In our previous article, we have discussed about the Bhakti Yoga or What is the Yoga of Devotion. In this article, we will discuss about the nine aspects of Bhakti Yoga which help a devotee to attain the higher realm and bond with the Supreme Being. It is not mandatory to practice each and every aspect to reach closer to the Supreme Being, practicing any of the aspects with complete devotion can help one achieve the same result. Opposite to the common notion, the path of the Yoga of Devotion or Bhakti Yoga is quite easy and less-complicated. Rather, you could say, it is more tuned to nature than anything else. You do not have to force yourself against the nature to follow these 9 aspects. Instead, slowly and steadily, it will prepare you mentally and spiritually to understand the divinity.
Let us explore the 9 modes or aspects of Bhakti Yoga:
1. Sravana – Hearing the Lord’s virtues, glories and stories
Although, literally, this Sravana means listening to spiritual conversations of saints, holy stories or scriptures, but the core meaning is something different and more deep than just using your ears. It’s about listening to your inner self and coming face to face with the truth. We all wear different masks time to time while interacting with different people. The mask changes with the person. And, in due course, we lose all contact with that true self and become a difficult blend of all the masks. So, the first step towards getting close to God is – knowing yourself, listening to your true self and understanding what it is.
2. Kirtana – Singing of the Lord’s Glories
Kirtana means singing or chanting the Almighty’s glories. If we go by the core meaning, it means identifying the good and praising the goodness of mankind, of the nature at large. They say, God is there in each of our hearts. So what is God? It is the Godly nature and positive qualities that make a mere human being a God. If you fail to appreciate what is good and if you fail to nurture those good qualities in you and in others, no Yoga can ever take you an inch closer to the Almighty.
3. Smarana – Remembrance of the Lord at all times
Smarana literally means remembering the Supreme Being all the time. If you think deep, you will understand what the ancient sages tried to point at. Adhere to the teachings your spiritual teacher has given you without altering a single bit of it. We often change what we are being taught to accommodate ourselves to the way this world wants us to be. That actually makes the lessons irrelevant because it’s the tough times which require you to stand by your principles and moral values.
4. Padasevana – Serving His feet
In East, touching someone’s feet means showing respect to that person and accepting that the person is either elder or in a higher position than you, most often by age or experience. Here, you need to accept that the nature is more powerful than you, both in terms of age and experience. If you cannot analyze how the nature works, it’s absolutely normal. But by defying nature and its laws, you are just proving your immaturity. So, once you start accepting that everything happens in this nature for a reason, you will feel less bothered and more at peace with your own self.
to be continued (…)