Unconditional and intense love for God is Bhakti. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion. It emphasizes the opening of the head to divine love, the union of lover (the yogi) and beloved (the divine). This devotion, all over is often translated into singing a holy song or chant, with ecstatic repetition of the names of the beloved in gatherings called kirtans. Bhakti Yoga does not tell you where to direct that devotion, or the specific methods by which you should do it. That is left to the devotee’s personal preferences.

Narada Bhakti Sutra (NBS) is a premier treatise  on the nature of bhakti that emphasizes the connection between bhakti and prema and treats the age-old enigma about the nature of love in an original fashion.

Bhakti softens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, egoism, pride and arrogance. It infuses joy, divine ecstasy, bliss, peace and knowledge. All cares, worries and anxieties, fears, mental torments and tribulations vanish entirely. The devotee gets freedom from the cycle of birth and death. He attains the immortal abode of everlasting peace, bliss and knowledge.

In this Kali Yuga, bhakti is seen as the surest, safest and easiest form of yoga to practice. The bhakta does not try to rid himself of emotions, but seeks to channel and harness the emotions by sublimating them into devotion. The aspirant treading the path of bhakti attempts to realize the Truth by devotion to and love of God in a personalized form, i.e., the ishta-devata. Prayer, chanting, japa (repeating a mantra or name of God), hearing or telling stories of God and saints, pujas, ceremonies and rituals are the basic techniques of bhakti. A mystical relationship with God, who may seem as a friend, a child, a mother or a teacher, is sought and developed in Bhakti Yoga. It rids the aspirant of emotions and egocentricity by developing humility, self-surrender and the feeling of being an instrument in the hands of God.

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