THIS WEEK' blog IS ON BHAKTI YOGA - THE PATH OF DEVOTION OR LOVE OF THE DIVINE
it helps all seEkers to classify spiritual practice into these four categories; KARMA, BHAKTI, RAJA and JNANA Yoga. All can lead to union with the creator.
last week we dealt with karma yoga - the yoga of love through service
Bhakti Yoga appeals particularly to those of an emotional nature. The Bhakti Yogi is motivated chiefly by the love of God. Through prayer, worship and ritual she/he surrenders to God with unconditional love or devotion. Chanting or singing the praises of God form a substantial part of Bhakti Yoga. The practice is not confined to Yoga. We can find it in the writings of the ecstatic Sufi poets, David's psalms and all wisdom traditions.
Kabbalah believes that God wants a personal relationship with every human and that God is playing a game of love - hide and seek ("search for me and you will find me..." ) but very few want to play. Also that "...the route to God is through the senses."
When one participates in a sangoma ecstatic healing ritual with drumming, singing and dancing it often feels as if God is present.
The Chassidic branch of Judaism express their love for the Divine by dancing and singing.
For many embodied spiritual practice is an easier way to connect with Source than passive meditation. Asana Yoga - Yoga postures (which includes breath practice or pranayama) - now so popular in the West, is only one of the eight limbs of Yoga. It is essentially sensory in nature. (The Eight Limbed or Ashtanga Yoga stands apart from these Four Paths described in the current blogs.)
We are all heading towards the same light but each of us must travel a different road. The Ancestors say; "There are many paths to transformation and many sacred practices and prayers, you are to find the one for you." At the end of the day the universal medium is love expressed in the four different Yogas. Bhakti yoga may be difficult for some but there are three others to choose from and one need not be confined to one alone.
More on Bhakti Yoga next week