When we love someone it is usually ego based. Even when it is new and heady we kind of expect something in return. We love to be loved back. We see the beauty in our mates for a while and then we stop seeing them as ‘sparks of the divine’. Maybe we start to look elsewhere then, maybe we just stop loving as fully as we can.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of love and devotion. In the Bhagavad Gita it was Krishna who helped Shiva realise his work in life should be devotional. He should offer up the outcome of his work to something higher than himself, in this case God. When we offer up the outcome or fruits of our labour to a higher power then we can be come one with the ‘Self’ or world.
Bhakti is essentially love. Find something that you love doing or someone you love and love without expectation. Pour your heart and soul into that person/animal/god, pour all your love and all your efforts. Or even just pour a little. When you love unconditionally, without expecting anything in return and when you love without worrying about outcome then you can tap into a deeper love. Bhakti practitioners believe that this will spill out to every sentient being, every living soul. You are then able to feel love towards those at your work, the supermarket or wherever you tread.
Our nature is that we are loving beings. When you focus on this love you will feel it within you and it will be reciprocated. We are receptacles of love. Bhakti allows us to see the divinity in everything. Bhakti yogis perform rituals of chanting (Kirtan), mantra and serving others (seva). It is though these forms of devotional praise and selfless work that they unite with a higher energy in this world. No one can teach you the practice of Bhakti you need to find it for yourself. For me it comes in these forms;
Looking deeply into someones eyes. Singing to your child, holding someone, seeing beauty in the nature around me, doing yoga.
Practice for today: Bhakti is another road to yourself. Can you find someone or something that you can connect with fully today and see if you can transmit some of that perfect love, which is actually your true nature, to them or it. How does that make you feel?