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Bhakti Yoga Alphabets

by Swami Sivananda

ANANYA Prema is single-minded devotion to the Lord exclusive of everything else.

BHAKTI Yoga is the easiest path for God-realisation in this Iron Age.

CHANDRAYANA Vrata is observed by the devotees to destroy and propitiate the Lord.

DASYA Bhava is the servant Bhava entertained by the devotee towards the Lord.

ESHANATRAYAM (the three desires wealth, children and heaven) stand as hindrance to the development of true devotion.

FAITH in the existence of God is the foundation of Bhakti.

GURU is the visible God on earth for the devotee.

HORRIPILATION (Pulaka) is the standing up of the hairs of the body experienced by the devotee as he advances in devotion.

ISHTA DEVATA is the deity of one's liking or choice by the worship of whom the Bhakta attains God-consciousness.

JAPA of the names of the Lord brings purity of mind and increases concentration to a great degree.

KRISHNA is the Supreme Deity, the destroyer of the stains of Kali.

LAJJA for the utterance of the Names of the Lord is a great obstacle for beginners in the path of devotion.

MADHURYA Bhava is the highest form of Bhakti.

NAVA-VIDHA Bhakti should be practised by all aspirants in the path of Bhakti Yoga.

OFFERING the body, mind and soul exclusively to the service of God is Saranagati (self-surrender).

PADASEVANA is service of the Lotus Feet of the Lord or service of humanity with Narayana Bhava.

QUIESCENCE of the mind is a qualification common to both the Vedantin and the Bhakta.

RUCHI (Nama) is the taste for the repetition of the Names of the Lord.

SAKSHATKARA is attainment of God-consciousness.

TRISHNA (internal craving for sensual objects) is detrimental to the growth of Bhakti.

UPASANA is worship of the Lord.

VIRAHA is intense pain caused by the separation from the Lord that is felt by a sincere devotee.

WEEP for the separation of the Lord but not for the death of relatives or loss of wealth.

X'MAS holidays should be availed of for the completion of at least one Purascharana of your Ishta-Mantra.

YOGAKSHEMA of the devotee is vouchsafed by the Lord.

ZEAL and sincerity of purpose pave a long way in God-realisation.

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