The Essence of Bhakti Yoga



Bhakti is devotion or unselfish love. It comes from the root ‘Bhaj’to serve or be deeply interested in. ‘Bhaj Sevayam’ is the Sanskrit root. Bhakti is, therefore, an intense attachment to God or deep interest in God and things concerned with God. The innate nature of all beings is to love an external object. We cannot but love or cherish something in the heart. For, truly, the Absolute alone is existent. Man is only an ego apparently separated from it. Love for external things is an unconscious internal urge to become unified with everything. For, in reality, man is everything, the Absolute Itself. He wants everything. Love is the forerunner of Experience. Love is the craving. Experience is the fulfillment of it. None can live without love for something. The creator pierced the senses with outward activity, and that rule applies to one and all here. The mind is the main sense of perception, for it is only the mind that perceives through the various channels of the senses. The senses do not work when the mind does not. But it is folly on our part to allow the mind to run extrovert in all directions. The dissipated rays of the mind take interest in countless objects of the universe, seen and heard equally. Yogins have come to the conclusion that the mind that is centered in one point of space at all times can do and undo things with supernatural force. It is the concentrated ray of the sun passing through a lens that burns things focused through it, and not so much the rays that are scattered here and there. Mind has to be concentrated on one Substance, be it this or that. The mind should not jump from one thing to another. This is the way of Samsara. This should be stopped by controlling the mind through one-pointedness of it. Concentration is done either on a point in space (Bhakti Marga), or on the entire existence (Jnana Marga). The annihilation of thought is the death of individuality; the experience of Absoluteness.
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