Bhakti Yoga is one of the four main yogic paths to enlightenment. Bhakti means “devotion” or “love” and this path contains various practices to unite the Bhakta (Bhakti Yoga practitioner) with the Divine. While Hatha Yoga requires a strong and flexible body, Raja Yoga requires a disciplined and concentrated mind, and Jnana Yoga requires a keen intellect, the only requirement for Bhakti Yoga is an open, loving heart. Bhakti Yoga complements other paths of yoga well, and it is said that Jnana (knowledge or wisdom) will dawn by itself when we engage in the devotional practices of Bhakti Yoga.
There are nine main practices of Bhakti Yoga that can be practiced independently or together. Each of these limbs creates a specific bhava (feeling) that appeals to different inner constitutions of practitioners.
The Nine Limbs of Devotion
- Shravana – “listening” to the ancient scriptures.
- Kirtana – “singing” devotional songs, usually practiced in a call-and-response group format.
- Smarana – “remembering” the Divine by constantly meditating upon its name and form.
- Padasevana – “service at the feet” of the Divine, which incorporates the practice of karma yoga (selfless service) with bhakti (devotion).
- Archana – the “ritual worship” of the Divine through practices such as puja (deity worship), and havan or homa (fire offering).
- Vandana – the “prostration” before the image of one’s chosen image or representation of the Divine.
- Dasya – the “unquestioning” devotion of the Divine involving the cultivation of serving the will of God instead of one’s own ego.
- Sakhya – the “friendship” and relationship established between the Divine and the devotee.
- Atmanivedana – the “self-offering” and complete surrender of the self to the Divine.
At Dhyana Yoga Center, we feed our Atman (the spiritual being) by hosting discourses, workshops, prayers, celebration of divine teachers and their teaching.
One of the oldest sacred music traditions of the world, the kirtan call-and-response chanting genre comes to us from India. Using ancient Sanskrit mantras, the kirtan calls upon sacred energies which serve to quiet the mind, remove obstacles, and bring us back to the center of our being. By repeating simple mantras over and over, faster and faster, the kirtan is an easy way for people to experience freedom from the continuous chatter of the mind. And while it is true that we can sing these chants in the solitude of our own home, there is nothing like the magic of chanting live with musicians and participants - from kids to seniors - all adding their energy to the chant.
Learn Mantra Science and Chanting
Sound of Mantra can lift the believer towards the higher self. These sound elements of Sanskrit language are permanent entities and are of everlasting significance. In the recitation of Sanskrit Mantras the sound is very important, for it can bring transformation in you while leading you to power and strength. Under guidance of our seasoned teachers, learn how the powerful healing and transformational energies of these ancient mantra chanting can help to reconnect us to the Ever-Present and Eternal Being that lies within us all.
Bhagwad Gita Discourse and Teachings
The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता "Song of the Lord"), often referred to as simply the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of the concept of Dharma, Theistic Bhakti, the yogic ideals of Moksha through Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, and Raja Yoga and Samkhya philosophy. Krishna (who is also known as Yogeshvara, or "the Master of Mystic Yoga") asserts on karma-yoga.