Types of yoga: Bhakti yoga

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September 29, 2020

Bhakti Yoga: the art of adoration

Bhakti yoga is not a type of physical yoga, but a spiritual path of Hinduism that focuses on devotion to God. It has been defined as a devotional practice, motivated solely by sincere love for God and not by the hope of divine reward or fear of punishment.Bhakti yoga is a means to a spiritual state of liberation, that is, to enlightenment through realization. The goal is to achieve oneness with God. Most Hindus consider hakti yoga to be the easiest way to achieve a spiritually liberated state.Because its practice is not as rigorous as most other schools of yoga, it is possible to practice bhakti yoga without becoming a full-time yogi.

"Bhakti" is a Sanskrit term denoting an attitude of devotion to a personal God that is similar to interpersonal relationships between human beings, such as between lovers or friends. The difference is that in Bhakti the terms of the relationship are the soul (the devotee's) and a "Supersoul" (God). Put another way, bhakti yoga is a path in which the aim of the devotee is to love union with God. While the exact manner in which God is worshipped and the nature of the union are matters on which there are variations among the different schools, there is a remarkable homogeneity as to the essence of the practice ...

The Bhagavata Purana teaches nine primary forms of Bhakti, as explained by Prahlada:

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  1. Savrana ("listening" to the stories of Krishna and his companions).
  2. Kīrtana ("praising", which usually refers to singing groups).
  3. Smarana ("remembering," or fixing the mind on Vishnu).
  4. P ada-sevana (service)
  5. Arcana (worship of an image)
  6. vndana (paying homage)
  7. Dasya (servitude)
  8. Akhya (friendship)
  9. Atma-nivedama (total self-surrender).

These nine principles of devotion describe how to help the devotee remain constantly in contact with God.