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. Continue reading

903 – Bhakti Sadhana

Bhakti Sadhana in the Srimad Bhagavatam has been explained very simply. There are three things which one must heed. They are Darshan or inner vision, Shravana or hearing, and inner Chintan or contemplation. Through Darshan, Shravan, and Chintan the mind becomes one with the lord. The example given is it does not matter what the shape of a vessel is. It can be misshapen. When one pours liquid into it, it takes the shape of the vessel. The liquid will retain the shape of the vessel as long as it remains in it. Similarly, when one hears the name of the lord, when one contemplates on the qualities of the lord and when one brings to mind the form of the lord, the mind takes on the aspect of the lord.  – Swami Niranjanananda.

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803 – 5 stages of love in Hindu philosophy

Love is the most important emotion, and we cannot survive without it. In Hindu philosophy, we have a description of it and also different kinds of love are connected to many stories. The five stages of love are Kama (Sexual desire), Shringar (Romance), Maitri (maternal love, compassion), Bhakti (Cultivate love for God), Atma Prema (Self-love). Continue reading

445 – Worship of Kali by Ramakrishna

Why did Ramakrishna worship Kali? Ramakrishna had the divine vision of Kali and he was always in communication with her. One does not know whether Kali chose him to express her divinity through him or he chose Kali.

Who is Kali? Is she the Shakti of Shiva? Continue reading

334 – What Yoga should I practice?

According to Swami Satyananda, in order to understand what kind of Yoga Sadhana is to be practiced, one has to know what is going in with oneself. If one is physically unwell, one has to take up asanas and pranayamas. If one is depressed, consumed with anxiety, blood pressure and insomnia, one must practice meditation. If one is suffering from mental exhaustion, one must practice pranayama. Continue reading

274 – The Garden Of Love

Take a walk in a garden and look about you. The most wonderful thing is that one can take a walk anytime of the year, anywhere and appreciate nature. It can be very hot or very cold but it is possible to be appreciative of the greenery or the different shades of brown. Step out on the beach, in the park, forest or even playground. Become aware of everything around you. Of course switch off the phone. Once you are in a space, take a few breaths, normal, spontaneous ones and become comfortable with yourself. Focus on what you are observing. Continue reading

“Upasana Yoga and Nondual Devotion” – Yoga of Love – James Swartz

Om!

Nondual love means unconditional love. Maturity is important for a love
relationship. Free will and love. Means of knowledge. In the final stage you get rid of obstacles.

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💛 Om Shanti 🕉

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Ignorance, guru and change of attitude – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Vedanta, Bhakti Sutra Narada

Trust in a guru? Manipulation and guru. Respect teachers with
knowledge. Don’t hand over your trust to a teacher simply
because you are suffering. If your heart is pure ishvara will give
you the right guru. You should be able to recognise fear in you
and root it out. What is maya? You have to act to change your
life. Change your attitude, start loving the right things and do
dharmic actions that produce beneficial results, i. e. sattva. If you
surrender and stay passive your life won’t change. Justifications
to keep negative thoughts don’t make sense. You punish yourself
when you hang on to negative thoughts. Low self esteem
motivates you to punish yourself. It’s just as easy to trust.
Associate with good people and good thoughts. Spiritual people
are samsaris dressed up in spiritual clothes. Tanmatras. Causal
body causes you to do actions to feel better. Problem is that you
have the wrong idea of who you are in the first place. Enlightened
people are happy to turn over their karma to ishvara. Shankara:
Self knowledge removes ignorance as light removes darkness.
The thought ‘I am small, I am inadequate’ generates all the
actions to feel better. Destroy it with the opposite thought.
Obstacle is attachment to ignorance. Ignorant people defend their
beliefs when you suggest an alternative attitude. Ask yourself: is
there any evidence that something is wrong with you? You should
question what you have been told in light of your values and
svabhava. A feeling is not a command. The tendency to fool
yourself is very strong. A real guru and the scripture prevent you
from that. You have to put you in a situation where you don’t get
egoic. Vers 48: “Who is capable of crossing Maya? The one who
transcends the pairs of opposites and renounces the materialistic
point of view.” You are valuable with normal hair. You don’t have
to be special. Vers 49: “Who is capable of transcending Maya?
The one who renounces even the Vedas and obtains exclusive
and unbroken love of God.” You contribute your love to the world.

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Association with materialists or sages? – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Vedanta, Bhakti Sutra Narada

Revision of verses 38-43. Vedanta is a method that the teacher
applies to your mind. You are always aware. Elimination of nonessential
factors. Bliss in deep sleep. Do you stop existing when
you go to sleep? Something that you can never dismiss is real.
The scripture is never wrong. The problem is in my
understanding. Consequences of association with negative
people. Verse 44: Association with materialists causes anger,
confusion, forgetfulness, loss of intelligence and total spiritual
calamity. Verse 45: Rising like waves from association with
objects, these bad effects amass into a great ocean of misery.
You get a big samskara. Verse 46: Only those who abandon
material associations, serves the sages and becomes selfless
crosses beyond maya. Verse 47: The one who avoids society,
loves solitude, lets go of the belief that there is security in worldly
situations and transcends the gunas crosses beyond maya. You
don’t want to change your state of mind. Gunas teaching.
Awareness and the creation of the world. Causal and subtle body.

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James Swartz – Nature of non dual love – Talk 8

Beginning of the verses of Narada’s Bhakti Sutras. Traditional
versus modern style of teaching. Vers 1: Using intellect for
justification is not useful. Devotion is directed to God. Treat
the people around you as if they are God. Devotion is rational.
Vers 2: Focus all of your attention on one topic: who am I?
Samadhana. Love is willing attention. Love of what is right
here and now. You are always present. You love your self.
Selflessness. You are the goodness that makes goodness
good. Hate is a perverted form of bhakti. Duality: Men are
defined by women. You don’t love objects, you love love.
Chasing love in objects is useless. Vers 3+4: You know you
don’t die and get a security benefit. The worry goes away.
Immortal love. Perfection benefit. Gain of knowledge, loss of
ignorance. Enlightenment sickness. Love is your nature. You
are not the body. You were here before your body was born.
Solution is to accept the words of the scripture. Vers 5: Life is
not jiva centered anymore. Free of passion for objects. No
need to feel special. Vers 6: Feel wonderstruck because you
understand and fulfilled the purpose in your life. You know you
are love.

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