Vivekananda’s Bhakti Yoga – Br. Shankara

Sunday, May 22, 2016

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Swami Vivekananda (Swamiji)
Swami Vivekananda (Swamiji)

We continue our study of Bhakti Yoga, an approach to spiritual realization through reverence for and devotion to God. One who follows this path becomes 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:

“Bhakti differs from (some) Western ideas of religion in that Bhakti admits no elements of fear, no Being to be appeased or propitiated. … There can be no fear in true love, and so long as there is the least fear, Bhakti cannot even begin. …

“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.’” (CW Vols 3 & 7)

In this talk we explore and discuss these ideas in detail.