Spiritual Message for the Day – Bhakti Yoga by Sri Swami Sivananda

Baba Times Digest© | 24 May 2014 20:58 EST | New York Edition



Bhakti Yoga


Divine Life Society Publication: Chapter 5 Amrita Gita by Sri Swami Sivananda


  1. God is love. Love is God. God is nectar. God is Prema.
  2. Bhakti is supreme love towards God. It is love for love’s sake. The devotee wants God and God alone. There is no selfish expectation here.
  3. Bhakti is the greatest power on this earth. It gushes from one’s pure heart. It redeems and saves. It purifies the heart.
  4. Devotion is the seed. Faith is the root. Service of saints is the shower. Communion with the Lord is the fruit.
  5. Bhakti is of two kinds, viz., Apara Bhakti (lower type of devotion) and Para Bhakti (highest Bhakti or Supreme Love). Ringing bells and waving lights is Apara Bhakti. In Para Bhakti, there is no ritualistic worship. The devotee is absorbed in God.
  6. In Supreme Love, the devotee forgets his self entirely. He has only thoughts of God.
  7. Para Bhakti and Jnana are one. Bhakti melts into wisdom in the end. Two have become one now.
  8. Bhakti grows gradually just as you grow a flower or a tree in a garden. Cultivate Bhakti in the garden of your heart gradually.
  9. Faith is necessary for attaining God-realization. Faith can work wonders. Faith can move mountains. Faith can take you to the inner chambers of the Lord, where reason dares not enter.
  10. Japa, Kirtan, prayer, service of saints, study of books on Bhakti are all aids to devotion.
  11. Sattvic food is a help to devotion. Take milk, fruits, etc.
  12. Evil company is an enemy of devotion. Give up evil company. Take recourse to Satsanga or company of the saints.
  13. Pray to the Lord thus; “O Adorable Lord of Compassion and Love! Give me faith and devotion. Let my mind be ever fixed On Thy Lotus Feet. Let me have constant remembrance of Thee. Let me sing Thy glory always.”
  14. The Name of the Lord is your sole refuge. It is your prop, shelter and abode. Name is divine nectar. Nama and Nami are inseparable.
  15. Keep a picture of the Lord and concentrate on it—the face or feet or the whole picture. Then visualize the picture in your heart or the space between the two eyebrows.
  16. Repeat your Ishta Mantra—Om Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya—mentally, sometimes verbally when the mind wanders.
  17. The five kinds of Bhavas are: Santa Bhava, Dasya Bhava (master-servant relation), Vatsalya Bhava (father-son relation), Sakhya Bhava (friendship), Madhurya Bhava (the relationship of lover and beloved).
  18. Bhishma had Santa Bhava; Hanuman had Dasya Bhava; Jayadeva and Gauranga had Madhurya Bhava; the Gopis had Sakhya-Bhava; Arjuna and Guha had Sakhya Bhava; Yasoda and Vishnuchitta had Vatsalya Bhava.
  19. Have any kind of Bhava that suits your temperament. Develop it again and again.
  20. Practise the nine modes of devotion or Nava-vidha Bhakti, viz., Sravana (hearing the Lilas of the Lord), Kirtan (singing His Name), Smarana (His remembrance), Padasevana (service of His Feet), Archana (offering flowers), Vandana (prostrations), Dasyam (servant-Bhava), Sakhya (His friendship), and Atmanivedana (self-surrender).
  21. Say unto the Lord: ‘I am Thine, all is Thine, Thy Will be done’. Feel you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord, that the Lord works through your mind, body and senses. Offer all your actions and the fruits of the actions unto the Lord. This is the way to do self-surrender.
  22. Do Anushtan frequently. Live on milk and fruits for a week. Observe Mouna or silence and do Japa and meditate in an intense manner.
  23. Manasic Puja or mental worship is a great help for increasing devotion and attaining concentration. Offer flowers, incense, etc., mentally to the Lord.
  24. Consider your house as a temple of the Lord, every action as service of Lord, the light that you burn as waving lights to the Lord, every word you speak as the Japa of the Lord’s Name, your daily walk as perambulation to the Lord. This is an easy way of worship of the Lord.
  25. Shall I wash Thy Feet with holy water, O Lord? The very Ganga flows from Thy Feet. Shall I give You seat? Thou art all-pervading. Shall I wave lights for Thee? Sun and Moon are Thy Eyes! Shall I offer flowers to Thee? Thou art the essence of flowers—this is Para Puja.
  26. Feel the presence of the Lord everywhere. He dwells in the chambers of your heart, too. He is in the breath in the nostrils; He glitters in your eyes. He is nearer to you than your jugular vein. Behold Him in every face.
  27. Horripilation (Romanchana), tears from the eyes (Asrupat), Kampan or twitching of muscles, Svarabhanga (choking of the voice) are marks or Lingas of devotion.
  28. A realized Bhakta is free from lust, egoism, mine-ness, hatred, jealousy, greed. He is full of humility, compassion and kindness. He sees God in all beings, in all objects. He has equal vision and a balanced mind.
  29. Draupadi was an Arta-Bhaktini; Nachiketas was Jijnasu-Bhakta; Dhruva was an Artharthee-Bhakta; Suka Deva was a Jnani-Bhakta; Prahlada was an absolutely Nishkama Bhakta.
  30. Bhakti is immortalizing nectar. It transmutes a man into divinity. It makes him perfect. It bestows on him everlasting peace and bliss.




Excerpts from:


Bhakti Yoga: Chapter 5 Amrita Gita by Sri Swami Sivananda


If you would like to purchase the print edition, visit:
The Divine Life Society E-Bookstore

If you would like to contribute to the dissemination of spiritual knowledge please contact the General Secretary at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=Contribution%20to%20Dissemination%20of%20Spiritual%20Knowledge">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SEND FEED BACK ON THIS ARTICLE >>> Email to BT Digest EditorThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=DLS%20Posts"> (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=DLS%20Posts">


Overcome the sources of trouble by Swami Krishnananda