Vivekananda’s Bhakti Yoga – Br. Shankara

Sunday, September 3, 2017

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Swami Vivekananda (Swamiji)
Swami Vivekananda (Swamiji)

September is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a bhakti yogi (bhakta), you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.”

All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your constant prayer is for complete self-surrender, in ecstatic union with your Belovèd.

This Sunday morning, we begin another month’s study of Bhakti Yoga. One who follows this path may become a lover of God — a bhakta, or devotee.

Sri Ramakrishna said, “You should remember that the heart of the devotee is the abode of God. He dwells, no doubt, in all beings, but He especially manifests Himself in the heart of the devotee. … The heart of the devotee is the ‘drawing-room’ of God.”

Swami Vivekananda taught, “The great quality of Bhakti is that it cleanses the mind … The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest and the most natural way to reach the great divine end in view …The path of devotion is natural and pleasant. … It is a longer way, (yet at its end the bhakta says), ‘Thine am I for ever; henceforth whatever I do, it is Thou doing it. No more is there any me or mine.’”

In this talk we explore these and other instructions on Bhakti Yoga, and discuss how your efforts on this path can result in a life of greater contentment, self-fulfillment, and God realization.