The principle of bhakti yoga is that of utilising the usual life
ties characterised by the play of the emotions to come into possession
of the beloved. The yoga of love operates upon the physical level.
The Sanskrit word bhakti comes from the root bhj which means 'render
honours,' 'cult,' 'service.' The one who serves with dedication
and abnegation feels love for God to such a degree that he turns
his back upon all worldly attraction. An
unconditional love for one's beloved God can guarantee that he would
take care of his devotee.
Possessed by Divine Fury:
It is a natural human need to want to be protected. To abandon
oneself to the power of the divinity in order to feel complete is
a great virtue. The devotee develops such a great devotion that
it is as if they are possessed by a divine fury. They get bsorbed
in me master, me instructor or cosmic beloved. As he advances on
the path, individuality loses all meaning for him.
Madhusudhana Sarasvati defines bhakti as that path of love which
assumes the form of the divinity. J n the path of the intellect,
man raises himself by an act of will, so there is an ascent. In
the path of bhakti, the devotee empties himself of all psychological
content so that the Lord may descend and save him through grace.
This is the descent.
Bhakti is divided into aparabhakti and parabhakti, lesser and higher,
non-supreme and supreme. Aparabhakti is concerned with the 'lesser
mysteries' and works upon the plane of purification of active ethical
qualities of psychological harmonisation. Parabhakti operates upon
the plane of transfiguration of oneself so as to reach the perfection
of the father and identity with him. Aparabhakti is exoteric, while
Parabhakti is esoteric; the former reveals itself at the individual,
particular and general level, the latter on the universal plane
as the plane of the principle. The former is concerned with asceticism
and the latter with pure mysticism.
The Christian way is the path of Bhakti. Jesus incarnated as the
principle of love. Christ is the son of the father. Because love,
with will and knowledge, is coeval to god.
The Mysteries of Love:
Prema Yoga or the path of love is seen in five stages of the life
of Christ himself: Baptism-purification, Transfiguration, Crucifixion,
or 'death' of the ego individuality, Ascension, and Union.
The first three stages are of an active kind, where the individual
takes himself in hand. The other two are phases of abandonment,
allowing oneself to be captured, absorbed.
This corresponds to Yama and Niyama, the first two angas of Raja
Yoga. There arc three steps, first withdrawing to the coincidental
centre in such a way as to create a 'distance' with the entire reactive
psychic world. Second, using mantra which has the power of ultrasound,
so as to dissolve subconscious contents. Third, stabilisation of
the point at the centre of consciousness.
Harmony or Discord:
Purification does not involve only strengthening moral qualities.
It implies transforming the vibratory state of the individual. Psycho
physical individuality is a vibratory complex which may resound
harmony or discord.
During the process of purification, if daring discrimination and
detachment (Vairagya) and so on are lacking, the ego cannot be brought
to the necessary level, and transfiguration with subsequent crucifixion
or death of the Adamic complex will not take place. In this first
stage, the mantra intervenes to solve the problem of subconsciou
The struggle to dissolve and dissipate this fossilisation must
be undertaken, supported by the grace of divine love. The individual
must act at various levels and beware the sophisms hat the ego may
When the consciousness becomes free of vibratory disharmony the
heart is ready to receive another mantra which represents a harmonic
universal love. This must be vibrated in the right place in order
to open up in us a window to the desired plane.
The work of transfiguration implies profound withdrawal into oneself,
solitude and psychic silence. The inner eat is tuned to the musicality
of the inner divine.This invocation, evocation, precipitation and
stabilisation of the universal sound within one's own heart. This
immortal word is Sabdabrahman.
When this deeper transformation occurs, the two Chakras or centres,
anahata and ajna, arc harmonised. Love is pervaded by knowledge
and knowledge by love The Sahasrara begins to be activated.
When consciousness gets anchored in the true life, it lead the
death of ego-individuality, crucifixion of the ego involve multiplicity.
God/Christ is experienced dynamic yet subtle and opera way; not
outside one's consciousness, but within it. It is revelation, omni-comprehension,
unity with the sound that reverberates in space (akasa), the rejoicing
mantra. One may experience sounds, forms and non-formal colours.
This must not distract, but lead to oneness with love.
Ascension and Union:
Love is at last freed from instinct, from emotion-sentiment and
from psychic conceptualisation. Love freed from profane and involves
spiritual passion, glows of a light uncontaminated by manasic dialectics.
In Sankalpa Samadhi, the being goes beyond names and forms and is
absorbed by the
original liberation of love. The mantra-sound used during the precious
phases is no longer heard either at gross level or at the subtle
because one is now pure spirit. But he who is united to the Lord
becomes one spirit with him.