Bhakti means dedication and devotion towards God. You need to hand over all your fears, doubts, qualms and convey a genuine devotion and love to the almighty God of the earth.
However, have you ever heard about what bhakti yoga is? Bhakti yoga is one of the 4 main yogic routes to enlightenment. It is the most simplest way to gain mastery among the 4 other yogic paths.
In Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga, you need much more physical health and internal strength to achieve your goal. Jnana yoga on the other hand needs an enthusiastic and subtle intelligence. However, for Bhakti yoga, you only need a loving and an open heart.
Since the theory at the back of the Bhakti yoga’s practice is so simple, it can be practiced by anyone.
A Short History Of Bhakti Yoga
One of the most ultimate examples of bhakti yoga is a 12th century old incident, when a small girl of 10 years named Akka Mahadevi ignored the childhood games and became Lord Shiva’s devotee in its place.
When Mahadevi became young, she got married to a local king. However, later she realised that her irresistible love for Lord Shiva surpassed any human form of love.
She abandoned her husband and fled. As per the legend, she surrendered all the treasures of the empire and left all the worldly pleasures to devote herself to Lord Shiva.
She traveled around the country as a saint and poet, and spent the rest of her life in singing praises to Lord Shiva.
Thus, Akka Mahadevi plays an important role in the process of understanding what bhakti yoga is in hinduism. The next important practice of bhakti yoga is “Bhagvad Gita”, which is also known as “the love song to the God”.
Gita suggests the idea that by connecting yourself with your hearts, you can achieve the destination of spiritual realisation.
In the 5th century AD, for the very first time, the first devotional schools in Shaiva tradition began to develop in the southern parts of India. The main aim of these schools were to encourage devotion, praying and reciting mantras to the deities such as Krishna, Kaali, Shiva and Vishnu.
In addition to this, singing religious songs, pursuing a Guru, meditation, writing blissful poems and performing puja and arti rituals were also encouraged.
The bhakti yoga highlighted the deep longing to know about God. As per the historical evidences, Bhakti yoga was embraced by all genders and classes of the Indian society.
Who Is Your God Or Guru
As per the legends about what bhakti yoga is, Shiva was the God or Guru of Akka Mahadevi. Similarly, some of the latest bhakti devotees dedicate themselves to a particular deity. There are also some other devotees who dedicate themselves to a living or dead Guru.
Some people think that it is important to have a Guru for understanding what bhakti yoga is. A Guru can help you to surrender yourself to the lord.
However, some people think that it is not essential to have a Guru for bhakti yoga.
Bhakti yoga can also be practiced by chucking out your egos, and leading a normal blissful life with your family.
The 9 Modes of Devotion
The love and dedication for God can be boosted by using the bhakti techniques. There are 9 modes of devotion in the bhakti yoga, which are Kirtanam, Padasevanam, Sravanam, Smaranam, Archanam, Dasyam, Sakhyam, Vandanam and Atmanivedanam.
Finally, what bhakti yoga preaches in hinduism is to love, adore and worship God, so that we can absorb his godly qualities and ultimately unite with Him to become one soul.