One of the yogic paths to self-realization is Bhakti yoga, the path of love and devotion. Following this path means learning to see the divine in everything and everyone.
Hatha yoga (the yoga of asana) requires a strong and flexible body, Raja yoga (yoga of meditation) requires a disciplined and concentrated mind and Jnana yoga (yoga of wisdom) requires a keen intellect and deep study and understanding of yoga philosophy.
What Bhakti yoga requires is an open and loving heart.
That is why Bhakti yoga is sometimes called “love for love’s sake,” or “union through love and devotion.” It is the spiritual path that requires us to realize and experience the oneness of everything.
Of course, that is no easy task.
Yoga teaches us that what we actually are, in our very essence, is pure, radiant love. This can be hard enough to see in ourselves, much less in those around us, particularly those with whom we disagree.
This teaching does not in any way deny or negate the fact that there is evil, cruelty and suffering in the world. Rather despite that, or perhaps because of it, we are asked to look beyond the malevolent behavior and malicious action of some to see the essence of pure abiding love in all.
Bhakti yoga requires us to open our hearts wide, wide enough to see that even those we consider our enemies are, at their core, pure love and unwavering goodness.
This is a very deep and challenging practice, especially in the world we are living in today. But it is a practice well worth trying. Our future depends on it.
Namaste – the Divine light within me bows to the Divine light that is also within you.