The Path of Devotion – Br. Shankara

Sunday, September 11, 2016

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the path of devotionSeptember is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga — the cultivation of a devotional relationship with God through prayer, ritual, and worship. In this practice, your thoughts, emotions and tendencies are given “a Godward turn.” As a bhakti yogi (bhakta), you use every available energy and attribute in your quest for spiritual fulfillment.

This is what we will explore and discuss on Sunday morning. Swami Vivekananda said —
“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one, or more, or all of these — and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”

A follower of Sri Ramakrishna’s path of devotion centers daily life on worship of the Divine Presence. Yet, she or he integrates Bhakti Yoga with work (Karma Yoga), with practice of concentration and meditation (Raja Yoga), and with principles of spiritual philosophy (Jnana Yoga).

The goal is purification of the body, mind, and intellect: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Mathew 5:8 Sri Ramakrishna says that not only will you see God, but talk with Him (or Her). He or She will guide you to the end of the bhakta’s path — total immersion in and union with the Divine Being.