Bhakti (devotion to the Lord) is the simplest and holiest form of spiritual practice. Bhakti is created by adding the suffix “thi” to the root “Bhaj”. It denotes Seva (Service). It suggests a sense of amazement and friendship. One who is a creature of Satwa, Rajas, or Tamas must have an attitude of humility and reverence in order to comprehend what transcends the gunas. Bhaja Sevayaam (worship the Divine through Seva). Bhakti requires that one worship the Lord with their body, words, and mind. It stands for complete love. Love and devotion are interdependent and intertwined. The path to salvation is via bhakti. Bhakti is expressed via love. Bhakti, according to Sage Narada, is the act of worshiping the Lord with unrestrained love. According to Sage Vyasa, Bhakti is the act of worshiping with love and adoration. Serving the Lord while remaining pure in thought, speech, and body is Bhakti, according to Sage Garga. True Bhakti, according to Sage Yajnavalkya, is mastering the intellect, directing it within, and savoring the bliss of oneness with the Divine. Concentrating one’s thoughts on God and feeling at one with the Divine are two further interpretations of bhakti.
Although various sages have voiced varying opinions regarding the nature of Bhakti, Love is the fundamental aspect of devotion. Every person possesses some level of love, no matter how small. The Divine, who is the ultimate manifestation of Love, is one facet of the jiva (person). Man is also an expression of love, but because he loves material things, his love gets tainted and he can’t see God in all His beauty. Ordinarily, people see offering adoration to God, repeating His name, and concentrating on Him as constituting Bhakti.
Installing the Divine in the heart and basking in the beauty of that experience is what true devotion really entails. The magical union of the unique soul and the Universal is what it is. Bhakti is made visible when a devotee prays fervently from the bottom of his heart and his love overflows. The key to devotion is finding love through love. Prayer is more than just pleading with God for assistance. It is a way of telling God about one’s problems, desires, and aspirations as well as a way of giving God all of one’s merits and the results of one’s deeds. The desire to experience oneness with the Divine is the fundamental characteristic of devotion.
Two types of devotion exist. One is learning about God and changing themselves as a result. This is a natural progression through the physical, mental, and spiritual realms that leads to the spiritual goal of merging with the Divine. However, only the individual in question will gain anything by choosing this path of knowledge. In the second kind of devotion, the follower gains not only for himself but also for those around him by sharing his experience. Such a follower not only helps others rescue themselves, but also saves himself.
All the time, a never-ending flood of love is coursing through humanity. Man is wasting the chance to give life meaning and to ensure lasting happiness by channeling this love into earthly things and transient pleasures. In order to achieve the actual purpose of existence, man should turn this love toward God. Religious studies or secular education cannot foster a love of the Divine. It originates in the heart. A person who is overcome with Divine love will not be drawn to anything else in the world. He also won’t consent to anything unworthy or degrading. Love is the giving of oneself.
What would seem to be punishment is welcomed by the devotee who is full of love for the Lord since it is for his benefit. The Lord is compassionate, even when He seems to be angry. The tenderness of God will be evident even in punishment. Therefore, no one should harbor resentment that they are the target of special punishment. Even punishment can point one toward God. The goal of the angry outburst is to protect the devotee. A sincere devotee is one who is aware of this reality and accepts everything that occurs to him as being for his benefit. He should avoid thinking about things of this world and instead focus on how to realize the divine.
Love, not formal japa or other forms of worship, is the essence of bhakti. All living things contain the Divine, who ought to be worshiped. Live in love, for love is God. The happiness of the Self, which is centered within ourselves, can only be realized through love. There is no need to look elsewhere. When all thoughts are under control and the mind is focused within, it can be found there. Give God the glory for whatever you do. The highest wisdom is this. It is the ultimate good that exists. Love should permeate all aspects of existence. True devotion is only that.