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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Hinduism

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  #11  
Old 09-06-2017, 02:39 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSM11
Hello everyone. Can someone please tell me in a concise way what Bhakti Yoga really is?

I've read that it is basically loving devotion to God and that it is considered the fastest way to experience the divine in Hinduism, but how is this loving devotion practiced exactly?

Thanks.
Namaste.

Bhakti is something that you feel...it's already there, really and when it is and you align yourself with it, it sort of practices itself.

If you have an Ishta Devata...if you feel drawn to a particular 'version' of God/Goddess (remembering they are all ONE, just different aspects so devotees can worship them in a form)...anyway, if something touches your heart deep down..plays on the strings of it like a lyre...or rips it out...that is your Ishta Devata.

Once having found that and once you can feel that love, you follow your heart in how it chooses to worship God...let your heart guide you.

Sometimes I'll sit and stare at a beautiful picture of Lord Shiva for hours:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...35983b0295.gif

Other times, I will write poetry to Lord Shiva or colour in pictures of Him:
http://tryonshorts.com/wp-content/up...pages-eume.jpg

Other times, I will put on some Bhajans/Kirtans and either close my eyes and sing along or dance around the floor...sometimes I'll remember things...like Ravana trying to lift up Mt. Kailash whilst I listen to Shiva Tandava Stotram:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSlcr2maZw8

Other times, I will offer fire, water, incense and a leaf to a statue/murthy of Shiva to represent the 4 elements, with my heart being the 5th one.

Other times, I will just sit in meditation and chant "Om Namah Shivay" or "Om Hroum Jhum Saha" over and over until tears are streaming out of my eyes...and I'll hear a voice - "turn it within - turn it all within and let the tears bathe your heart" and then I go into total rapture for Lord Shiva.

Other times, I read books about Him or go on the forum here to teach others about Lord Shiva as an act of love - like I am doing now.

This is how it happens.

Om Namah Shivaya
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2017, 03:45 AM
NickSM11 NickSM11 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 22
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Necromancer
Namaste.

Bhakti is something that you feel...it's already there, really and when it is and you align yourself with it, it sort of practices itself.

If you have an Ishta Devata...if you feel drawn to a particular 'version' of God/Goddess (remembering they are all ONE, just different aspects so devotees can worship them in a form)...anyway, if something touches your heart deep down..plays on the strings of it like a lyre...or rips it out...that is your Ishta Devata.

Once having found that and once you can feel that love, you follow your heart in how it chooses to worship God...let your heart guide you.

Sometimes I'll sit and stare at a beautiful picture of Lord Shiva for hours:


Other times, I will write poetry to Lord Shiva or colour in pictures of Him:


Other times, I will put on some Bhajans/Kirtans and either close my eyes and sing along or dance around the floor...sometimes I'll remember things...like Ravana trying to lift up Mt. Kailash whilst I listen to Shiva Tandava Stotram:

Other times, I will offer fire, water, incense and a leaf to a statue/murthy of Shiva to represent the 4 elements, with my heart being the 5th one.

Other times, I will just sit in meditation and chant "Om Namah Shivay" or "Om Hroum Jhum Saha" over and over until tears are streaming out of my eyes...and I'll hear a voice - "turn it within - turn it all within and let the tears bathe your heart" and then I go into total rapture for Lord Shiva.

Other times, I read books about Him or go on the forum here to teach others about Lord Shiva as an act of love - like I am doing now.

This is how it happens.

Om Namah Shivaya

Thank You
for taking the time to respond to my question Necromancer. That was a great answer. I like the idea of writing poetry about God and following your heart in how it chooses to worship God.

I am very familiar with the Christian style of worshiping God because I was raised Catholic. I'm no longer a part of any religion now. I consider myself spiritual, and I practice some of the principles that were written about in the Bible and ones found in various New Thought books.

I'm interested in studying Hinduism for learning about how Hindus connect and experience God. I find it interesting that a lot of the ideas in the Bible are very similar to things I'm reading about in bhakti and karma yoga. For example the Bible says:

God is Love, He that dwells in Love dwells in God (similar to bhakti yoga)
Acknowledge God in all thy ways, and he will direct thy paths (similar to verses I found in the Gita)
The bible also talks about helping/serving others in order to receive God's blessings (similar to karma yoga)
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2017, 04:22 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Namaste.

Only too glad to share it.

Bhakti says "Love is God, He that dwells in God dwells in Love" I mean, it's the same thing, but the focus is a bit different.

Honestly, a lot of people...and a lot of Hindus like to say "I AM" or "I am God" or "Shivoham" (I am Shiva) and that all belongs to the non-dual school of thought.

Bhakti Yoga is pure duality which leads into the non-dual state...and back again...and into non-duality...and back again into duality....and on and on this goes.

This is the rapture...the ecstasy...the bliss - to be able to say and feel it....'NO! NO! NO!!! I DON'T want to 'be You' or 'become You' or 'merge with You' because I just love You way too much for that...I love You at the expense of my own enlightenment...I love You as being everything I am NOT..."

Then, when people say "drop it, drop Shiva...become THAT...become who YOU are in Spirit"....I just can't...or I don't want to because Bhakti stops me...every time...it stops me...and yet, there are those moments when I do merge with Shiva as a lover merges with his beloved during conjugal bliss...

However, it always goes back to being "me" and "Shiva" because the separation is what causes that love to occur...not the merging or the joining because I tend not to remember anything or even be conscious whenever that happens...

This is pure Bhakti.

Om Namah Shivaya
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2017, 11:17 PM
Vinayaka Vinayaka is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 514
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSM11
Hello everyone. Can someone please tell me in a concise way what Bhakti Yoga really is?

I've read that it is basically loving devotion to God and that it is considered the fastest way to experience the divine in Hinduism, but how is this loving devotion practiced exactly?

Thanks.

It varies from school to school, but essentially its acts of Love towards God. It comes in many forms ... puja, bhajans (songs) pilgrimage, being common. So the devotee can do a lot of stuff, with love, in sort of the same way you love people, giving flowers, caring for the God's needs. all that.

In bhakti, generally the Gods are sort of thought of as people. like royalty, or loved ones. It's Hindu duality at it's best ... theism.

In my tradition it's not considered a separate yoga, but a stage, called kriya, which comes after service, and before yoga in progressive stages. So its a natural outcome of a balanced lifestyle, providing stability on the path, and a precursor to deeper meditation. One of the best times to meditate is right after a good deal of bhakti, like right after the puja at a powerful temple. Then that outward expression and energy can be turned inward.

One of the simplest ways to notice it is to go to a temple and stare at the eyes of the deity, and communicate through the eyes. This is called darshan, receiving darshan. Visualise a funnel in front of your chest, and taking all that energy into the heart. For Hindus, because of lifetimes of practice, it's just really natural. Small children will stand in front of a shrine and do just that.
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:34 AM
NickSM11 NickSM11 is offline
Newbie ;)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 22
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Necromancer
Namaste.

Only too glad to share it.

Bhakti says "Love is God, He that dwells in God dwells in Love" I mean, it's the same thing, but the focus is a bit different.

Honestly, a lot of people...and a lot of Hindus like to say "I AM" or "I am God" or "Shivoham" (I am Shiva) and that all belongs to the non-dual school of thought.

Bhakti Yoga is pure duality which leads into the non-dual state...and back again...and into non-duality...and back again into duality....and on and on this goes.

This is the rapture...the ecstasy...the bliss - to be able to say and feel it....'NO! NO! NO!!! I DON'T want to 'be You' or 'become You' or 'merge with You' because I just love You way too much for that...I love You at the expense of my own enlightenment...I love You as being everything I am NOT..."

Then, when people say "drop it, drop Shiva...become THAT...become who YOU are in Spirit"....I just can't...or I don't want to because Bhakti stops me...every time...it stops me...and yet, there are those moments when I do merge with Shiva as a lover merges with his beloved during conjugal bliss...

However, it always goes back to being "me" and "Shiva" because the separation is what causes that love to occur...not the merging or the joining because I tend not to remember anything or even be conscious whenever that happens...

This is pure Bhakti.

Om Namah Shivaya

Thanks for sharing. It definitely sounds like you have obtained some deep peace from your spiritual practice. That's inspiring. If I ever have any questions about Bhakti yoga, I will definitely look for you.

Hearing your explanation is interesting because Jesus actually had two main commandments for his disciples, and one of them was "Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul." It seems like Jesus was teaching a practice very similar to Bhakti Yoga.
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:37 AM
NickSM11 NickSM11 is offline
Newbie ;)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 22
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinayaka
It varies from school to school, but essentially its acts of Love towards God. It comes in many forms ... puja, bhajans (songs) pilgrimage, being common. So the devotee can do a lot of stuff, with love, in sort of the same way you love people, giving flowers, caring for the God's needs. all that.

In bhakti, generally the Gods are sort of thought of as people. like royalty, or loved ones. It's Hindu duality at it's best ... theism.

In my tradition it's not considered a separate yoga, but a stage, called kriya, which comes after service, and before yoga in progressive stages. So its a natural outcome of a balanced lifestyle, providing stability on the path, and a precursor to deeper meditation. One of the best times to meditate is right after a good deal of bhakti, like right after the puja at a powerful temple. Then that outward expression and energy can be turned inward.

One of the simplest ways to notice it is to go to a temple and stare at the eyes of the deity, and communicate through the eyes. This is called darshan, receiving darshan. Visualise a funnel in front of your chest, and taking all that energy into the heart. For Hindus, because of lifetimes of practice, it's just really natural. Small children will stand in front of a shrine and do just that.

I like how you summarized Bhakti Yoga in your first paragraph. Thanks a lot.
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  #17  
Old 24-07-2017, 02:28 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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The total, gut wrenching pain of Bhakti...

To BE or not to BE, that is the question.

To BE means that Shiva is a lie and not to BE means He is the Truth.

Can I give up every ounce of this love I feel? smash my heart to smithereens for the sake of Moksha? Can I be that self-serving? I'd rather commit suicide!

Can I ever go from full Samprajnata Samadhi and fulfill my soul's destiny if it means I have to destroy the very thing I have ever felt such a deep, beautiful love for to get there?

I have been in a mess of tears all day...Shiva exists! Not ONLY in my heart, but outside it, beyond it and everywhere! and I can see that! I can feel that! I know that! It is what keeps me alive and what keeps me going.

He is all and everything, not only who I am, but everything I am not and now I have to drop all that? Go beyond the heart and third eye to break a knot named in His honour? cannot do...CANNOT DO! *cries my heart out*

http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/sh...0&postcount=22

I live for Shiva! I exist for Shiva! he is my breath, each beat of my heart and I am praying for Him to help me through this, but that is just reinforcing the illusion...tightening the knot that chokes me from the forehead up.

I can only keep crying and crying now until it is over, saying Aum Namah Shivaya and not Shivoham.

Aum Namah Shivaya
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  #18  
Old 24-07-2017, 06:37 PM
Bindu* Bindu* is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 127
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The masters say that only grace will do it eventually.

Only by grace can one bridge the gap....

Nothing to do really....the ego can't get rid of itself..

The ego is an aspect of Shiva's shakti anyway...It's ok.


Nice peace by Swami Shivananada about Parabhakti....the highest bhakti where duality turns to nonduality:
http://sivanandaonline.org/public_ht...section_id=451
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  #19  
Old 24-07-2017, 11:54 PM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is offline
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Thank you Bindu, I understand this, but what I don't get is say I realise that I am Shiva, how could I ever love Shiva again knowing it?

Aum Namah Shivaya
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  #20  
Old 25-07-2017, 02:41 AM
Jyotir Jyotir is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,369
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickSM11
I am very familiar with the Christian style of worshiping God because I was raised Catholic. I'm no longer a part of any religion now. I consider myself spiritual, and I practice some of the principles that were written about in the Bible and ones found in various New Thought books.

I'm interested in studying Hinduism for learning about how Hindus connect and experience God. I find it interesting that a lot of the ideas in the Bible are very similar to things I'm reading about in bhakti and karma yoga. For example the Bible says:

God is Love, He that dwells in Love dwells in God (similar to bhakti yoga)
Acknowledge God in all thy ways, and he will direct thy paths (similar to verses I found in the Gita)
The bible also talks about helping/serving others in order to receive God's blessings (similar to karma yoga)

Hi NickSM11,

Suggest that you get your hands on the unabridged version of,
"The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna".
You'll not only receive some inspiring revelations about Bhakti, but you'll also find Jesus there in a much more contemporary form.

~ J
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