905 – 9 ways to practice bhakti sadhana

  1. Shravana: listening to the stories of the lord.

  2. Kirtan: singing about the qualities of the lord.

  3. Smaranam: remembering the name of the lord.

  4. Padaseva: cultivating a feeling of universal oneness.

  5. Archana: surrendering all one’s deeds to the lord through worship, ritual and reverence.

  6. Vandana: the humbling of one’s ego, the bowing of one’s head.

  7. Dasya: serving, seva.

  8. Sakhya: having the attitude of a friend.

  9. Atmanivedana: surrendering oneself totally.

Srimad Bhagwatam

Let us examine these methods of Bhakti Sadhana.

Shravan is listening to stories about the lord. We can find this in satsang or in church. One must listen carefully and it is surprising to see how one is influenced by the stories.

Kirtana is self-explanatory. It is the singing of hymns. The words of the hymns are very powerful and they remain with us.

Smaranam is remembering the names of the Lord, and this is like a Sahasranama (1000 names of a God). In this one also recalls the qualities of the Lord.

Padaseva is serving the lotus feet of the lord. The meaning is abject humility and self-surrender to the lord.

Archana is worship of the lord. Worship can be done either through external materials or feeling (bhava) intensely.

Vandana is prayer, touching the earth with the eight limbs of the body, with faith and purity of heart.

Dasya is to serve the lord through the servant sentiment. It means cleaning the deities in the temple, sweeping the floors and meditating on him. It also means serving the saints and the poor.

Sakhya is thinking of the lord as one’s friend. One does any task given if it is for the lord, without questioning. This bhakti is above one’s friendships.

Atmanivedana is self-surrender. ‘The devotee does not want to become the sugar but wishes to taste sugar. The disciple feels more joy in loving the lord, than in becoming the lord.’ Swami Sivananda.

The 9 ways to perform bhakti sadhana can be applied in all faiths. The lord is one and all encompassing.

Aim Hrim Klim

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *