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What is Bhakti Yoga?

 

The ancient Sanskrit term, yoga, literally means "union," or "to yoke," and bhakti means "devotion." Thus, this yoga aims at re-establishing, consciously, the relationship between the Absolute Truth and the individual. All the different forms of yoga (karma-yoga, astanga-yoga, jnana-yoga) culminate in Bhakti. This yoga teaches how to direct all our activities so we can evolve, spiritually, toward perfection.


One principle element of Bhakti is mantra meditation. In Sanskrit, the word "man" indicates "the mind," and the word "tra" indicates "that which delivers." Thus the resultant effect of chanting a mantra is that one can deliver the mind from contemplation of the mundane in order to reach spiritual satisfaction. The mahamantra, or great chant for deliverance, is comprised of the following sixteen words: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Adherents to the Bhakti tradition find that including mantra meditation in their daily lives brings profound results, and eventual liberation from the material platform. The chanting of this mantra is the transcendental process for reviving this pure consciousness.


Bhakti-Yoga also has a rich scholarly tradition as well, and includes many philosophical literatures. The Bhagavad-gita, the fundamental text used in the Bhakti-Yoga Society programs, delineates the ABC's of spiritual life, and forms the basis of the tradition. The dynamic principles contained in the Bhagavad-gita are nonsectarian, and contain the building blocks of spiritual life, which are used by the major philosophical and religious traditions of the world.

 

The Bhakti-Yoga Society meets each Wednesday at 13:00 in GH3.5 for a program of mantra meditation, a short class and discussion on spiritual subject matter, and a free vegetarian meal. Everyone is welcome.