the immanent and transcendent divine. Bhakti Yoga is simply stated, the Yoga of devotion. The philosophy of Bhakti Yoga is based on the ancient Vedic teachings from India, including Narada's Bhakti Sutras. The Bhakti Yoga Sutras emphasize love as a path to self-realization and oneness with God.

The Path Of Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga practitioners also have an intense longing for oneness with their Guru or teacher. An enlightened teacher who awakens the inner divinity of a student will embody divine love and grace for that student. The student's Guru will also act as a mirror for the student, reflecting the student's positive and negative qualities back to the student, so that the student may go through the alchemical process of purification and live more fully in the awareness of God's love and presence within his or her own heart.

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